Studious

Studious

A blog from SoloPortfolio about content marketing.

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Modular Content

May 24, 2011 , , , ,

I spend a lot of time noodling about information design. I believe that too few content marketers pay attention to design as an essential, ground-floor element of their content marketing strategy.

The lesson hit home for me personally when CCO magazine launched in January and a few bloggers pointed out (thank you) that our articles were too long and too linear. Readers wanted to be able to skim for key points and to decide whether any given article was worth their time.

The CCO team gathered about two months ago and gave me marching orders: Take each feature article and break it into pieces, add sidebars and pull-quotes. Add skimming elements. Make it more reader friendly!

I have since referred to this strategy as creating modular content. Rather than having one 1,200 word-article, we will run a 700 word article with a couple of sidebars that sum up key points or supplement the article with additional information.

This strategy has a few benefits:

  • Readers can self-select more easily and decide whether the article is right for them.
  • For the distracted, time-starved readers, modular content allows for speedy skimming.
  • Sidebars allow you to invite 3rd party authorities to weigh in on a topic and lend perspective and nuance.

Our July issue of CCO magazine will truly be the first issue that embraces this new mantra. Will include some of the new layouts for that issue in the blog when it is released next month. In the meantime, my new call-to-action: make it modular!

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