It seems like every creative industry has been flirting with the idea of going modular for a while now. From modular construction to modular content marketing, there’s a good reason why everyone is working towards modularity!

While it might sound daunting, modular content marketing can make the lives of strategists, creators, and salespeople much easier.

But first, let’s take a step back and answer some key questions.

What is modular content? 

In a non-content context, the meaning of ‘modular’ can give some clues as to what modular content looks like:

Modular definition;

  1. adjective

“consisting of separate parts that, when combined, form a complete whole”

The term refers to specific types of collateral that can act as short, standalone pieces or combine to create comprehensive long-form content. As a rule, it’s created by teams that use a modular marketing strategy looking to create content that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Content creators can combine various pieces in any number of ways, resulting in new pieces of content from the modules. Most importantly, a modular content strategy allows you to create a significant amount of content from the same modules. Basically, stretching one set of information as far as possible.

The key features of modular content are:

stock image of a floor covered by lego bricks

Who can benefit from a modular content strategy?

Marketers

Scale up collateral production and demand generation with modular content marketing. Creators can do this by tailoring modules for individual use cases, audiences, and channels.

We’re all familiar with the increasing demand for marketing to prove ROI while producing personalized content under tight time constraints. As marketing departments everywhere face both budget and resource cutbacks, mastering the art of doing more with less is high on the priority list of every marketer at the moment.

Sales teams

Presenting prospects with sales collateral that isn’t personalized based on their particular profession, use case, or interest, runs the risk of losing their attention. Without a modular content strategy, creating this collateral can be overly time-consuming.

A modular content strategy can also combine with digital content creation tools that grant everyone an easy way to make online digital brochures. This combination means sales teams can create more personalized sales collateral for themselves without having to wait for marketing or creatives to act as a go-between.

Sales enablement

Need the 411 on what a sales enablement person does? Turtl has you covered in our Diary of a sales enablement associate blog post.

Think of these guys as the bridge between sales and marketing. They make sure salespeople never go into a customer-facing meeting without the latest intel or necessary collateral. But how does Sales Enablement deliver effective intelligence around prospects’  interests? And how can everyone make the most of the marketing materials you’ve already invested in?

A modular content strategy is, of course, the answer. Without a doubt, a dedicated Sales Enablement team will empower Sales to reach new heights. But a Sales Enablement team equipped with modular content allows Sales to create specialized, on-brand collateral for any prospect, at the drop of a hat.

HR teams

Increasingly, HR and people teams are involved in content creation in the form of internal communications and newsletters, and exploring comprehensive and personalized onboarding documents.

The new creative responsibilities of people teams leave them with less time to carry out the tasks typically expected of them. Adopting a modular content strategy to produce these internal and external communications, frees up time to focus on the jobs more traditionally associated with HR, like talent acquisition and retention – as illuminated by the Great Resignation – and necessary to avoid high employee turnover costs.

Examples of modular content

Let’s say you’ve created a long-form article on reducing demand generation friction and published it on your blog. You’ve geared this particular piece of content toward attracting readers who have the time to read an in-depth guide. However, this isn’t going to cut it for readers who are short on time or just looking for a quick overview.

Using the process of modular content creation, you can break down the article into tasty sections: ‘What is demand generation friction,’ ‘Making demand generation a two-way conversation,’ ‘The great gate debate’’, and so on.

You can then use these shorter pieces, and target them at subsets of your audience. Say a prospective client is particularly interested in integrating their CRM with their new digital content platform, your sales team could send over  ‘Making demand generation a two-way conversation’ as a module. By sending readers the content they need and want, you’re silver-serving them content that matters to them, warming up their relationship with you, and mitigating the risk of them losing interest in your brand.

Next, say you want to create some social media posts on the same subject. You can use the smaller modules for social posts. Bite-sized modules can be used for posts or pulled through as quotes for wider sales collateral.

Building a modular content strategy

Creating modular marketing collateral means taking a different approach to your writing.

One of the first fundamentals to work out is: what exactly does a module of content look like?

Your modules should be large enough to exist by themselves, but small and adaptable enough to work across various channels, audiences, and contexts.

Once you have your module definition established, you can begin to write content. There are two ways of approaching this step, either by building up from smaller modules or by dividing existing content into parts.

1. Module-first method

One way of modulizing your content is to think about your target personas. Really getting to know your audience lets you anticipate exactly what they want to know about a subject so you can cater directly to their queries.

Segmenting your audience and then speaking directly to separate pain points is an effective way of informing the structure of your content modules. Well-formed modules are then ready to combine and create something long-form or remain as stand-alone snackable content.

2. Module-second method

This approach is more effective for anybody with existing content already out there that could work harder. Break your content down into sections that appeal to audience members in different parts of the funnel. Your introductory overview gets adapted to suit top-of-funnel audience members and reused in a blog post. While the persuasive summary can be re-purposed for your sales team scripts to help them close deals with those at the bottom of the funnel.

The Turtl Take-away: Modulize for maximum efficiency 

If you and your content team value efficiency, then modular content could be exactly what you’re after.

As more teams come under pressure to become more creative and efficient, modular content could present the solution.

  • Save time on creative processes
  • Save resources on creating new content
  • Give new life to older content
  • Easily make content more personal

Using the modules you create to appeal more personally to your audience members as individuals should not be undervalued. Personalizing content is one of the most effective ways of increasing engagement, and it extends beyond just including your contact’s name and company. ‘Deep personalization’ means using hyper-relevant content that will resonate with each reader on an individual level, and is shown to achieve fantastic results.

Read the Turtl Labs research into the effects of differing levels of personalization on content performance.

Content marketers and creators who’d like to fully align their strategy with messaging, content operations, brand goals, and vision, can head to our complete guide to B2B content marketing.

Here, you’ll gain a 360º content marketing framework and templates for everything you need to manage content output, including modular content.

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