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Creating a modular content strategy in 2023

Kaya Ismail

Content will continue to be a critical factor for brands in 2023. After all, not only is content a means of driving traffic and generating leads, it’s also the foundation for creating digital experiences that excite customers. However, if you have a stale content strategy, then making those experiences will be quite challenging.

Organizations need new ways to keep up with the demand for content across multiple channels and optimize it for various audiences. A modular content strategy can help with these demands. This article will explain the concept of modular content, highlight some of its advantages, provide some tips for creating your modular content strategy, and show how you can create modular content with a headless CMS.

Section titled What is modular content? What is modular content?

Modular content is the concept of creating, managing, and distributing content in small reusable forms. As the need for content to be delivered to multiple devices and channels has risen, so has the need for reusable content to be created for these channels. Modular content facilitates this content reusability by breaking content into blocks.

These smaller content items, whether a piece of text, a product image, or a short video, can be combined, deconstructed, and then reconstructed in different formats to create unique experiences for a specific channel. Think of them as lego bricks that are made out of flexible playdough - not only you can stack them in different ways to create new content, but you can also mold them into new shapes as needed.

For example, you can take a content block such as a piece of text and an image diagram and combine them to create a blog article. You can also combine a video and some text to create a landing page or combine various content blocks together to create a case study or testimonial. With this approach, your content is essentially broken down into modules that can be stacked together and reused across various channels.

Section titled Modular content vs traditional content Modular content vs traditional content

Modular content is a necessity because of the sheer amount of content required for multiple channels. Without content that can be easily reused, content authors will struggle to keep up with demand and potentially suffer from severe bottlenecks and restrictive workflows as they attempt to use traditional methods. Here are some of the ways traditional and modular content differ:

Traditional content vs modular content
Traditional contentModular content
Content typeCustom-createdReusable
FlexibilityRigidEasily adaptable
Use casesLimitedMultiple

Section titled Advantages of a modular content strategy Advantages of a modular content strategy

A modular content approach can provide several benefits that empower content teams and remove the restrictions of traditional content approaches. Some of the benefits include:

Section titled Faster content production Faster content production

Speed is a major differentiator in today’s omnichannel environment. Modular content can enable content teams to move faster, as having pre-approved “blocks” of content can help marketers launch campaigns and landing pages more quickly. For example, marketers could take information from an existing product page or blog article that mentioned the product when it was first launched and reuse that content to create a new landing page to highlight an upgraded feature that customers have been begging for.

Section titled Iterative content production Iterative content production

A modular content approach also helps marketers to be more agile in their content production. Large campaigns that might have previously taken months to produce and then launch can be broken down into smaller elements. These elements can be released quickly and then later combined to create one final campaign that ties together all of the previously shared elements.

Section titled Smoother workflows Smoother workflows

Content doesn’t need to go through the same workflow for approvals since marketing teams can take elements that everyone has already approved and create new content.

Section titled Easier to meet personalization demands Easier to meet personalization demands

Personalization is in high demand by consumers nowadays, and a modular content strategy can make it easier for brands to facilitate. By breaking the content down into modules, teams can easily edit for context, enabling them to tailor content to the needs of various audience personas.

Section titled Improved consistency Improved consistency

Most companies have detailed brand guidelines that specify the look and feel of any content that gets published. However, inconsistencies can crop up when experimenting and trying new things —something essential in today’s digital environment. With modular content, consistency can be maintained since brands can reuse content that has already gone through specific approval cycles. This is especially useful for localized marketing campaigns that frequently take elements of existing campaigns and modify them to be more relevant to consumers from a specific region or that speak a particular language.

Section titled Increased reusability Increased reusability

Reusability is another benefit of modular content that can’t be understated. Modular content allows marketers to reuse content elements that extend the shelf life of content. For example, a large white paper can be broken down into smaller blog articles, infographic tables, and more. Each of these content pieces can then be broken down even further into text or images for social media campaigns.

Section titled Tips for creating a modular content strategy Tips for creating a modular content strategy

There are numerous benefits to leveraging a modular content strategy. Here are a few tips for brands that want to create a modular content strategy of their own:

Section titled 1- Create a modular content team 1- Create a modular content team

Within your wider content team, you can create a subgroup focused on facilitating a modular content strategy. This modular content team ensures that your brand has the processes and workflows to support a modular approach and then finds ways to augment those processes with the right tools to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Section titled 2- Determine content shelf life 2- Determine content shelf life

The shelf life of a piece of content will determine how eligible it is to be part of your modular strategy. For example, a breaking news item is likely to be used only once. However, a glossary or detailed product page will likely be evergreen with room for constant updates and the potential to be the pillar for other smaller pieces of content in the future.

Section titled 3- Identify all potential audiences 3- Identify all potential audiences

When creating a piece of content, it’s important to consider the potential audience personas that will view the content. How might each of these personas view the same piece of content? Also, how many pieces of content can be created from that one concept? For example, content is usually created for C-Suite business users, marketers, or developers in the content management space. When a piece of content is created, it can be eventually adapted for each of these personas, essentially turning 1-2 pieces of content into 3-6 at the minimum.

Section titled 4- Determine where content sits in the funnel 4- Determine where content sits in the funnel

Where content gets created in the funnel can determine how modular it might be. For instance, larger BOFU pieces can be broken down into smaller pieces for the top of the funnel.

Section titled 5- Use a headless CMS 5- Use a headless CMS

Finally, a headless CMS is a must to create and get the most out of a modular content strategy. Content needs to be stored in a central database before it can be adapted for different channels.

A headless CMS provides a content hub, the tools and workflows for content teams, and facilitates omnichannel delivery by decoupling the backend from the frontend interface. This enables content to be stored in the backend and then modified for delivery to customized frontends as required using APIs.

Section titled Creating modular content with Storyblok Creating modular content with Storyblok

The modular content approach can yield several benefits for brands that choose to embrace it. With Storyblok, those benefits move closer to becoming a reality. Storyblok leverages nestable content blocks that allow you to create components for different elements of your content and reuse these components across a variety of layouts.

The flexibility of content blocks means that you can quickly update your content pieces and reorganize them as you see fit using drag and drop tools. Plus, Storyblok’s Visual Editor makes it easy to preview content for different channels so you can see what it will look like on a different interface and rearrange content blocks to suit your needs. This easy-to-use functionality allows marketers to move with speed, especially when combined with the ability to define custom workflows.

Learn more about how a headless CMS can be used to create a modular content strategy and eliminate some of the other content problems plaguing businesses today: Headless CMS - How Does it Solve the Content Problem?