SEO and content marketing are not cheap. They can require significant investments upfront in order to generate a beneficial yield. But there are ways to improve your ROI by being as resourceful as possible – and one of these strategies is called splintering.
What is Content Splintering?
The best way to understand content splintering is to think about it through the analogy of a tree being cut down to build a campfire. When you have a big idea for content, that idea is basically a tree. That tree then gets chopped down and harvested in your brain, where each log from the tree’s trunk becomes a major piece of content.
The logs from the tree – which are typically beefy website blog posts – are then further splintered into smaller pieces with an axe, and used to start a fire that’s hot enough to eventually burn the larger logs. These smaller pieces are the equivalent of email copy and short Youtube videos.
Some of the smaller pieces are then turned into tiny shavings. These shavings become the kindling that’s lit so that the smaller pieces catch. Shavings typically include dozens of short-form social media posts.
If you’re a visual person, that analogy may prove helpful. But if you just want to know the system, it typically looks something like this:
Big Idea > Blog Post > Email/Video Snippets > Social Media Posts
Most brands stop at the blog post. They have an idea, publish a 1,000-word blog post, and then start looking for the next big idea. But if you’re serious about wanting to maximize your resources, splintering can turn a single idea into dozens of pieces of content.
This cuts down on the lead time and allows you to maximize your creativity. Rather than generating four or five big ideas every week, you only have to come up with one good one. Then, you can put the rest of your energy into producing and sharing content that adds value and drives SEO juice and traffic back to your website.
The Content Splintering Process
When it comes to SEO, there are a few keys to being successful. The first is to create high-quality content. The second is to use that content wisely. When you combine content splintering with white hat link building, it’s a total game-changer. What follows is a content splintering process that works really well for many brands – small and large alike.
- Generate a Big Idea
It all starts with one big idea. By big idea, we mean a topic that’s general enough to be niched down when the splintering begins. Here’s an example of a big idea vs. small idea:
Big Idea: How to sell your house
Small Idea: How to sell your house for cash in Evansville, Indiana in 90 days or less.
There’s nothing wrong with the small idea – and it could certainly be a subhead within the larger blog post – but it’s too specific to be splintered at scale. The big idea, however, can easily be turned into dozens (and probably hundreds of pieces of individual content). The objective is to start big and then get more specific as you splinter.
- Create a Pillar Post
Once you have your big idea, run a Google search. Scroll down and look for the snippet on the results page that says “People Also Searched.” Each one of these questions will become its own section within your pillar post.
Your pillar post is a massive piece of content (usually at least 2,000 words in length) that you use as the focal point of your link building and SEO strategy. It’s essentially a high-powered magnet for your website. Every good website should eventually have at least three to five pillar posts for everything else to rotate around.
- Create YouTube Videos
Video content is booming. YouTube is one of the world’s largest search engines (and something you definitely want to utilize). Try taking each of the sections within your pillar post and turning them into their own two-to-three-minute videos.
- Create and Schedule Social Snippets
Finally, grab each paragraph/section within the pillar post and create a short-form social media post. This should leave you with anywhere from 15 to 20 different social media posts. They can then be scheduled for automatic posting over the next month with a tool like Hootsuite.
Multiply Your Content
The goal of content splintering is to be more resourceful with the ideas and content that you have. Rather than being “one and done,” every major piece of content gets turned into dozens of usable pieces that all drive attention and traffic back to the big idea. That’s how you stretch your time and money for maximum impact.