Building Blocks: The Behind-The-Scenes Art Of Structuring Content
Information is not linear. Finding the right way to structure marketing content, however, is a bigger challenge than it seems.
structuring content for marketing

Information is never linear, but building blocks.

The way you put those blocks together can change how readers interact with it, what they learn, and how they perceive your company.

When I write an article or web copy, I often think of 2-3 ways to organize and structure the content, then pick the one that’s most clear and interesting.

For example, we recently created an in-depth article on how coffee roasters can get their beans into major third-party subscriptions.

The building blocks:

  • The upsides and tradeoffs
  • Operational planning
  • Marketing impact
  • Owned vs third-party customers
  • Profit / margin planning

Here are the structures we considered:

1️⃣ Structure: Pros vs Cons

The article could have been laid out to contrast good vs bad steps to take to enable smart decision making.

  • The upsides
    • Operational victories
    • Healthy finances
  • The tradeoffs
    • Operational challenges
    • Low margins
    • Not owned customers

This option ultimately felt boring. Most existing content on this topic is generic “what to consider” fluff that’s more an information dump than something that’s truly practical.

2️⃣ Structure: Expert Roundup

We interviewed 12+ industry experts during research and had a wealth of stellar direct quotes. We could have framed the piece as “what 12 experts have to say”.

  • Expert 1’s insight
  • Expert 2’s insight
  • Expert 3’s insight (and so on)

This structure can work well, depending on the goal of the reader. If they’re looking for a smorgasboard of insights to help enhance existing efforts, it can be a fun, digestible way to get new ideas.

But since our readers had a specific goal — get their beans into third-party roasters — forcing them to wade through quotes to find something relevant for their stage in the journey would have created burden where it was unnecessary.

3️⃣ Structure: Actionable Steps

The article could have been laid out in a chronological order of steps to achieve the outcome.

  • Overview of the upsides and tradeoffs
  • Profit / margin planning
  • Operational preparation
  • Applying with brands
  • How to achieve long-term success

🏆 This structure was clear winner when we contrasted it with the other options. 

The step-by-step format flows smoothly and takes readers through the logical journey they’re already imagining in their heads, sprinkling expert insight along the way.

👉 You can see the article here.

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