In the world of software development, loose coupling is an architectural pattern that ensures flexibility and control in the delivery and maintenance of complex software systems. The idea is to construct software components for modularity, building blocks that are easily reused in a variety of broader use cases and system contexts.
At first blush, such wonky “below the line” ideas may sound like a far cry from the daily concerns of the content marketer. But when you probe a little deeper, you’ll see a useful analogy for the architectures that hold together our content marketing strategies.
Let’s apply the concepts:
In content marketing, loose coupling is about creating content assets that have independent value, but also fit neatly within the architecture of your broader storylines. Loose coupling gives you the flexibility to support a variable distribution cadence (e.g., scheduled, ambient, real-time), while ensuring that these assets also integrate into the architecture of your broader storylines.
Like software architects, content marketers should begin with the end in mind, allowing your highest level business goals to inform your lowest-level content elements. This provides a business context for fulfilling your content supply chain—each of your content elements rolls up to a broader purpose. Tight linkages between elements, assets, storylines, campaigns, and KPIs makes it easier to measure ROI and ensures your loosely coupled content assets fly in close formation as they work together to advance and reinforce your storylines.
Coca-Cola follows a very similar architectural pattern in their content marketing strategy. They call it “liquid and linked.” Here, loosely coupling means that content elements can stand alone, but also fit into broader storylines. For Coke, liquid means that independent assets inspire engagement and social sharing on their own rights. Linked means that these independent assets work together to reinforce broader marketing goals.
So, as your setting direction in your content marketing strategy, ask yourself “are we sufficiently liquid and linked?” Are your content assets loosely coupled, but tightly formed?