Think about the staggering amount of content you’ve created over the years.
Think of all the emails you send and receive. (Need a reminder? Check the total number of emails in your inbox.)
What about work documents and client materials? (Look at your Word docs or Google docs.)
And we haven’t even gotten to blog and social media content! The point is, you’ve spent a lot of time and hard work creating all this content, but I’m willing to bet 75% of the time only a handful of people actually see it before you retire it to an obscure folder on your computer.
Why do we continually create more and more new content from scratch even though the content we’ve already created is perfectly good?
I’m convinced this is because we stink at repurposing. Usually, by the time you finally finish a project and you want to publish it, you are so sick of looking at it you don’t want anything else to do with it. Sound familiar?
By repurposing content, we can extend the life of our blog posts, reach a larger audience, and boost SEO along with our brand. And you don’t have to start with a blank page!
Here are 8 fresh ways to take your existing content and reuse, repurpose, and reimagine it. I’ve also included examples and tools for each point. Let’s dig in!
When you write useful content, certain sentences and quotes will naturally stand out. I call these one-liners, “Social Snippets”, and with a good eye you can easily turn them into eye-catching content for your community.
Think about this. Most people see one sentence from your content on Facebook and Twitter: The headline. But how many other good nuggets are inside your post? And what if your headline doesn’t catch my attention, but one of the other points inside your article does? I’ll probably never read it!
You have the opportunity to attract different people with the different parts of your article. It’s a lot more interesting compared to sending out the same title of your post over and over again.
For example, I took a few ‘social snippets’ from a post I wrote called, How To Generate More Opportunities. Each one is a little different and each one links back to my post.
You can easily create more in-depth content by gathering the best nuggets from your bigger pieces of content and list posts, then expanding on each one with individual posts. For example, my list of 50 Best Entrepreneur Podcasts could be broken down into different niches. I could go into more detail by creating lists for small business entrepreneurs, product or serviced based entrepreneurs, etc., or I could even break them down into the best episodes by podcast.
Quick tip: Don’t stop at list posts. Sub-headings and individual concepts within a single post can usually be turned into their own posts.
Easily repurpose your content by turning your presentations into blog posts or e-books. Perhaps you prepared an awesome presentation for a speaking engagement. What happens when the presentation is over? Most people email the slides to attendees then forget about it. What a waste! You’ve not only got content, you have visuals and audience feedback. You’re just getting started!
Why not repurpose it into other channels? If you’ve taken the time to create a unique presentation for a specific group of people and then never do anything else with it, you’re wasting a lot of time and content.
QUICK TIP: Cut your writing time in half by recording yourself giving the presentation. Then, go back and listen to it and assemble the post or e-book. You already have the content, why create it twice? Recording is also helpful because many people’s best content comes out impromptu on stage. Being under pressure in front of a crowd can bring out ideas and points you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. I did this with the content I prepared when I spoke to a group of publishers about creating evergreen content: http://fluxedigitalmarketing.com/sell-books-book-marketing/
If your content is research-based and has a lot of statistics, why not create graphics or infographics for it Infographics are a little bit more difficult to create, but a good one can spread like wildfire.
For DIYers, here are a few sites that you can fill in templates:
QUICK TIP: If you don’t have enough content to fill up an infographic, try using a site like Canva.com where you can easily create excellent graphics for social media blogs and templates. I used Canva to create the image at the top of this post!
We talked about refreshing your presentation into new content, now let’s flip that around and talk about how to turn your content into a simple presentation. If you’re not familiar with Slideshare, it’s the world’s largest community of presentations and infographics. In the last quarter of 2013, the site got 215 million page views and is ranked in the top 120 most visited websites in the world. And it’s dripping with opportunities for content marketing.
There is a difference between a Slideshare presentation created from a blog post and a presentation that you create for a live audience. Usually, a good live presentation can’t stand on its own feet. In order to avoid clutter on your slides and keep the audience engaged, the slides should have to be explained by the presenter. However, when you turn a blog post into a Slideshare presentation, you can also turn it into a story that the reader can easily follow. Using the main sections of the blog, you can create a Slideshare presentation that the reader can quickly scroll through while still getting the main points of your post.
Here’s a few great examples of different ways you can repurpose content for Slideshare.
My friend Brian Sullivan gave this talk at SXSW this year and posted his slides. I love them because even though I wasn’t there, I was able to follow along with the presentation from the slides.
And here’s a great example of taking existing content and repackaging it to help sell a product. In this case, Ryan Holiday curated 19 quotes about growth hacking with a call to action at the end to sign up for his email list. He did this to support his book on growth hacking coming out at the time. It’s already received 360,000+ views.
If you’ve created content (emails, FAQ sections, blog posts…) in response to a customer or prospect’s question, chances are pretty darn good there’s other people out there with the same question. In fact, they’re probably asking for it on a Q&A sites like Yahoo answers or Quora. Do a quick search and look for people who are searching for the very content you just created – and give it to them! Not only do you look like a pro answering their question, it also creates more places people can find your content.
Here’s an example of someone asking a question on Quora about what the best Youtube channels that cover marketing are. I happened to have written a blog post on that very topic a month back so I just took my neatly curated list of links and pasted it into Quora. To find it, I just searched for “small business Youtube channels.”
Blog comments provide a quick and simple opportunity to repurpose chunks of content you already have, while also directing traffic back to your blog. The example below is from a post Bryan Harris from Videofruit.com wrote about using text expanders (which happens to be one of my favorite tools).
At the end of the post, Bryan invited readers to share how they used text expanders. I had already written a post on the topic so I wrote about it from a completely different angle with a custom intro so it was a good addition to his post. I copied the best parts of my post and used them for the comment. The best part? It only took 4 minutes!
Quick tip: If you try this, always seek to be helpful over promotional. People will see right through you if you’re only trying to get attention.
When new visitors come to your blog, the chances of them going through all of the content in your archives is pretty slim.
“But wait! Some of my best content was written months ago, and these new readers are never going to see it!?”
Sadly, that’s exactly what happens most times. But it doesn’t have to be like that…
One way to make sure readers see your best content is to collect your best evergreen posts from one topic and turn them into an email autoresponder. An Email autoresponder is a series of pre-written emails that are triggered to be sent on different intervals, usually every few days. You only have to write them once but your audience will get new content sent to their inbox automatically however often you would like.
For example, you may have a seven part email autoresponder on ‘How to Close a Sale’ that is delivered every Wednesday. I can sign up this week and start receiving it. Then, someone else could sign up next week and receive the same thing. They still receive the first part of the of the series, just like I did, only they receive it a week later. No extra work is required on your part, but it’s very important that all of the content in your autoresponder is evergreen so it’s timeless and doesn’t refer to any specific dates.
The next step is choosing a few of these strategies to start with. Just remember one thing: No matter what you start with, don’t forget about your call to action on your content. If the original content is a blog post, what do you want people to do once they finish reading your post? I know I want people to subscribe to my email, so I have several email opt-in opportunities. Just don’t forget about what comes next in your content marketing strategy that supports your marketing goals.
Question: How do you creatively repurpose your content? What works best for you? Share in the comments!
Joel Widmer is the Founder & CEO of Fluxe Digital Marketing—a content marketing shop that helps smart businesses create, produce and promote their content through a unique one-on-one interview process. When he’s not working, Joel can be found trying new restaurants with his wife and son.