“Pamela, writing content is hard enough. What do you mean by ‘repurposing content?'”
Oh, my friend. We are about to have some fun!
Today, I’m going to introduce a way you can maximize the impact and reach of every piece of content you create with a simple content repurposing workflow.
It’s easy when you have repurposing in mind from the very beginning of your content marketing workflow.
(That’s my secret goal here — to get you thinking about repurposing content from the start.)
You’re about to discover:
- The benefits of repurposing content: Time to get excited about all the reach you’re about to experience!
- A simple content repurposing strategy: It starts while you’re mapping out your content backbone.
- Content repurposing examples: You don’t have to try them all — I’ll give you lots of options to choose from and you can pick just a few to explore.
First, let’s state the obvious: If you’re having trouble getting content created, grab your very own copy of my book Master Content Marketing. It will help you structure and create content that attracts an audience and grows your business. The structure you’ll learn will make repurposing content much faster!
Once you’re comfortable with the basic content creation process, it’s time to maximize the impact your content has in the world.
It’s a noisy place here on the internet, and these content repurposing tips will help get your content in front of more people — in more places — so you can drive traffic back to your online business.
Before we start, you may have a few questions. Let’s get those answered. 🙂
Why should I be repurposing content?
It all boils down to this:
Repurposing content is a good use of your content production time.
Here’s why …
Rather than add yet another brand-new piece of content to the mountain that’s already available online, I’m asking you to create only exceptional content — and give it much great impact by repurposing it.
Repurposing content, in this case, means rethinking your content so it will reach people in a variety of places using wide-ranging content formats. That means …
Written content may become:
- Visual content
- Audio content
- Video content
Podcasts may become:
- Visual content
- Written content
- Video content
Video may become:
- Written content
- Audio content
- Visual content
After all, we’re not ALL readers, or ALL podcast listeners, or ALL video watchers. When you serve up your content in lots of different formats, you reach people where they are.
For example, you may have time to read this article now — but later tonight, you might prefer to see a quick video that covers the main topics.
Or you might be perusing Pinterest and click on a pin to read it.
Or you might want to hear the topic in audio form while you’re exercising or commuting.
Your format preference might depend on how you learn best — or it might simply be a function of the time of day.
Wait — are you talking about republishing content on other platforms?
Some people think “repurposing” means taking content created in one media type and republishing it as-is on another platform.
I call that “syndicating your content,” not repurposing your content.
It’s not a bad idea to take, say, a blog post and copy/paste it into LinkedIn Pulse, Medium, or Quora to reach a different audience with your already-created content.
But that’s not what we’re covering here …
For more on content syndication, listen to this podcast.
How long does it take to repurpose content?
If you map this out while you’re in the content planning stages, it won’t be too time-consuming.
And when you develop a tried-and-true method, repurposing your content shouldn’t add more than an hour or so to your total content creation time.
Well worth it if it means you’ll spend less time writing new content, and more time maximizing the impact of the content you create!
What’s the minimum amount of content repurposing I should do?
The main reason to repurpose content is to get the word out about your content and drive people to your website to consume it.
If you are tight on time, plan to focus on repurposing your content on the one platform where you’ve already gathered an audience. If the content takes off, you can expand to other media types and platforms.
Say you have quite a following on Facebook. Consider:
- Facebook Live video, with your content providing the topic and talking points (more below)
- Long Facebook posts, where you extract one section of your content and share the subhead and ideas in a long social post with a link back to the full article
At a bare minimum, focus on giving your content maximum play on your most-successful offsite platform.
But of course, I’d love to see you do even more than that!
Read on to learn how …
How can I structure my content so it’s easy to repurpose?
I am so glad you asked, because having an underlying content structure is the key to making this whole thing easy.
I talk about content structure in great detail in Master Content Marketing. For more on what I mean, review these posts:
- Copyblogger: Master These 7 Essential Elements for Winning Content [Infographic]
- Problogger: A System for Easily Publishing Consistently Great Content – A Pamela Wilson Series
- Problogger: Day One: How to Build a “Backbone” for Your Content Marketing
- Problogger: Day Two: How to Fill in the Details of Your Winning Piece of Content
- Problogger: Day Three: How to Polish and Prepare to Publish Your Content
- Problogger: Day Four: How to Publish, Promote, and Propagate Your Article
Well-structured, logical content is super easy to repurpose!
For example, you can extract one section of an article, complete with its subheads, and make it:
- The topic of a social media post
- Something you riff about in a live video
- A topic you dig into in a podcast interview
Well-structured content lends itself to repurposing because it’s divided up logically and builds its points in a smooth flow from top to bottom.
Examples of repurposed content you can easily create from well-structured original content:
- SlideShares, using the headline as a cover slide; subheads as “divider” slides; and the main content in between
- Video content, using the headline as a splash screen; subheads as video sections; and the main content as your talking points
- Podcast content, using the headline as your theme; subheads as main topics to cover; main content as the details you’ll talk about
So start with well-structured content — it will make your repurposing job easy and fast.
Get help planning how to repurpose your content with my Magic Content Proliferator. Drop your name below and I’ll send it straight to your inbox!
5 simple approaches to repurposing content: An Idea Bank
As you add a content repurposing workflow into your content creation routine, here’s what I want you to keep in mind:
Build on your strengths: If you are deeply uncomfortable doing video, don’t do it! Focus on what you feel comfortable creating and expand your content reach using your current strengths. You can always explore new platforms later.
Master one content repurposing workflow at a time. Use one method for a while, track your results, and add another media type only after the first workflow feels natural and easy.
Think outside the format box. Repurposing content has the biggest impact when you engage different senses with the newly created content.
- Take written content and turn it into moving video.
- Take an audio podcast episode, have it transcribed and turn it into a downloadable ebook. I like Temi for machine-generated transcriptions you’ll have to clean up, and Rev for people-generated, cleaner transcriptions.
- Take signature branded images and stitch them together into an inspiring SlideShare or series of pins on Pinterest.
Approach #1. Make content VISUAL
People following directions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions without illustrations.
When you take your written words, your audio, or even your video and condense the main points into easy-to-grasp signature branded images, you’ll boost the impact of your information:
- On word-heavy social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
- In your email marketing
- On highly visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram
- Inside the content itself, where a visual like an infographic can summarize information and make it easy to skim (and highly shareable)
Approach #2. Make content MOVE
Put your static content in motion when you take your well-structured content and use it to create …
A simple slide deck that you can feature inside a blog post, on a podcast episode page, or like to from a video. If you upload to SlideShare you can embed your deck in your LinkedIn profile, too.
A webinar. With your slide deck created, it only takes a little extra effort to deliver the content in the form of a webinar. This can be the basis of a sales webinar; a part of a paid course; a piece of bonus content you offer as an upsell or in addition to a paid product or service.
A video. When you use your content as the topic of a live Facebook video, for example, you can repurpose that video in more than one place:
- Share the video on your Page and inside any Facebook Groups you manage
- Download the video and upload it to your YouTube channel
- Take the YouTube link and use it to embed the video back on your content page (hat tip to Andrea Vahl for this idea!)
This can easily happen after you’ve published.
In fact, as I write this, I plan to do a live video about this post and embed it below.
If it’s there, it’s because the post has been published for a few days and my repurposing content plans are kicking in!
Approach #3. Make content DIGESTIBLE
Not everyone has time to read a monster article like this one.
How can you serve up your information in digestible chunks? How can you deliver it a bite at a time so people can grasp your information quickly?
A few ideas …
- Create an autoresponder course based on your idea and drip them out one short email at a time (I use ConvertKit for this)
- Deliver one section at a time in long social media posts published over several days
- Add signature branded images on social media with long captions that share excerpts of the post information
- Create a series of long pins — each sharing one main point — and pin them on Pinterest
If people don’t have time to absorb your epic content all at once, help them benefit from it by repurposing the main points into digestible chunks you deliver over time.
Approach #4. Make content EASY TO FIND
If you publish, they won’t come to read, listen, or watch.
It’s not enough.
The first and most important person who must advocate for the content you’ve worked so hard to create is you.
Give repurposing content a chance to work for you. Make sure you:
Get it in your subscribers’ inboxes. I recommend you send a link to the full post so your readers can absorb it your native website environment in all its glory. Use your email message to “tease” the content. “Sell it” with a scintillating subject line, a peppy intro, and tantalizing bullet points. Make them want to click!
Put it “in rotation” on social media. More on the “rotation” aspect below, but I recommend you aim to make a BIG splash on the day you publish and you continue to beat the ground and invite people to click through to read on days two and three after publication. That means heavy repetition on social media platforms — if you’re afraid you’re going to annoy people, you’re probably doing it right. 😉
All of the above happens before or around the time of content publication.
The final step? It’s all about repurposing content for the long haul …
Approach #5. LOVE your content forever
You’ve worked hard to bring this piece of content into the world. Now, I want to ask you to commit to it for life.
What does lifetime content commitment look like?
Make your content search engine friendly. When you publish, be sure to connect your new content with the rest of your content family.
Look for older, treasured content on your site that supports your current information and link back to it so it’s easy to find. Even more essential for your search engine rankings is to find older content that is already ranking well, and link forward to your newly published content.
Automate your content repurposing: Set it up to share on repeat. There are several pieces of software that you can use to keep your content circulating automatically on social media. I won’t recommend anything I haven’t personally used. The two I like right now are Buffer and MissingLettr. If you haven’t heard of it, the latter is a reasonably priced newcomer that sets your content up to repeat over a full year on a regular schedule — a true set-it-and-forget-it product.
Before signing off, I want to give a shout out to Ana Hoffman for her excellent, thorough, and entertaining article, Content Repurposing: How to Get the Most Bang for Your Content Buck. If you still need inspiration, head on over and check it out!