When you’re just starting out with your content marketing strategy, one of the biggest challenges is consistently creating great content.
Most marketers will tell you that you need to be blogging x times a week if you want to gain any traction, that you should be updating your Facebook and Twitter so many times and that you should have a presence on Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, et al.
Instant overwhelm, right?
Often this massive rush to start creating content is a recipe for burnout which may lead you to become demotivated. When your business is still new, you, as the solopreneur are usually doing all the work. That means content creation – be it blogging, making videos, updating your social account – all falls under your domain. And it’s hard work.
But hold on!
At this point let me remind you that creating is not as crucial as promoting. Or in the words of Derek Halpern from Social Triggers: “You don’t have to create content, day in, and day out. You just have to work on getting the content you already have… in the hands of more people.”
So, in other words, create less, promote more.
But again, promoting more does not mean posting the same link on Twitter 10 times a day!
Instead, one of the tactics you can use is to promote the same or similar content on different media channels, popularly called “content repurposing”.
The idea is simple. People consume information in different ways. What one person might like to see as a video tutorial, another might like to see as a downloadable slide deck. Or a podcast that one person wants to hear on their commute to work might also work as an e-book for those stay-at-home readers who want a rich source of reference.
3 Benefits of Content Repurposing
1. Good for SEO
According to Lee Odden, author of the book "Optimize": “When a SEO and content marketing strategy work together, repurposing content means additional SEO assets to attract search traffic on many different variations of a theme.”
2. Reach Customers using Different Mediums
SAP’s Vice President of Marketing and Content Strategy, Michael Brenner says: “Multi-channel marketing is the 2nd core piece of Content Strategy, which seeks to provide the content our audiences are searching for, in all the places they search.”
3. Increase Retention & Perspective
And if you’re still not convinced let me just quote the maestro Seth Godin and be done with it: “Delivering your message in different ways, over time, not only increases retention and impact, but it gives you the chance to describe what you're doing from several angles.”
Content Repurposing Best Practices
As you can see, content repurposing is touted by many content marketers but before you start to delve into it, here are a few guidelines you should remember:
- Repurpose evergreen content so that its value extends far beyond the time it takes to create it
- Slightly modify and adapt the content to the medium
- Whenever possible, create content with the specific purpose of repurposing it – it’ll make it easier to create and re-create
- Try and build upon and add value to content at each stage of the repurposing process
So keeping these points above in mind, let’s begin.
How to Re-Purpose Content
Step 1: Start With One Core Idea
The core idea could be a specific service you offer that you want more clients for. Or the core idea could be solving one specific problem for a customer. For example, if you are a yoga instructor wanting to promote a DVD to young mothers, your core idea is that “women who’ve just given birth want to get back into shape and need some basic toning and strengthening exercises that they can easily and quickly do at home”. Let’s extrapolate on this core idea in the steps below.
Step 2: Identify 5-10 Topic Areas You Can Talk and Write About With Authority
So for our “yoga for new moms” example, the posts could be about the benefits of yoga as a post-natal exercise, what specific exercises/position you can do at home, how little time it takes, how you can involve your baby in your yoga routine, how yoga will help you achieve spiritual calmness during a tumultuous time (motherhood), etc. You get the idea.
Of course you can go into as much detail in your niche as possible. Also try and follow a logical line of questions when thinking up a series post – what do readers want to know next after they have read your first post?
Content Item #1: Blog Posts
Plan and write a series of 5 or more blog posts around your core idea.
To add more usefulness to your post, supplement it with relevant images of yoga positions and where possible, embed a short video explaining how that pose is achieved (more on this in Item#6 below).
Be sure to link all your blog posts in the series to each other and promote it as a content resource on your blog by placing it either under Resources on your blog’s header or in a widget on your sidebar’s navigation.
Tools to quickly write blog posts based on tried and tested templates:
- The Content Rules Easy-Peasy Blog Post Template
- How to Use a Writing Frame by Chris Brogan
- Michael Hyatt’s Blogging Template on Evernote
Content Item #2: E-book
Compile your blog posts, add an introduction, cover page, table of content, some images, header, footer, and format it into a handy mini e-book. Make the e-book available for free to readers on your website as a resource guide to getting started with yoga for new moms. This way the e-book becomes a pillar of your evergreen content. Alternatively you can offer your free e-book in exchange for newsletter subscribers.
You can make your e-book in MS Word and simply save as a PDF or try the tools below.
Tools to convert blog posts to e-books:
Content Item #3: Social Media Updates
The next step is to promote the content you’ve created on your social media channels. But you can also add value to each update depending on the social channel you are using.
On Facebook, you can give links to your blog post, an image of a daily yoga position as well as a daily inspirational quote in keeping with yoga sentiments.
Do the same for Twitter, Linkedin and Google Plus, taking care to adapt each update to the medium. So for twitter you want to keep the updates under 140 characters (120 if you want re-tweets). There’s nothing worse than an update that’s cut off at the end ‘cause it was copy/pasted! For Linkedin, you might want to add the link to your post in an appropriate group with a short excerpt. For Google Plus, a link to the post preceded by some short commentary on why you’re posting this and who can it help. Use consistent hashtags for all social media networks to tie in all your various social media outposts.
Tools to write and schedule social media updates:
Content Item #4: Presentations
The idea here is to publish and promote your content using a slideshow style presentation. A presentation is a brilliant yet underutilized tool in the world of marketing.
Take each of your core ideas and re-imagine it from a visual perspective. Find creative commons images using Compfight or Photopin, add in your core text in the form of a quotation or key principle and you have the basics of your presentation. Choose a simple template and upload!
Tools to create online or offline presentations:
Content Item #5: Pinterest
Since we’re using yoga as an example here I would recommend using Pinterest as a marketing tool. Pinterest is visual so anything that can be conveyed via images is well-suited to the Pinterest brand. In our example, you can upload to Pinterest the following types of images:
- Each slide of your slide deck from Step 7 above (inspirational quotes with cool images are readily consumed on both Facebook and Pinterest)
- A specific yoga pose from each of your core ideas
- A yoga photoshoot of young moms with babies
Hongkiat gives an excellent list of Pinterest plugins and tools that are compatible with WordPress for easy pinning from your WP blog.
Some other tools to use Pinterest effectively are:
Content Item #6: Video
For some people video is a tough one primarily because of the time and effort involved in producing a quality video. Here’s a hat tip though: even so-so videos are okay so long as the audio part of it is par excellence! An unintelligible audio renders the video virtually unwatchable while an articulate audio will save even the grainiest video.
One of the easiest kinds of videos to make are screencasting videos, where you basically capture what’s happening on screen along with a narration.
For our yoga example the best kind of video would be one of a yogi actually performing all the steps. Alternatively you could make an animated video using a slideshow’s images, add an intro, some music and voilá you have 5 videos for those users who need to see how it’s done.
Tools to convert presentations, PDFs and other types of content into video:
Cross-Promotion is Key!
These were just 7 basic examples of the variety of content that you could produce based on a single core idea. You could do many more of course as and when appropriate – create infographics, newsletters, case studies, podcast, whitepapers, lists, memes, webinars etc depending on your topic and industry.
The best part is that once you are done creating this evergreen content, you can promote it endlessly. You can cross promote the videos by embedding them on your blog, you can promote the presentations on LinkedIn via their presentation app, you can put up the podcast on iTunes and other channels, and you can put all this content on social networks in some form or the other – pics on Instagram, motivational posters on Facebook, quick tips on twitter and so on.
Repurposing your core content in this manner gives you more visibility, better reach and opens up your content to be viewed on computers, tablets, and mobile phones. When you’re first starting out, you really need to own your space and being (seemingly) everywhere at once is a great way to build awareness.
I’m sure you have some great ideas to share about what’s worked for you in making your content go the extra mile. It would be great if you would add your favorite content re-purposing tools and techniques in the comments below!