One of the things that makes blogs and social media effective is consistent updates. But it can be hard to continuously be creative and come up with great content for all those outlets. Honestly, it’s one of the biggest reasons why people abandon these marketing tools. But what if you could write once and produce many pieces of content that you can publish on multiple channels? Well, you can if you re-purpose your pieces. Creating evergreen content and re-purposing it for different marketing channels can and should be a strong part of your content strategy.
When you re-purpose your content, you take existing content, and re-use it for something else. Repurposing takes more work than editing, but less than a full re-write would probably take. Think of re-purposing content as the hub for the spokes of a wheel. Your main piece of content is the hub from which all other pieces will stem.
Using one piece to make many
If you put a little creative thought into it, you can re-purpose one piece of content into 10 other pieces. Let’s say you wrote a long essay for a legal journal about a case before the Supreme Court. From that piece, you can easily create a series of blog posts that you can introduce to your current clients in a newsletter, announce on Twitter, and summarize on Google + and Facebook, talk about on YouTube, and highlight on LinkedIn. You can also turn the piece into a PDF or E-book for download, and discuss it in a webinar, which you can promote through a press release and publish on Scribd or SlideShare.
Pretty impressive stuff, this re-purposed content. With just a little creativity, one piece of content can be repurposed into:
Blog posts – Break the essay up into short blog posts that cover distinct ideas
Newsletter articles – Summarize the essay and link it to the journal, tying in other relevant updates
Tweets – Create multiple tweets and hashtags that lay out the different highlights from the essay
Google + and Facebook posts – Promote the essay with succinct and witty short posts that summarize key points and interesting findings
YouTube videos – Interview the writer and review the talking points with a journalistic approach
LinkedIn posts – Market the essay as a key information piece for relevant groups and contacts
Downloadable E-books – Break the essay into sections that explain how the key findings can be applied by practicing lawyers in that particular field (write in the active voice)
Webinars – Create a presentation that goes through the essay’s key points
Press releases – Write why the essay is important based on current events, incorporate leadership quotes, and include why it’s of interest to your firm
Scribd/SlideShare documents – Disseminate the essay (if possible) and your slide deck to share your knowledge about legal developments
Each piece of re-purposed content can be quickly adjusted, expanded, or cut for its intended platform and audience. If you release the re-purposed content over a couple of weeks, you’ll generate more interest and get more visitors than you probably ever would have with just the one piece.
What Repurposing Isn’t
I need to be clear about something. Re-purposing content for multiple platforms is very different than promoting content on multiple platforms. Re-purposing is not a copy and paste job. It’s more a planning, reviewing, adjusting, expanding, cutting, and promoting type of job, and no steps can be skipped. Each piece of re-purposed content should stand on its own, and give readers and listeners a clear understanding of the topic. Your reader shouldn’t have to click to a landing page to get value from your post.
Re-purposing content is also different from updating your content (optimizing the past) which can also be incredibly valuable, especially if you’re a content wizard and publish frequently. When you re-purpose your content and post it to different platforms, you’re expanding your readership by targeting several different audiences at different phases of the sales funnel (a different audience for each platform). You can get 10 times the amount of eyes on your content than you can by creating one piece of content. Not only that, re-purposing can save you a lot of time and effort and increase your marketing ROI.