Not too long ago having a blog for your business was considered edgy…ahead of it’s time. But today it is becoming more and more the norm.
So how do you stand out?
You become omnipotent. And you do so by repurposing your content.
With just a few tweaks, you can take a single piece of content that may be sitting in a singular location (i.e. your blog) and spread it through different platforms, and different audiences.
Further down in this post I will share a brilliant example of content repurposing. But first let’s jump into some basics…
What is Content Repurposing?
Let’s start with content. What is it? One of the many definitions at Dictionary.com states that content is…
all that is contained or dealt with in a discussion, piece of writing, etc; substance
The definition of “repurpose” on Dictionary.com is harder to come by, however. Apparently this is too new of a word. Google saves the day however…
re·pur·pose verb /rēˈpərpəs/ repurposed, past participle; repurposed, past tense; repurposes, 3rd person singular present; repurposing, present participle 1. Adapt for use in a different purpose
In essence, content repurposing is content recycling.
Much in the same way that a glass bottle might be used for beer, and then recycled to be used for soda, content can be recycled and adapted for use in a different purpose (repurposed).
When we talk about recycling glass bottles, we can do a few things. We can change their shape. We can use the same bottle to store a different substance. Or we can just clean it up and leave it unchanged, to be re-used for the same purpose again.
When we talk about repurposing content, however, we usually focus on the format or the platform. You can alter the format of your content to make it suitable for different platforms (i.e. text to video). Or, you can change it slightly to share it on different platforms that support the same format (i.e. text to text).
Benefits of Content Repurposing
So understating the “what” is pretty easy here. But what about the “why?” Why would anyone want to spend time repurposing content that already exists?
Well, first of all, it doesn’t take that much time. There is certainly a learning curve with putting content into different formats. But once you get used to it, it can be done with ease. So it’s a marginal amount of work for potentially huge results.
The major benefit of repurposing content is that you can reach different audiences on different platforms without actually having to create “original” content for each platform. Different people prefer to consume their content in different ways. Some people like to read blog posts. Some people like to listen to audio. Others prefer video.
You can make them all happy.
But Won’t People Get Sick of The Same Thing?
In short, no. If you commonly publish new content, no matter what format it may be in (blog, podcast, etc), you have probably felt the pressure of creating something new for your audience at some point. But…
If you are sharing your content with a new audience, your old content is new again.
In fact, if you create really good, valuable content, people will be glad to consume it multiple times. For example, have you ever signed up for a webinar knowing you’ve already sat through the presentation from the creator before? I have. Good content is always good.
Now let’s jump into the different formats of content that people consume…
Below is a list of content “types” that you can generally choose from. Below each type are some examples of how the content format can be used. However, the examples are not meant to be an exhaustive list.
- Blog posts
- White Papers
- PDF Reports
- Blog Talk Radio
- Audio Blog Posts
- Video Blog
- Presentation (PowerPoint)
- Note: Also often used for video
- Live Presenation
A simple Example of Content Repurposing
Now that we more or less have a handle on the content formats that we have to work with, we can start to think about repurposing our existing content.
And in the new age of content marketing, you should consider covering as many of the formats listed above as possible.
Once you get the hang of content repurposing, it becomes very easy.
Let’s walk through an example of content repurposing that I might do here at BUZZergy.
A while back I created a series of list posts about generating content ideas. Each post had 8 ideas and there were three posts total. So, in total, there were 24 different ideas listed (for which I created a resource page).
This type of content is prime for repurposing. In fact, I have already done some repurposing with that series of posts. This is what I have done so far…
I’ve taken the post series and compiled it into an eBook. I used to use that eBook as a subscription magnet by offering it as a free download. Today it is a bonus for my Strategic Content Launch Pad course. The buyers may have never found the content otherwise, and some people prefer consuming content in a nice, compiled format rather than jumping around different blog posts. It’s a nice free bonus.
I’ve also created a PowerPoint slideshow by taking each of the 24 ideas and creating a slide for each one. This slideshow is now published on SlideShare (which has a huge audience). SlideShare marketing is highly underrated and underutilized. In fact, I didn’t have to do any repurposing after the eBook creation because SlideShare excepts PDF uploads. So I could, technically, upload the same content twice in two different formats.
This is the PowerPoint presentation:
But I can Easily Do More!
In truth, I got lazy. Just stopping at an eBook in PDF format and a SlideShare presentation does not take full advantage of content repurposing in all of it’s glory. In fact, I already have the groundwork done to easily repurpose this same content into multiple other formats, and for other platforms.
Let’s start with the obvious: keeping in text format but altering it for a different platform. This is the type of eBook that would could do pretty well as a free Kindle book. I could possibly even charge a bit for it.
Publishing on Kindle also has a bit of a learning curve. But again, it’s something worth learning. Or you can pay someone else to do it for you.
Another thing I could do is take the PowerPoint slides and actually present them. This could be a nice free value-added webinar. I already have the content for the presentation ready because the slides are done, and I can narrate them by slightly altering the blog posts – which are also already done.
But wait there’s more…
By recording the webinar I would have a video that I can share as well. So a quick upload to YouTube can garner some more attention for my content, brand and blog. By optimizing the video I can get more traffic and also link to pages where I want to drive the traffic (which in turn would get more subscribers and/or sales).
Certain tools, like Camtasia Studio, can break up different media into its unique format when you record the video. That means that the video and audio can be saved separately. So with the mp3 from the recording I could create an audio track and upload it to iTunes, or just publish it on the blog.
The presentation I could give as a webinar could just as easily be shared live and in-person.
So that pretty much covers every format I’ve listed above except for the graphic/image type. But the content in these blog posts suits that as well. I can create an infographic!
A lot, if not most, infographics that are floating around the internet are very heavily stats-based. That kind of makes sense because people love numbers. And graphics (tables and charts) are very well suited for representing stats. Of course, as I often note, stats can be (and usually are) very misleading and often inaccurate. But I digress..
I recently shared an infographic by HelpScout titled 10 Ways to Convert More Customers Using Psychology. This infographic clearly shows us that infographics don’t have to be based on numbers. So 24 ways to generate content ideas is prime for an infographic.
Content is Content is Content?
If you’ve gone through that lengthy write-up of what I did, and could have done, you might have noticed something. Almost everything that I need to repurpose the content into multiple formats is more or less done.
I think most people would fall into the category of having to do some preparation before creating a video or doing a presentation. And that can include anything from writing down some notes of key points to hit, to creating a full-on script.
If you fall into this category then your notes or script can easily be turned into text content (blog posts, eBooks, etc).
Or maybe you are lucky enough that you can wing an entire video or presentation from the top of your head. That’s OK too. You can get video transcribed for very cheap. And once that is done, you have text content.
So you see, it doesn’t matter which format you start with; you still have most of the work done.
Repurposing content is nothing more than implementing a few tiny tweaks.
A Brilliant Example of Content Repurposing
Now, as promised, let me show you another example of content repurposing done brilliantly by Triberr founder Dino Dogan…
A little while ago Dino wrote a post describing the philosophical original of Triberr. It is definitely an interesting read; and you should check it out.
Unless you prefer video that is…
Turns out the the content of Dino’s blog post is so interesting that he shared it in a live presentation with students at Rutgers University.
I’m not sure which came first…the presentation or the blog post…but either way, it’s good stuff.
Check out Dino’s presentation (and video):
A Bonus Benefit of Repurposing Content
I’ve talked a bit about content curation in the past. The benefit of curating content is that you don’t have to create something fully original but still deliver value to your audience.
In a similar fashion, repurposing content allows you to save the time and effort of creating something completely original, but still allows you to deliver value and possibly reach a new audience.
But the hidden benefit of repurposing content, and putting it into different formats is the possibility of increasing your reach through syndication and other people curating your content. Different people are more likely to share different types of content with their followers. So by putting your content into many different formats, you are actually increasing the chance that it gets syndicated; curated by someone else.
So with that in mind, I’m going to do some content curation of my own here, and leave you with this video from Slingshot SEO:
image credit: opportplanet