How to Scale Content Production: Repurposing 101

It’s an hour after Thanksgiving dinner. Drowsiness is settling in, conversation is still flowing, and there remains half a turkey in all its glory on the serving plate. After putting hours into its preparation, would you make the decision to throw the turkey out?

Turkey Dinner

Heck, no! Half the Thanksgiving fun is the subsequent turkey spinoffs: sandwiches, soup, turkey pot pie, even turkey spring rolls (for those feeling adventurous). Inbound marketer Steven Shattuck advocates applying this mouthwatering metaphor to content marketing: since 64% of marketers are challenged with producing enough content, taking the substance from one content initiative and presenting it in a different way can fill this need. This is known as repurposing content, and it is useful strategy for scaling content creation. For example, you can repurpose the content from your recent webinar to craft a series of blog posts.

Let’s examine some strategies and tactics you can use to scale your content:

1. Webinars and eBooks

In essence, this is taking one whole turkey and splitting it into smaller servings. While a webinar takes resources and preparation to set up, it also presents a plethora of opportunities to repurpose the content into print collateral (e.g., blog posts, whitepapers, eBooks), video collateral (e.g., training material, video recording), and audio collateral (e.g., podcasts).

You can also split other larger content initiatives into smaller dosages: for example, you can write a blog post for each chapter of an eBook to improve search engine optimization and leverage social sharing. You can turn statistics or interesting figures from the eBook into an infographic.

This method provides an additional layer of feedback: you now have the opportunity to use the metrics from the large content initiative to determine whether it’s worth repurposing. For example, if you’re running two webinars per month, examine which has resonated more with each audience in order to determine which was more popular. This data makes it easier for you to prioritize content tasks and allocate your time and effort accordingly.

2. Slideshares, Pinterest, and Videos

Similar to how marketing expert and Vaynermedia founder Gary Vaynerchuk suggests growing your own platform by betting big on a specific social network, you can repurpose your content and maximize reach by sharing pieces of it online. For example, you can host individual chapters of your eBooks as teasers on platforms such as Scribd and Slideshare, and link back to your eBook’s landing page to promote it. Imagine the circulation your teaser would get if it ended up featured on one of these platforms’ homepages.

The challenge is to adapt to each social platform’s users. For example, in Slideshares’ case, it’s about extracting and visualizing: taking the key points of a piece of content and organizing it in an aesthetic way (e.g., creating an engaging infographic out of a whitepaper)

Depending on your target market, you can also bring your visual content to networks such as Pinterest and YouTube. Skeptical? General Electric is engaging consumers with Pinterest in order to tell its story.

Similarly, a simple example of storytelling with YouTube: here’s a Google Hangouts capturing a conversation between business leaders Elon Musk and Richard Branson on webcam. It’s a simple task for you to do the same whenever you want to experiment with YouTube. Whenever one of your team members is hosting a webinar, you can record and share it on YouTube with screen capture software such as Jing or Screenr.

3. Spin off Already-Existing Content into Blog Posts

Practically every piece of content can be repurposed into text because of the wide appeal of blog posts. It’s important to extend the concept of content beyond just digital creations. Whenever subject matter experts from your company speak at conferences, they’re actively creating content. You can take their transcripts and transform them into blog posts or series. Whenever a panel is hosted by your company, take the highlights and turn it into a blog post. Liveblog events your company is sponsoring.

Since you’re likely already reading quite a few articles to stay on top of your industry, you can also curate content with relevant subject matter and do weekly round-up type blog posts. Review new books from experts in your field. Twist Image President Mitch Joel became a thought leader by chatting with leaders from other companies every week and creating a podcast while simultaneously building relationships and figuring out best practises for him and his audiences.

Conversely, you can also find substance for other pieces of collateral from blog posts: as Symantec’s Travis Wright highlights a blog post-turned-Slideshare that received over 128,000 views. Use blog post feedback to gauge which content resonated with viewers, and use that as a compass for the larger content initiative.

Closing Thoughts

At the end of the day, repurposing content is about sharing the same message through different formats that will appeal to different people. Rather than letting an overabundance of bananas spoil, why not work a bit harder and make banana bread? This is often the case with time-sensitive material, such as newsjacking or adapting to industry announcements (e.g., Apple’s iOS 7).

While repurposing, use this hierarchy by Dell’s Rishi Dave to ensure you’re still exposing your audience to a wide variety of content. Meet the challenge of content creation by scaling appropriately through repurposing content. Don’t waste your turkey: give your audience weeks worth of delicious content by repurposing it well.

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