Creating content is a never-ending part of running an online business. Everything is content – web page content, blog posts, newsletters, social media content. Maybe you’ve even got video and/or podcast content in the mix. Then, when you try to follow the marketing advice of creating/sharing content regularly, it can seem very overwhelming. But there’s a secret to keeping your head above water in all of this, and it’s one that the marketing specialists all know and use – repurposing your content.
What is content repurposing?
When I was in college, there was a one-week span where I had an ethics paper due for my sociology class, a persuasive speech due for public speaking, and an article due for the student newspaper. And in addition to a full course load, I was working full time. So my time was really at a premium. I ended up writing an article on cloning for the newspaper, which had been a topic of discussion recently, and used that article as the basis of my paper on the ethics of cloning for sociology, then reused the content and adapted it for a persuasive speech for public speaking class
What I did then was the same process as I use for content repurposing, although I didn’t know it at the time. When repurposing content, I start by looking at all the things I want to use it for, and then pick a topic. I usually start with the longest piece of content first, or perhaps the most-involved version of the content first, and then break out the pieces of content as needed to create the other pieces of content.
Let’s say I start with a blog post. While writing the blog post, I realize that a demo video would probably be really helpful to my audience, so I can record what I’m doing and put that video on YouTube and then embed it in my blog post. I can then share a snippet or excerpt of that blog post on LinkedIn and my Facebook page. I can use smaller snippets or related questions/quotes to share on Twitter (probably several times, using different bits.) I can create graphics with Canva to use with my Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter posts, but then also use those for Instagram and Pinterest. Sometimes you come up with other ideas later, or updating older content can help you repurpose it. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can repurpose your content below.
How to repurpose content
Determine your anchor piece of content
Your anchor piece of content is the one you want everyone to come back to. Maybe it’s a blog post, maybe it’s a video or podcast episode. Even when you’ve established a content repurposing plan or system, what you’re using as your anchor piece might change depending on your current goals. If you’ve been using blog posts as the anchor piece but are starting a new podcast and want to drive more attention to that, you can change your anchor piece to be your podcast episode and alter your strategy to work with that. Then, use the types of content listed below to fit with how you want to promote it.
Write a blog post
Blogging is still one of the best ways to expand attention to your site. Blogging helps people to get to know you and your personality, and your knowledge and experience level. Plus, let’s not forget the SEO benefits or regularly posting content.
If you follow or listen to a lot of the marketing experts and blogging gurus, they will say that your blogs posts should be over 1000 words, if not much longer. And while that is correct, I don’t want the length of your blog post to be the thing that stops you from hitting publish. Just like the first pancake is usually over or underdone, your first blog posts are not always going to “check all the boxes” of what makes a great blog post. But you have to get started somewhere. You can go back later and expand the blog posts, or you can write new ones that reference the old one and give more information about the topic.
If your blog post isn’t your anchor piece of content, then make sure you are linking to the anchor content from your blog post.
Create a video version
Video scares the crap out of some people, but it can be a great part of your repurposing plan. And there are ways to create a video that don’t require your face being on the screen. (These are the kind of videos I love because I’m often with no makeup and hair in a ponytail, but when I’m inspired to create a video and manage to find some quiet time to actually record it, I don’t want to worry about how washed out or tired I’m going to look on camera.)
I love to use screen capture videos where I can show my audience how to do something specific. This can be a great place to really show how much you know about a given topic. My daughter even makes some of her and her friends playing Minecraft.
If the topic of your content isnt’ really compatible with screen sharing, you can create a PowerPoint presentation with slides that cover your main points and then use screen capture software to record the presentation on your computer while you further describe the content with audio. It’s not the most hitech version of a video, but your content could prove to be really helpful to someone and this could be the perfect way to share it with them.
Create an audio version
If you’ve created a blog post, consider recording yourself reading the blog post and add an audio version to your post online. This can be helpful to those that prefer to consume their content audibly, or those that like to read and listen at the same time. (Studies have shown that this method can help people retain the information better.)
Maybe the audio becomes your anchor piece of content. If you do this one a regular basis, you can use this as a podcast. Then you can get a transcript of that audio to use as a blog post and link to your podcast episode.
If you’ve made the audio-and-presentation-based video that I mentioned above, you can even pull the audio track out of the video and use that as a stand-alone piece of content. (If you think you might want to utilize this repurposing trick, try to keep this in mind when you’re recording the video so you can say things like “in the upper right corner” instead of “over here” when you’re describing things.
Create Slides to Slideshare
Like I mentioned above about videos, you can create a Powerpoint or other presentation and share that on Slideshare. Take advantage of the notes area when you are posting your presentation to include relevant keywords in your description and a link to our site and/or anchor piece of content to help drive traffic there.
Post on social media
Take snippets of your content and use this to create social media posts. I know there are many tools that let you share to multiple platforms at once, but this isn’t always the best tactic because there are different character allowances on different platforms, as well as different conventions. For example, hashtags are used a lot more on Twitter or Instagram than they are used on Facebook or Pinterest. Plus, most platforms have different dimensions for images and you’ll want to customize those as well.
Canva is a great tool for creating images perfectly sized for different platforms.
Post on Pinterest
Yes, some would assume that “Post on Social Media” includes “Post on Pinterest” but positioning it on Pinterest is a little different. Many view Pinterest as a search engine instead of a social media channel, as the ‘social’ features of Pinterest aren’t used as much anymore, and don’t honestly have as much impact on post’s positioning. To learn more about an effective Pinterest strategy, I recommend the Simple Pin Podcast. I appreciate her simple way of explaining the strategies and techniques that she’s teaching.
Looking for a simple calendar for content planning?
There are so many different systems you can use for managing your content planning. But sometimes, I find it easier to go back to basics with paper and a pen (maybe with different colored pens, or highlighters, too.) If this sounds like you, sign up for super-awesome-yet-not-annoyingly-often newsletter, and I’ll send you my super simple calendar just because you asked so nicely!