Senior Content Writer
Why do all that work just for one potential payoff?
Why write a blog that only sits at the top of your feed for a day or two? Why give a live webinar that happens once and then vanishes? Why build a shareable PDF resource you only support for a few weeks?
For many pieces of content, actually creating it — sitting down and putting words on a page and dragging art around a canvas — is only half the story. Think about the time spent doing research: talking to people, reading articles, books, and other resources, and reviewing past campaigns. And think about the time you spent just organizing all this information. It adds up.
Repurposing Content Gets More Out of Your Work
Don't think about your content as its format. Think about it as ideas and topics, with the finished product being just one expression of them.
You don't just have "the blog post on HR automation", you've got an expression of the idea of automating HR. Which means: you've got the idea of automating HR. You know what you're talking about on the topic, and you know how to explain it. You don't have to stop at one expression. You can make more.
In short, for every piece of content you have, it'll be a lot faster to make different versions of this content in different formats than it would be to start something new from scratch.
And since different formats of your content will appeal differently to audiences, you have an opportunity to expand the life of any particular piece of content.
How to Repurpose: An Example
Let's say you wrote a blog on HR automation because you sell HR automation software. The post goes something like:
- An introduction to the topic
- An empathetic explanation of the pain points your customers experience around this topic
- One benefit of HR automation
- A second benefit of HR automation
- A third benefit of HR automation
- A conclusion that ties all these benefits to software
- A call to action to visit a sign up page for a free trial
When you break something down like that to its structure... well, it already suggests how it could look in other formats, doesn't it?
You could make a quick presentation deck, with one bullet point per slide. Now you can do a webinar or an in-person talk.
You could strip down the content and make a quick video that's to-the-point.
- "Having trouble with your HR?"
- "Many HR professionals deal with X, Y, and Z every day."
- "But what if X could be dealt with differently?"
- "And Y was no longer a problem?"
- "And Z just happens automatically?"
- "Try HR automation software. Get a free trial"
You could combine your article with a second one you many already have that goes more in-depth about the automation software, and turn it into a longform piece for reposting on Medium or as a guest blog somewhere.
Add a few more points in the benefits, and maybe now you've got a new piece of sales collateral.
Take the benefits one-by-one, and perhaps you could prompt some social media discussion around these subtopics.
And You Don't Have to Start (or End) With The Blog
You can go the other way. If you've got a presentation that always goes over well, consider turning that into a blog piece — or a blog series. Or anything else. Record it and make it available online. Take an interesting point of discussion and talk about it on a podcast.
Again, the point is not that you happen to have your content in any particular format, it's that you've got your content independently of format. That's expertise — and that's inherently valuable.
How To Choose What To Repurpose
When it comes to looking at candidates for repurposing, the decision is quite simple.
What's already done well?
If something's already proved itself a winning piece of content, chances are it will also perform well repurposed.
Blogs can be easy to fill your site with — while a webinar or an in-person event obviously has an organizational overhead, to get a blog online, you pretty much just need a couple of hours.
This means you can use your blog not only as the valuable SEO resource it is, but as an experimental testing ground to source ideas for your more intense work.
As an example, we published a series of articles on chatbots one month, and saw that they got some decent traffic. So, we followed that up with a session at one of our quarterly Edmonton events, and an entire webinar.
Go Forth and Repurpose
Don't get put off the idea of repurposing content as "lazy." Ultimately, if what gets your more results works, the amount of effort you put into it doesn't matter as much as the time you saved. Repurposing content is a useful part of the optimization process that lets you build authority on relevant topics and spend less time chasing things that nobody cares about.
Go find yourself a blog post, or a webinar, or a series of tweets, and ask yourself what else you can do with them!