By Jenny Lemmons Magic published August 5, 2010

How to Repurpose Content to Stay Consistent

As much as its advocates hate to admit it, sometimes content marketing fails – or more accurately, sometimes people fail at content marketing. Consistency is key, because without consistency, you can’t gain momentum, and without momentum, content marketing success is a long shot, at best. Without fresh content, people stop listening on social media, stop visiting your blog, and forget you even have an email newsletter.

That said, creating consistent content is HARD. Even professional bloggers sometimes struggle to keep up the pace. Original blog posts, articles, videos, images, presentations, etc. take hard work, time and valuable budget dollars. How is a company supposed to keep up?

Work smarter, not harder – repurpose your content

There are dozens of ways content can be repurposed or updated from one format to another to add value. Note that “repurpose” is not the same as “republish” – exact duplicates can turn off a reader quickly. But just because you had a single audience or format in mind when you created that presentation last week or answered a client’s question by email doesn’t mean you can’t take that effort and stretch it into another venue.

Here are five ways you can repurpose content to leverage work you’ve already done.

Turn one client’s question into a teaching opportunity

If you get the same type of question from more than one client, take the answer you delivered in a one-on-one format and turn it into an educational blog post. We often get asked for SEO advice on how to rank for very general key terms, which is usually not in our client’s best interest. So, we created a blog post from one such example. Remember to remove the original questioner’s name, but consider leaving in certain details such as his industry or the background to the question to give the case study human appeal.

Turn a speech or presentation into blog posts or articles

Talk more than you type? If you have to talk about your business in front of people, you probably have notes or a PowerPoint presentation to start from. Turn that presentation into a great blog post or article by converting any advice in the talk into how-to tips. As another idea, edit your “benefits” speech into a “Why [your field of service] is Important” post. Feel free to feature some of your more compelling slides as their own post! Don’t forget to link to your original video or slide deck, when available.

Break up chapter-length content or articles into a series of blog posts

Working on a book? Take chapter themes and write separate posts with examples from different industries to appeal to different audiences. You can also take a complex idea and break it up into a series of simpler, quick concepts to build an idea in bite-size steps.

Revise existing blog posts to include new innovations and examples

Consider sticking to that editorial calendar and revisiting certain topics annually with fresh insights or a new “Top Ten” list.

Repurpose offline content to use online

That video used to train the customer service team on product details may only need a quick edit to become a useful video blog post. Find out what materials the sales team can’t live without; see if you can tone down the “sales” content, and turn it into an educational article.

Keeping content fresh will yield dividends both in happy readers and SEO results as you continue to share valuable content with your audience.

What other ideas for repurposing content do you have? Share them in the comments!

Author: Jenny Lemmons Magic

Jenny Lemmons Magic is the founder of Better Way To Say It, a content marketing firm specializing in helping businesses and non-profits find their voice and get attention. Her communication and community-building skills help her forge bridges between companies and their customers, among members of marketing teams, and on the boards of the organizations with which she volunteers. You can follow her on Twitter @jennyLmagic.

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  • http://twitter.com/rampbusinesses Scott Aughtmon

    Great post, Jenny! I like'd your advice to “Turn one client’s question into a teaching opportunity”. I'd say a similar line of thought is to take any consulting session and repurpose some, any or all of the advice given and use it as a blog post articles, video, etc. Another idea I'd add is for people who work in multiple niches. They can take examples, advice, and stories used in one niche and with just a few tweaks, apply it in another.

  • http://twitter.com/JennyLemmons Jenny Lemmons

    Great points, Scott – to that end I often record client sessions, both for their benefit (to review later) but also for blog post inspiration. And reiterating a great lesson by swapping out the industry is a great habit to make your message “ring true” for that many more types of reader. Thanks for the tips!

  • http://www.globalcopywriting.com/ globalcopywrite

    Hi Jenny,

    I like your suggestion about turning a presentation into something more. I often develop a white paper alongside my presentations. You have to do research to establish your credibility as a presenter and it dawned on me the same content would make a great white paper. The bonus is when you do present a topic, you can offer the white paper as a supporting document. And, importantly, the points are made in detail in a white paper which helps to cement your position as an authority.

    I can't tell you the number of times someone has called me because they read a paper passed on by someone at a presentation. I always make sure to take hard copies with me. In this digital age it's easy to forget there are times when a hard copy is more convenient.

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  • http://www.codrutturcanu.com Codrut Turcanu

    I think this is an often overlooked topic or concept. Everybody talks about content repurposing but rarely practicing it. Why do you think this happens?

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