[Editor's note: Happy Holidays! This week, the editorial team at Content Marketing Institute wanted to share some of the best content marketing blog posts we've seen from the CMI Online Training and Certification program's roster of expert instructors. Today's post originally appeared on Arnie Kuenn's Vertical Measures blog on June 18, 2013.]
There can be a lot of thought, research, and development that goes into a piece of content. In putting together a robust content marketing plan, why not make the most of that investment? Getting the most mileage out of your content can be achieved with repurposing.
Repurposing involves taking a work and adapting it to a new content angle or format. This includes applying the general topic, research, text copy, images, and/or data to a new work. Incorporating this approach into a content marketing campaign can reduce costs, expedite production, and help ensure increased audience reach and effectiveness.
The benefits of content repurposing
The most obvious upside to repurposing is turning one round of ideation and research into multiple pieces of content. If a blog post topic would make a great video, then why not take that initial research, writing and data and apply it to a new format?
In addition to saving time on the legwork of content creation, repurposing the topic into different formats allows for focusing on different aspects of the topic. For example, a blog post or PDF guide may focus on explaining concepts in text copy, while an infographic or video may focus on stats, data visualizations or other angles in content presentation.
And having a variety of content formats on a topic can have additional benefits:
The repurposing process
To illustrate how content can be effectively repurposed, I will be using this blog post as an example. Planning for repurposing opportunities from the beginning will help you research and develop content effectively and streamline your publication process.
The idea: Start with your core idea — whether it is tax planning tips for small businesses or the top lightweight running shoes for 2013, identify what your main topic is. Even at this early stage, be considering ways your topic can be applied to various formats. For example, for running shoes, more text-heavy content formats may focus on features and reviews, whereas visual media might focus on warm-up instructions and training tips.
Outline/Mindmap: Break your idea down into your key topic areas. Whether a traditional text outline or conceptual mindmap (mindmeister.com is a great tool), the result will be a skeleton you can use in adapting the topic to different formats. Blog posts can flesh out bullet points into full articles, while videos and presentations can convey them in visual summaries. For this post, for example, I used the following general outline:
Here are various examples of content formats that your core concept can be repurposed into. I’ve taken the outline above and used it as the basis for these alternate formats to illustrate how a central idea can be adapted to various media.
- Blog posts: Blog posts and similar onsite articles are a great starting point for content, as they can require a good deal of research, structure, and copywriting. If you’ve been working do produce consistent blog content then posts are a great starting point for presenting new content to your loyal audience.
- Presentations/SlideShare: Whether as part of a live exhibition or online presentation, slide-based content presentation is a fantastic away to boil down content to its essence. With some judicious formatting, the content from your Outline/Mindmap stage can serve as the bones of an effective presentation.
- Infographics: Infographics are a fantastic way to present data visualizations, processes, and other content that lends itself toward graphic presentation. While a blog post may focus on explaining a topic, an infographic can be a great way to frame the subject in terms of data, concepts and illustrative renditions.
- Video: Like an infographic, there is an increased emphasis on visuals. Through graphics, movement, audio, and a continuous, engaging presentation of data, video content remains a top means of conveying information to an often impatient audience. In addition, hosting your video on a platform like YouTube can be a great way to get your content discovered by new audiences.
- Free guides: Free guides function by offering a high value in exchange for a (typically) higher barrier of entry. Often gated behind some manner of sign-up form, free guides promise more in-depth, high-appeal content that entices readers to give up basic contact information in exchange for access. The expectation is a level of value higher than you might get from a comparable blog post, so the deliverable should match that both in content and in promotion.
- eBooks: Like a free guide, there is an expectation of high value with an eBook, particularly because these content pieces are often secured behind sign-up forms or even paid access. Repurposed content of this type should represent the highest level of value in recognition of the audience’s higher requirement for access. Content of this type should either offer a very high level of insight, or be very actionable for the reader to implement. Consider taking your original blog post and expanding it out with supplemental information, data points, and case studies.
- Newsletters: Pushing out your content to your subscriber base is a content must. Whether you provide the content in its entirety, or simply offer a summary with a link to the original pieces, putting the content out to your email subscriber base is a critical way to drive traffic to your key online content pieces.
- Webinars: Whether you’re walking the audience through a process, presentation or concept, webinars are a fantastic way to present your content in real time and build a subscriber base for future content. By simply building on a PowerPoint/SlideShare presentation, one can expand on core concepts and address questions or concerns in real time.
Wrapping it all up
As you can see, repurposing can be a very effective way to get the most out of your content. From one core idea, I’ve turned one round of initial planning and research into several content pieces, each with its own benefits. This efficiency can save the time and investment that goes into developing your content marketing campaign, and help ensure that your ideas reach a relevant audience in the format best suited to it.
Stay tuned for more details on the CMI Online Training and Development program. And if you are looking for more guidance on repurposing content, check out CMI’s eGuide on Creating Content.