Do you spend too much time and money creating content from scratch every time you need to publish a piece, launch a video, or ship a campaign? Create a year's worth of content in one day for a specific channel through the power of repurposing.
Today’s guest is Shaina Weisinger from Repurpose House. Shaina talks about how to make the most of your time and resources, while using less effort to make your ROI go through the roof.
Ben: Hi, Shaina, welcome to the show.
Shaina: Hey, thanks so much for having me. I'm excited to be here.
Ben: Yeah, absolutely. Before we get too far along, would you mind taking a moment to introduce yourself and explain what you do at Repurpose House?
Shaina: Yeah, absolutely. I'm Shaina Weisinger. I have a background in video production before digital marketing. Actually, I was the only person in my family who knew how to work the video camera when I was 10 years old. I was always into video, most of it goofy at that point, I'm sure. I mean, I look back at them and they're pretty hilarious, but ultimately, it led me into doing video for digital marketing strategies.
I actually went to do some video production as a freelancer for a business coach back in the day when the Infusionsoft Conference was here in Arizona. I just kept hearing the same thing over and over again, from business owners. They were like, we know we need video, but we are either getting quoted like astronomical rates for it for one video that we're just going to slap on YouTube and hope it does something amazing, which is crazy, or they got some smoking deal because they're like CFO's nephew had iMovie in a DSLR.
I was having a hard time seeing a happy medium there, and so I realized that there was a real need for savvy strategy in video production at the same time in the same place. I did that for a really long time, and through doing that I came up with realizing that people are really struggling with repurposing the content that we were creating for them.
We spent all this time, energy, and sometimes a lot of money, creating a ton of content, and then it just dies. One of the pieces of content we were doing was long-form video podcast episodes similar to what we're doing here, but we would go to the studio and bring guests in the whole deal. A part of the package I was giving was these small repurposed assets, the tiny snippets, two minutes of the clip that have the captions. It's the right size for all the different platforms. You got your vertical and your square.
As I tried to pitch video podcasting more and more, so many people were like, we just want the repurposed assets because that is such a pain point for us. I realized that there was not a company that was just doing that. You could have a freelancer, or you can do a DIY deal, or it was like a full-fledged agency model where they're doing more than just that. It's a couple of thousand dollars, at least for the strategy to get involved there.
When I realized that it wasn't something that was niched as a productized service, that's when I decided to start Repurpose House. We're almost two years in November, so I'm super excited. It's been awesome.
Ben: Very cool. Well, congrats on hitting the two-year anniversary there.
Shaina: Thank you.
Ben: I think it's so interesting that customers are coming to you and saying, no, I just want the repurposed pieces, straight up. Did they give you a reason why? Anything more specific that you could dig into as to what was so appealing about just getting that portion of your service?
Shaina: Yeah. At the time, a lot of the people I was reaching out to were existing podcasters who were doing audio-only. Actually, it's funny because at that time it was called podcast memes, we were literally just targeting podcasters. As we were doing that, these podcasters were like listen, we've got our content creation strategy on point, that is a well-oiled machine. But the pain point really is sitting in a software and having to adjust captions, and it just takes forever. It's not rocket science, it just sucks.
It takes a long time making sure it's all formatted properly, keeping up with social media trends and what's changing because it's ever-changing. Our heads spin constantly because everything changes all the time. They were just like we already have the content creation piece dialed in, but this is the thing that really causes us stress. We haven't found somebody to manage it efficiently or we're just not doing it very well. Those are the two big ones that are like they know they need to do it, but they have trouble doing it at scale, either because of cost or just the know-how. It was just a problem that for them specifically really needed to get solved.
Then, once we realized that podcasters weren't the only ones who could utilize the content repurposing, we rebranded and we're like, listen, all content creators need to be utilizing this. Then we switch to not just podcasts. It's video, audio, and we repurpose text. Blog snippets, we turn into social media posts with gold Castile videos with animated text and all that fun stuff.
Ben: Very cool. Beyond the obvious cost-saving benefits and the amount of time that’s saved just on content production. Clearly, the benefits for both of those things of outsourcing it to someone who specializes in doing this work. On a tactical and a strategic level, what are the advantages of repurposing content versus creating new assets from scratch every time?
Shaina: Oh, man, just time saving and not losing your mind constantly chasing new content. Ultimately, everybody wants to be more savvy and efficient in every aspect of their business, and content creation becomes one of those times that people get just roped into and not even realizing that they've created a monster that is impossible to keep up with.
Nobody wants to get in front of a camera every single day. Even believe that they will have the availability to be able to do that life happens. For me, personally, I don't want to put makeup on every day, so that's why I don't want to create content every single day. If you get really strategic about it, you can literally take one day out of your month to spend a couple of hours max creating your base layer content.
Then if you know how you're going to expand that across all your social platforms, your blogs, and your LinkedIn articles, I mean, there are so many ways you can repurpose in addition to social media. Those couple of hours that you spent creating the initial content can fill up your social calendars for months even, and you're driving traffic now back to the core piece of content.
Really, it's about coming up with a very strategic strategy on the base level when you're creating the longer-form content. The journey to be of people looking at these assets online and what your call to action is going to be when they finally get to it. If you can map all of that out before you sit down and make content just to make content, I think that you're in a much better place.
A lot of people get caught up with just getting excited about that dopamine rush of getting the likes but you can't deposit likes. You want to know what your strategy looks like and why the content you're putting up there matters, and what the next step is. Getting really strategic about it will not only give you more time and make it more efficient, but it will also give you measurable results too.
Ben: Yeah, absolutely. You make a fairly bold claim, which is that it is possible to create an entire year's worth of content in 1 day, 24 hours, or 8 if it's a workday, by repurposing things. I'm curious. I'm assuming that this is something you've actually done. Have you literally filled a 12-month calendar in a day?
Shaina: It's like the actual content creation piece. You can create the base layer content in a matter of a day that you're then going to utilize, and have done for the entire year. Actually, it's funny, before the world shut down we had these events scheduled where we were going to do high level, high impact, like high ticket events where we would have businesses come into Scottsdale for a weekend.
We would take day one and map out all the content that we were going to create, and day two was going to be them filming it all. Then they get to wipe their hands of it and go home, and then their social media calendars are going to be full with those repurposed assets out of the long form content that we make.
It's absolutely doable. If you take the time to sit down and really create the strategy, it's a no brainer. Then, what's nice is you can supplement your social media calendar with other things that are happening. They're timely, but at least you know that the core contents there that's always going to be driving traffic to the longer form stuff that you created.
Ben: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Let's say I'm an ambitious go-getter marketer, and I'm listening to this conversation thinking of this. This sounds amazing, but I'm overwhelmed with even knowing where to start, because let’s say this hypothetical listener is guilty of something that I think a lot of us are guilty of, and something you've touched on a little bit is that a lot of us are sitting on more content that we've already created and we have more of this stuff than what we know what to do with, really. If someone finds themselves in that situation, what's the first thing that you would recommend they do? With this whole mess of stuff, where do you even begin to start to do something with it?
Shaina: Yeah, it's funny, so many people are in that situation. If you are that person and you're listening or watching and you feel that way, you are not alone, you're with the majority. The first thing I like to think about is what are the pieces of content that have been the most impactful so far? If it's a blog post, if it's multiple blog posts, and if it's a podcast episode, go through the content that has just crushed it for you.
That's where you start, that's where you go and start finding those small snippets. For text, it’s usually about 100 words, and you can have that animated in and out to about 90 seconds of content once it's actually done. Find little snippets here and there. If it's a baller blog post that gets so much content and so much traffic, you should get at least 2-3 small micro assets out of that at a minimum, and then being able to post them accordingly across all platforms, so just 1. You're probably able to get 12 posts out of just 1 tiny 100 word snippet if you put it properly on all the different channels. That's an exciting thing to think about and do that times how many small snippets you have.
If you have three for that blog post, then you've got a ton of content to fill your calendar and you're driving back to a piece of content that has converted or has done things for you. The first thing would be go through the content list, grab the first handful that you know are heavy hitters, they always get the attention. Like they did at least when it went live, and then started there. Then start finding your small snippets, pull as many as you can, and just keep driving traffic back to those.
Once you get in the flow and the hang of it, and you get a chance to understand how it works and how you can optimize it. Then, you can start going into the vault and putting in nice systems and processes to go through all that stuff and do all the content that you have. Ultimately, if you have a library of content like that, that's how you're going to fill your calendar and you don't even have to create new content.
Ben: It might be easy to dismiss repurposing as cutting corners in a sense, but it's really not that at all. What it's really about is identifying ways to turn one piece of content into tons of pieces of content without your audience ever knowing anything different. In a time where all of us are trying to get the most out of what we have, that's a powerful approach to take to your broader strategy. Now back to Shaina.
I think with that, let's say at this marketer, they get started in this process, like they're following your advice, they're doing the things that they should be doing, and they're enjoying all kinds of benefits as a result. I imagine though that there might be a temptation at some point to start cutting corners.To get into this mentality that while I'm trying to hack my way to more efficiency or to just get more results from doing less work, or all these other things that make sense. I wonder or I suspect that it might be possible to start making some mistakes and start putting things out there. Maybe a little half-baked, to start to lose sight of the actual reason why you're doing this and start putting stuff out that's lazy or whatever.
In your view, what can marketers do to ensure that they're repurposing content properly without cutting corners and without sacrificing quality just for the sake of speed?
Shaina: There are a couple of different routes I want to go to answer that question. There's the strategy piece of it, and as far as that goes, as long as you have a clear understanding of what the best action along the road that person can take. If that becomes a client, working backward from there to becoming a client, maybe it's they've been nurtured on your email list, but then they had to have opted into something which would have been on the long-form piece of content. How did you get them to that?
Making sure that whatever you're putting on social and repurposing, is driving to that final, best case scenario action. As long as you have that in frame, then your content that gets repurposed should all fit that mold and fit into that strategy. You shouldn't run into just throwing content up to throw content up, because there's why you're going to be wasting your own time.
There is a caveat to that and I will say that there's always room to test new types of content, but always have your base layer content that's consistent. You know it's working, you know it's doing what it's supposed to do. And then in addition to that, you can test new ideas and thoughts, as long as it still has a strategy that you're trying to work towards.
On the other side, then there are technical things that you need to be doing with your content to make sure that it is optimized the best to get the most engagement. That's where I see a lot of the corners getting cut. Nobody wants to sit there and go through captions and make sure that everything is spelled right, timed right, and all that stuff. That's going to be the difference between how much your time is worth. If you want to spend time on a platform like c, which is a great platform, but it does take time to go through and create these assets yourself and check the spelling because it's AI generated.
That's one of the first things that gets thrown out the window because it's the thing that takes the most time and it's not fun to do. Things like making sure your headlines are really good. Your headlines need to be catchy. Generally speaking, if you can put a number in that headline, even better.
One thing I tell people to do when they are creating base level content, is think about how far you're going to get it to spread. Numbers work really well, not only in video but in blogs, and things like that. If you're going to say like the top seven things not to do when walking your dog, and that's the 10-minute video.
Now you know you have seven individual videos that you can repurpose. On your headline, it's one of seven things you should never do when walking your dog, to watch the other six, go here. People's brains work on a loop, and they want to close the loop. If they can close the loop and get the rest of the numbers, then that will drive them to the full-length piece of content where hopefully you have your opt-in. That's where your strategy kicks in.
Also, just a side note, odd numbers do best, and the number seven does the best out of all of them. If you're going to use numbers, those are the little tricks. Things like that, making sure that you're doing things properly.
Also, sizing things right for social and being on top of the new trends. For a long time, Facebook performed best with square video and now Facebook performs best with vertical video. It's like you have to know that that's happening and keep up with the trends. That's where I lean back into what is your time worth? You can absolutely spend time and energy investing in doing the processes, making sure you're on top of social media trends, and things like that.
If you have the resources and it's worth it to you, you hire a company who specializes in all of that. You don't have to worry about it and that's where we come in. It's the folks who don't want to do it themselves, but they know that it's all taken care of.
Ben: Yeah, for sure. One last question I want to throw your way. Do you know anything by chance about what the psychology behind the number seven could be? I've heard in the past of three being a really strong number because there's something about the human brain that's drawn to scene three, for whatever reason.
Do you have any insight in that area or is it just something that’s a generally accepted, probably scientifically backed thing, that is just good to know?
Shaina: Yeah. Ultimately, we just pull from data. It's like if people did studies on it, I mean, I'm trying to be efficient, I'm going to let everybody else do the studies, and I'm just going to pull their results, and then I'm going to spread the word like wildfire. That came out of one of many studies that we lean to when we're building all of our infographics and stuff like that.
We know seven, and seven has been repeatedly mentioned that that's the number that really gets people's attention. One thing they even say, if you even have an even number, let's say you just can't come up with the odd number, you've got six. Another cool way to do is five plus things to XYZ, because the odd number works so much better than the even so you have to somehow place it there as what people are saying.
Ben: Interesting. I like that hack because you could say eight, but why not just say seven plus?
Shaina: Right. It's funny. There are studies that for everything, even the headlines, I can't remember and honestly, I'll send you the link after this, but there was a study that was done about the 3-word conjunctions. Conjunction is not the right word, three words sequences in headlines that perform the best.
I believe HubSpot ran a test on all of their headlines. I don't remember who the brand is, so apologies there. It was incredible to see how... there were three that just double, triple performed. Even the runners up on just having those phrases, that you should, or this one thing. Those types of tiny phrases make a huge impact if you put them as headlines on your content.
It's a really cool graph that shows the top ones to use and incorporate, the top 10, and then it shows the ones never to use which are things that all of us have been guilty of thinking they're going to be catchy but they actually do the opposite. It's a really cool article to check out.
Ben: I will go on the record saying I've never been guilty of that, but I'm absolutely going to go try to track down that infographic because I'm absolutely certain that I've been guilty of probably all those things.
Shaina: But on the record not at all.
Ben: No. If anyone asks, I've never made a mistake in my life if anybody asks, but...
Shaina: Neither of us has. That's fine.
Ben: I think that's great. I think that's a great example of letting data rather than your gut guide your decisions, or maybe finding a middle ground between those two things.
Shaina: Sure. There's something to be said, every audience is unique. They're testing on tons and tons of different people across different types of audiences. Different types of content, the visuals and content, they will all play differently based on the audience you're trying to talk to. There is no one size fits all scenario that works best for content creators.
There are strategies that work well across all industries, but you still have to leave room for the fact that your industry and your audience may be very different from mine, and leave a little wiggle room to test different things for that.
Ben: Yeah. I 100% agree with that, and I think that applies to so many things. There's even been conversations we've had with our team internally where we've looked at some benchmarks for something. Looked at that benchmark and looked at our data, and then been like wait, this is an apples to oranges comparison for reasons, XYZ, and absolutely. I think that's a great piece of advice to pass along to our audience.
With that said, that does it for all the questions that I had. Do you have any parting advice or maybe one last tip that you can leave our audience with?
Shaina: Yeah. I think that for many of you, I'm sure you have a bank of content that you're sitting on, gold is what you should look at it. For those of you who are wanting to create new types of content, my number one go-to tip, and I used to tell people this when I was just doing video production like back in the day is to have a running list on your phone that is just available to you at all times so that when you have a conversation with somebody and they asked a question that you're like that's a really great question, I can make a video about that. Add it to the list.
By the time you go to actually film your videos, you have a running list of a bunch of different topics that you can talk about. You don’t have to come up with them on the fly. You don't have to just randomly remember them. You don't have to pull out your camera right then and there to film when you come up with the idea. Be strategic about it.
If you can front load it or I don't know, take Mondays of every month and film these videos. Lay them out in the number is what we talked about. If you have four of those topics that you can break apart into an odd number of tips inside of them, sitting down for an hour and filming them with your phone is very effective. Now you've got a ton of content that you can be very strategic with and know how you're going to repurpose it.
It's really, really simple. It's a great way to get started and to create that base content if you don't already have stuff that you're excited about repurposing.
Ben was the Inbound Marketing Director at CoSchedule. His specialties include content strategy, SEO, copywriting, and more. When he's not hard at work helping people do better marketing, he can be found cross-country skiing with his wife and their dog.