How to Repurpose Content and Make the Most of Your Marketing
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As content marketers, we all have too much to do, and not enough time to get it done.
We’re also under pressure to deliver high-quality content our audiences want. That content also needs to be distributed across an ever-growing array of channels.
If you’re working on a small team, that pressure is further magnified. When resources are limited, you have to stretch everything you have to succeed.
So, how can you produce awesome 10X content when your time is limited?
Try turning one piece of content into five (or more).
Why Should Marketers Repurpose Content?
Repurposing content simply means taking one asset and reusing it somewhere else. That sounds simple enough in theory, but it can get tricky in execution. To really make it work, it helps to produce content with repurposing in mind, so you can easily slice and dice it into different formats.
The benefits to repurposing content are considerable, too. When you focus your energy on producing one awesome asset (say, an in-depth blog post or video), you’re likely to produce a better piece of work than you would by dividing your attention across every platform you’re responsible for.
By creating said content with repurposing in mind from the beginning, you can reuse pieces of it elsewhere without your audience feeling like you’re cutting corners. That frees you up to focus on doing one thing really well, while still getting tons more work done with way less effort.
In this post, we’ll show you how to repurpose your way to content marketing nirvana.
Grab Your Free Content Repurposing Guide + Infographic
This post goes deep into the content repurposing process. However, there are tons of different ways you can repurpose content. In fact, there are far too many to cover in this post alone (and once you get started, you’ll probably come up with even more of your own).
So, we thought you’d enjoy this bonus guide packed with 50 content repurposing tips. That way, you’ll have the process and the inspiration you need to create more awesome content in less time than ever. Plus, we’ve included a detailed infographic on all things repurposing for you to keep on hand as a reference.
Start By Building Your Content Repurposing Toolbox
In this post, we’ll show you some tools you can use to help with your content repurposing process:
- Google (free): Self-explanatory.
- Google Analytics (freemium): It’s free. It’s powerful. We’re 99% sure you’re already using it.
- PrintFriendly (free): This is a great tool for turning blog posts into PDFs. Paste in any URL, click a button, and you're done.
- SlideShare (free): Turning existing content into a slide deck is a great way to maximize the mileage of your efforts.
- BuzzSumo (paid, optional): This is one of the best content research tools out there. It’s awesome for finding top-performing content for a given keyword.
- CoSchedule (paid, optional): We have a few features in our own platform that can help with this process, too. We'll talk about those at the end.
Step 1: Create a Piece of Large-Scale 10X Content
If you’re unfamiliar with the term “10X content,” it refers to the idea of creating content that’s ten times better than anything that already exists.
In order to create that kind of content, you’ll need to buckle down and focus deeply on producing something truly exceptional.
Start With Keyword Research
If you’re working with limited time, money, and resources, you’ll want to make the most of every minute you’ve got. Starting with strong keyword research gives you hard data to ensure people are going to care about the content you’re creating before you get too far into your process.
Apply the Skyscraper Technique
One of the fastest ways to create a piece of 10X content is to apply the Skyscraper Technique.
Coined by Brian Dean of Backlinko, it’s an easy and repeatable process for creating the best stuff possible on a given topic.
Here’s how it works in simple terms:
- Review the top ten search results for your chosen keyword.
- Make a spreadsheet (or just make mental notes) of what information each post contains.
- Pay attention to missing information, lack of important details, or types of content that are missing from each post (videos, infographics, etc.).
- Write your own post that includes all the information a person searching for that topic would need. Add resources that are missing from existing content. In short, create something that is objectively better-researched and more resourceful than anything else that currently exists.
There are a couple different ways you can find top-performing content (so you can scope out your competition):
- Do a simple Google search. It's free and easy.
- Use BuzzSumo. Sometimes, what gets shared on social media can differ from what ranks highest in organic search. So, use BuzzSumo to find all the top-shared content on social media for a given keyword. This can help you find even more inspiration than using a search engine alone. The team at Duct Tape Marketing put together this video to demonstrate how it works and help you get started:
While success isn’t guaranteed, if you follow this process correctly, you should start to see results.
Craft a Solid Outline
Here at CoSchedule, we never write a blog post without an outline. They’re essential for saving time by figuring out what you’ll cover, before getting started and realizing your ideas are a disorganized mess. Plus, outlines also make it easier to break your post down into sections so you can think more clearly about how each piece might be reused somewhere else.
Then, Write the Crap Out of Your Blog Post
Remember, our goal here is to start off with one awesome 10X piece of content.
An ordinary, run-of-the-mill blog post isn’t going to cut it here.
You’ll need to dig deep and produce something truly great. Furthermore, you’ll need to write while keeping repurposing in mind.
Your post should:
- Be substantial. That’s probably going to mean it’s at least 1,500 to 3,000 words in length. That’s not because longer posts are inherently better, but because you’re probably going to need that kind of length to include all the information your post will need.
- Be relevant. Make sure you’ve selected keywords and a topic your audience cares about. One idea here is to look through your Google Analytics account, see which content has received the most traffic or conversions and try coming up with something similar.
- Be better than anything else that currently exists. This is a tall order, but it might be more achievable than you think. We’ll get into this in our next section.
Design Visual Content You Can Use Elsewhere
Whether you’re creating your own images or working with a designer, include graphics you can share elsewhere in your post. Those could include:
- Quote graphics
- Instructional images and how-to illustrations
- Blog title header graphics
- Stat graphics
The key is to create graphics that both:
- Can be embedded inline in your post.
- Makes sense in context on your social channels.
Here's an example of a tweet from our Twitter profile that uses an instructional graphic from this blog post:
— CoSchedule (@CoSchedule) February 19, 2017
Here's another one for a landing page, where we took the page's header graphic and made a Twitter-friendly version:
— CoSchedule (@CoSchedule) February 21, 2017
We’ll cover this further in a bit, but for now, take a look through this post (or most others on our blog) for more examples of what we’re talking about.
Step 2: Optimize Your Post for Repurposing
Now that you’ve got a draft of your post complete, let’s see how we can use pieces of it on other channels and platforms.
Use Your Email Introduction in Your Email Newsletters
Consider crafting your intro with an email-friendly conversational tone. That way, you can easily copy and paste it into your email software, tweaking it slightly as necessary.
This will likely only work if your emails are text-heavy rather than image-based. If you send a lot of plain text emails though, this can be an immense time-saver.
Turn Your Blog Post Into Inspiration for a YouTube Video
You’ve heard the cliche that a picture is worth a thousand words.
That means video has to be worth like, what, half a library?
Well, something like that.
Anyway, what we’re getting at here is if someone wants to read about a topic, someone probably wants to watch a video about it, too. So, shoot a video based on your blog post. That’s something we’ve done in the past with our #OverheardAtCoSchedule video series, and it makes time spent on ideation go a lot quicker:
You can even use your blog post as the basis for your script (if you’ll be scripting out your post).
If you’re wondering exactly how you could turn a blog post into a video, try this:
- Break down the main points of your blog post. Ask yourself, “What are the main takeaways I want someone to learn from reading this?” List them out.
- Write a condensed script or outline that you could read through in under ten minutes (give or take).
- Shoot your video. If you don’t have access to a videographer or professional gear, use your phone. Get something together that will show your audience what you’re trying to tell them with your blog post.
Reuse Your YouTube Video on Facebook and Twitter
Alternately, you might want to shoot your video natively for Facebook or Twitter.
For our purposes here, let’s say you’ve shot a five-minute video for YouTube. If you wanted to get further mileage out of it, consider sharing that video directly on Facebook too, or break it down into smaller chunks and create a mini-video series for Twitter.
Use Your Blog Post Intro For Your YouTube Description
If you created a video to include in your blog post, use your introduction for your YouTube description. Substantive YouTube descriptions are important for a few reasons, including:
- Improving your YouTube SEO.
- Clearly communicating to viewers what your video is about.
- Giving your YouTube videos a clean, complete, and professional appearance.
Like reusing blog post content for email, feel free to adjust your wording as necessary to work within the context of a YouTube description. At the very least, your blog post can give you a solid foundation to dramatically cut down on writing time for YouTube.
For example, the description we used for this video ...
... came straight from the introduction to the blog post we created for it:
Reuse Graphics on Social Media
When you’re creating graphics for your blog post, create a few different versions sized appropriately for your social networks. If you need a primer on the best sizes for every network, we’ve got you covered.
Also, consider which types of graphics you could both embed in your blog, and share on social media. Long infographics are great for Pinterest, while quote graphics and images with quick stats are a good fit for Twitter.
Here's an example of a blog post graphic we repurposed on Twitter:
— CoSchedule (@CoSchedule) July 14, 2017
Turn Your Blog Post Into a SlideShare Deck
While there has been some questioning around its long-term future lately, SlideShare is an awesome place to share presentations and slide decks. Your blog post should easily have enough text and images to repurpose into a slide format (and you might even want to keep this in mind as you’re writing your post).
This isn’t too difficult, but there are some steps to follow:
- Break down the main points of your blog post. If you created an outline for your blog post, your sub-headers could each be a title slide.
- Resize images to fit your slide presentation. You can borrow graphics from your blog post, but do make sure they look good.
- Consider embedding your slide deck back in the original blog post. This is a great way to offer people a more condensed version of your post if they'd prefer to click through slides than read.
For an example on how to do this, we've embedded this SlideShare deck about turning blog posts into SlideShare decks from Steve Shaw here:
Repackage Blog Post Elements Into a Content Upgrade
Content upgrades are an excellent tool for building an email list. An easy way to build a content upgrade is to turn your blog post into a downloadable PDF, or convert data or information from your post into a downloadable infographic. You could also consider creating a checklist based on your post that helps readers apply your advice.
How to 10X Your Repurposing Process
We’ve now covered how to turn one piece of 10X content into several smaller chunks of content. The next step is to take multiple pieces of 10X content and multiply its value by creating even bigger 10X assets without a ton of effort.
Turn Multiple Blog Posts Into an Ebook
Do you have multiple blog posts you could group together under one topic? If so, why not turn them into an e-book? The process for self-publishing an ebook is in-depth, but it’s not too difficult. Here are some simple steps to follow:
- Choose four or five blog posts that would fit well together.
- Copy and paste your content into a Word doc.
- Remove all text links. Press CTRL, then CTRL + Shift + F9 to remove them all instantly.
- Remove any stray HTML or coding elements that might have tagged along when you copied and pasted your content.
- Edit as necessary to ensure each section flows logically into the next. You may find you need to write some additional segues or write additional content to make each post fit into the next.
- Keep an eye out for anything that doesn’t make sense out of context on your blog versus being placed in a book.
Here’s an example of an e-book our team created. It’s available in .mobi format on the Kindle Store, or .epub or PDF.
Build an Online Course Based on Your Blog Content
Online courses are extremely popular. However, they can take a long while to build from scratch. According to this piece from Forbes, “it takes about the same amount of time as writing a book.”
Good thing we’ve already established a method for producing a book fairly quickly, then. You can apply a similar process for producing an online course, too.
Once you’ve got your blog packed with helpful how-to posts, it’s not too difficult to turn it into study material for an online course. If you need a technology platform to host your cost, check out these options:
For all the technical know-how you’ll need, follow this guide.
There are a lot of benefits to launching a course too, including:
- Building your email list. Requiring students to exchange an email address for course access is a great way to build email followers.
- Establishing yourself as an authority. If you know your stuff well enough to teach it to someone else, then you’re clearly authoritative, right?
- Growing your community. When we recently launched a marketing certification course earlier this year, we created a Facebook group for students to share information with one another. This helped us build a community around the course.
Compile a Resource Hub Using Your Content Upgrades
You may have noticed a lot of our blog posts feature content upgrades. If you're curious what we mean by the term "content upgrade," we're referring to the downloadable assets we include in each post to help readers (like you) put our advice into practice.
They're great for adding value to our content, but they also have a lot of value on their own. That's why we collect them all in our Resource Library (where you can find all our content upgrades in one place).
This helps give those content upgrades more visibility and creates a nice link magnet for SEO purposes. If you have content upgrades on your own blog and want to do something similar, work with a developer on your team to build out a resource library of your own.
This guide from Melyssa Griffin does a great job of walking through the how's and why's of building something like this.
How Can CoSchedule Help With Repurposing Content?
Ready to start repurposing content? We’ve built some key features into CoSchedule that can help. Let’s take a look.
Quickly See Top-Performing Content
Before you start, you’d probably like to know which content has done well for you in the past. Top Content Reports make it easy to see which content has received the most social shares.
Reshare Your Best Evergreen Content with ReQueue
An easy way to repurpose content is to reshare it on social media. ReQueue automates that process by allowing you to group posts into categories and set them on an automated resharing schedule.
Use Marketing Campaigns to Manage This Entire Process
If you’ve got one core piece of content like we’ve described, that means you’ll need a project management tool to map out your production process for each additional piece you’ll break it into. With Marketing Campaigns in CoSchedule, you can create multiple related projects and filter out the rest of your content calendar, showing you only the pieces associated with your overall project. This makes it easy to manage the entire content creation process from idea to execution.
Here's the complete calendar (notice the teal line, which is a Marketing Campaign):
If we click within a given project, we're then given a filtered view, showing us every individual piece of content related to that broader project:
This is useful for tracking your progress and deadlines on every piece of content you'll be spinning off from your primary post.
BONUS: Remember What You Read With Our Content Repurposing Infographic
Content repurposing can be a complex process, and we've covered a lot of ground in this post. To make getting your team on board simple, we've created this detailed infographic you can share and keep on hand. It goes through the entire process, from start to finish:
What’s Your Top Repurposing Tip?
Now that we've walked through an end-to-end process for repurposing content, we'll hand it over to you. What's your top tip you'd add?
This post was originally published on March 6, 2017. It was updated and republished on Aug. 21, 2017.
August 21, 2017