How to Repurpose Your Content: An Empowering Guide for Marketers
Impress your boss and advance in your business career by learning this concept, “Content creation and promotion is an investment strategy for your organization to generate more leads and sales!” If you believe in this concept or want to learn more about it, you’ll love this guide that was developed as a valuable Content Repurposing resource that will empower marketers to improve their content marketing by reusing existing content.
The reason I created this guide is because, in my career as a digital marketing consultant, the following concept is a common and valuable lesson that I teach my clients:
A great investment strategy is once a month you should solve one of your target audiences’ major problems by creating a large, in-depth piece of content, such as 3,000-word blog post, white paper, survey, webinar or demonstration video. Once this larger asset is created, then repurpose it into smaller consumable assets throughout the next few months.
By treating content assets like investments in a portfolio, you’ll quickly recognize a significant savings in cost and time. As an example, which scenario would you pick as an investment strategy to reach $1 million saved?
Scenario #1: Start with a big empty piggy bank, then put $1,000 per day in it and watch it slowly grow.
Scenario #2: You win $500,000 tax-free, place it in an interest-bearing savings account then put in $1,000 per day.
In the second scenario, you’re given a foundation for your investment goal at no cost… much like pulling pieces from existing content to get started on new content. Using this beneficial technique, the objective of this guide is to teach you how to repurpose your existing content as an investment strategy to grow your marketing portfolio that will result in more leads and sales.
CHAPTER 1: BENEFITS OF CONTENT REPURPOSING
Let’s get started by understanding the top 7 benefits of repurposing your content:
- SAVE TIME: Use existing content rather than creating new content from scratch, which saves your most valuable resource: Time.
- SAVE MONEY: Utilize your investment in existing content as a foundation to build new content, which reduces content creation costs.
- ACHIEVE GOALS: Accomplish multiple marketing goals by using existing content in new ways.
- EXPAND REACH: Reach new prospects by revising content to benefit new target audiences, which will result in new sales leads.
- INCREASE AWARENESS: Each new piece of content from existing content is an opportunity for your audiences to discover your brand.
- IMPROVE SEO: Search engines will love that you’re repurposing your content into new high-quality content and establish your website as a trustworthy site, which will result in more free organic web traffic.
- GENERATE ENGAGEMENT: Establish your brand as a thought leader by repurposing your content into new conversation-starting assets.
CHAPTER 2: CONTENT MARKETING TERMINOLOGY
In the world of Content Repurposing, here are a few a the key terms to define first:
CONTENT SOURCES: The five different sources of creative assets include the common formats of text (written), audio (spoken), photo (captured), graphic (designed), video (recorded). Content assets are created using one of more or these sources.
CONTENT: Creative assets developed using one or more content sources to educate, inspire, entertain or convince a prospect, customer or user about an idea or Marketing goal.
CONTENT MARKETING: The use of content to achieve an organizational or Marketing goal related to promoting and selling your products and services, enhancing a positive impression of your brand (corporate or product reputation) or building loyalty and trust with your audiences.
As a real-life example of content repurposing, the terminology and graphic above were repurposed from a previous blog post called “What is Content Marketing? A Beginner’s Guide to Fast Success“, thus saving me time to create the content from scratch.
CHAPTER 3: FIVE CATEGORIES OF CONTENT REPURPOSING
Now that you have an understanding of the benefits and key terminology, the next concept that I haven’t found defined in other guides is that there are five categories of Content Repurposing, so I created these “5 R’s to Repurpose Content”.
- RECYCLE: This method involves using existing content as-is, but promote it in new ways. As an example, you can export a previous Facebook Live video to a video file then upload it to YouTube.
- REFORMAT: Replicate or export existing content from one content source (text, audio, photo, graphic, video) to a different content source. One example is using a tool to extract the audio from an existing video into an MP3 file for use on a podcast.
- RESIZE: Expand or trim existing content to create a new content asset. A common example is trimming an impactful quote from a long blog post and using the quote in a Facebook post. Another example is taking screenshots from a video to create a slideshow on social media.
- REFRESH: Review an existing content asset and update it based on present-day facts, trends, styles and new information. For blog posts, I recommend reviewing and refreshing content annually to keep them updated and fresh, which builds trust with your readers and Google.
- REMODEL: Build a new content asset using multiple content sources, one or more existing content assets, and optional new content. As an example, many highlight videos are constructed with video clips and photos from existing assets then graphics, music, voiceover audio and captions are optionally added to explain each highlight.
It’s also a common repurposing practice to mix and match multiple methods. For example, you can upload a webinar video to YouTube (recycle) then add captions (remodel). In a year, you might update the YouTube video description with additional notes on things that have changed since the video was posted (refresh).
CHAPTER 4: COMPARISON OF THE CONTENT REPURPOSING CATEGORIES
When considering a Content Repurposing option, there are typically four top decision factors:
- Time: How much time will it take to create the new content?
- Cost: How much will it cost (budget & resources) to produce the content?
- Skills: What skills are required to repurpose the content?
- Creativity: What level of creativity is needed to create the content?
To help with your decision making, use this chart as a reference guide to determine the level of resources needed for the project:
RESOURCE LEVELS NEEDED FOR CONTENT PURPOSING PROJECTS
|A. TIME||B. COST||C. SKILLS||D. CREATIVITY|
|0. FROM SCRATCH||high||high||high||high|
CHAPTER 5: CONTENT GOALS, ROLES & STYLES
When considering whether to start from scratch or repurpose content, the Content Planning phase is where you’ll make this decision. Prior to the decision though, you’ll need to develop a list of marketing goals, identify your target audience(s), and define the decision criteria for your content project.
Once you’ve completed those steps but before you decide upon a content type (blog, white paper, guide, checklist, demo video, etc.), you’ll need to determine the content’s Goals, Roles and Styles for your new or repurposed content. Here’s a quick definition of each:
GOALS: Generic statement about “what” you want to accomplish with the content, which is one or more from Educate, Inspire, Entertain and/or Convince.
ROLES: The type of messenger that you want to be with the content. For example, in the Goal category of “Educate”, the three possible Roles are either information provider, resource provider or problem solver.
STYLES: The creative topics, techniques and ideas to deliver your content messages.
With this subject matter, it’s easier to explain it visually, so here are a series of tables numbered with the four Goals, the column header provides the Roles, which then lists the Styles in each column.
1. EDUCATE (INFORM)
|INFORMATION PROVIDER||RESOURCE PROVIDER||PROBLEM SOLVER|
|Aggregated Content or Data||Best Practices||Case Studies|
|Analytics Data||Favorite Tools / Services||Cheat Sheets / Checklists|
|Current Trends||Interviews / Thought Leadership||FAQs / Q&A / Advice|
|Definitions, Facts and Statistics||Lists / “Best Of” / “Top 10” / Favs||Guides|
|Infographics about Data||Mind Maps||How-To’s & Tutorials|
|Myth vs. Fact||Public Opinions or Predictions||Money Saving/Making Tips|
|Profiles / Biographies||Reviews & Ratings||Problem-Solution Article|
|Recent News / Current Events||Secrets to Success||Quality Improvement Tips|
|Research Findings||Testimonials||Time-Saving Tips|
|PERSONAL STORYTELLER||SELF-HELP PROVIDER||COMMUNITY HELPER|
|Behind-the-Scenes / Sneak Peek||Achieve Happiness||Brand Advocate|
|Emotional Dilemma Overcome||Business Management||Charity Awareness or Showcase|
|Holiday-Related Story or Update||Communication Skills||Donate Money / Resources|
|Life Lessons Learned||Creativity||Give Recognition / Thank You|
|Personal Examples||Health / Wellness||Leadership|
|Personal Failures / Regrets||Inspire Success||Pay it Forward|
|Personal Opinions||Motivational Quotes / Stories||Provide Feedback|
|Share how you Achieved Results||Personal Transformation||Selfless Acts|
|Share your Bad Habits||Project Management||Share Knowledge|
|Share your Finances or Income||Time Management||Share Resources|
|Share your Goals||Wealth Management||Volunteer Time|
|CHALLENGER||IMPRESSIONIST||COMEDIAN||DRAMATIC STORY TELLER|
|Contests||Be Bizarre / Different||Bloopers||Creative Writing|
|Games||Free Giveaways||Humorous Story||Gossip|
|Personal Challenges||Get Extreme||Jokes||Nostalgic|
|Polls||Positive Impression (make them smile)||Memes / Cartoons||Poetry|
|Quizzes||Talent Show (wow them)||Parody or Satire||Short Story|
4. CONVINCE (SELL)
|Share information about your product, price or place||Influence them to take an action||Ask questions, empathize, discover challenges, show value and benefits, confirm their new belief||Present controversial opinions or subjects|
|Share sales promotion details or showcase a product||Professor Robert Cialdini’s 6 Ways to Persuade: Scarcity, Social Proof, Reciprocity, Authority, Commitment, Liking||Positively overcome an objection to switch their opinion||Start a discussion based on an opinion or belief|
All content that you create will fit in one or more of these Goals, Roles and Styles. When it comes to repurposing your content, one Content Planning decision that you have to make is how to edit existing content to switch one or more of its qualities from the Goals, Roles and Styles tables.
Let’s look at an example… say you created a product demonstration video and its Goal was to “Educate”, its Role was as a “Problem Solver” and it used the “How-To’s & Tutorials” Style. If your new marketing goal is to entertain your audience, you could use some of the funny mistakes while filming to create a new piece of content where its Goal is to “Entertain”, its Role is “Comedian” and it uses the “Bloopers” style. By repurposing existing video footage, you save time and money by not using video production resources again and you’ll just need to invest in some video editing resources.
In many cases, your Content Planning phase will identify that you’ll need to use multiple Goals, Roles and Styles with a piece of content at different levels. So, the primary goal of a new content asset may be to inspire your qualified leads to search for a solution, but you might also need to splash in some education and entertainment aspects as well. You’re free to use any combination of the Goals, Roles and Styles that fits your personality or branding.
CHAPTER 6: CONTENT REPURPOSING ROAD MAPS
If you were to do a Google search about “repurposing your content”, many articles will give you ideas how to turn one piece of content (typically a blog post or video) into multiple pieces of content. These types of educational articles fit into the category of creating Content Repurposing Road Maps, which are defined as workflows, diagrams or plans to reformat, resize or remodel (from the “5 R’s of Content Repurposing” in Chapter 3) one content asset to many.
The five characteristics involved in developing a Content Repurposing Road Map are the following:
- Content Types: These range from simple text documents to blog posts to multimedia files. Content Types can be defined as a standardized combination of content sources in a specific format name or file type. For example, an “MP4 video” content type may combine all five content sources by using video as the foundation with music for audio, static photos inserted over the video, graphic designed overlaying the video and captions as text over the video as well.
- Content Sources: Listed in Chapter 2 as text (written), audio (spoken), photo (captured), graphic (designed), video (recorded)
- Content Goals: Defined in Chapter 5 using the tables with the Goals of educate, inspire, entertain and convince.
- Content Roles: Defined in Chapter 5 using the tables where the Roles are listed as the column headers.
- Content Styles: Defined in Chapter 5 using the tables where the Styles are listed in each column under the Roles.
Before learning more about the road map, I want to first provide more information about common Content Types. One of my favorite infographics is from Boston Digital that matches 41 content types with phases of a buyer’s journey.
For a comprehensive list of content types, I recommend reading the article by CoSchedule called “113 Content Types to Organize With Your Marketing Calendar“. In their article, they have a call-to-action to download the full list as a PDF, partially shown in the screenshot below…
Now that you have resources that provide lists of content types, let’s move on to the road map. Since I come from a project management background, I believe that successful projects happen when you document the details rather than general information. Therefore, for a proper Content Repurposing Road Map, you’ll need to document all five characteristics (content type, content sources, content goals, content roles and content styles) about a content asset throughout the road map, plus a few more fields of data.
First, let me show you the template that I developed then I’ll go into the details about it afterward.
As I mentioned earlier, most articles found in a Google search may give you over a dozen ideas on how to convert a blog post to other content types, but they’re missing the details that you’ll need for the best practices with project management of your content repurposing projects. Therefore, I recommend using a Content Repurposing Road Map template that includes the following fields:
- Asset Name: A unique name for your content asset
- Description: List a brief summary of the asset
- Target Audience: Describe who this content asset intend to reach
- Conversion Goal: List the marketing goal that you want to achieve
- Content Type: The standardized content format name
- Content Goals: Educate, inspire, entertain and/or convince
- Content Roles: Messenger type related to the content goal
- Content Styles: Creative topics, techniques and ideas
With this new knowledge, you’ll now recognize there are two levels of Content Repurposing Road Maps. Most commonly found are the basic level road maps which just talk about turning one content type into other content types, without going more in-depth. Now that you have this new template, you can create an advanced level road map to include all eight fields, which will result in more successful content creation projects and marketing campaigns.
CHAPTER 7: CONTENT REPURPOSING TOOLS
Whether you’re reformatting content from one source to another or completely remodeling your content to a new content type, you’ll need a diverse set of tools to repurpose your content. Here’s a list of some popular tools used by marketers. (Note: I have no affiliation with any of these companies so these are just referrals with no strings attached.)
- Airtable: A unique database and spreadsheet to organize content
- Animoto: Make new videos from photos and video clips
- Audacity: Open source audio editor, recorder and mixer
- Buffer: Schedule your repurposed social media posts
- Camtasia: Screen recorder and video editor
- Canva: User-friendly online graphic design tool with templates
- Fiverr: Find a budget-friendly freelancer to help repurpose content
- GIPHY: Convert video or photos to an animated GIF image
- IFTTT: Automation tool to help with your content repurposing tasks
- Lumen5: Convert blog posts to social media videos
- Medium: Primary or secondary hosting of your blog posts
- MeetEdgar: Auto-pilot scheduling of your evergreen social media posts
- Pablo by Buffer: Create beautiful images from quotes or text
- Piktochart: Online infographics creation tool
- Repurpose.io: Convert audio & video automatically to many platforms
Now that you’ve completed Chapter 7, you’re loaded and empowered with knowledge about Content Repurposing!
Here are some resources that I found during my research for this guide that I believe would be helpful to others and their Content Repurposing projects:
- “40 Ways to Repurpose Your Blog Content” by OptInMonster
- “Does Repurposing Content Work? A Data-Driven Answer” by Neil Patel
- “How to Plan, Make and Promote an Infographic” by DMarketingU
- “How to Repurpose Content” infographic by CoSchedule
- “How to Create a Content Marketing Plan” online course by DMarketingU
Content Repurposing is a best practice in the field of content marketing for using existing content to help create new content, thus saving time and money while achieving other benefits as well. The practice of Content Repurposing can be classified into the five categories Recycle, Reformat, Resize, Refresh and Remodel… also called the 5 R’s to Repurpose Content.
When planning for new content developed from repurposed content, you’ll need to define five characteristics in a Content Repurposing Road Map. Those include (1) Content Type, (2) Content Sources, (3) Content Goals, (4) Content Roles and (5) Content Styles. Using the template provided in this guide, you can thoroughly document your needs and requirements for new repurposed content that results in a new high-quality marketing asset.
What are the ways that we can provide more help and resources to our peers looking for information about Content Repurposing? What information was most helpful in this guide or what should we add when we update it? Please leave your feedback in the Comments & Discussion section below.