By Tom Schek
Creating a steady stream of informative, engaging materials to fuel a content marketing program takes a great deal of time and effort. However, you can get more out of that resource investment by repurposing content.
Some observers might consider that “cheating,” and if you simply swap out a few words or rewrite a few sentences and call the piece “new,” that characterization seems accurate. However, with a little creativity and effort, you can find many legitimate ways to extend the life, and the value, of your content.
Refreshed and Ready
Business changes rapidly. A piece you wrote a few years back may now seem outdated. Don’t pull it from your content inventory. Instead, update your copy and include a new introduction explaining what has transpired since you created the original item. For example, you can add details on new features to a product review, the latest best practices to a previous list, updated stats to a case study, etc. Now you have a piece that provides both current information and a fascinating look back, and you have produced it in a fraction of the time required to develop the original.
Divide and Conquer
White papers, case studies and other long-form content typically contain elements that can be used as standalone pieces or combined with others. Testimonials from a case study can find a broader audience when prominently displayed on your website. Flowcharts, photos and other visual elements can be incorporated into an infographic. There may be ideas or statements in text passages that would work well as the basis of a blog post.
The flip side of the divide and conquer approach is to assemble a larger work out of multiple small ones. As the saying goes, you will often find that the whole is greater (i.e. more impactful) than the sum of its parts. Look for concepts that are repeated in the content you produce and use them as a foundation for combining previously separate pieces.
A Tip of the Hat
Mentioning that some of the information in a new piece originated in an older one serves as a great way to pull the original item back into the spotlight, giving it new life.
On Second Thought
In the same way that business practices and technology change, your perspective on a topic around which you previously created materials might evolve as well. Explaining your change of heart not only lets you blow the dust off an old piece, it earns you points for being honest.
Every few years, a new social media platform springs up – Instagram and SlideShare are a few relatively recent examples. Often, items you created in some other format would be a perfect fit for the new medium with only a small amount of “retrofitting.”
Your marketing content, like any valuable asset your company possesses, should be utilized to its fullest. While you don’t want to overuse your materials, making pieces available to new audiences in new ways is not only acceptable, it’s smart business.
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