Repurposing: 8 ways to extend the shelf life of your company’s best content

repurpose-contentThink about your last marketing campaign. It may have involved a white paper, perhaps a blog post announcing the white paper, a few push email campaigns to drive potential customers to download the white paper, maybe a tweet with a link.

Was that it? You likely paid thousands of dollars to create that white paper and after just a few weeks it’s just a forgotten relic on your website that you’re hoping gets a few additional downloads. Unfortunately, much of the content created for marketing purposes today is “one and done,” and that’s a huge waste of valuable resources your company spent good money to create. You need ways to continually generate new interest in your content, which leads to more exposure for your company. You need to start a content repurposing program.

For many companies, content marketing is like food. Some has a short expiration date (such as your messaging for a particular industry trade show, where you may get hundreds of visitors to your booth in a single day, but your “presence” disappears when your booth is broken down). Other content has a long shelf life (such as a white paper, case study, webinar, etc.) but to reach the same volume as the trade show, you need to continually push it out to your influencers in new ways.

That’s where content repurposing comes in—extending the life and broadening the reach of both the short-expiration-date content and the long-shelf-life content. Think about it: If you could double or triple the exposure of your latest content collateral, would it be worth it? For today’s budget-conscious marketing teams, the answer clearly is yes.

Let’s take a look at some ways you can “repurpose” a white paper:

  • Atomize it: Take individual sections or high points from each section and create several individual blog posts with calls to action to download the white paper. These can be posted on your own blog or offered up to partners or third-party publications to run. A single white paper should be able to generate five to 10 blog posts.
  • Speak up: Use an abstract from the white paper as a speaking abstract and submit it as a proposed panel session at an upcoming industry event.
  • List it out: Use the white paper to create a “Top 10 Ways to…” list that offers tips to potential customers on how they can improve their business. Don’t have 10 tips? Five is fine.
  • Think big: Use that list as the basis for a press release showcasing your thought leadership and release it over the newswire.
  • Juice it up: Turn that Top X list into a dynamic presentation and share it on SlideShare with a call to action back to the white paper. Make sure you’re including keywords that your potential customers are searching for.
  • Share, share, share: Post about the SlideShare on LinkedIn and Twitter, and don’t forget the #hashtags.
  • More info, please: Using the same types of graphics as the SlideShare (for consistency), create an infographic that dynamically showcases the important points from your white paper. Don’t forget the keywords!
  • Do it again: Embed the SlideShare or infographic back into a new blog post about a different point from the white paper.

Once you start thinking about repurposing content, there’s no end to how many ways you can reuse one high-quality piece. If you’re lucky enough to have a marketing team at your disposal, everyone should be involved with coming up with new ways to repurpose it. It doesn’t have to happen within a week—stretching your program out over several weeks or even months is OK and not only helps you keep things fresh, but also helps you gauge your ROI. As long as the message is still part of your company’s main themes, there’s no reason to slow down until you start to see a drop in terms of click-throughs, sign-ups or site traffic. Then it’s time to start the cycle over again with a brand new piece of content.

One last tip: Don’t forget to revisit your initial piece of content from time to time to hit new audiences who may not have seen your efforts the first time around.

Sue O'Keefe

Sue O'Keefe

Sue O’Keefe is chief content officer at Calysto Communications, a full-service PR and marketing communications agency serving the mobile, wireless and telecom industries. You can follow her or Calysto on Twitter.

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