Last updated on 23rd July 2020 by Rob Carter
Work smarter, not harder, by repurposing your content
There’s no doubt about it: content marketing is the key ingredient of any digital marketing recipe. There’s just one problem: creating valuable, shareworthy content takes time, money and talent. And often lots of it.
Whether you’re putting together a blog post, infographic, ebook or video, you’ll almost always face the same obstacles: You either invest a significant amount of time in ideation, research, planning, editing and design…or you pay someone to do it for you. Either way, it’s a significant investment of something.
But what if I told you about a shortcut? What if I told you about a way to take what you’ve already got and turn it into a dozen or more pieces of equally good – if not better – content? What if I told you about a hundred different ways to do that? You’d be interested, right?
Well you’re in luck, because that’s exactly what I’m going to do every month, for the next 20 months.
“100 Ways to Repurpose Your Content” is a 20-part guide that will help you quickly and easily multiply your content. Each month, you’ll discover five new ways to repurpose your content and maximise the potential of every piece of content you ever create.
If you’re only publishing your content in one format (e.g. a blog post, podcast episode or YouTube video), a lot of potential subscribers and customers are unlikely to see your message. I want to help you avoid that.
By turning your blog posts into podcasts you’ll be able to reach people through Spotify, Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts. By turning your podcast episodes into slideshows you’ll be able to connect with people on Google Slides and SlideShare. And by reaching more people on more platforms, you’ll be able to build more relationships.
Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.
Brandscaping: The Power of Partnerships
I’ll guide you step-by step through each content repurposing strategy, helping you explore different marketing channels and reach new audiences simply by using what you’ve already created.
My goal is to change your mindset, your way of thinking, your whole approach to content marketing. By the time you’ve finished this guide to repurposing content, you’ll never think of a blog post, video, image or tweet in the same way again.
Convert your content into a podcast
To say that podcasting has become popular over the last few years is like saying that the COVID-19 pandemic is a minor inconvenience.
At the time of writing there are over 850,000 active podcasts containing more than 30 million episodes. 51% of the US population has listened to a podcast, while 22% listen to podcasts weekly.
16 million people in the US class themselves as “avid podcast fans”, and 45% of monthly podcast listeners have a household income of over $75,000. Given these figures, it’s no surprise that over $650m was spent on podcast advertising in 2019.
Creating a podcast can help you demonstrate your credibility by sharing your expertise. You can’t do hundreds of one-on-one consultations each week, but you can offer hundreds (or thousands) of people a similar consultative experience through your podcast.
A podcast is especially valuable in industries where “customer churn” is expensive, and where the customer lifetime value is high. Prospects may not listen to your podcast every week, but if you build a loyal following, many will come back again and again, deepening the relationship.
How to turn your posts into podcast episodes
1. The first thing to do is identify which of your blog posts would make a good podcast episode. Some of them may not translate well to the spoken medium. Industry news, product reviews and opinion pieces generally make for great podcast episodes. Just bear in mind that you’ll need to have enough content to fill around 30 minutes of talk time.
2. Next, pull out the main points and key takeaways from your blog post and write a brief outline for your podcast episode. If your post is highly technical and/or contains a lot of screenshots, try talking about your post instead. Explain why you wrote it, why it’s important and what your audience will gain from reading it.
3. Once you’ve planned out your episode and worked out how you’re going to deliver it, the next step is to record it. The only things you’ll need to get started are audio editing and recording software (Audacity and GarageBand are both free) and a decent microphone. You might also want to check out The Podcast Host’s guide to podcasting equipment.
4. After you’ve recorded your episode you’re going to need somewhere to host it. Libsyn, Blubrry and Buzzsprout are the leading podcast hosting platforms, and all have their strengths and weaknesses. If you already have a self-hosted WordPress site set up, I recommend going with Blubrry for its industry-leading PowerPress WordPress plugin.
5. All that’s left to do is publish your episode. Blubrry’s PowerPress WordPress plugin makes publishing a podcast episode as easy as publishing a blog post (which is why I recommend it for most WordPress users), but all podcast hosts will offer an embeddable audio player and a variety of tools for podcast publishing and distribution.
Converting your blog posts into podcast episodes is an ingenious way to repurpose your content. In fact, it’s such a great way to reach a wider audience that I’m putting together an in-depth guide that will cover everything from enhancing audio quality to choosing the right podcast host. Keep your ears open for that one!
Turn your content into an ebook
Repurposing blog posts into ebooks isn’t just an effective way to create new content; it’s a great way to validate your ideas and identify which type of content performs well before creating and publishing a book from scratch.
Whenever I talk to clients about using a repurposed ebook as a lead magnet to build a mailing list, I always get asked the same thing: “If the content is already available on my site, why would anyone want to subscribe to download an ebook?” There are two reasons: convenience and the perception of added value.
Marketing is not a battle of products. It’s a battle of perceptions.
Trout & Partners
First, a repurposed ebook will typically consist of 5-15 blog posts which are scattered throughout your site. Sure, they could search for each blog post individually, but who has time for that? Plus, they won’t know which posts are included; they might not even be aware it’s repurposed content.
Second, you can add even more information and context in an ebook. It’s not always possible to cover every topic, answer every question and list every resource in a blog post, but in an ebook you can go crazy with the detail. And it’s that kind of value-add that makes gated content worth subscribing for.
How to repurpose your posts as an ebook
1. First, decide which of your blog posts could be combined to form an ebook. It goes without saying that they’ll need to be focused on the same topic. Using the post you’re reading right now as an example, I would include all 20 “100 Ways to Repurpose Your Content” blog posts.
2. Using the articles you’ve collated, it’s time to start considering the structure of your ebook. For example, one long-form blog post could become an entire chapter, while sections of shorter blog posts could be combined to form another chapter.
3. The next step is to run though your old posts and update them accordingly. Refreshing old content isn’t just important for your ebook; it can give your SEO a huge boost, too. In fact, HubSpot’s organic traffic increased by 106% after they optimised their old blog posts.
4. Then get to work on expanding your content. Don’t hold back. This needs to be your finest work. Whenever I create a lead magnet or content upgrade, I always strive to create something that people would happily pay for. If it’s worth buying, it’s worth handing over an email address for.
5. Next, add some call to action (CTA) links to your book. Keep your message consistent. Make sure your CTAs stand out from the surrounding content. And make sure they’re action and benefit oriented. With regards to their placement, it depends on the length and purpose of your ebook. But you should always include one at the end.
6. Once you’ve updated and expanded your original content, the next thing to do is write a compelling introduction. When writing your intro, the goal is to grab the reader’s attention and persuade them that your book is the solution to their problem. Explain early on what makes your ebook a valuable resource and, more importantly, how it can help them.
7. Once a person has read your book, what do you want them to do? Sign up for a premium membership? Buy a product? Whatever you want them to do, you need to tell them. So write a powerful conclusion and include a call to action (CTA) to guide them further down your funnel.
8. Next up is your ebook cover. It needs to create a lasting first impression. It needs to impart the value proposition of your offering. And it needs to make your ebook look like a premium product. If you lack the skills to create one, we can design an awesome ebook cover for you.
9. You’re almost done! It’s now time to put the finishing touches to your ebook. Check your content for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Check that your CTAs link to the correct pages on your site. And make sure your book looks like a high-value resource.
10. Once you’ve put together your ebook, you’ll need to add it to your email autoresponder. We use Sendy to deliver our emails and downloadable resources, but there are many other email marketing solutions to choose from such as ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign and MailerLite.
11. The final step is to create a newsletter subscription form and add it to your site. This could be added to the footer of your site, inserted directly into your page/post content or displayed in a popup. Exit intent popups are a highly effective way to get people to take action before leaving your site, so I do recommend creating one.
Repurposing your blog posts as an ebook seems like a lot of work, and it is. It takes a lot of time to go through your old posts and update them, merge them together in a way that makes sense, write an introduction and conclusion, create your CTAs, design an awesome ebook cover and add them to your email autoresponder.
But it doesn’t have to be!
Designrr and Beacon are two very clever online tools that can instantly and automagically convert your blog posts into beautiful PDF ebooks. Simply enter your blog URL, review your content, pick a template and hit the button to generate an awesome ebook of repurposed blog content.
Both Designrr and Beacon could save you a serious amount of time and effort, so I definitely recommend checking both tools out to see if they fit your needs and budget.
Create a series of tweets
Repurposing your blog posts as a series of tweets can provide you with a mountain of additional material. It’s not an exaggeration to say that one 5,000 word blog post could easily generate three months’ worth of tweets.
Splitting your posts up into tweet-sized chunks can make your blog and social media channels feel more seamless, like puzzle pieces coming together to form a whole picture. This gives your marketing campaigns a more cohesive and consistent voice.
Integrated marketing offers opportunities to break through to consumers in new markets.
McKinsey & Co
Depending on which posts you choose to convert into a series of tweets, this content repurposing strategy can also result in a decent amount of traffic to being sent straight to your blog.
How to turn posts into tweets
1. Pick a popular, long-form blog post and pull elements from it to use in your tweets. These could be quotes, statistics, images, text or even visitor comments!
2. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to create some eye-catching visuals with which to promote your content. You don’t have to be a creative genius though: tools like Canva, RelayThat, Stencil, DesignWizard and Crello can help even the most artistically challenged people design snazzy animations and graphics.
3. Next, load all of that lovely content into a social media posting tool like Buffer, ContentStudio or SocialBee and schedule your tweets using each platform’s built-in social media calendar. You don’t necessarily have to use a social media posting tool, but trust me when I say you’ll want to. Been there, done that.
4. Kick back, relax and grab a cold beer (or in my case, a non-alcoholic bottle of Kopparberg) as your social media channels fill up with snippets of your blog. When it comes to turning content into lots of content, it doesn’t get much easier than that.
Well, actually it does get easier than that if you use MissingLettr to distribute your blog content.
MissingLettr sits in the corner like a naughty schoolboy, waiting for you to publish your next blog post. When it sees you’ve published something new it uses AI and machine learning to scan your content, looking for things like quotes, content and imagery that it thinks will work well on social media.
As if by magic, MissingLettr will combine all of this content and create a 12-month social media campaign, intelligently drip-feeding your words of wisdom to your social media followers for the next 365 days – without you lifting a finger.
This kind of sorcery isn’t free, but you won’t have to live in a cardboard box to pay for it either. For just $9 a month, MissingLetter will do its thing and let you get on with the more important things in like, like playing video games and listening to true crime podcasts.
Well worth it, IMO.
Create a glossary
Glossaries are a valuable resource for informing and educating customers, cultivating your reputation as a thought leader and improving search engine rankings. They’re also a great way to repurpose your content!
By taking the industry-specific terms and phrases that appear in your blog posts and creating dedicated pages that describe those words in detail, you can not only keep people on your site for longer, you can also expand your content library exponentially.
High-quality glossary pages have the potential to provide a fairly immediate lift in organic traffic, and by adding highly relevant CTAs to these terminology pages (see the “content upgrades” section below) you could benefit from an increase in conversions, too.
In fact, it’s so effective we’ve just created our own web design and digital marketing glossary! Keep your eyes peeled for a step-by-step guide on how to add one to your own site!
How to create glossary pages
1. Some people have reservations about posting this type of high-level content on their sites. If that’s you, consider starting off by creating individual posts targeted towards industry-specific terms and phrases, rather than creating a dedicated glossary section.
2. If you’re happy with the results and you’re sold on the whole glossary thing, it’s time to start thinking about a dedicated section for your definitions. Start by identifying the terms that are most relevant to the products and/or services you offer.
3. Got your list of words and phrases? Great! The next thing to do is carry out some keyword research. This will tell you which terms drive the most organic traffic. These are the words you’ll probably want to start with.
4. Next comes the best bit: creating the content. To make things easier for yourself, leverage existing assets and repurpose your blog posts, product pages, service pages, webinars, case studies, white papers and infographics. If you have a lot of content on your site already, creating the glossary pages should be a walk in the park.
5. Whatever you do, don’t forget to crosslink your posts and pages! Whenever you include an industry-specific term in your content that you’ve create a glossary page for, link the term to its glossary entry. Likewise, it’s a good idea to link back to the primary page for the term from its glossary page.
If this all seems a bit labour-intensive, that’s because it is. Keeping track of what terms are linked to which pages and posts is difficult even on small sites. On larger sites with hundreds or even thousands of pages, well, good luck with that.
For this reason, I strongly advise using a plugin or other automated solution such as CM Tooltip Glossary, Name Directory or Glossary for WordPress. It will make managing your glossary an awful lot easier.
Add content upgrades
The single most important goal of any blog isn’t to generate traffic or get social shares; it’s to convert your readers into email subscribers. Once you’re in your audience’s inbox, you’ve got a much better chance of building a long-term relationship with them.
Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale.
Do It! Marketing
Now, what if you could turn each and every blog post you write into an email list-building machine? With content upgrades, you can!
So how do content upgrades work? And why are they so successful?
A content upgrade offer appears on a single post (or series of related posts) and promotes a valuable piece of bonus content that’s highly relevant to the post(s) on which it appears.
Visitors are asked to provide their email address in return for the free bonus content, and the relevancy of the content upgrade ensures a large percentage of visitors are happy to sign up.
The impact that content upgrades can have on your conversion rate is staggering. Brian Dean from Backlinko added a content upgrade to his blog post: “Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List” to see for himself what kind of impact it would have. Adding the content upgrade increased his conversions by 785%.
Not sure what to offer as a content upgrade? Fear not. I’ve put together a little list of popular content upgrade offerings to get your creative juices flowing:
- Webinar replay
- Exclusive article
- Course module
- Content templates
- Free training
- Cheat sheet
- Resource list
- Free subscription
- Free trial
- Email series
- Swipe files
How to set up a content upgrade
1. How do you decide which posts to create content upgrades for? Easy. Use Google Analytics to identify the ones that receive the most traffic. Simply log into your Google Analytics account and head to Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages to reveal your most visited posts.
2. Once you’ve identified a popular post, the next step is to come up with the content for your upgrade. It could be a checklist, worksheet, content template or even a secret podcast episode! Even if you poured your heart and soul into your post first time around, it can always be upgraded.
3. The next step is to create your content. Remember: it’s all about adding value to your original post, so resist the urge to save time by offering your readers an unrelated ebook or checklist you created years ago.
4. Next, add your content upgrade to your email autoresponder. Typically, this will involve creating a mailing list for each content upgrade and inserting a link to download the resources in the email that gets sent to subscribers.
5. Then drop your opt-in form into your blog post and connect it to your email autoresponder. The best places to insert your form are within the body of your post and right at the end.
6. Finally, get the word out about the available upgrade for your blog post. Share it on social media. Post about it on forums. Include it in answers on Quora. Hell, project an ad for your post onto the Houses of Parliament (actually, don’t do that).
7. I added the word “finally” to step 6 because you could stop there. But don’t! If you want to really capitalise on your content upgrade, you need to continue engaging with your subscribers on the topics that matter to them. Do that, and you’re golden.
While you wait patiently for part 2 of “100 Ways to Repurpose Your Content” to appear in your news feed, why not get cracking on repurposing your existing content? That’s exactly what I’m doing with this blog post!
If you have any awesome ideas for repurposing content and using existing assets to reach new audiences, please share them in the comments below.
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