Courtney Eckerle

Content Marketing: 7 tips for content repurposing

December 11th, 2012

“The Web expects you to generate a lot of content,” said Muhammad Yasin, Director of Marketing, HCC Medical Insurance Services.

“It expects you to generate regularly, with … quality content and to generate it prolifically while you are at it,” he concluded.

The demand is great, as Muhammad said. Sometimes, the Web can feel like a marketer’s very own Little Shop of Horrors, and content is the constantly hungry wail of “Feed me, Seymour!

Repurposing has been a useful solution to this constant demand for Muhammad, and many marketers are searching for a consistent plan for repurposing that will relieve both time and budget.

In fact, this post is a bit of repurposing magic – Muhammad and I spoke recently for the case study, “Content Marketing: Interactive infographic blog post generates 3.9 million views for small insurance company.”

I realized that he had a lot of knowledge to share about repurposing, but it wouldn’t fit into the case study. Ta-da – a new blog post is born, filled with seven tips to help you with your own content repurposing.


Tip #1. Create a repurposing map

If you create content with the mindset of always making it rich for further content plundering, Muhammad said, then it is easier to map out your repurposing intentions ahead of time. His team started out very serious about repurposing, and over the past two years, they have worked out a repurposing map that works well for them.

Knowing what repurposing you might do with a piece of content allows you to do a few things, according to Muhammad.

For instance, starting to speak with designers about the concept for an infographic can save valuable time. It will also save those writing and creating content time to be able to move ahead and prepare future content. If everyone on your team is aware of the next step on the repurposing map, there is a significant reduction in time delays.

This kind of repurposing planning is about “not stopping at layer one, but stretching as far down as you can go,” Muhammad said. “Just because you created a blog post off of your video, doesn’t mean that the blog post you created couldn’t also create something else.”


Tip #2. Don’t rely on duplicating content

Muhammad added a warning about the dangers of duplicating content,  even though it may seem like the quickest and easiest way to repurpose.

Repurposing doesn’t mean regurgitating the exact same content on a different page. It is restyling or expanding on an original piece of content so that it is useful and valuable in a different way.

“You don’t want to take a blog post and then also do the same blog post somewhere else. I am not a fan of that whatsoever,” said Muhammad, adding that he believes, from a search perspective, it will be damaging in the long term.

“What I am talking about more so is taking a concept, and then taking pieces of that … to create new content in an easy and efficient manner,” he said.


Tip #3. Start off with a robust piece of content

Muhammad said his process usually starts with a webinar, because “it is a big piece of content, and it is easier to start with something big and walk through all the different pieces of content you can create based off of that.”

For Muhammad, the easiest piece of content to create off a webinar is the PowerPoint presentation that would most likely be with it, and those slides can be uploaded to SlideShare.

While running the webinar, Muhammad said they simultaneously stream it live on Google+, which creates a conversation on that platform that can be shared.

Once the webinar is complete, another asset is then in place: “We now have audio that we can add breaks into and we have a podcast that can be released,” added Muhammad.


Tip #4. Break up robust content into smaller topics

Muhammad said his webinars are usually broken up into three different sections. Then, those can then be turned into three different topics that can be remarketed as an individual video on that specific topic.

From just those relatively simple reworkings of webinar content, a wealth of useful content is created.

“I think right now … we have a Google+ Hangout that we have done.  We have a SlideShare presentation that we have posted.  We have three videos that we have created, and we have a podcast – that is five pieces of content out of one webinar so far.”

Transcripts from a webinar can also be cleaned up and published. Muhammad said they are valuable as content because, “you are talking in real-world speech, which works out very well for a conversational post.”

From the original three topics, they will occasionally shoot a more produced video “usually as a whiteboard video or perhaps in an interview style,” he said.

“It is really easy to create that new content. It usually takes us 10 minutes maybe to shoot the video, and then we go in the post production, and we are done,” said Muhammad.


Tip #5. Cultivate user-generated content

A compelling and resource-friendly repurposing option that Muhammad utilizes is user-generated content.

“If some of our customers come back from trips abroad, we will shoot interviews with them just letting them tell the story about how their trip went, what they did, what they found exciting,” Muhammad said.

Once that is transcribed, he said, it is usually turned into a blog post. The team posts the video to its YouTube page, and features it in the post. It is smaller-scale example of repurposing, but one consumers find extremely useful and may answer many questions that Muhammad and his team wouldn’t have thought of.


Tip #6. Utilize video

Muhammad said when he was first producing and repurposing content, he found video was the easiest way both to quickly produce, and to repurpose into content, such as a blog post.

“Videos can be a little bit easier because people get to speak in a normal fashion, and none of us … do scripted videos ever. We don’t believe in them, and YouTube doesn’t tend to react to them as well as they do things are little bit more candid,” Muhammad said.

He has found a quick turnaround time, along with a unique source of content and repurposing opportunities, with video. After producing the video, he can then incorporate it into a blog post or use it for a podcast or publishing a transcript.

“When you have someone, you can just sit down and do an interview-style video. You end up with some really great content that is not really hard to create,” he said.


Tip #7. Reuse a great sentence

Transcripts from interviews or webinars can be used down to the individual sentence, according to Muhammad.

“We also use those transcripts to pull out quotes. … I will keep running list of all the quotes that we pulled out of the webinars when we were really feeling inspired and said something awesome,” said Muhammad.

Especially in a pinch, Muhammad said it has been incredibly useful for him in moments where he is crunched for time, but needs to be thought provoking.

“Instead of having to sit down every time you have a piece of content to create and say, ‘I need to find something brilliant right now,’” Muhammad said, he will keep a list of pull-out quotes handy for use in a piece of content down the road or in interviews.

From a robust, original source down to the smallest piece of content, developing a repurposing strategy will be an asset to your time and resources, while satiating your content needs.


Related Resources:

Content Marketing: 21 ideas for planning, creating, and leveraging content from your webinars

Email Marketing: 6 tactics on combining content and email strategies

SEO Tactics Chart: Creating content is the most-effective tactic — here’s how to get started

Reformat, Reuse, Recycle: 5 Strategies to Stretch your Marketing Content

Content Marketing How-to: 7 steps for creating and optimizing content in any size organization

Courtney Eckerle

About Courtney Eckerle

With a focus on aspirational, customer-first marketing, Courtney’s goal has been to produce clear, interesting and actionable external content for MarketingSherpa readers. This has included writing over 300 case studies, moderating live event interviews, and producing video content. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Mass Communications and Film Studies from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind., and was a correspondent for USA Today College prior to joining MECLABS Institute.

Categories: Inbound Marketing Tags: , , , ,

  1. December 11th, 2012 at 16:55 | #1

    Courtney, Very helpful article. This is the area where so many companies new to content marketing hit the wall. #3 and #4 in particular give marketers something to get their arms around. Everyone has the ability to put together a valuable webinar if they put enough thought into it. This gives great recommendations on how to get even more milage from the effort. Thanks!

  2. December 17th, 2012 at 15:05 | #2

    Love the Little Shop of Horrors reference and the Feed Me Seymour video. Good memories and excellent analogy for the “beast” of a blog or content marketing. 🙂

  3. December 18th, 2012 at 07:48 | #3

    Thanks, you certainly reminded me to think about organising my content so I can find those juicy bits I’m sure I’ve written several months ago and want to ‘reuse’ in a new context. I thought I’d also mention that many of the same considerations apply to media – images, video and audio. Typically for a blog, website or advertorial I want to ‘reuse’ some accompanying media I’ve used before, but maybe reduced in size to fit the channel, increased in size or cropped to use a detail only.

    In many of the departments I’ve worked in Image management systems are either not used or poorly exploited – it’s been a real pain to find the image you know you’ve got – typically the file you want is on one person’s machine, with the agency that did the bit of work it was first published with or in a badly kept media library where the tagging is almost non-existent so the search is rubbish.

    As well as centralising all media into one potentially organised library, media management / image library systems today enable you to reshape media to fit predefined sizes for use in websites and HTML emails, with just one click: change a large image to button size or banner size, for example. And they enable you to displayed the file on a website or in a HTML email without the file being moved – no need to have physical copy on the webserver, it can be served from the media library.

    So, while creative may introduce an new original, that original can be re-purposed and published on the web by marketeers themselves without studio time or spend.

    Gerry Cavander

  4. December 18th, 2012 at 09:56 | #4

    Excellent points – especially #s 1 & 6, which are excellent for planning. Our team certainly appreciates the value of repurposing content – our own and others! And during a recent webinar, PR 2.0 guru Deirdre Breakenridge ( emphasized the importance of video for SEO.

  5. Social Media Mobile Maven
    December 19th, 2012 at 00:45 | #5

    Awesome tips on re-purposing content. My fav is #6 utililize video – such a social tip!

  6. December 20th, 2012 at 12:18 | #6

    Thanks for the article Courtney. Good and useful points that I will certainly share around here!

  7. December 21st, 2012 at 06:24 | #7

    Our company is also following this strategy. One thing that we take care of while repurposing content is that we play with calls to action. Calls to action are important and shall be taken with different approach everywhere.

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