Doing more with less: How marketers can make content go farther

Is your marketing team overwhelmed by the constant demand for fresh, engaging content? Too many businesses face this same issue: the pressure to produce high-quality content consistently and at scale. It gets even more frustrating when you realize your content isn’t reaching as many people as you’d like despite your best efforts. 

In other words, you’re investing time, resources and energy into creating content, but it’s still not getting the visibility it deserves. If this sounds familiar, naturally, you want a way to increase the reach of your content and save time in the content production process without pumping out a bunch of generic, unoriginal content. 

Enter the world of content repurposing.

What is content repurposing?

Content repurposing is the process of taking a single piece of content and adapting it for use in multiple formats and channels. It’s a way to maximize the value of your content, reach wider audiences and get more bang for your buck. 

Instead of writing each post, shooting each video and plotting each new script and social post from scratch, you can use a piece of existing content as the basis for a whole batch of new content.

Before we move on, let’s clarify something first. There’s content repurposing and then the processes and automation that make this possible – which blends over into other areas in the marketing and sales ops side of things. We’ll get to that a bit later in the article. 

To help you imagine what this might look like, here are just a few types of content you may be creating and quite a few more you probably haven’t touched:

  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars
  • Infographics and visuals
  • Social media posts
  • Emails
  • Ebooks
  • PDF guides
  • Quizzes
  • Tools
  • Checklists
  • Courses
  • Slide decks and presentations
  • And yes, blogs

With my team, I actually refer to this as content multiplication because “repurposing” or “recycling” makes it sound like your new content can be lazy or low-quality. 

This should never be the case. To avoid being sticklers, though, we’ll use these terms interchangeably.

Benefits of repurposing content

In a world where the expectation is to push out content at a regular clip, it’s critical to understand the gains in repurposing effectively, as you’ll likely have to get your team on board with this concept. 

Here are the top five benefits to highlight: 

  • Highly efficient. Massively increase your content marketing efforts with a fraction of the time and labor, reducing research, SEO and brainstorming time.
  • Enhanced brand awareness. Reach new audiences who prefer different content formats, increasing your brand’s visibility.
  • Increased traffic. Create more opportunities to drive traffic to key landing pages, boosting your sales pipeline and revenue.
  • Improved industry relationships. Enhance your ability to build relationships within your industry through diversified content.
  • Established authority. Cement your brand’s position as an industry authority by providing valuable content across various platforms.

While content multiplication makes scaling content production much easier and faster, you can’t just publish a podcast transcript and call it a blog post. As referenced in a previous MarTech article, buyers want to be well-informed – which is what content does. It’s not content for the sake of content. 

And a podcast transcript is rarely (if ever) that interesting or helpful to read for your audience. So, each repurposed piece of content must have a purpose and a plan. In other words, to succeed at reusing your content, you need to have a system.

What is a content repurposing system?

A content repurposing system (also referred to as a “content repurposing workflow” or a “content repurposing framework”) is a structured approach to adapting a single piece of content for use in multiple formats and channels. It’s a strategic way to get more value from your content and maximize its reach and impact.

A content repurposing system has some basic overarching steps:

Selecting the right content

Choose high-performing, adaptable and relatively evergreen content. Consider its potential for different formats and its relevance over time. 

High traffic is good for performance, but other engagement metrics are better. Look for metrics like longer session time, higher CTR, a low bounce rate, a longer view time for videos or webinars, etc.

Identifying the core message

Extract key points or the underlying message from the original content to serve as the foundation for the new content. Don’t copy it verbatim, but consider the new medium’s strengths. Ensure the new message still has a compelling “hook.”

Determining suitable formats and channels

Identify the best formats and channels for your message, considering the strengths and limitations of each medium. For instance, a podcast might take a more personal angle than a blog and have fewer data points.

Adapting the content

Thoughtfully adapt the content for the chosen formats and channels. This may involve trimming, restructuring or breaking down the original content. 

A YouTube video might become short clips and soundbites for a series of LinkedIn posts, while a blog post’s most impactful points could be used for a video. If the original content is complex or long, you may need to consider breaking it into two new pieces of content.

Distributing the content

Distribute the repurposed content to the appropriate audience. Understand each target audience’s demographics, interests and needs and tailor your message and distribution strategy accordingly.

Following a structured approach ensures that your repurposed content is consistent, effective and aligned with your overall content marketing strategy. 

A content repurposing system can save you time, resources and effort while making sure you don’t need to reinvent the wheel each time you go through the process. Not to mention, having an established system makes it easier to train new employees, so scaling becomes easier.

Challenges of content repurposing

Typically, when companies decide to consider repurposing content, they’re facing one of two big roadblocks:

  • Lack of bandwidth or resources. They want to repurpose more of their content, but they simply don’t have the time or staff for it. 
  • Lack of expertise. They have people on their team with the time to multiply their content production, but they don’t have enough knowledge or experience with the channels they need content for.

While the first issue is more common, the second is harder to identify, which can lead to a lot of wasted time and money. If your repurposed content isn’t performing nearly as well as the original content, this is a sign of an expertise issue.

For instance, if a high-ranking blog post gets reproduced as a YouTube video and nobody watches it when you share it (especially when other videos performed much better), you might have an expertise gap.

So what about using AI or third parties?

With marketers stretched thin or lacking expertise, content repurposing is not always easy. Generative AI tools like ChatGPT can assist in creating diverse content, saving time and effort. 

However, they do have limitations. While AI can generate content, it may not fully grasp the nuances of your brand’s voice or the specific needs of your audience. ChatGPT can write you a 1,000-word blog post, but too often, there is only one or two sentences of substance in that much text, leaving readers feeling like you’ve wasted their time.

So, while ChatGPT can speed things up, it’s not going to produce content by itself at the quality necessary to stand out from competitors — the same goes for the countless AI tools that use OpenAI’s API and brand themselves as alternatives to ChatGPT.

This is before getting into all the mistakes marketers make when using ChatGPT.

The same goes for using services such as Upwork. You can find great talent on there to help with the repurposing, but in my experience, most of the projects there fail because of the lack of a producer overseeing the intent and storyboard of the project – and what it’s supposed to do (not just look pretty). 

For some organizations, another viable option is to utilize a content repurposing service (often called “white label content marketing”). This approach allows you to focus on creating the initial content while the service provider adapts and distributes it across various channels.

Remember, the goal is to ensure your content reaches its maximum potential, resonating with various audience segments. Whether you leverage AI, a white label service or a combination of both, your goal is not just “more content,” but higher quality content that builds trust with your audience.

Final words of advice

Reviewing your segmentation in your sales and marketing strategy is helpful when thinking about this from an operational perspective. How can this content be more effectively communicated to a specific segment in a video or visually as a diagram or infographic? 

We’re exposed to our content daily as marketers, and we often get tired of something long before our audience has even seen it or derived its full value. A good content repurposing system helps you put your record of best hits on repeat, helping you drive more leads with the pieces your audience already knows and loves. 

The post Doing more with less: How marketers can make content go farther appeared first on MarTech.

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