by Cyndie Shaffstall
If you’ve spent the last budget year complaining that you haven’t been able to jump on the content-marketing bandwagon, it’s time to quicherbellyachn and get to work. Any organization in business more than ten minutes has a document that can be repurposed as multiple formats of inbound content and I’m here to show you how and give you a leg up (onto the elusive bandwagon, of course).
Content marketing, or inbound content to some, is the publishing and promotion of content (text, graphics, multimedia, and so on) pushed out across the web or through offline media to attract business. Unlike outbound marketing, which asks for the business, your inbound content should be designed to invite and delight your constituents and nudge them along the sales funnel (or shove them, when required).
If, after that apt definition, you’re still thinking that you have none, then let’s jump start your creative juices and think of some ideas together:
- What about your sales team’s customer-presentation slide decks?
- What about the corporate slide deck?
- What about that newly shipping product’s original strawman report?
- How about all that ad copy you had written last quarter?
- What about the investors’ slide deck?
- What about product reports created for the C-suite?
- What about your product catalogues?
- What about management interviews?
- What about press releases?
- What about art created for specialty products?
- What about recorded webcasts?
- What about blog articles?
- What about website content?
- What about best-practices documents?
- What about product documentation?
- What about previous marketing campaigns?
- What about product datasheets?
- What about internal or external newsletters?
- What about other corporate communication?
- What about training videos?
See? I as I said, you do have content.
Now that you’re mentally running through the entire collection of your corporate printed word, let’s talk about how you can give those old documents a new purpose — in other words, let’s repurpose.
By way of example
This document is a great example of repurposing. It started life as a slide deck and then became a webcast. From there it went on to become an article at my web site, Project Eve, and this web article, but I’m nowhere near done with the multitude of uses I’ll dream up for this content.
I know that not everyone likes looking at a slide deck (conveniently posted as a PDF at edocr.com and our resource center), or attend a live webcast hosted by Target Direct Marketing, or watch a video posted to Target Direct Marketing’s website. Some people prefer to read an article, read a series of social-media posts, or perhaps listen to a podcast. For those people, I need to repurpose. I need to create a format that allows them to consume and engage with information about our services in their preferred format.
Now, let’s step back a bit and talk about the documents we know you have — your corporate slide deck, for instance — and what that might look like as a repurposed project.
Repurposing doesn’t mean that you have to use the content in its entirety. It’s perfectly acceptable to chop it up, reorganize, and merge with other documents — edit to your heart’s content. Feel free to assemble an entirely new document from bits and snips of other documents (or videos, audio, slide deck, illustrations, and the like).
With a touch of editing or reconfiguration, that corporate slide deck can be:
- A slide deck for customers
- A PDF on edocr.com
- Twitter posts
- Facebook posts
- LinkedIn posts
- LinkedIn company page posts
- Google + posts
- Digg posts
- Delicious posts
- Pinterest posts
- An infographic posted to Pinterest, SlideShare, and edocr.com
- Customer testimonial videos for your website and YouTube channel
- Podcasts for your website’s resource page and iTunes library
- Press release
- News announcement
- Full-length video for YouTube and Vimeo
- Lots of mini videos for Vine and Instagram
- A live webcast
- A webcast recording
- The webcast’s audio published as a podcast
- Sidebar content for your website
- A blog article
- A white-label document for your company’s partners to brand and share
- Social-media ad content
- Search-engine ad content
- Newsletter content
- Point-of-sale signage
- Guest blogs
- Signature-line content
- Leave-behind for customer/client/investor meetings
- Live-event handouts
- Email content (okay, okay, so that’s outbound, I know…)
- Direct mail content (yes, more outbound…)
Aha! You went from no inbound content to 33 pieces of inbound content, with a fairly low degree of effort.
Think what could happen if you expended a bit more effort and created some squeeze pages or landing pages. Now your repurposing becomes a concerted effort at collecting leads, engaging your audience, and incrementing your lead score. Just for grins (or to calculate ROI, for instance), throw in the bonus effort of embedded engagement beacons and analytics will make all your efforts even more interesting as you learn about views, time on page, and abandonment.
What it looks like
Great Big Book of Things Marketers Say
As a real-world example beyond this article, consider our latest effort, the Great Big Book of Things Marketers Say eBook.
To build our inbound content, we posted a request in LinkedIn groups asking members for their best marketing advice. We then assembled the responses and published them in a slide deck as quotes along with the authors’ names, which became an eBook when we saved it as a PDF. We collected nearly 500 quotes and the currently posted fourth edition contains just short of 300 of the best ones.
With the eBook done, and racking up views and downloads from edocr.com and other syndication sites, we tackled several repurposing projects, including a very unique video. Published to our YouTube account, we reorganized the quotes into conversations with the premise of overhearing a conversation between two marketers in a busy restaurant. We redesigned the slides to display fade in the author’s name as we recited their quote. Click here to visit our YouTube channel (and please subscribe while you’re there) to see our approach to repurposing a slide deck as a video. (There are other examples of how this can be done on the same channel). This particular video turned out to be an exceptionally unique effort at repurposing content that started out as a simple slide deck, grew into a hefty eBook, and can now contribute to driving traffic as a video.
Some of your efforts to repurpose will take the form of promotion. That’s the point were repurposing becomes multi-touch marketing. Depending upon the tone of your press release, for example, and the originating content, it may well come out sounding more like a promotional effort than a different version of the content written for a different target audience. Don’t give it a second thought. In both cases — promotion and repurposing — you are doing what you need to do: provide your audience(s) with information that will pique interest and drive traffic.
That happened with the Great Big Book of Things Marketers Say when we created a List.ly list of astute marketers. We repurposed select content, the names of the authors, as Spider Trainers’ list of marketers you should follow. On one hand, it appears we created a marketing event to promote our eBook, on the other hand, it looks as though we pulled content from the slide deck and used it on a different platform.
What’s more, each slide/page has a Twitter graphic that when clicked, tweets the quote along with a link to where you can download the eBook. So I asked myself, “Is it a multi-touch marketing campaign, or am I we repurposing content?” Well, obviously, I’ve done both and it’s the perfect scenario, and one for which you should strive.
Look for opportunities to promote/repurpose; they abound.
About Spider Trainers
Spider Trainers is a company I created that includes a core team of four leaders and a network of more than 80 experts in email development, web development, search-engine optimization, analytics, graphic design, ad creation, multimedia creation, social-media postings, writing, and editing.
For the most part, we live our work life as marketing-automation architects who analyze your needs and create campaigns for you that ensure your return on your email-automation software investment — even when you’re feeling the pinch of full workloads and too-few resources.
At the Spider Trainers’ resource center, we have a library of publications designed to help you with your marketing efforts. While we may be guilty of giving too much information, we know that the empowered and informed client is the successful client. We hope this article and our other resources do that for you.
Please call us at 928-358-1835 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to learning more about your needs.