In working with clients on their marketing-driven agency websites, first as a project manager and then as a content strategist, I’ve observed that content creation is one of the most anxiety-provoking aspects of the process for our clients. On the whole, they understand the importance of quality content to the ongoing success of their sites — after all, in choosing to work with us, they’re buying a marketing philosophy as much as a website. But that doesn’t make content creation easy, especially not on the order we prescribe — that is, around 3,000 words of fresh, expertise-based content per month.
What this means, in effect, is that we and our clients are called to be content creators, editors, and publishers in addition to our existing job titles. That’s a lot to ask. The rewards are definitely worth it, but for most agencies, this necessarily creates extra work for the same staff; after all, few budgets allow for a dedicated web-content staff. So it makes sense that our clients would be stressed.
Thankfully, there are ways to structure and organize your website’s content production process to ensure that the demands of content creation are distributed evenly across your team, thus helping to prevent burnout (namely, by appointing a dedicated content team and creating a rotating schedule of deadlines). But there’s another tool at your disposal to help ease the burden, and that is content repurposing.
Content repurposing is all about maximizing the content you create by leveraging it across multiple platforms. The catch, of course, is that you have to do so thoughtfully, or else you’ll risk coming across as repetitive to site visitors or — just as unfortunate — getting docked for duplicate content by Google’s bots. What this means is that content repurposing isn’t as typically as simple as copy-and-paste. It’s more about taking the same ideas or seed content and tailoring them to fit the various types of content you produce.
As an aside: I think we (and by “we,” I mean content-producing agencies) often put too much pressure on ourselves to come up with totally unique content topics, and we tend to fear that our “core” intelligence is already so well-known that it doesn’t merit repeating. But the fact is that no one is as familiar with our core intelligence as we ourselves are, and there is nothing wrong with covering the same information more than once over the course of months and years — even if nothing major has changed and your “old” content still accurately reflects your current thinking. You’ll need to be sensitive in terms of striking the right balance, but my guess is that you may have more room to talk about the fundamentals than you think.
Another thing to keep in mind about content repurposing is that it really only works if you produce a range of recurring content types, which may include a blog, newsletter, webinars, whitepapers, and case studies, or some combination thereof. Assuming you’ve got at least two recurring content types to work with, you should have some good options for strategically sound content repurposing. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- If you produce any video content, like recorded webinars, discussions, or interviews, consider transcribing that content and publishing it in the form of a blog post. If the content you’re transcribing is gated (meaning that users must complete a form or pay to access that content), you can preserve the “premium” nature of the original content by publishing only a portion of it on your blog and linking to the gated content for full access.
- Produce a webinar based on an in-depth article or whitepaper you’ve already written and use the existing content as your jumping-off point or outline in planning the webinar.
- If you host webinars, write a blog post advertising an upcoming webinar and discussing, in broad terms, what the webinar will cover. Include a link or CTA to register for the webinar.
- If you or someone else at your agency is in the habit of giving talks or presentations at industry events, publish a written version of the talk (or even the presentation deck itself) as a blog post — or, if you feel the content ought to be gated, as a white paper. You can also use a talk prepared for an industry event as the basis for a webinar.
- Take a long-form, in-depth newsletter or whitepaper article and turn it into blog content by breaking it out into a series of 2-3 posts that take the same subject and deal with it in bite-sized portions.
- Every phone call you have with a client or prospect probably contains something that would make for a useful and brief article. Keep a notepad handy when you’re on the phone and jot down the questions that are asked and the answers you provide. A simple Q&A exchange can always make a worthwhile piece of content. After all, if they’re asking, someone else is, too. Remember, your content — whether it’s an article, a video, or a talk — is simply a form of repurposed expertise. Why not repurpose even more of your expertise? Most of us don’t pay close attention to the many interactions we have every day in which we draw upon our expertise and share it with others. If you can find a way of capturing just a few of those interactions, you’ll have an abundance of material to “repurpose” on your site.
Any other strategies that have worked for you? Let us know about them in the comments below.