I don’t mean to brag but my company has been doing content marketing since before it was cool. How hipster is that?
I work for a technology association that has been around since the 1940s. At some point before I was born, we had a magazine. That used to be all the content we needed but things have changed a lot since then.
In this new digital world, there is more competition than ever for the attention of our audience. Our prospects can get very specific content from an array of niche sites that meet their individual needs. It is becoming harder and harder to create a high enough volume of content to keep our audience engaged and our funnel full of new leads.
Content marketing is effective. In fact, companies are 3x as likely to see higher ROI on inbound marketing campaigns than on outbound, according to HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2015 report. The challenge is that creating high quality, evergreen content is difficult and time consuming.
At my organization, we were creating webinars and white papers consistently but had little time for anything else. We were creating excellent middle of the funnel content but desperately needed more at the top and bottom. I knew there had to be a better way.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
After carefully examining our process for creating different types of content, I noticed they all shared a few things in common. First, a topic needed to be chosen. Then came lots of research on that topic. Maybe we would survey our audience or dig up some stats or find some unique points-of-view. After the research, we’d choose the creative approach we wanted to take and sketch an outline. Maybe we would even start looking for images to use within the content.
Between 60% and 80% of the time and effort we were investing in creating content came before we even started writing or designing the piece. That was my “A-ha!” moment.
If we were to create multiple pieces of content from that same initial 60-80% of effort, we could double the amount of content we’re creating without any extra effort. This is what is meant by “repurposing your content.” Once we got going, I was shocked how far we could push it.
We Started with a White Paper and Ended with 6 Other Pieces of Content
White papers are one of the meatier types of content we create. We started here because we figured it was easier to scale a piece of content down than it is to scale it up.
We needed a topic. We offer a training course on business process management. Part of the course focuses on removing paper from your processes and going digital so things can be automated. It was a narrow topic we knew our audience had an interest in.
We sent out a survey and polled our audience to get some benchmarking data. We analyzed the results and wrote a research paper on our findings and recommendations.
To download the paper, you had to fill out a form on a landing page. On the thank you page, we promoted the training course.
Now let’s see how we repurposed this thing!
Step 1. A Series of Blog Posts
We created a blog series, focusing on one of the recommendations made in the white paper in each post, with each post released every few days. Because a lot of the verbiage was created for the white paper already, these didn’t take too much time to create. At the bottom of the blog post, there was a text CTA encouraging readers to check out the white paper for a more in-depth look on the topic.
Step 2. An Infographic
There were a lot of interesting stats in the white paper. We pulled several out and sent them to our designer to create an infographic with. The infographic was posted to the blog, again with a text CTA for the white paper.
Step 3. Social Media Tiles
Each section of the infographic was cropped and turned into a social media tile to promote the infographic on Twitter and Facebook to drive traffic to the blog.
Step 4. A Webinar
We took all the stats and recommendations from the white paper, turned them into a presentation, and hosted a webinar. At the end of the webinar, there was a slide advertising the same training course we promoted on the white paper thank you page.
Step 5. A SlideShare
After the webinar was over, we took the slides and posted them to SlideShare. Before we did, we swapped out the training course slide and replaced it with a slide promoting the white paper. In the description for the SlideShare, we provided a link to the white paper.
If you’re wondering why we swapped out the training slide before posting it to SlideShare, it’s because we want to capture the email addresses of our SlideShare viewers. We already had this info from the folks on the webinar.
Step 6. A YouTube Video
The replay of the webinar was uploaded to YouTube and a link to the white paper was added to the description of the video.
By aggressively finding new ways to repurpose the content in the white paper, we were able to create 4 open assets driving people to download the paper and 2 closed assets capturing leads and driving people to purchase our training course. It only took three times the effort (versus 6 times) to create a few blog posts, an infographic, several social tiles, a webinar, a SlideShare, and a YouTube video. That’s the power of repurposing your content.