Repurpose, reuse, revive your content

6th October 2009 | Posted in Content creation

When you’ve sweated blood to get the words right for your corporate brochure, web site, data sheet or any other piece of marketing writing, you want to make that copy work as hard as possible for you.

By repurposing your content, you can adapt it to help market your business to your different audiences through a variety of channels.

One of the key takeaways from the B2B marketing summit just held by leading marketing experts MarketingSherpa is that all content can be re-packaged, repurposed and recycled.

We’ve seen great examples of this happening in practice.

We helped a global ingredients company turn the salient points of white papers and magazine articles into short and downloadable podcasts, featuring its inhouse experts talking directly to a technical audience. You could equally well use the wealth of knowledge that’s already written down to develop data sheets or presentations, or disseminate through social media – articles, blogs or even tweets. (And this would be a huge time saver if you’re trying to blog on a weekly or even daily basis.)

When we develop case studies, we ask the interviewees for permission to use their quotes in publications beyond the initial case study. We then have the option to build those stories into a range of general and industry-focused brochures and magazine articles – as well as incorporating them into press releases.

Some clients put significant resource into creating glossy and informative annual reports that include interviews, overviews and insights into how the business operates. Rather than watch the content be delivered to shareholders and never seen again, these businesses re-purpose the articles for the press, analysts, inhouse communications and their customers.

What we absolutely wouldn’t advise is reusing without repurposing. We’ve seen businesses take a perfectly good corporate brochure and use it unchanged as web copy. It doesn’t work because a casual visitor just won’t scroll through the content of an eight-page brochure. But cut down your brochure into bite-sized chunks, and you may have the basic content for a number of pages, which can then be adapted to a web audience, and expanded to include web tools such as graphics and links.

Revising is an equally good approach to adding to the value of content. Information ages fast, but by updating collateral on a regular basis – re-visiting customer stories or industry issues for brochures for example – you can give content extended life and continuing value.

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