Lee Odden

5 Magical Tactics for Repurposing B2B Marketing Content

Lee Odden on Aug 15th, 2016     B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Repurpose B2B Content Marketing
Did you know, that on a daily basis, 16 to 20% of search queries on Google have never been seen before? With over 100 billion monthly queries, there are an incredible number of ways that people express their interests, wants and needs.

At the same time, a study from CMI and MarketingProfs reports that 50% of marketers say producing content consistently is a top challenge.

With the diversity of expressions buyers search for and the demands of producing a variety of engaging content on a consistent basis, one has to wonder why so many B2B marketers insist on publishing content once and with a singular theme.

To get more value from content investments while providing a greater variety of information to prospective customers, many B2B marketers are repurposing.

Content repurposing doesn’t always create a very good user experience.

Common tactics include things like creating 5 versions of an ebook using different keywords in the titles and changing up examples or deconstructing a large white paper into 15 blog posts covering uber-niche topics. The thing is, content repurposing doesn’t always create a very good user experience.

Efficiency at the cost of engagement is not how successful B2B marketers attract, engage and win new clients. The challenge is to balance what content is most efficient and effective to repurpose with content topics and formats that buyers actually want.

So how can you reconcile the need to achieve maximum value for content investments while maintaining a great customer experience? Here are 5 magical tips for B2B Marketers to do just that:

1. Start by Going Modular

Planning, creating and repurposing component pieces of information and media organized by topic, keyword, customer need and type of media is what I mean by “modular content”. Content planning that uses a modular approach will make the repurposing process easier, keyword relevant and meaningful for the audience because topics are driven by an understanding of customer interests, questions and triggers.

For many content calendars, a modular approach means thinking ahead about how the content you’re planning can be remixed, repurposed and deconstructed into other forms that retain their utility for your customers.

For example, some content may be interchangeable with templates that allow you to use a core of content and then customize for a certain industry audience. Or you can personalize for a very specific customer segment without having to completely recreate all new content every time.

Here’s a presentation I gave at HubSpot’s INBOUND conference about modular content.

2. Be the Best Answer with Hub and Spoke

As part of a “Best Answer” strategy, create a substantial content asset that provides comprehensive coverage of a topic that your buyers care about. For many B2B marketers, this will be in the form of a white paper, ebook or research report.

On its own, this large asset is valuable to your audience but what about potential customers that prefer content in a more visual format? Or audio? What about prospective buyers that see a large report as a big TLDR but would respond better to short form content?

This is where the spokes come into play. Along with the large asset, identify the information that is most amenable to complementary formats and tangential topics. Repurpose content from the “big” asset into more specific pieces intended to be consumed according to the preferences of your audience. That way, people who want an infographic or a narrated video or motion graphic can get it. And those that want mid-length content in the form of a blog post or article on an industry website can get that too.

For more about hub and spoke content models, check out this post.

3. Cook Microcontent into a Meal

Snackable content can often be managed and repurposed like ingredients to create a main course. On their own, short form content like quotes, tips and statistics are useful for social network shares and as added credibility to blog posts, ebooks and articles.

When collected together according to a theme, microcontent can become the often abused, but frequently impactful listicle blog post, infographic or motion graphic. Better yet, track how well your community responds to microcontent that is shared on social networks and combine the best performing content into your culinary content masterpiece – optimized with keywords of course.

Here are example models for using microcontent in repurposing.

4. Explode Thematic Interviews

Connecting with industry influencers is a great way to bring expertise and credibility to your content. Interviews with well known executives and brandividuals on their own provide an interesting perspective for your readers.

From a repurposing standpoint, it’s important to think through the themes of your interviews and the individual questions to ensure they topically align with what your customers are interested in relative to your business.

With that level of attention in mind, an approach to interviews might identify a series of 12 industry influencers who are each asked 10 questions. Let’s say 4 of those questions are essentially the same for each interview. Publish the individual interviews as episodic content in a series. Then once the series is over, take all of the answers to each of the duplicated questions and assemble them into 4 new posts, SlideShares, infographics or visual ebooks. Just be sure to ask questions that will evoke practical or provocative answers in order to get the best result with repurposing.

Check out the interviews section of our blog and you’ll see this magic in action.

5. Flavorize Your Best Performers

If you’ve been in the content creation game for a while, you’ve undoubtedly hit a few home runs with some of your evergreen content. But as that content ages, it may be able to live another life. This may seem pretty straightforward, but the flavor is in the favors you can get from internal and industry influencers.

First identify your best performing content according to topics during a given time frame. Pick out those content assets that might do best with an update. Don’t just change the setup and the examples, although, that’s not a bad idea. Reach out to internal subject matter experts for their perspective on the topic. At the same time, either go to your inventory of saved quotes from industry influencers or reach out to new influencers for their take on the topic as well. Adding updates to historic performers can help make long lasting evergreen content perform even better than it did in the first place because of the subject matter expert and influencer zing.

Want more info on optimizing evergreen content? Here you go.

The magic of realizing maximum value from your content investment isn’t only about repurposing a single piece of content into 25 different individual parts. Evolved content repurposing is really about empathy, smart planning and a modular approach that delivers efficiency as well as a personalized experience for your audience.

A version of this post originally appeared on B2B Marketing

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About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.