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Green Online Marketing: 5 Ways to Repurpose Content

Posted on Jun 1st, 2009
Written by Lee Odden
In this article

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    central parkWith the importance of content in online marketing, many businesses are hard pressed to come up with original articles, blog posts, videos, images, presentations, etc on a regular basis.  There’s a myth that once you publish something, that all who matter will see it. That’s simply not true.

    Does less than 100% or even 50% market reach for marketing content mean a blog or web site should republish exact duplicates at every opportunity? Of course not. Repurposing content probably isn’t substantially “green” either, but as marketing messages are made unique for distinct audiences, content can be repurposed or customized from one format to another or be updated to deliver value to a different distribution channel.  Here are 5 of many ways companies can repurpose content for marketing purposes in ways that are efficient and meet the needs of target audiences.

    1. Turn Powerpoint decks into articles/blog posts and vice versa.  Companies that leverage public speaking involving PowerPoint presentations can leverage the research and content created for the presentation as a compliment or inspiration for supporting materials.

    For example, a single PowerPoint presentation can literally be leveraged as content for a series of blog posts promoting the event for which the PowerPoint presentation was created. Alternatively, a series of blog posts or articles can serve as the structure for a presentation.  Such inspiration doesn’t need to be limited to blog content and can be extended to contributed articles, microblogging and other media such as video and graphical diagrams.  

    2. Aggregate email interviews (answers you’ve given” into a blog post/article).  If there are people at your organization that give interviews often either because of being pitched in a media relations effort or simply because they have a good profile and are respected in the industry, the responses given in those interviews can be aggregated into blog and/or article content. 

    Many times, journalists are looking for something fairly specific and will only end up using part of your responses. Or, the editor of the piece may chop parts of your contribution out. Unused portions of your interviews can be used in your own blogging or article writing. This assumes you are responding in text or are recording audio from phone/in person interviews.

    Note, do NOT post content from an interview before the journalist or blogger interviewing you has published their piece first.  They may pull your contribution entirely feeling you’ve stolen the story.

    3. Break up a long article you’ve had published in a notable publication into a series of blog posts. Add unique introductions and summaries to each. Depending on the arrangement you have with publications that you submit articles to, there is ample opportunity to take key concepts from a long article and turn them into several blog posts. If the article is modular, then it can easily be customized for a different industry with new examples, but the same core message.

    4. Repurpose press releases and rewrite conversationally as a blog post or article, linking out to relevant resources.  It’s an interesting exercise to take a formal announcement and imagine how the same news would be explained conversationally, without marketing hype or PR speak. Do that and write it as a blog post including links to supporting articles, blog posts and resources within the post or at the end as recommended reading.

    5. Revise old blog posts, updating titles, recent news references, examples and links to updated external resources.  Blogging has been around long enough that there’s a substantial amount of content that continues to offer value, but is lost in the sheer volume of blog posts.  The social web has a short attention span and if there have been substantial changes to a topic, it makes sense to revisit it and update with current supporting references. 

    Repurposing content for marketing will only work if the new articles, blog posts, videos, diagrams, presentations or other media offer value and are sufficiently different so as to not be categorized as duplicate content.  There’s no question that in order to compete on today’s search marketing world, content plays a tremendous part.

    Whether companies repurpose offline content for online use (ex: tradeshow videos converted to a series on YouTube) or mine their sales and customer service conversations to develop online resources (ex: FAQ blog post series based on top prospective customer questions), there’s plenty of room for creativity in order to become more efficient with content marketing. 

    As a percentage of online marketing content creation as a whole, repurposed content should probably never exceend 5% or 10% and it certainly needs to serve corporate messaging and marketing objectives. Over time, the kinds of repurposed content that yield the best results can be tracked and made part of the overall online content development and marketing process.

    What creative ways have you found to repurpose content for online marketing that provides as much or more value than the original? Is there really any way to make your online marketing efforts “green”?