Imagine this rather typical scenario.

You’ve spent weeks developing what you believe will be a prominent article for your company blog. There’s a fascinating and unique success story to talk about, and you scored an awesome interview with the client to weave in a few pithy quotes supporting this banner project. Senior leadership is excited about the piece and has provided a great tie-in to strategic priorities—it’s in the company’s sweet spot. Early on, you engaged with key subject matter experts on the primary trends and innovations in the industry that align perfectly, and they even provided you a few nifty graphics and images to bring some visual life to your story. Final reviews are complete, you publish the story, and presto, you’re done.

Just to be certain the story gets some play, you send a note off to the business letting them know it’s there and ask them to share it with clients and prospects. You post a few tweets to your followers about this latest masterpiece, and maybe you even post it over to Facebook and LinkedIn to pick up anyone you’ve missed.

The high from the fruits of your labor is intoxicating, but maybe over the next day or two, it dissipates as you quickly move on to the next writing assignment or project. You review the metrics later and see that audience engagement was minimal and no new sales leads were tied to your story. All that hard work and that’s it—not much to show for it.

Now imagine another scenario.

Instead of stopping there, you leverage the story with the PR department who then pitches a few angles with tier one reporters who happen to be writing about the same trends and issues—a few interviews are secured with the expert on the team.

You decide to get more creative with your social media audience and schedule several posts over the coming days, weeks, and months that highlight various key insights from your storyline—interest and engagement are new as each insight puts the spotlight on a hot topic.

Someone on the marketing team sees the story and thinks it would fill an important content gap and convert it to a few new pieces of collateral to be shared with the sales team—developed are a new case study, a services overview sheet, and they even pulled a few gems for the fact sheet they were in the middle of drafting.

You’ve got a key industry event coming up and convince the client to co-present with your organization during a breakout session. The presentation receives such great audience participation and feedback that you work with the team to turn this into a recorded webcast that can be shared on multiple channels, including the clients.

All of these new assets now allow you to fill out your social media editorial calendar for the coming months.

Later after a quick check in with the client team, you learn they’ve collected even more success metrics. The PR team submits the story for a prestigious industry award. Once you get the official notification you’ve received award recognition, a press release gets published linking back to the original story and the cutting edge innovation your company has achieved.

Throughout the process, the sales team has leveraged multiple assets for targeted campaigns. Legitimate leads are now emerging in the sales tracking system.

All of this may sound like a lot, but I’ve just described an actual scenario from a past project where one story generated a host of activities. 

Why waste all that time and effort on a piece of really great content only to give it a reduced shelf life.

The point is, why waste all that time and effort on a piece of really great content only to give it a reduced shelf life. Why wouldn’t you wring every last drop of potential from it and ensure the essence of the success or innovation is leveraged to it’s fullest so your organization achieves actual business results from it instead.

Repurposing content in as many places and formats as possible is not only an optimal use of time and resources; it’s also an incredibly smart business tactic. Don’t assume your target audience will catch your content the first time, or even understand the context of how it may apply to their situation. It may require repackaging or repositioning a story and viewing multiple times before the value resonates.

Below is a general list of content types to consider when repurposing as part of your content marketing strategy. The starting asset may be any one of these—and with a little effort, easily converted into an entirely new asset. Get creative. What other ideas do you have?

  1. Sales and Marketing Collateral. As in the example above, newer services and solutions can pull from client stories and blog posts showcasing successes. It can also work in the reverse. If you have an established service or solution, explore breaking pieces apart for individual blog posts to give an area more depth, or simple social media posts to draw attention to those services.
  2. Blog Posts. Search your entire asset collection for potential blog stories. There is likely already a wealth of information and things to talk about, and if you can hyperlink a blog post back to an existing asset, even better. Take a blog post and convert it into a point-of-view. Or consider taking another angle and leveraging for a future byline article with a primary media outlet. Just be sure to give it a new or unique angle.
  3. Social Media Posts. As stated above, mine your existing collection of assets and draw attention to them when you can via your social media platforms. Just because you spoke about a press release on the day it was published doesn’t mean you can’t point to it again later to showcase expertise or tie to another storyline. Or take comments and feedback you get from a successful social post and convert that into a presentation—often times audience comments shed light on what they really care about.
  4. Presentations. If your experts or client teams have existing presentations, review those for ideas for a blog post, byline article, or maybe even a video interview where they speak to the same topics. Visual content draws higher audience engagement. And don’t forget to post approved presentations to Slideshare for even more visibility.
  5. Event Presentations. Existing presentations may be leveraged during speaking engagements with some minimal updates. Also consider taking an event presentation where enthusiasm for the topic was high and breaking that into case studies, points-of-view, or a webcast.
  6. Webcasts. If you already have a few recorded webcasts, consider pulling segments for quick clips to reuse on your website or in a press pitch. Depending on the content and context, these can also be leveraged for sales training opportunities.
  7. Videos. If you’ve paid for high quality video footage, use and reuse like crazy. Extrapolate short snippets to embed in blog posts or presentations. Piece a few different ones together on a loop for an event booth highlight reel. Leverage them for sales campaigns or event teasers as well. And don’t worry if you only have lower quality video content because it can be repurposed too. Use it for the same ideas above—it all works.
  8. Whitepapers. A lot of research and work goes into developing a whitepaper. Once you have a published version, consider breaking it out into pieces for individual blog posts. See if there are key facts you can pull for a fact sheet or ‘did you know’ posts on social media.
  9. Infographics. Look at your existing presentations and whitepapers. If they are loaded with good metrics and facts, these have the potential for building out a great infographic. Whitepapers and long presentations can seem dry. A visual story is much more compelling and can be used in so many ways.
  10. Points-of-View (POV). Understanding the unique point-of-view your organization and its experts have is critical when trying to secure media visibility. Look closely at existing presentations, whitepapers, website content, case studies, collateral, and blog posts. Sometimes the POV is there, it just needs some massaging to get it to a usable state.
  11. Press Releases. Too often in organizations, a press release comes out and that’s the end of the content use. There is a wealth of good starter info in releases. There are key facts to leverage, client quotes to reuse, and the potential to build out a good blog post from most of them. Work with your leadership to see what makes sense, but don’t overlook the press release.
  12. Case Studies. As mentioned before, you can turn a lot of stories into a good case study. But also look at existing case studies for additional uses. Consider a blog post with some added commentary, or maybe there’s a byline article opportunity in there with more insight on a trend. And if it’s still relatively new, there may be the opportunity for an award submission.
  13. Written Interviews. If a new idea presents itself via a press release, client success, or even from a point-of-view, talk to the key subject matter expert (SME) about expanding that into a written interview. The interview can be posted on the blog, internally on the company portal, and shared on social media. The SME can also link to it from their social profiles and share with additional audiences.
  14. Byline Articles. The PR department is always looking for opportunities to pitch an expert for writing a byline article in a business or trade publication. Explore what they are talking about on the blog, what do their presentations have that has a fresh idea to it, and check case studies as well. Publications want to have a unique angle from an expert who also has real-life examples to back up their claims. Byline articles can be shared across social media to showcase earned media opportunities, can be leveraged to secure additional interviews, and can also be linked to from the company blog, which publications encourage—they want traffic coming to their site too.
  15. Award Submissions. As mentioned above, there are opportunities to turn a good story and innovation into fantastic industry recognition. The flip side is to be sure to leverage the award. Publish a press release about the award and reuse some of the submission to build out the news. The submission will have a similar set of content as a case study, so repackage it as appropriate. And don’t forget to tout the success of the award by highlighting in as many places as possible—social media, website, in presentations, as part of an accolades deck, in an event booth, and aligned with service or solution descriptions.

There’s a treasure trove of opportunities to reuse or repurpose content. No need to reinvent the wheel every time–make the most of what’s already available.

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Content Strategist, Messaging Pro, Storyteller

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