Content marketing is used by many small businesses as a way to maximize their exposure on and off the Web. But churning out enough original content often enough to make an impact is a challenge for small-business owners and marketers who lack either the time to do it themselves or the funds to hire a professional writer. One way around this is to re-use much of the content you already have in your library by re-formatting and re-purposing it for other outlets. Here are 10 ways to extend the life of your content.
1. E-books. If you've been blogging for awhile and you have a number of posts related to a topic, combine them into a single document as an e-book. An e-book is essentially a collection of articles surrounding a core topic combined into a longer manual or tutorial. Once you string together a series of relevant posts, you can simply add additional information where needed and edit your copy to make it flow cohesively. Conversely, if you've created an e-book in the past, you can break out individual sections into a series of blog posts to populate your blog or pitch to other outlets as newsletter articles or guest blog posts.
2. Videos. If you've presented to a group, you've likely used a PowerPoint presentation to provide visual aids to your audience. Creating a video from this content is as simple as adding a voice-over, similar to the verbal portion of your live presentation. Post videos to YouTube and add your slideshow to SlideShare.net or DocStoc.com for maximum exposure. Kathleen Booth, owner and CEO of Quintain Marketing, suggests using tools like BrainShark to make the process easier.
3. Visual presentations. Take an article, blog post or e-book and turn it into a slideshow rich with graphics and visual representations. You can post the slides to various outlets, including LinkedIn, and even take it a step further by using tip number two and turning it into a video.
4. Podcasts. Turning an article or other publication into a podcast is as simple as reading it aloud, says Max Goldberg of Shmedia. Goldberg recommends that if you have a batch of 100 articles you've written, take the top 10 and turn them into podcasts. There are numerous tools that make it simple to create a podcast.
5. Revisit history. Take a look back at the early stages of your business, and craft a story about the evolution of your company over time. Or take a detailed look at how a facet of your industry has evolved. If you're in PR, for instance, examine how your practices have changed with the growth of digital marketing.
6. Social media posts. Create a series of Twitter, Facebook and Google+ posts using snippets from blog posts or longer publications. Tonia Boterf of HelpWithAgingParents.com has created more than a year's worth of Twitter posts using this strategy. Boterf utilizes longer publications, such as print books or e-books, to produce articles, blogs and social media updates. She's also found numerous other ways to make use of her extensive content library. "I've used my material to land radio guest speaker gigs and get published in an academic magazine. My material has ended up getting published in all kinds of places," Boterf says.
7. Newsletter content. When you have an e-mail marketing list, you're probably engaging with some prospects who rely on your e-mail updates to stay in touch with your company. They may not have time to follow your blog or visit your website regularly, so populating your newsletter content with material from your blog can help drive those prospects back to your site. If your blog articles are lengthy, include a snippet highlighting the post and link back to the full article.
8. Landing pages. As a small-business owner, you've likely written at least one article or blog post that talks about a product or service in detail. It's easy to re-purpose this content into a landing page by breaking out the features and benefits highlighted and reworking the introduction or conclusion as a call to action.
9. PR pitch package. David Zweifler, head of marketing communications for TradingScreen, utilizes groups of materials to build off one another, eventually resulting in a pitch package that can be used for PR. "I'll interview thought leaders on camera, and then use the video on our blog, on YouTube, our website and social media channels. Photos of the interviews will go on our Facebook page, along with links to the content. I'll move edited audio to SoundCloud. I'll then write-up the interview content into a top-five or how-to article. And then all these materials will be packaged as pitch materials so our PR firm can try to achieve results in established media," Zweifler explains.
10. Webinars. Frank Strong, director of PR for Vocus and PRWeb, says his company has a number of clients that use a strategy for re-purposing their content. For example, Purple Trout, an SEO firm, will conduct a webinar, issue a blog post with an introduction or summary of the information covered and then issue a press release. Using this strategy to build momentum and build off of one piece of content to create several pieces that can be utilized in various outlets both saves time and earns more media exposure and back-links for the company.
Using content marketing to its fullest extent doesn't have to take much time. If you can't afford a content marketing specialist, you can easily re-purpose much of your existing content to build your presence across multiple channels without breaking the bank.
Angela Stringfellow is a PR and MarComm Consultant and Social Media Strategist offering full-circle marketing solutions to businesses. Angela blogs via Contently.com.