Stretch Resources by Repurposing Content

Let’s face it, creating content is both time-consuming and expensive. We accept these realities because the rewards of smart content are significant. However, if you think strategically about how you create and use content, you can stretch your content dollars further. Start by considering how you can repurpose content beyond its primary use case.

In what seems like a million years ago in the constantly evolving content marketing universe, Rebecca Lieb brilliantly made the analogy between content creation and the left-over turkey. Put simply, you’d never cook a 15-pound turkey for a family of four, eat one meal and call it done. Nope, you’d carve that turkey up and use it in sandwiches, potpies, soup or as a snack.

Content is, or should be, thought of the same way. If you write an e-book there’s a good chance the content that makes up its various chapters can be carved into blog posts, social posts, email content and more.

Example of brilliantly repurposed content

The culture/employer video that Sprout Social features on their careers page is the perfect example of how a great piece of content can be repurposed.

The end product culture video is fantastic and serves its purpose perfectly on their site. But equally impressive is how well they used footage to create bite-sized culture videos to spread the word on LinkedIn.

In the end, one piece of content—a careers video—serves more than one purpose and channel.

How to best repurpose content

The trick to repurposing content for broader use is to think about it while you are planning and creating the content. By analyzing how you are writing, laying out an e-book or webinar presentation, or producing a video you can make smart decisions that will help you carve it up for different uses.

Circling back to the leftover turkey analogy, if you plan well, you can add soup to your strategy if you plan ahead and boil the neck and giblets in water as the turkey cooks (I know, sounds sorta icky, but it does make for great broth). In other words, you can use the existing content to create something new.

For every piece of long-form content you are preparing to create, I recommend asking yourself a series of questions before you start writing or producing:

  • Where will this content live? More importantly, where else can it live?
  • In what social channels might a bite-sized chunk of this content be useful?
  • Would other teams find this useful, and if so, what format and changes would they need?
  • If this content is meant for one purpose (advertising, recruiting, thought leadership), could it also be used for another?
  • Is there a way I can write/produce this content to make it easier to carve into smaller bite-size pieces of content?

By simply asking yourself these questions, you can seamlessly head down a path toward creating content that can easily be repurposed.

In the end, you’ll be the proud creator of not just one big piece of content, but lots of little snackable pieces of content. And everyone likes snacks, right?