As a marketer, you know that your company’s content is one of the most powerful marketing tools in your toolkit. But, if you’re like most marketers, you’re always looking for ways to get even more impact out of your content without overloading your budget.
Creating new content takes time, careful planning and adequate funding. It’s always great to produce fresh new content that covers the latest trends or developments in your market. But with a little extra planning and creativity, you can actually extend the lifespan of your existing content without having to start from zero each time you want to publish something.
Call it ‘cheap and cheerful’ or ‘content on a dime’, if you want. Whatever you call it, we think that upcycling is a smart way to manage your content and get more out of your initial investment in content creation. And here are five ideas that we regularly use to give new wings to existing content:
1. Create content with social media in mind
Posting content on your company’s blog post is a great way to get your ideas out to interested readers. But you’ll get even more traction out of your content if you turn every piece into a mini social media campaign too.
Each time you post a new blog article or release a new piece of content, be sure to immediately broadcast the link with a teaser on all your social media channels.
If you’re already doing this, then here’s an extra tip for you: also post on social media whenever you update older content on your site. In your social media teaser, be sure to highlight a new or updated fact that you’ve freshened up in the old content.
2. Plan for your content to be evergreen
Many content marketers distinguish between their ‘evergreen’ content and their more short-lived trend-driven pieces. If you want to get maximum shelf-life out of your content, try focusing more on the ‘evergreen’ side.
You can still cover trends and new developments, but avoid making your content too short-sighted when referring to exact dates, current events, etc. Phrases like ‘just last month’ or ‘in November of this year’ do not age well, and will quickly reveal how old your content is, which may be a turn-off for some readers.
By writing in a more general way, even if you’re writing trend analysis, you’ll keep your content relevant for a longer period. Before posting a piece, review it carefully to make sure that it is written with the longer term in view.
And to make content truly evergreen, be sure to update it from time to time. Regularly review your content to make sure everything is still looking fresh. If it’s starting to feel a bit worn out, then add in a few new facts and findings or update past trend analyses. This gives new life to your content, and that calls for a mini social media campaign to celebrate (see tip 1 above)!
3. Make your content into a multimedia campaign
Your blog posts and text-form articles contain a wealth of information that is easily transferred to other types of content, such as infographics, videos or webinars. This enables you to get an even bigger return on what you’ve invested in research and content creation.
At the same time, it’s also a great idea to convert media content like podcasts, videos or digital events into text-form content. Next time you host a webinar or release a new podcast, accompany it with some written content. This way, you’re reaching a wider range within your target audience, as different people have different preferences when it comes to how they obtain new information.
Plus, content like podcasts and webinars are likely to cover a wide range of topics, so they’re a good source of information for creating multiple blog posts. Be sure to add some internal links between related pieces of content on your site too, as this is a great way of establishing your site as a valuable information resource and boosting your SEO performance.
4. Try some topic clustering
Topic clustering is not necessarily a method for upcycling or repurposing content, but it is a good technique for saving time and getting more content out of a single topic.
With a topic cluster, you create a landing page (or pillar page) about one general topic that is interesting to your readers, and then you create many smaller cluster pages, which each cover one small aspect of the general topic in much greater detail.
Since the research and development stage for the pillar page partially coincides with researching for the cluster pages, you save some time in creating a larger amount of content without having to start all over with your research each time. This is an economic way of designing content-marketing campaigns, and it gives you the potential to produce large amounts of original content. Again, this will help establish your domain as an authority in your field.
5. Curate short-form content to build long-form content
Similar to topic clustering, you can also collect existing pieces of smaller content that cover related topics and turn them into a longer-form piece, like an eBook.
The keyword here is ‘curation’. This means you are not simply copy-pasting five blog posts into a single document to make an eBook. Instead, you are carefully selecting content that covers various aspects of the main topic of the eBook.
You’ll need to edit the existing content to ensure that everything flows together, and to remove possible repetitions or passages that don’t fit the theme of the eBook. But since you’re using existing content and simply giving it a few touch-ups, you’ll still save lots of time.