Posted by sherisaid
In the war for customer attention in a content-saturated market, most small businesses are losing. The reason often comes down to budget. The kind of content that spreads across the Internet can be expensive to create and time-consuming to share. So, how can you produce the value your customers crave and break the Internet without breaking the bank? The answer may surprise you: It is repurposing content.
Repurposing content is an efficient and cost-effective way to use valuable resources to their full advantage. However, repurposing does not mean recycling. You’re not simply rewriting or copying parts of the content into another format. You’re taking content and expanding on its concepts, adding new information, possibly drawing further conclusions, and providing takeaways that may not have been evident before.
What people share
BuzzSumo teamed up with Moz this year to analyze the social share counts of over a million pieces of content to determine what kind of content is most popular. One of their key findings was the longer the content, the higher the shares—with content in the 3,000 word to 10,000 word range scoring the highest number of shares and referring links. They also found that 85 percent of the content they looked at contained less than 1,000 words.
One primary goal of content marketing is to build authority. Longform content appeals to the intellect by covering a subject thoroughly. When you provide exhaustive answers to questions people ask, they are happy to share. You’ll also benefit by extending your reach. Other bloggers in your niche reference your content to add value to their own posts, and high-traffic publishers welcome posts about your report. For example, you can read about BuzzSumo’s 2014 findings on HuffPo.
In addition to length, the report found that including at least one image is important for increasing share numbers, and people really respond to lists (e.g., “Top 10 Things…”) and videos.
Why people share
While people share bits of their lives, photos of food no one should ever eat, show off the cuteness of their kids, and fall for every outrageous meme on the internet—no matter how unlikely—they also post about the causes and other information they really care about.
In 2014, Social@Ogilvy and SurveyMonkey polled 6,500 respondents in 16 countries to find the answer to this question: Why do we share? They found that people are motivated to share content for many reasons, such as sharing content they find valuable or entertaining, making deeper connections with others by sharing what they care about, and a primal need to feel more connected with others.
Shared content sparks conversations and helps people find others who are interested in the same subjects.
So, if you’ve been producing content for some time, but are struggling to expand your stable of content types, repurposing content could be the ticket you’ve been hoping for.
Five ways to repurpose your content
Before you publish your content, make sure it’s readable, attractive, and has a nice layout. The average audience wants content that’s easy to read, not densely packed with facts and figures. Make sure your content is delivered in short paragraphs with plenty of white space, divided by headers that make sense, and accented with colorful graphics and charts that make dry statistics understandable and memorable.
1. Turn whitepapers and ebooks into detailed blog posts
Break out sections to discuss individual points in greater detail on your own blog. Even the most detailed ebook can’t cover every angle and detail. Take sections from long content and use blog posts to discuss what it means to your customer, and how they can use that information.
Hubspot offers a great example of repurposing in action.
Their 2015 Social Media Benchmarks Report was followed by a number of related blog posts.
2. Share poll results in slide decks
The Social@Ogilvy and SurveyMonkey poll mentioned earlier, “Why do we share?”, was presented on Slideshare in a highly visual and easy-to-digest format. Bullet points culled from long content made for great slides.
3. Incorporate boring facts into fun motion graphics
Avalaunch Media takes boring facts and turns them into fun motion graphics. “Social Proof” is a great example of how to make data visually exciting, which encourages more shares.
4. Use published content for live chats
If you’re running a lively hashtag chat or webinar, why not use published content to fuel the conversation? Build your questions around findings in your report and ask participants to add input. When Stone Temple Consulting published a study about rich answers in Google Search results, Olga Andrienko, head of social media for Semrush, thought it would be good fodder for an upcoming chat with #semrushchat guests Eric Enge and Mark Traphagen. Participating as the featured guest on a popular chat is a great way to grow your audience, show your knowledge, and promote your content.
After the chat, SEMrush wrote a blog post about the chat and linked to the content.
5. Have fun with quizzes
Don’t overlook the amusement angle. Seven of the 10 most-shared pieces of content were Buzzfeed quizzes. While it won’t work for every business, some content can be repurposed to create a fun, colorful, and potentially viral quiz. Who’s taking advantage of this popular format? Check out the Disney blog and notice the similarities. Oh, and there’s also the Disney Inquizitive app you can download.
Could you use this technique? It really depends on your industry. It works great for food, home décor, real estate, travel, or other subjects that relate well to life and involve great pictures.
Realizing the potential of repurposing content
The value of repurposing content is simple. It’s like buying in bulk: The gigantic box of trail mix can be repackaged into individual snack bags.
For content marketers, the real opportunity is in making your content work for you, over and over. All it requires is a little imagination.
Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!