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Content Marketing How to: Leverage Existing Content

Earlier this week, I was chatting with a client about the content deadline he had missed. It was a first time offense for him, but most definitely not the first time I had walked through the same conversation with a client. (It would be poetic if I could say it wasn’t even the first time that day or week, but it was. However, it was not the first time this month.)

So you won’t be surprised to hear that the single most common complaint we hear is about not having the time to create enough content. In fact, a significant percentage of our conversations with prospects centers on this point.

The first problem is that quantity, which is always what busy people focus on, isn’t the issue. It’s quality. That might be semantic, since creating great content takes time. The larger problem is that creating content does take time. Fortunately, there are ways you can leverage your investment to get the most content bang for your effort — and improved effectiveness as part of the package. Here are a few ideas.

Evergreen Content, Updated

Like the question I mentioned above — “How can we find enough time to create great content?” — there are issues that face your prospects year in and year out. Evergreen content is material that addresses these timeless issues. They simply never go out of style.

Efforts to identify the issues of greatest importance to your audience will be well rewarded. But how many truly timeless topics are there? More than you think, but even without covering new ground, you can leverage existing evergreen content by updating it.

Nearly all evergreen issues change slightly as conditions in the industry evolve. You can breathe new life into existing evergreen content by connecting the dots between longstanding truths and current conditions.

The key is to keep an eye on industry changes that are trending in conversation with your clients and prospects.

Media Madness

You may not have a blog, an email newsletter, a podcast, and a YouTube channel, but you’ve still probably got content that spans the gamut of media from written word to audio-only to video even if not all of it is on channels you control. Even if you did have all of those channels, chances are that no one in your audience consumes them all.

You can get the most out of your content by adapting it to other formats and channels. A great video piece can be transcribed to become a blog post. A blog post can be enlivened with the inclusion of short video clips. Doing this ensures that your content reaches as much of your audience as possible.

Ideally, you won’t always simply recreate the original piece exactly, though that can work depending on the content and formats involved. You’ll generally get better results by adapting the content to fit the strengths of the medium to which you’re porting it.

Slice and Dice

One of the ways various marketing channels differ is in the audience’s expectation for content length. At one end are e-books and in-depth analyses. At the other end, we have Twitter and TikTok.

You can take advantage of this by cutting into more digestible chunks the longer-form content and using those tidbits as stand-alone content pieces. For example, a presentation’s slide deck can be cut into individual blog posts, one slide at a time. And those blog posts can be further sliced (or used whole, depending on the content density) as social media posts.

Curate and Consolidate

In a similar vein, you can gather together all the content you’ve created about a particular topic and create a hub on your website. Create an introduction to attract prospects who want to learn more about that topic, pair it with brief summaries of each piece you link to, and you’ve found a way to attract a new audience to content you’ve already created.

And that’s the goal of these approaches — continue to spread the word about your experience and expertise and how it can help those in your target audience, without adding to your marketing workload.

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Andrew Schulkind

Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured? A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms find a more strategic and productive mix of tools that genuinely support online brand goals over time. With a passion for true collaboration and meaningful consensus, his work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components. He views is primary goal as encouraging engagement. Getting an audience involved in your story requires solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either. Andrew has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events, on content marketing and web-development topics. His technology writing appears on the Andigo blog, in a monthly column on Biznology.com, and for print and online publications like The New York Enterprise Report, Social Media Today, and GSG Worldwide’s publications LinkedIn & Business, Facebook & Business, and Tweeting & Business. Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")

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