It starts with an idea that you get from a conversation on Facebook or Twitter, or maybe from a question posted to Quora. It becomes an article posted to your blog.

That article prompts a comment from an industry professional who later agrees to do a video interview that you can both share from your YouTube and Vimeo channels to your blogs. You also include the printed transcript.

Maybe after that, you collaborate and turn that content into an infographic.

And on and on, as far as you want.

You see what just happened there? You took a seed of an idea from a social media site. It could have stopped with a comment or a blog post, but you nurtured that idea and allowed it to take root and really grow. And because you did, that idea led to a new business relationship, which then led to a collaborative effort that took your content beyond just your blog alone.

In the world of content marketing, we like to call that repurposing your content. And it’s an awesome strategy for getting the most mileage out of each piece.

How to intelligently repurpose your content and why

If you’re looking for specific ideas for repurposing content, check out Amie’s post, 37 Ways to Repurpose a Single Blog Post – it’s sure to spark some inspiration!

What I want to talk to you about here is doing this intelligently and why that’s important. In other words: content strategy.

See, the thing is, you can’t just take one piece of content, alter it a little, and then plaster it in as many places as you possibly can. That’s not really repurposing your content – at least, not intelligently.

To intelligently repurpose your content, you first need to have a firm understanding of who your target market or audience is. If your efforts aren’t going to reach them (on any level) then it’s not really worth your time. For example, if you’re dealing with an older demographic, they might grasp the basics of Facebook, but turning your most recent blog series into a Twitter chat could go over their heads.

You see, your audience is largely the why when it comes to including repurposed content in your content marketing strategy. You want to appeal to different interests, personality types, and learning styles, so you’ve got to adapt the content.

So, in short, understand what platforms and technologies your targets are using. That information will help you decide how to repurpose, as well as where to share that content (after all, all content are not created equally: different channels require different considerations).

Next, think about how you can keep the content fresh through these efforts. What points can you add? What new information can you present? If you say the same exact thing in six different ways, you’re not really repurposing, right? Because what would be the new purpose?

So have a purpose.

(I know, I just said that word a lot, but it’s important to understand that point!)

Know what you want that content to achieve, as well as the different kinds of people that you want to read it. The infographic or video might appeal to your more visual audience, while a blog post including lots of data might appeal to the more analytical readers. You have to assume, however, that there will be people who look at each piece of repurposed content. They’re going to notice if you just cut and paste everything from the original, so keep it fresh.

An idea for the road

If you’re just beginning to add repurposing efforts into your content strategy, here are a few points to get you started:

  • Select a piece of your content that has gained some traction.
  • To start, think of three ways that you can repurpose that content (as you get the hang of repurposing, you’ll probably find yourself with more than just three ideas. Go for it!). Need some help?
    • Blog post
    • Video
    • Interview (text or video)
    • White paper
    • Infographic
    • eBook
    • Webinar
    • Case study
    • Chart
    • Blog series
    • Twitter chat
    • Facebook contest
    • Best-of list
  • Give it the old college try. Promote as you would with any other content.
  • Ask your followers for feedback.
  • Monitor your analytics to get an idea of what worked and what didn’t.

We’d love to hear your thoughts! What are some of your favorite ways to repurpose content? Do you find that it’s easier to do after you’ve practiced for a while?