Why Leveraging Your Content 100 Different Ways Is Key To Winning At Social Media…
If the core of your business isn’t creating content, it can be an arduous process. Isn’t that a nice way of saying it can be a total pain in the… neck?
If you have already produced a lot of content, it’s time to find new ways to share it with your customers and a wider audience, otherwise known as your potential customers.
Think of it like this: You are basically extending the life on your content and, if you recycle it efficiently, you can creatively maximize the ROI on every piece you write/record/design.
Return on investment doesn’t just come when someone clicks on a link in a piece of your content and buys your product or service.
ROI also comes in the form of maximizing the benefits you get out of your content creation investment. In English, please? You want to get maximum bang for your buck on every piece of content that your company produces.
And don’t just take my word for it. I learned this concept from one of Canada’s late, great authors, Pierre Burton. Renowned for his 28 books on a variety of historical and political subjects, also wrote a book about writing (one of my all-time favourite books on writing, might I add…)
And I quote: “Rule No. 8: Save everything: master the art of recycling. Old, used, discarded, or half-forgotten works can often be repolished like a neglected piece of family silver…. That is the secret of survival. To a large extent, the present volume is an exercise in recycling. In order to make a series of points, I have quoted extensively from much of my previous work. I offer no apology for these shameless acts of self-plagiarism. Without them, there would be no book.” (Source: ‘The Joy of Writing’ by Pierre Berton, Copyright 2003, pages 61-62)
(Why is there no link? Because it’s an actual book. If you want to write or you do write, you must read it. If you really can’t abide printed words on paper, there is a Kindle edition available.)
The Great Circle of Content
I remember showing an entrepreneur friend of mine this system, and at the time I likened it to the Lion King’s circle of life.
Picture this as one big life-giving cycle:
- You write a blog post
- You create 10 tweets, 2 Facebook posts and 2 LinkedIn posts from the blog
- You use the blog as the basis for a video script
- You also use it as the basis for a podcast
- Your video and your podcast can be shared on your blog as their own posts
- You expand your blog into an article
- You turn your article into a guest chapter in someone else’s book
- You turn a series of blogs/articles into chapters for your book
- Your turn chapters of your blog into a series of articles and blogs
- Wash, rinse & repeat
So the question is, what pieces of un-leveraged content do you have lying around you could easily recycle? Here are even more examples you can use to make sure that no piece of content is left behind:
- Do you have a series of evergreen blog posts? A few of them combined might make a good article to pitch to a publication (‘evergreen’ refers to topics that are always timely & relevant)
- Do you have published articles? A few of them combined might be the start of an excellent eBook (eBook or otherwise!)
- A number of popular blogs can be included in a ‘best of’ series of blogs
- Blogs can be included in your newsletters
- Blabs and periscopes can be uploaded to YouTube entirely or broken down into catchy snippets and uploaded to YouTube
- All YouTube (or Vimeo) videos can be shared onto your blog
- Do you have a series of tweets that you’ve sent out? A series of them could be put through Storify and into a storytelling blog post or a cool infographic.
- Do you have a speech or keynotes that could be scripted into a podcast or video?
- Do you have several posts that could become the basis of an eLearning course or webinar?
Recycling Vs. Sharing Your Content Across Social Media Platforms
Recycling your content isn’t the same as sharing content across platforms.
You can often share one piece of content multiple times without re-writing it, perhaps just re-tooling the Twitter text, Facebook description or Instagram hashtags. What we’re talking about it taking existing content and reformatting it and re-distributing it, often to the same channels and platforms but in a different format.
Properly recycled content will give you an SEO boost, if you’re targeting a specific keyword / phrase because you can reach a wider audience across platforms that are searching for the same thing.
This is a great opportunity to consider audience, context and relevance as you refurbish a piece of content, re-directing it to a very specific group with minimal effort. What you want to avoid at all costs is producing duplicate content, a pitfall we’ll address next.
What To Avoid When Recycling Content
There is one major thing you have to avoid in all circumstances. Do not duplicate your content.
I think I should write that again to make sure you got it: DO NOT DUPLICATE YOUR CONTENT word for word. Do not cut and paste. Do not click ‘make a copy’ and then make no changes.
Why? Where to begin…
First off, because Google won’t like you. Search engines are looking specifically for duplicate content and your site ranking will fall mightily if you are caught. And make no mistake: you will be caught.
Secondly, because people won’t like you. You know when you go to someone’s LinkedIn update, and then you visit their Facebook page, and their Twitter profile and you see the exact same post? It looks lazy. It looks automated. It looks unprofessional. That’s not to way to create relationships, my friends. (And fundamentally, everything we do online when it comes to content creation, we do to build relationships with people.)
Create Content With Recycling In Mind
Ideally, you will create content on an ongoing basis with a higher level strategy in mind.
If you know you want to write a series of blog posts about a certain topic, write them with the idea of eventually putting them together as an eBook. Make sure the material is evergreen. Be selective about your keywords. Make sure your attributions and back links are valid.
It’s much easier, and more efficient, to start as you mean to finish rather than trying to retrofit a piece into a post later on.
With these things in mind, I have a job for you: Before you embark on researching your new blog/video/infographic, see if you can’t simply recycle something you’ve already done by repackaging it in a new format.
Imagine how much time you’ll save now that you know you needn’t reinvent the wheel each time you create content? You can thank me later 😉