Variety is the spice of life … and digital marketing?
Variety can certainly make a digital marketer’s life a little easier. When you’ve worked hard to create a perfect piece of content, you can help that content go the extra mile (and then some) by repurposing and recreating the content in a huge number of ways.
Is it easy? Well, I wanted to find out.
I took a favorite piece of content from our Buffer blog, “How Often Should You Be Posting to Social Media?” and I hacked together 21 variations and uses for the original story. Here’s exactly how I did it and exactly how you can do the same.
The Rundown: All 21 Advanced Content Tips to Get More From Your Original Content
Hitting “publish” isn’t the end of content creation. At least, it doesn’t have to be. There are so many different ways that your content can live on well after it originally lands on the blog. Here are the 21 ways I’ll test and report in this blog post.
- Share to social media—again and again
- Submit to content communities
- Create 20+ snippets for easy sharing
- Design an Instagram tip
- Spin off the old blog post into a new one
- Build a series of guest posts
- Refresh and republish
- Post to Quora
- Post to LinkedIn
- Post to Medium
- Create an infographic
- Create an instructographic
- Put together a presentation for Slideshare
- Turn it into a webinar
- Build a daily email series or email course
- Design an ebook
- Share content as a pdf
- Record a podcast
- Make a video
- Take a unique PPC route with Outbrain
- Contact sources and influencers directly
1. Share to Social Media—Again and Again
Should you share the same post to your social networks more than once? Our data says absolutely! We first wrote about this concept back in November, and we continue to see the numbers support this strategy.
Take our post about Twitter Tips for Beginners, for example. The post originally published on March 17. When we most recently shared it on May 20—two months after it first went live—the tweet earned more than two times the retweets of the original and outperformed all previous tweets on the post, almost all of which outperformed the original themselves.
Reposting can be a super simple process, too. There are a handful of different ways to do it. I’d suggest applying whatever method you use for your normal social media sharing workflow. I tried the following three ways. Number three is my favorite.
- Share from Twitter or Facebook directly.
- Share from the blog post via a sharing browser extension.
- Share from your Buffer dashboard by clicking and dragging posts from your analytics into your social profile queues
Time investment: 2 minutes
2. Create 20+ Snippets for Easy Sharing
A variation on reposting to social media is to share the original link along with a new tagline or snippet. We often test headlines in this way, running two or three variations of text on the day that a post gets published. As time goes on, you can continue to mine the original content by grabbing snippets from different sections of the post and sharing to social. Think in terms of quotables and stats.
You could even develop a timeline for your social sharing, like this one from KISSmetrics.
Coming up with 20 snippets from a single article might seem like a tall task (it really could be if you write 400-word blog posts or shorter). It gets a lot simpler when you break things down.
Start with subheads as snippets. Here are the ones from our How Often to Post to Social Media article:
- How to strike the balance between informative and annoying
- Learn how frequently Buffer shares to social media
- The optimal frequency for posting to social media
- How often you should post to Facebook
- How often you should post to Twitter
- How often you should post to Google+ and LinkedIn
- The incredibly short life cycle of a tweet
- The (relatively) long life cycle of a Facebook post
- How to schedule your posts when your audience is online
- What is the Late-night Infomercial Effect?
Next, dig out the stats.
- How and why we schedule 14 posts to Twitter each day
- Why we start tweeting at 3:00 a.m. CT
- Top brands average 1 post per day on Facebook
- Big Twitter engagement starts at 3 tweets per day
- If you want to wring the most value out of every tweet you send, tweet about 5 times each day
- Best practice for LinkedIn? 1 post per weekday
- It takes 18 minutes for a tweet to be over the hill
- Facebook posts reach their half-life at 90 minutes, nearly four times longer than Twitter
Finally, search for quotables. (We make this a little easier by bolding important, quotable bits inside the original story when we first write it.)
- The 3-step guide to frequency: Predict. Measure. Repeat.
- Publish as often as you have fresh, compelling content to share.
- When there’s little else being tweeted, your tweets are more likely to be noticed.
Voila! There’re 20+ snippets for sharing. Once you have your list, you can toss them into a shareable document for quick reference later, or you can schedule a batch to post over time.
Time: 10 minutes
3. Design an Instagram Tip
One fun way to put these snippets to good use it to share them as Instagram tips. When sharing to Instagram, you’ll want to find a fantastic image to use as the backdrop. We’ve got a huge resource of free image sources you can peruse. Your best bet might be to find one that requires no attribution as it might be difficult to attribute properly when sharing on Instagram.
If you choose to build a photo on your desktop, you can use a number of third-party apps that send desktop photos to your iPhone’s camera roll.
Alternately, there are iPhone apps that let you design text images directly on your phone and upload to Instagram.
Difficulty: Easy, with the right app (try InstaQuote)
Time: 15 minutes
4. Submit to Content Communities
User-curated information channels can be huge opportunities for additional traffic. Think Digg in its heyday or Reddit today. Users share links, and the community votes for the favorites, allowing the best, most viral content to bubble to the top.
These content communities have made their way into specific niches. Hacker News is a great resource for technology/Silicon Valley enthusiasts. Growth Hackers caters to growth-oriented marketers. As a content creator, I find great value in the submissions at Inbound.org.
In fact, it might make sense to place the Social Media Frequency article on Inbound. To do so, click the blue Submit button on the homepage, then enter the details of the post.
Notice the big, blue “I solemnly swear this is good stuff!” button? Most content communities have guidelines in place to ensure that submissions are of the utmost quality. Among Inbound’s publishing guidelines is to not only publish content from your own site. Content communities are not places to spam; they are places to engage. Keep this in mind when you’re submitting.
Difficulty: Easy, moderate (depending on how much community time you invest)
Time: 2 minutes to submit
5. Spin Off the Old Blog Post Into a New One
Great content begets great content.
We learn a lot from successful posts that have proven their worth. The validity of a well-done post can and should spark ideas for new posts. If it worked before, copy it. This first step for a spin off is to brainstorm variations and follow-ups to the original, excellent post.
Here are a few ideas for spin offs of our original How Often to Post article.
- Social Media Frequency Put to the Test: The Data on Whether Frequency Standards Really Work
- Frequency vs. Consistency: Which Is More Important on Social Media
- The Drawbacks of Posting Too Much (Or Not Enough) to Social Media
- What Your Twitter Frequency Says About You: The Psychology of How Often You Post
- New Research on the Best Frequency to Post to Social Media
Of course, once you have your ideas, you’ll need to make time to craft idea into article. Some super-efficient writers like Belle Beth Cooper can create articles in four hours flat. It takes me a day or two. How fast can you create something new?
Difficulty: Easy to brainstorm, moderate to write
Time: 15 minutes to brainstorm, 2 days to write
6. Build a Series of Guest Posts
You might think of guest posts as one-off articles about a new and different topic each time. Codeless Interactive has a suggestion: Try the Mix and Match Method.
Start by thinking of every post as a two-part recipe: Storytelling intro and Body.