In this article, you’ll learn a process for creating a piece of content, applying it to different platforms and formats, and mapping from top of the funnel to bottom of the funnel.
This post takes into account my own process and then adds to it by incorporating an (amazing) Gary Vaynerchuk presentation that is too good for any content marketer to ignore!
My strategy is different, because it all starts with a blog as the script.
1. It Begins with a Blog Post
The first step is to write a blog post.
This is really important for a few key reasons.
For one, you’ll have all of the research you need in one place.
This will help you create the rest of your content without having to go back to find more information.
Here are some ways you can extend the mileage out of a single blog post.
Use It as a Script
Your blog can be turned into an outline for YouTube videos, LinkedIn live, or a podcast.
Make a Note
Write down key takeaways from your post in the Notes app and post it to social media.
This might be a bullet-point summary of what’s included in the main post or you might recap with some follow up thoughts.
Or, maybe you’ve found a parallel to a trending news story.
Turn Blog Content Into an Ebook
Zapier is a fan of this technique and creates a detailed ebook every 90 days by combining multiple related blogs into one comprehensive resource.
What’s great about this strategy is, you can expand on top-performing blog posts.
Meaning you won’t invest a ton of time on untested subject matter.
Attract Audiences with Downloadable Lead Magnets
While ebooks technically qualify as a lead magnet, they’re designed for middle or bottom funnel audiences.
Consider turning blog posts into useful one-pagers like checklists or worksheets to bring new leads into the funnel.
Engage in Social Blogging
Post shorter versions of your blog on channels like Reddit, Quora, or Medium to reach a different set of eyeballs.
Repurpose Blogs Into Guest Posts
While you can’t copy and paste your blog on to different platforms, you can use the original content as your guide.
Re-Post on Repeat
Reshare evergreen content across your active social channels.
So long as the information is relevant, it’s still worth sharing.
That said, you’ll want to change up the captions and hashtags to avoid filling your feed with literal repeats.
2. Create a Video & Post to YouTube
Once you’ve written and edited your blog post, my recommendation is turning it into a video.
As mentioned up top, the blog serves as a script you can use as your guide.
What’s important to note, here, is you shouldn’t be reading your blog post.
If you’re not yet comfortable on camera, jot down some bullet points and do a few practice runs to work out the kinks.
It’s also a good idea to use the subheadings of the blog as your main talking points and write down the key things you need to cover within each section.
Embed Your Video Into the Original Blog Post
While this may seem redundant, this practice provides a few distinct benefits.
Embedding a video into your blog content could help you reduce that page’s bounce rate, as people tend to spend more time on pages with video than those without.
Add Structured Markup to Embedded Video
While not an official content type, adding structured markup to embedded video allows to increase your visibility in the search results, helping you increase traffic to your site.
Break Blog Content Into Sections & Build a Themed Playlist
Consider breaking up the content of your blog into sections and then build a themed playlist on YouTube around those sections.
Have YouTube Videos Transcribed
Transcribing your YouTube videos offers another opportunity to optimize your content for SEO and it allows viewers to watch with the sound off.
You might also take screenshots that include relevant text and use them on other channels.
Make sure you upload videos to each platform rather than sharing them via external links.
The various algorithms that power Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook show preference to native uploads; meaning relying on links could be limiting your reach.
After finishing up with YouTube, my next move is to upload that same video to my Facebook video library.
That way, it can appear both in the main feed and on Facebook Watch.
According to BuzzSumo, 60-90 seconds is the ideal length for Facebook videos.
So, it’s worth mentioning that you’ll probably want to shorten your video before promoting it to your audience.
Here are a few ways you might adapt your content to the platform, according to Buffer.
Break Content Into One-Minute Micro-Sessions
One YouTube video could easily be made into a series digestible insights.
My recommendation is, if you’re working from a YouTube video based on a blog post, break content into sections based on your subheaders.
Post How-To Videos That Dive Into Key Concepts From the Initial Post
Here, I’m thinking you might focus on showing someone how to do something rather than sharing stats, insights, or opinions.
This could take the form of a traditional video or a looping GIF that gets a single point across – fast.
Highlight Quotes & Stats
You can easily pull quotes and key points from your article and turn them into social posts on just about any platform.
Sure, people use this tactic all the time, but it’s a quick way to promote blog content on Facebook (and Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, etc.) with minimal effort or design skills.
Show off a Product
Pull stats from existing content and use it to create a short product video, like the one in this example below.
The same video you just posted to Facebook?
You can also add it to Instagram’s IGTV platform.
That video can translate directly from Facebook to IGTV, as they’ve recently updated their size specs.
Keep in mind that IGTV videos have a 10-minute limit, unless you have over 10k followers, in which case, you have an hour.
Aside from cross-posting Facebook content to IGTV, here are some other things you might try.
Create Exclusive Content for Subscribers
Give your IGTV subscribers exclusive access to “bonus” episodes.
You might use this strategy to dive deeper into concepts covered in your public content, on your blog or your YouTube channel.
Or, you might use this platform to share your personal thoughts on a topic or answer user-submitted questions.
Repost YouTube Videos
YouTube videos can easily make the move to IGTV.
Make sure you update the format and add relevant hashtags.
Host Live Q&As Based on Related Topics
Give audiences a look at how you do what you do.
If you’re writing a post like this one, offer some quick tips on how they might set that up.
Work Key Themes Into Interviews with Customers or Experts
Use your blog post bullets to create interview questions for experts or customers.
What’s great about this approach is, you’ll get a fresh take on the concepts you’ve covered.
With customers, you can generate social proof and discuss solutions to problems.
Experts can help you draw a crowd and offer high-level insights other “insiders” can appreciate.
You’ll need to edit your videos down to the platform’s 15-second limit before you can upload them as a Story.
What’s nice about Instagram is, businesses can add links in their Stories, making it an easy way to drive traffic to your blog with a simple swipe.
Ways to use your blog post on Instagram Stories:
Break up Your YouTube Video Into Bite-Sized Lessons
See if you can distill each of those subheadlines into its own video.
You may need to edit them down further, but this could be an opportunity to turn a blog into a series of “quick tips.”
Crosspost Your Instagram Stories to Facebook, Youtube Stories, Snapchat & TikTok
For example, this Instagram Story from Urban Outfitters’ account could easily be reused on any of these channels.
Repurpose IGTV Videos Into ‘Regular’ Instagram
Create clips and GIFs from IGTV episodes to promote your channel or drive traffic to your website.
Because IGTV videos range from a few minutes to a full hour, each post provides countless opportunities for screenshots, GIFs, and 15-second Stories.
Post Polls & Surveys
Instagram’s polling feature is an incredibly simple strategy for driving engagement and learning more about your audience.
Ask specific questions that relate to the original blog topic – and link back to the post.
Run a few of these polls, and you’ll have some new material for a data-driven post or mini-case study.
6. LinkedIn Video
As you might have guessed, you’ll want to repost that initial video on your LinkedIn page, too.
Other ways you can repurpose content for LinkedIn.
Repurpose Content From IGTV or Facebook Video
You’ll want to change the copy to reflect LinkedIn’s slightly more “buttoned-up” tone.
Turn Visual Content Into a SlideShare Deck
SlideShare offers some pretty solid benefits. These include:
- A search bar that allows users to explore content by topic.
- Suggested decks.
- The ability to clip slides for use in other pieces of content.
Clipped slides automatically credit the creator, presenting another opportunity to get your content in front of a new audience.
Turn Slides Into Individual Posts
This Pew Research deck, for example, offers 16 slides that could be used on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest – that’s 80 posts at minimum if we’re just talking static, organic posts.
Podcasting is huge these days.
While categories like true crime, comedy, and news get most of the play, this is also a great way to tell your brand’s story and share insights learned on the job.
That said, coming up with new content on a weekly basis isn’t easy.
Also, you’ll need to continue to crank out episodes if you want to grow a loyal audience.
Here are a few ways you can repurpose your blog content into a podcast episode.
Turn Video Into Audio
The easiest way to turn that content into a podcast is to convert your YouTube video into a podcast.
There are several tools out there (they are kind of spammy so be careful), including Youtubemp3, Y2mate, and Online Video Converter, all of which were easily found on the first page of Google.
Go Back to the Blog Post
If you don’t want to use the same audio you posted on YouTube, look back at the blog post.
You might look at the topic in a different way.
For example, if you created a post centered around SEO best practices, you might talk about lessons learned from your work with clients.
Or, you might look at real brands that have mastered a specific strategy mentioned in the post.
Interview the Pros
Another idea is to find a subject matter expert to interview.
Build your questions around the subheadlines used in your blog to ensure you stay on topic.
Break Longer Blog Posts Into Multiple Episodes
You might also go deep, here, looking at one section at a time.
8. Translate Content Into Image-Centric Formats
Beyond video, text, and podcasting, image-first socials are another opportunity to use your blog content to reach more users.
One thing I like to do is get one really great image made for each post. Sure, you can use stock photos, but they’re not so hot for building trust.
And, if you use ones with people in them, anyone who works online will instantly recognize the model.
Create Pinterest Boards Around Visual Themes
Create boards post your best Instagram images, infographics, and other visual content for each blog post theme.
Use Your Blog Image for Thumbnails and Cover Art
What I like about this approach is, you’ll have one image you can use as the “cover art” for each block of content.
It’s sort of a cross-channel consistency hack that reinforces branding everywhere from podcast episodes to blogs and YouTube videos.
This is how Lowe’s applies this strategy on its YouTube channel.
Turn Your Blog Post Into a Presentation
You can also give your blog to a designer and ask them to turn it into a high-quality series of slides that can be reused as a backdrop for a webinar, a SlideShare deck, or individually as ad creative or organic social posts.
9. Promoted Posts
After I’ve uploaded my blog post, podcast episode, and videos, I’ll then start looking at repurposing that content in my paid ad strategy.
While you’ll need to spend some money here (I recommend investing a few hundred per content series), paid social is an effective tool for building brand awareness and landing valuable lifetime customers.
Your best bet is to focus on those platforms where you have the most reach, as your ad spend will go further.
I like to post on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn before looking at other channels, as these are the most effective platforms for my brand, though your channels will vary based on your audience and the type of content you post.
Boost Your Top-Performers
Take advantage of content that is performing well by repurposing it as a paid social media ad.
Promoting a post on Twitter or Facebook is one of the easiest ways to drive traffic to your site.
Generate Awareness for Your Podcast
Create quote graphics featuring insights from a podcast guest or key points mentioned in the episode.
Pull Gifs From Longer Videos
Use GIFs in your ad to capture your audience’s attention in a crowded feed.
Use Blog Material for Your Ad Copy
Repurpose material from your long-form blog posts in your paid ads.
If you’re working from a post that has seen some success, you can target your ads based on audience demographics and behavior using messaging proven to work with this group.
Your Landing Pages
Message match is becoming increasingly important, so it only makes sense to use the same source material for your ad copy and landing page.
10. Targeted Outreach Strategy
These days, I’ve made an effort to focus on a more intentional outreach strategy, targeting specific people that I believe are a good fit.
Whether you’re trying to win over a new potential client, secure a recurring guest posting gig, or get in front of a new audience, tread carefully.
A few ways you can use that blog post in your outreach strategy.
Feature It in Your Email Newsletter
While not technically a direct outreach strategy, newsletter round-ups can help you promote a new post and bring traffic back to older content you’ve refreshed with new information.
Send Personalized Emails or LinkedIn In-Mail
This approach is best suited for pitching a guest post to targeted publications. Use your original post and provide performance metrics to back up your pitch.
Make sure you only reach out to sites that are relevant to your brand and audience – otherwise, you might end up driving a bunch of irrelevant traffic to your site.
Promote Posts to a Select Group
Post blog content to online communities like LinkedIn or Facebook Groups within your industry. Here, your goal is to get in front of industry insiders who might link to your post or share it with their audience.
Tag People on Social
If you reference an expert in your blog content, tag them on social and link to the post. Most people appreciate the compliment, enough that it may encourage them to share the post.
How to Build a Content Calendar That Supports All of This Content
In this next section, I’ll go over how you can use your repurposed content to flesh out your content calendar.
This is super important because, even if you’re only writing a few blog posts each week, you’re also reworking them into videos, stories, and several types of ads.
This framework looks at one piece of content per funnel stage, used in a few different ways. If you’re mapping out a month’s worth of content, you’ll probably want about five blogs per stage, all repurposed for each channel.
As a quick point of reference, here’s a basic rundown of your goals at each stage:
Keep these objectives in mind as you map out the journey and consider how you can help your audience at each phase. With that in mind, here’s a look at how this all might play out:
Top of the Funnel
At this stage, buyers are trying to solve a problem, answer a question, or meet a need.
Content should be more general, aimed at helping buyers become aware of a solution through content that educates and entertains. Here, the goal is to introduce your brand and engage new audiences.
In other words, it’s all about making the kind of first impression that makes readers want to know more.
Here, Mint offers a nice example of a Top of the Funnel that goes over the key lifestyle differences between renters and homeowners.
The “minimalist” angle capitalizes on a trending topic (well, in 2018) without getting “click-baity,” and strikes a balance between education and interest.
Let’s say we’re building out our top of the funnel strategy, here’s how we might repurpose this content across a few different formats.
- Video: Home Ownership vs. Renting as a Lifestyle Decision
- Infographic: Cost Comparison: A Lifetime of Renting vs. Homeownership
- Blog Post: Is Home Ownership a Good Investment?
- Email marketing: Mint’s life blog is almost entirely top-of-the-funnel fare that serves as an entry point for learning about personal finance. Here, you might run email campaigns that feature top-performing blog posts and eventually, get users to sign up for Mint’s free budgeting tool.
- Landing page: PPC ads and both organic and paid social posts can reuse copy from the blog to drive traffic toward an email sign-up page.
Middle of the Funnel
In the middle-of-the-funnel, you’re addressing people who have already engaged with your brand.
Introductions are out of the way, but this group is still weighing their options and needs to be convinced that your brand is the go-to solution.
Here’s how BigCommerce’s guide might be repurposed to connect with mid-funnel prospects on different channels. (note: in this case, you might also use this content to create top-of-the-funnel content by making some adjustments to the copy.)
- Guide: The API Economy and its Impact on Ecommerce
- Blog Post: What Are APIs and Why Should Online Sellers Care?
- YouTube Video: In this case, you might create a YouTube video that breaks down the concept of “headless commerce” and what it offers to sellers compared to platforms that aren’t structured that way.
- Live Q&A: Take to Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram to answer user-submitted questions around e-book concepts. This is a great opportunity to answer specific questions and present use cases in an interactive way.
- Paid social: You might promote this using a paid lead gen post on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. This particular topic is kind of niche and could benefit from a targeted boost. Plus, because you’re going for downloads, you can easily measure your success.
Bottom of the Funnel
At the bottom of the funnel, things get serious. Here, your job is to get prospects to cross the finish line and complete the purchase.
Content that works well here includes case studies, white papers, reviews, testimonials, demos, and free trial offers.
This example comes from Zapier. It’s a case study with a personal bent – Pizza to the Polls is a project run by three Zapier employees that aim to drive voters to the polls by delivering pizzas to polling stations.
Readers get a little backstory and a specific look at the apps (and Zapier Zaps) used to drive specific results.
Case Study: Pizza to the Polls
- Tutorial: Create a video tutorial that shows users how to set up the Zaps mentioned in the case study. You’ll use the actionable parts of the blog post to highlight ways viewers can become more productive themselves.
- UGC Campaign: Here, you might drive social proof by asking users to share their own app stacks connected by Zapier and how those combinations help them become more productive. Don’t forget to create a hashtag for your campaign.
- Paid Search: In this case, I might go after terms related to automation for non-profits or fundraisers. The landing page content might feature a short video that briefly goes over how Zapier helped this organization achieve these specific goals.
- Paid Social: Here, you might try turning your case study into a video ad that sends users to a landing page promoting a free trial or a demo.
The remarketing funnel aims to re-engage leads that didn’t quite make it to the conversion point or encourage existing customers to come back for another purchase.
Here, the goal is to educate, overcome objections, and offer more examples of how your solution adds value to this group.
In this example, WordStream offers a free Google Ads Performance Grader tool to give reluctant audiences a “free sample” of what they offer paying clients.
- Features & Benefits: Here’s an example of content that really digs into the nitty-gritty details: WordStream’s breakdown of how the PPC grader works. This could be used to bring older leads back into the fold – you might pull content from the page and turn it into a blog post or connect it to a more engaging ad.
- Email Marketing: Here, marketers might create a campaign that aims to bring people back to the site by encouraging them to try a free tool. If they land on the page I’ve included above, they’ll get a free report that reveals some key performance metrics. They’ll also see a video, media icons, and further down the page a ton of testimonials.
- Paid Search: Reconnect with users who almost converted by serving ads based on browsing behavior or past interactions. Google Ads allows brands to retarget across a few different formats–Search, Display, YouTube, and even inside the inbox.
- Paid social: Retarget users on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram with an eye-catching ad and a compelling CTA. WordStream leverages the power of a cute dog to capture viewer attention, but doesn’t make the mistake of misleading or confusing their audience,
At a basic level, repurposing your content is the key to a sustainable multi-channel content strategy.
It allows you to refresh and remix the same core concepts so that you can connect with your audiences on the platforms they prefer, while maintaining seamless consistency across every touchpoint.
Whether you’re already an authority in your space and looking to reach new audiences in new ways or you’re just getting started, repurposing your content is a great way to scale your marketing efforts, without having to come up with a new idea for every piece of content you create.
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Screenshots taken by author, December 2019