5 Ways to Repurpose a Blog Post
In content marketing, it’s good to re-invent the wheel. It’s called “repurposing” content.
Repurposing content is when you take any original piece of content and re-format it or edit it so it fits into a new format. For example, making an infographic out of information in a research study is repurposing content.
You can repurpose just about any kind of content, whether it’s a blog post or an ebook, a podcast, or survey results.
Of all the content marketing formats, the blog post is the easiest to repurpose. It’s also one of the most widely used content formats. Most companies have blogs, and so they have dozens, if not hundreds of posts already written. This vault of content can be reused in almost endless ways. But for this article, let’s just focus on five simple ways to deliver the most results.
1. Email Message
This one is so simple you’re probably already doing it. Many blogs automatically mail their email subscribers an excerpt from every new post. There are WordPress plugins that will automate this for you.
If you’re not feeding blog content into your emails, then you’re missing out on a way to save yourself a lot of work. Even if you don’t have a new post to send to your list, it is still acceptable to occasionally put an past blog post into an email message.
There are two primary options for repurposing a blog post:
- Use a teaser. Write a 2 to 3 sentence teaser for the post, and put it in the email message as a short promo;
- Include entire post. Add the entire blog post to the email message. If you do this, consider editing the length of the post down to 500 words or less (possibly much less, like 300 words). Email copy is traditionally shorter than blog post copy.
2. Social Media Post
This is another way to repurpose content that you’re likely already doing.
To repurpose a blog post into a social media post, consider the following tips.
- Google+. Posts here can be relatively long, like 500 words or more. Google+ posts are the longest of any of the social media platforms. Some Google+ users actually use their Google+ page as their blog, and write in whatever length works for their content.
- Facebook. Cut the copy down to 100 to 250 characters to get 60 percent more likes, comments, and shares on Facebook, according to the Constant Contact blog, which also reports, ‘Last month on the Constant Contact Facebook page, posts with less than 140 characters received an average of 215 percent more engagement than longer posts (192 percent for the last 8 months.).”
- LinkedIn. Trim your post even more – much more. According to a study done by Compendium in late 2012, the best length for B-to-B posts on LinkedIn is 16 to 25 words. The best post length for B-to-C messages on LinkedIn is 21 to 25 words.
- Twitter. The shortest of all. Twitter messages 11 to 15 words long do best for B-to-B. For B-to-C tweets, a length of 1 to 5 words is most effective.
This will take more time than just editing your blog post down — although you will be editing it down, to about 150 words. The extra work required is worth it, however. Infographics grab attention and are one of the most widely shared formats. MediaBistro.com reports “infographics shared on Twitter get 832 percent more retweets than images and articles.”
Here are ideas to repurpose a blog post into an infographic.
- Think about how to best present the blog post as a visual story.
- Sketch a few ideas on paper to shape up how you want to tell your story. This will save a lot of time over doing this work in Photoshop or with one of the online infographics tools.
- Use Photoshop if you know it well. If you don’t, try Infogr.am, Visual.ly, or Piktochart.com to lay out the infographic. Github’s Chartbuilder is also terrific to make snazzy graphs.
These embeddable PowerPoint presentations are click magnets. Forbes magazine uses them as part of its many tricks to keep people on the site. The extra benefit here is once your PowerPoint deck is made, you can upload it to your SlideShare account and embed the SlideShare elsewhere, like in a related blog post. Here is an example, embedded SlideShare from Top Rank Online Marketing.
To repurpose a blog post into a SlideShare, follow these steps.
- Simplify your post down to a series of concise ideas. Index cards are ideal for this.
- Write out 1 to 15 words on each slide (or index card) to build your deck.
- Find 1 to 3 images for each slide at your favorite free stock photography site.
- Make the slides look sharp. If you aren’t enough of a graphic designer to make an award-winning PowerPoint slide, just aim for one that’s easy to read and easy to understand.
- Upload the deck to your SlideShare account, including a keyword-rich headline and a compelling description.
- Get the code for your SlideShare embed and paste it wherever you want your SlideShare to be.
Some of us have the idea that a good video needs to be long, like 5 to 10 minutes. We’re wrong. Videos that are just 2 to 3 minutes work best according to Empty Bucket Studios, a video and photography firm. Other video experts say anything over 3 minutes is asking too much of easily-distracted viewers. This is good news. You don’t have to make a long video out of a blog post.
For example, here’s a promotional video on YouTube from a Boulder, Colorado-based credit card processor. It’s less than 3 minutes long.
How to repurpose a blog post into a video, follow these tips.
- Distill your post into 3 to 5 major ideas.
- Make a short outline with 2 to 5 minor points for each major points.
- Get out your cellphone. Hopefully, you have a voice recorder app on it. If not, call yourself and leave a voicemail. Practice a 2-to-3 minute talk summarizing the blog post.
- Give your talk to your phone (set to record video) or to a video cam. The video cam on your computer may work well too. Find a spot that’s quiet, has decent light with a decent background.
- Record your video 3 to 5 times. Review each version and find the best one.
- Upload your video to YouTube, then get the embed code so you can have a video version of your blog post available on your site, too. Many bloggers post their blog video summaries at the top of the page, above the written post. “Readers” are becoming more likely to watch a blog post than they are to read one.