Are you still running on the content writing treadmill?
Is your top priority to publish one, two, three, or even more blog posts per week?
Five or ten years ago, that kind of consistency would help you win the content marketing game.
Throw some eBook downloads and content upgrades in the mix and you’d be generating all kinds of inbound leads.
But the content creation treadmill isn’t as effective as it once was.
Unless you have a massive amount of resources and pitting your content marketing strategy up against incumbent leaders like HubSpot, it’s time to do more with less.
And that means repurposing B2B content with a purpose.
Not Your Average Repurposed Content
Repurposing content is certainly nothing new.
We marketers are resourceful. Even if you play the high-volume content game, you’re probably always thinking about how to stretch those content assets a bit further.
Enter the abundantly average “best practices” approach to repurposing content.
You know the one. You have a monthly eBook/white paper/other gated asset planned for your content marketing program. And once that asset is ready to go, you start the repurposing process.
That usually means chopping up the gated asset into all kinds of things like:
- A series of blog posts
- Slide decks
- YouTube videos
- And more
All of that sounds great. You get dozens of pieces of content from one major effort—and all of it is designed to promote the gated lead-gen piece.
But that only works if the gated asset is exceptional in the first place.
Where do marketers go wrong?
When Effective Repurposing Becomes Meaningless Best Practice
In theory, content repurposing is an easy win for your marketing strategy.
All of the hard work is already done. You just have to come up with unique ways to break up the source material for new channels and formats.
There’s just one thing standing in the way—the quality of the original asset.
When you’re creating content for the sake of best practices, repurposing becomes largely ineffective.
And the issues compound. Instead of one average piece of content you end up with several.
Say you published a series of blog posts. They’re all pretty high-level, but the cover different aspects of the same umbrella topic. Those blog posts aren’t performing all that well on their own, but you decide to package them together.
Now you’ve repurposed a handful of blog posts into an eBook to use for lead gen. Maybe it’ll attract some attention and people will download—but will the content really provide value to your prospects?
There’s just too much great content available. Your target customers probably aren’t going to download a high-level 2,000-word eBook when someone else is consistently publishing in-depth blog posts that offer more value.
Suddenly repurposing isn’t helping you distribute content and maximize resources—it’s just helping you publish at scale. That (on its own) just won’t get the job done.
We don’t want to repurpose content in the name of volume or to scale our strategies. The goal has to focus on the audience.
The Ultimate Goal of B2B Content Repurposing
Every content marketer knows it’s important to put the audience first. Regardless of where a prospect is in the funnel, creating content with their specific needs in mind will lead to better results than if you focused entirely on the numbers you have to hit.
But this mindset doesn’t carry over into the average approach to repurposing content.
Instead, we’ve long repurposed assets with the goal of distributing our content more effectively. Publishing an eBook then sitting back and hoping people find it doesn’t work. So, we break it into blog posts with a CTA pointing back to the landing page.
That gives us more chances to get in front of our target audience and convince them to download the gated asset.
The problem is that this approach is brand-centric. It treats content repurposing primarily as a way to generate more assets to share. Then, you end up just blasting out links to a wider variety of content under the same promotion strategy as always.
Your ultimate goal has to be serving the audience—even if that means you aren’t directly sharing links to the original asset.
Traditionally, repurposing content has been all about changing formats. Now, it should be about tailoring content to specific channels.
3 Ways to Repurpose Your Content More Effectively
That leaves us with the big question—how can you take a more modern approach to repurposing?
The first step is choosing which channels matter most to your target audience. For some, Reddit could be a hotbed of customer activity. For others, Reddit may not be as important to the target audience as something like LinkedIn.
When you know where your prospects like to hang out, you can set out to repurpose content specifically for those channels.
What does this look like? Let’s go through 3 examples.
1. Repurposing B2B Content for Twitter
Marketers like to lament the downfall of organic reach on certain social media platforms (Twitter included). And while there’s definitely data pointing to that shift, it’s not like building an audience on Twitter is impossible.
You just have to know what kind of content works on the platform.
Luckily, Nathan Barry (Founder of ConvertKit) laid it out pretty clearly. In a recent email newsletter, he said:
“Okay, so I got a crazy response last week from The Billion Dollar Blog article last week. One interesting insight is how well the Twitter thread did compared to the original post.
- Link post: 20 retweets, 10 replies
- Twitter thread: 600+ retweets, 75+ replies
One random stat, Twitter says that only 14 people followed me directly from the thread…but my follower count increased by 1,000 in the 24 hours after the thread went live.
My takeaway: write Twitter threads that summarize your best articles, then link to the article at the end.”
The stats in those two bullet points alone should be enough to snap you out of the typical Twitter distribution strategy.
Don’t just repurpose eBooks into blog posts and throw the links out in tweets for a few days. Take the source material and write out unique Twitter threads that will get more engagement. Once you prove that you’re there to provide value (through the series of valuable tweets), people will be much more willing to click through to your website.
It’s a give and take. By focusing on audience value first and marketing goals second, you generate more traffic and achieve your goals anyway.
2. Repurposing B2B Content for LinkedIn
LinkedIn has come a long way as a content and social media platform.
In the past, marketers would debate whether or not it was smart to republish blog posts as LinkedIn articles. That devolved into conversations about duplicate content. Which then turned into the idea that we should publish LinkedIn articles with half of a blog post and a link to the full story.
If that approach is working for you, keep it up. But LinkedIn behavior has changed, and content repurposing should, too.
Now, direct status updates get all the attention while anything with links gets buried. When all you do is share links to new blog posts, you’ll struggle to build a following and generate traffic.
Instead, leverage existing content to create mini blog posts directly on LinkedIn. That “snackable” content concept that blew up a few years ago? Don’t make it the hallmark of your actual blog—take that approach with your LinkedIn feed.
It’s not always easy to sit down and come up with some brand new, insightful thought for a LinkedIn post. And with demand for daily posting, you could quickly run out of ideas.
Using popular blog posts as the basis for your LinkedIn updates makes it easier to get leaders more involved in content marketing. This kind of repurposing may not directly lead to website traffic. But over time, you’ll attract more of your target audience by creating trust with valuable content directly on LinkedIn.
3. Repurposing B2B Content for Medium
Remember when everyone was rushing to move their company blogs to Medium?
Let’s not go down that rabbit hole again.
But just because you keep your company blog intact doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of Medium in your content marketing.
Marketers have long touted the benefits of republishing content to Medium. Its easy-to-use import tool ensures you’re adding the canonical link that points any SEO value to the original source. And the built-in audience just gives you extra chances to get eyes on your content.
However, we should go beyond republishing. Repurposing B2B content for Medium isn’t just about creating a second feed for your posts.
The real value comes from submitting content to popular, relevant Medium publications.
When you import your blog post to Medium, go through and update headers and images where necessary. Then, identify publications that target your ideal customers and follow the rules for submitting your post on them.
Not every publication will allow this kind of guest posting. But it’s worth taking the time to hunt down the ones that do so you can repurpose content more effectively.
Content Repurposing Isn’t a Volume Game—It’s a Value Game
There are countless ways to remix, refresh, and repurpose your content.
It doesn’t always have to be one big eBook turning into multiple smaller pieces of content. You can run that process backwards. Or you can go a different route and leverage audio/video content to create more written posts.
Whatever you decide to do, put the audience first. Relentlessly focusing on the numbers instead of the audience can lead you down the path of ineffective best practices that deliver disappointing results.
With the audience-first mindset firmly intact, you’ll be able to stretch your content resources much further.