Out of Email Ideas? Try Repurposing Your Best Content
By Monica Montesa May 12, 2016
Low on ideas for email content? When you repurpose content you know your audience already loves, you can fill in gaps in your email editorial calendar.
When it comes to creating emails, there are two types of people in this world: those who struggle with developing consistent, valuable content for subscribers, and those who don’t.
And it seems like the majority of us fall into the first group, according to Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs. In fact, 60 percent of B2B marketers said that producing engaging content was one of their top challenges; meanwhile, 57 percent said they struggled with creating content at a consistent cadence.
But for many marketers now, the issue isn’t just a matter of coming up with ideas to write about. It also stems from the need to have an interesting variety of content, as well as the time and talent to actually write it.
Thankfully, there’s a simple way to alleviate all three of those pain points, And it all comes down to repurposing content.
Check Out Your Content Archive
According to Curata, only 29 percent of marketers are reusing and repurposing content. If you’re not, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity. If you’ve been creating content for a while, you might have overlooked the fact that you’ve also been developing a content goldmine – and it’s all at your fingertips. From emails to blog posts to help articles, you have a ton of information that isn’t already researched and written, but provides insight into your audience as well.
Here’s an example of what I mean.
Back in December last year, we sent out an email with a link to a blog post about holiday-themed GIFs we created for our subscribers, blog readers and customers to share with their own audiences.
After the blog post was published, analytics showed that the GIF post received three times more traffic than our average content.
When it came time to do our next holiday-themed content for Valentine’s Day, we decided to go with something we knew our audience enjoyed: more GIFs. The result? We saw another spike in traffic to our blog.
The lesson here? If you notice your audience goes crazy for a piece of content, think about how you can deliver more on that topic.
Different Ways to Repurpose Content
Your legacy content may be a goldmine, but it’s up to you to determine the best way to breathe new life into it for your readers. There are two ways you can do so: 1) Take a new angle on the topic or, 2) Change the way you present the content.
Let’s take a closer look at each.
Finding a New Content Angle
In journalism, beat reporters are those who cover the same topic on a regular basis. To ensure that the articles they write aren’t repetitive, it’s their job to find new angles and sub-topics that tie back to their “beat.” A journalist who writes for a health column, for example, might write multiple articles that fall under the category of “exercise,” but each article will have its own focus within that beat.
When you look through your old content, think of yourself as a beat reporter for your business. First, you want to look for content that received greater engagement than usual (higher click-throughs or open rates, increased traffic to a blog post, etc.).
Then ask yourself if there’s a way to take a fresh, new angle on that topic you’ve already written about. Are there any new studies or survey results that relate back to it? Is there one aspect of your content that you could write an entirely new post about?
Last month, our Social Media Specialist, Olivia, featured a blog post about the importance of list hygiene. But this wasn’t the first time that topic’s been covered on our blog (just check out this post here and here).
To ensure her post was unique (and also timely), Olivia took principles from the best-selling book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and applied them to list maintenance. A new angle on a previously visited topic.
Another way to take new angles with your content is to go from focusing on larger themes of your topic to more-specific ones.
The One-to-Many Approach
If you have a piece of content that addresses a topic generally, you can use that to inspire multiple, more-specific pieces of content.
Let’s say you have an educational email series that provides readers with a general understanding of content marketing. Let’s call it “Intro to Content Marketing” (boring I know, but stay with me!).
In your educational series, you cover a variety of topics; from the general definition and philosophy behind content marketing to developing a content strategy to measuring the performance and impact of your content marketing efforts.
As awesome and engaging as this email series might be for your subscribers, it doesn’t go into a ton of detail about each sub-topic. Your goal was to provide a general overview of content marketing, and you shared just enough information to do so.
The opportunity to repurpose your content in this scenario would be to create spin-off content based on your series. Maybe you create a specific series that addresses measuring content in more detail, another one that’s devoted to writing content, and so on.
The Many-to-One Approach
Now, if you have multiple pieces of content that tie back to a common theme or topic, you can group those together to create another piece of content. This approach can inspire “best of” lists, which are often published at the end or beginning of a new year, like the post below:
“The Ten Must-Read Email Marketing Posts of 2015” compiled our most popular content of the year, and drove traffic to content that we knew was a hit.
You can even consolidate your most popular emails or content into educational courses and ebooks. Or, if you conduct a survey among your audience, you can use that information to spark new content ideas.
Publishing Your Content For Different Mediums
In addition to taking a new angle with your content, you should also consider the way in which you’re presenting the information.
If you conduct a customer survey, you might initially present that information as an infographic. To maintain interest in the survey results and get the most out of the content, you could use some specific findings to inspire a new webinar or podcast, especially if it’s something people expressed interest in learning more about. Or, you could share specific stats on your social channels, and link back to your infographic.
Here are some content types to consider as you repurpose your content:
- SlideShare. Have presentations such as a webinar or a blog post with a lot of visuals? Try repurposing it or adding it to Slideshare – especially if your target audience is other business owners. According to CMO, SlideShare receives 500 percent more traffic from business owners than Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. A good tip to keep in mind if you decide to post content on SlideShare: the more visuals and less slides you include in your slide deck, the better.
- Social Media. When writing for different social platforms, keep in mind that there are different expectations for etiquette on each. Be sure to follow rules for character counts and limits, include images with your social posts, and respond back to customers who interact with your page or posts. And don’t forget to consider posting frequency for each channel, too!
- Infographic. Have a lot of data points? Infographics are a great way to present them in a visually-compelling way. Plus, they’re easily shareable; infographics receive three times more “likes” and shares on social media than any other type of content!
- Podcast. Podcasts are kind of a big deal. Between 2015 and 2016, podcast listening grew 23 percent! If you have great content you want to use for a podcast episode, go for it! This gives you a chance to speak more to the topic, and it gets your content in front of those who prefer to listen to it rather than read it.
- Live Presentation. Similar to how you can repurpose content into a webinar, you can also use it to inspire a live presentation at a meetup or conference.
- Webinar. If you have a topic that has mass appeal, repurposing it into a webinar is a great way to get people involved. This gives you a chance to host a virtual “lesson” on the topic and engage with your attendees through a live Q&A session.
Take our “What to Write In Your Emails” course, for example:
It also was used to inspire a webinar on the topic, and a presentation at a conference in Boston:
Sharing New Content Through Email
Regardless of what form your repurposed content takes, it gives you something new to email your subscribers (or a segment of them). And that can help guarantee you always have something to fill in the gaps in your email editorial calendar.
Are you already repurposing content, or have you been inspired to start? Tell us about it in the comments!