Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The ABC’s of Re-Purposing Content

As social media practitioners we’re always trying to find sources of great information… breaking news, industry trends, research, expert insight, public opinion… the list goes on. We’re so busy following trends and reading what others are saying that we often forget to dig in our own back yard for the content that’s been written for other purposes.
Photo courtesy of flickr.com by Josh Kenzer


If you’re working in a large company the communications responsibilities are probably divided between different departments: PR & Marketing, Corporate Communications, Community Relations, Investor Relations or a combination of sorts. Social Media then works in lock step with all of these departments as a possible communications tool to reach specific target audiences. 

Freelancers or practitioners in smaller organizations will be juggling it all so it’s even more important to find efficient ways to re-package what’s already been written. The salient information (or key messages) will be the same with some minor adjustments depending on the vehicle used to carry the message and perhaps the target audience. You’ll adjust the language, deal with the word count, align with communications objectives and fire away!

The variety of delivery methods is endless and you’ll make your choices depending on where your audience lurks. It’s all about capturing eyeballs, then engaging, entertaining and building loyalty and trust. Of course, goals will vary depending on the tool being used but trust is critical no matter what. In order to build that trust the information shared needs to be consistent.

So, if you’re in a bigger company, make friends with anyone who is responsible for writing copy. If it’s all on you, scour your files for the great material you’ve already written… no need to reinvent the wheel.

Here are a few ABCs of rearranging your words for maximum mileage:

Articles and Annual Reports
Scan through features articles that have run in magazines that have featured your company or quoted your CEO or other senior leadership. Pull the quotes and create tweets and link to the article.

It’s the same with the annual report.  There’s typically a message from the CEO that could be broken down into bite sized Tweets, there are statistics that could make great LinkedIn status updates (as long as it’s been a good year) and maybe pull a few projections or future goals to highlight on the company Facebook page, with a link to a PDF of the annual report for anyone who wants to delve into more detail.

Books, Blogs and Bling
If anyone in your organization is blogging (preferably the CEO), gather the blogs from the past year and create an eBook (and a print version if time and budget allows). Think about the audience, create a clever theme and title, use it as a give away, bring it to conferences and conventions, sell it on Amazon, do a book signing, go on media tour, do a virtual book tour…

You’re probably getting the picture now. Us old-timers used to call it integrated marketing! Each individual blog could also be broken down into at least 10 Tweets that then link to the blog where the Tweet originated.

Website copy is also a great source for blog topics and bling. Maybe the copywriter for the website came up with a great catch phrase that could be re-purposed for some bling (t-shirts, thumb drives or iPad covers).

Catalogues, Cards and Collateral
I know, old-fashioned, thing of the past but they do still exist online on company websites. Take a few of the glamor shots (hopefully the marketing department has done a professional product shoot) and post them on your Facebook page (images have the highest click rate of any type of post on FB) and, of course, on Pinterest, with a link to the full catalogue. The FB message can also be Tweeted but when you craft the message, focus on the product benefit to the reader, not just ‘hey look at my product!’

Remember those pithy taglines your website copywriter created? Why not use them in a presentation or on a billboard. Heck, why not create an eCard for the holidays? And, don’t forget to Tweet it too!

The real secret to re-purposing content is to know what content is being written. Simple, right? All content producers should get together regularly to share, brainstorm and repurpose so everyone stays on message, aligns with communications objectives and keeps all feet firmly on the ground, not in mouth.

2 comments:

Geek Girl said...

Not sure why it took me so long to get here. Here from Jeri's blog. Subscribed to yours now. Thanks so much for the book - from when you did your guest post for Jeri. :)

Anne OConnell said...

No worries! Glad you found me... and I finally saw your comment :) I've been busily working on the launch of Mental Pause (hope you enjoyed it) so have been delinquent in my duties here.

Happy reading!
Anne