I'll admit that the writer side of me is screaming 'Don't repurpose content'. The website and business owner side of me, however, knows that it's foolish to lose out on some of your content's value. After all, when you're paying good money or spending the time to write something good, you really should beat the heck out of every letter to get as much out of them as you can. (See? Us copywriters can be rational. Sometimes. 😉 )
Now, I know that this subject has been done several times, but I think I have several hints, tips, and tricks that many either don't use, or haven't thought about. Ok, so let's get on with it:
Give Your Facebook Page a Right Hook
If you've got a good blog post or article that you've published, I mentioned in my last post about content strategy that you can use it in Facebook, forum, or elsewhere to generate as much attention as possible. There's a few tricks to doing this:
- Wait til your article is crawled, then repost it elsewhere.
- Rewrite it and post it up
Unfortunately, there's a downside. If you have followers who read your blog and connect with you on various social media sites, they're going to get tired of reading the same thing. You'll also find that your loyal readers will read the content in one spot or another, but never make it to your site (where all the links that you really want them to click are). This is just a waste! So, if you want to avoid this issue, here's a few tips:
- Give only the first portion of the post or article and make them click through to your site in order to get the rest of the info. To make this idea even more effective, you'll want to stop the piece at a pivotal point or give the 'ah ha' moment and then give the link to your site. This is where your readers can relieve their curiosity. Trust me, they won't be able to help themselves.
- Come at the topic from a different angle. So, if you've got 'five ways to scratch your back' try 'five ways to get your friend to scratch your back', or 'how to avoid back itch'. As an added bonus, you can add or take away bits to give some variety and hold the reader's interest. This is fairly similar to a basic rewrite, but you'll find that some people learn differently than others.
Give a Straight Right with a Press Release
Press releases can be a great thing, and when you consider the time and effort that goes into them, it's a real shame that people don't use this important information more often. Well, there's a reason for it: Readers don't generally like reading them. That's why news sites use them as a content source. So, why don't you do the same? Here's a few hints to get you started:
- Your social media connections want to hear your news too. That's why, I always make an SM friendly/SEO optimized press release as well as an SMO press release with added media. It makes your news much easier to share and far more interesting. (And with an SMO release, it's 'just the facts, ma'am'.)
- You have all of these wonderful RSS subscribers and many Twitter/LinkedIn/Social-networks-that-you-pimp-your-links-on followers. Why not let them in on the news rather than making your readers stumble upon it in Google News (Ha! That was pretty crafty wasn't it?). Anyway, rewrite the information into a fun and informative piece that's blogworthy. It's also a great opportunity to mix it with a bit of a case study or background story to explain a bit of how your big event came about.
- Your news will have benefited you in some way (or at least we would hope!) Therefore, expand on these benefits to increase your content. This could include a piece on things you've learned while implementing something new, why you decided to add whatever it is to your business, or even new things you discovered during the process. You'd be amazed how important this information is to others and how many people can relate to it. This stuff often makes excellent viral material to boot.
Case Studies and White Paper TKO
White papers, reports and other large content items make excellent marketing material and often go viral. So, if they work that well on their own, why wouldn't they work in different formats?
Choose a few of the juicy parts, rewrite them, give them to your blog subscribers, use them for article marketing, make it into a feature piece, or make a press release. You'll also find that repurposing this kind of content will increase your subscribers, followers, and build even more links because the material will get picked up by a different market and expand your reach.
Content Combination Catchweight
YouTube, Ustream, Internet radio, and other mediums are fantastic for repurposing content. Best of all, your readers can listen to them while they're having their morning run or enjoying a coffee. Why not take some of the pieces you've written and read them (in a fluent, conversational way) or add slides to them? You might even decide to present the piece and discuss the subject with another expert or your listeners. Again, the recordings are always great for links, but more importantly, you'll find that they enhance the connection you have with the community.
A Few Extra Pointers for Good Measure...
A few do's:
- Make sure to have fun with it. Change things around, involve others, and don't be afraid to add an air of mystery to things once in awhile.
- Match your audience. You speak differently on audio or video than you do on a blog or in a formal press release. This includes using the right voice and vocabulary.
- Formatting is essential. When repurposing your content, make sure that it's always clean, clear, easy to read, and pleasing to the eyes.
- Try something new. If you aren't sure about using content in a particular format or location, test it. You'd be amazed at the secrets you can uncover simply by trial and error.
- Track everything. You can't tell what's working and what isn't unless you know where the traffic and the clicks are coming from.
A few donts:
- Don't spam people to death. Personally, I have a lot of alerts and an overstuffed RSS reader on top of the various social networks that I take part in. If I keep getting hit with the same stuff repeatedly, I start cutting. This is counterproductive and does nothing to help you reach your goals. Yes, you might pick up a few extra clicks, but if you add two new readers and irritate four, you're still two people down.
- Article spinning, slight rewrites, and automated systems are evil! They make a mess and generally just don't work. Why? Synonyms don't often mean the same thing or fit well in the sentence. You also risk weakening the power of the content and adding double meanings. Then, there's formatting issues. People can tell when you've done this, and personally, it gives me the impression that the author is insulting my intelligence. This poor quality also reflects poorly on your business. In my opinion, do it right, or not at all.
- It's ok to republish the same content, but be aware of the dangers. If the search engines get to it on Facebook before they crawl it on your blog, Facebook will get a majority of the SERP power.
Well, I'd love for you to try some of these techniques out and let me know how it goes. But, I'd also love to hear if you have any techniques that I haven't mentioned. Give me a shout here, or even on Twitter!
Angie Nikoleychuk (Haggstrom) is the Senior Copywriter and Consultant at Angie's Copywriting Services. She loves to create SEO Web copy and other types of online and offline content, but she figures SEO and Social Media is pretty great too. She likes to chat about business and marketing, find great links, and more. Oh, and you can find this copywriter on Twitter too.