42 Ways to Re-Spin Your Content

How to Overcome I-Already-Wrote-About-This-Topic-Seven-Times Syndrome

Do you suffer from I-Already-Wrote-About-This-Topic-Seven-Times Syndrome? You might if you’re creating content for an organization that’s tightly focused on a small niche or topic.

After writing the seven articles about the same, never-ending topic, you realize you’re recycling the same phrases again and again. While you can freshen up the context, change the title and add a new twist, your content needs more to attract readers.

To help, here are forty-two ways you can re-spin your content (some people may refer to this as repurposing your content) to grow your content marketing offering.

  1. Show me how. Provide how-to instructions for readers. Increase the usefulness by adding photographs.
  2. Teach me something new. Give readers a lesson related to your product. Think fun education. This is a great place to use video or incorporate video.
  3. Help me understand. Explain why you offer a product or service
  4. Give a webinar. The strength of a webinar is that they give participants a sense of being there and they can broadly distribute content.
  5. Entertain me. Create a short video to get viewers to laugh.
  6. Make me laugh some more. Integrate funny comments with funny photographs.
  7. Compose a longer article. Present the information in a straight forward method. This can be useful for custom magazines or trade publications.
  8. Write short posts. Break longer articles into short, pithy content that’s focused.
  9. Gather quotes. Get input on a topic from a variety of experts or customers in your field.
  10. Provide tips or quote of day. Use research or related content to give customers useful tidbits they can consume on the go.
  11. Survey your customers or other relevant group. Find out what people think. (Before you field this type of questionnaire, assess that you’ll get usable results.) Integrate your findings into a document.
  12. Create an infographic. Combine facts and graphics to create a useful context for attracting an audience to your content.
  13. Create checklist. Does your business require that customers buy a variety of different products? In that case, put together a Spring Clean Up List that can be used annually.
  14. Interview an author or other celebrity. Instead of worrying about what to write. Get someone to answer your questions. It’s a great way to leverage other people’s audiences.
  15. Interview your customers. Give customers the limelight. Get their views on a topic of interest to your audience.
  16. Ask your staff. Stumped about what to write about your offering. Go out and talk to the people who created it.
  17. Tell your firm’s stories. Here’s another spin on this topic. Uncover the lore within your organization. Either compose written text or get relevant participants to tell their story with video. Not sure where to look for company stories? Here’s twenty-nine tips for company stories.
  18. Show your product in action. Take a page from Will It Blend’s videos.
  19. Discuss your product or issues with users on a discussion board. This is a good way to air any issues. It also helps to source potential issues and find other topics for content creation.
  20. Answer customer questions, on your website or Q&A sites. Similar to discussing your product on a discussion board, answer questions posed on Q & A sites such as LinkedIn Answers, Quora or AnswerWiki.
  21. Lead a Twitter chat or Google Plus chat. Get people to congregate on Twitter or other service to talk about an important idea. Give the meeting direction with a related blog post to lay the groundwork.
  22. Host an offline meeting. Get your prospects and customers to visit in real life. The benefit is that in addition to conveying your content, you can make real life connections.
  23. Tape a live meeting, yours or someone else’s. Provide live streaming of a real life event so a broader audience can appreciate it. Associate text with it and archive it on your website or blog.
  24. Present at a conference or other meeting. Give an old fashioned talk. Incorporate your branding into your slides and include a call-to-action. (Don’t forget to use the talk to create a video and articles.)
  25. Post your presentation on a slide-sharing site. Expand the reach for your talk by putting your slides either on your website or a sharing site.
  26. Live blog an event, yours or someone else’s. You live blog in a variety of ways.
  27. Live tweet an event. In lieu of live blogging, consider live tweeting to share the worthwhile tidbits of content.
  28. Write a white paper. This suggestion is great for B2B marketers. Use a white paper to distribute a variety of kinds of content.
  29. Create an ebook. This is the newer, sexier cousin of the white paper. It’s got eye-catching graphics and design.
  30. Curate other people’s content via Paper.li or outer. Instead of writing everything yourself, use your skills to select what others should read.
  31. Write an enewsletter. Distribute your posts or links via an online newsletter. Make sure that there’s some new useful content.
  32. Incorporate your content into a print newsletter. Create specially tailored content for this audience.
  33. Gather customer comments. While it’s commonplace to append comments to product information, use customer feedback as the basis for a post or in a brochure.
  34. Distribute a press release. Get help spreading your content by using a press release. Remember that after you’ve created this content, you can repurpose it into an article.
  35. Let’s play a game. Incorporate your information into a game to make it fun to learn.
  36. Write a book. We’re talking old-fashioned content. Do you have enough content to publish a hard or soft cover book?
  37. Speak an audio book. Lend your voice to ideas, yours or someone else’s. You can always add a short reference to your business.
  38. Offer patterns. If your product lends itself to customer creation such as hobbies or cooking, provide free patterns and recipes. Make sure that you link to the appropriate product.
  39. Create a mobile app. Make your content easy to consume on a mobile or tablet. This can provide a new audience.
  40. Use widgets to add content to new locations. Take short tidbits of your content and use widgets to distribute it to your website, blog, etc.
  41. Integrate your information into a map or other graphic. Sometimes information needs other visualizations. What can you do to set yours apart?
  42. Show off your customer’s handiwork. Curate photographs of your customers using your product.

The bottom line is in order to keep your content from getting old or boring, you need to give it a fresh context, voice, format and/or venue (audience).

Do you have any other suggestions that you’d add to this list? If so, what are they?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


This post is dedicated to the first Content Marketing World Conference. I’m there in spirit.

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Photo credit: B Rosen via Flickr

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  • http://www.matthewiscoe.com Matthew Iscoe

    Great article Heidi. You covered a lot of ways to reuse what you’ve got.

    One other way (and this is perhaps just for the serial entrepreneur) would be to start a new buisness with the content you have. It’s amazing how some companies have collected and published knowledge on areas outside their core competency. Why not spin off something new?

    • http://riversidemarketingstrategies.com/ Heidi Cohen

      Matthew– Thank you for your advise. I’ll consider it. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

  • http://ericksoncreative.com Sally Erickson

    Heidi,
    I thought I was in a rut, but with this incredible list, I can redo with flair and keep interest at the same time. Thank you soooo much!
    Sally E, graphic designer & fledgling writer

    • http://riversidemarketingstrategies.com/ Heidi Cohen

      Sally–Remember that a rut is just temporary until you get some help. You may also want to look at some of the blog topics. They’re great for inspiration. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

  • http://www.thejuliagroup.com/blog/ Annmaria

    Writing a book is very different than writing blog posts. It’s not a bad idea but I would just caution that a good book takes MUCH more work than just cobbling together 200 pages from your blog

  • http://twitter.com/Bourne2B Hollie Bourne

    I don’t really have anything to add, but just wanted to say thanks so much for this! It gave me some great ideas to use for myself and future clients!