Do you recycle content marketing?
If not, you’re missing opportunities to extend your content reach, effectiveness and lifetime value.
It’s a great way to help you get your content marketing in shape.
Even better, it costs less than creating new content. By definition recycled content marketing already exists in some format because it’s not created from scratch.
To recycle content marketing as part of your overall marketing plan, use these 100+ ways to fill your marketing calendar.
Recycle Content Marketing Definition
Recycled content marketing encompasses these 5 attributes:
- Repromote existing content to keep it visible. Many marketers stop promoting content a month after publication reducing its lifetime value. (Note: Take care to avoid creating duplicate content.)
- Update existing content to keep it current and useful. Take a page from Backlinko’s Brian Dean. Don’t create new content until every piece that you already have is the best it can be.
- Convert existing content into another format. This is Rebecca Lieb’s Thanksgiving Turkey approach to big rock content.
- Repurpose existing information into a new piece of content. This includes dividing big content into smaller content chunks and collecting smaller content into longer content.
- Curate existing content to provide a new context for the information. Curated content taps into your existing content as well as third party content.
100+ Ways To Recycle Content Marketing Broken Out By Original Type
Use these 100+ ways to recycle content marketing. This all starts with a comprehensive content marketing audit.
Recycle Content Marketing: Product Information
Including very specific details is important since LinkedIn research shows that readers actively seek this information.
- Enhance product descriptions on sales pages. This supports search findability.
- Convert content into detailed product blog posts. This is pure Marcus Sheridan, “They Ask, You Answer.”
- Offer product comparison posts. Use A versus B product comparisons for your offering as well as for yours versus competitors’ products.
- Create more in-depth buyer guides. Use product posts to capture email addresses for qualified leads. Yale Products does this.
Recycle Content Marketing: Packaging Content
Is the information that appears on the product, wrapping and/or related shipping materials. May include directions and how-to’s.
- Add packaging information to sales pages to expand product descriptions.
- Curate packing information for usage and recipes or patterns. Use links on sales receipts and post-sales emails.
Recycle Content Marketing: Blog Posts and Articles
Transform blog posts and other articles to re-promote, reuse and curate content marketing.
- Create social sharing from the main points of the article. This enables you to schedule social shares over time.
- Transform information into an infographic. Make a visual version of your article.
- Repromote older blog content. Keep your best content visible over time.
- Update existing articles to support search optimization. By keeping blog posts relevant to readers they continue to gain traction.
- Collect blog posts on a given topic into a training or resource section.
- Curate your columns into a newsletter. Create a weekly or monthly emailing. Actionable Marketing Guide does this. (We’d love it if you signed up!)
- Create Andy Crestodina “evil twin” content. Take the main points of a column and apply them to another target market or opposite point of view.
- Gather related blog posts into a book. Edit the content to ensure that it reads as a unified piece
- Use blog posts in presentations and/or training. Blog posts provide a testing ground for new ideas that you can spotlight later.
Recycle Content Marketing: eBooks and Whitepapers
Keep existing eBooks and whitepapers relevant by updating the information on a regular basis.
- Create a shorter summary. Use to entice visitors to download the longer content.
- Spotlight key points and comments in a press release. Expand your reach and get backlinks.
- Divide major sections into blog posts or articles. Make sure the information stands on its own.
- Incorporate graphics and data into presentations and training.
- Create related workbooks. Help readers put your ideas into action.
- Transform content into print versions.
Recycle Content Marketing: Advertising Content
Create content marketing based on your offline and online advertising.
- Create a case study around marketing campaigns. Use this in blog posts, articles and/or presentations (both internal or external.)
- Highlight campaigns in live content such as presentations, webinars and/or panel discussion.
- Include advertising and marketing campaigns in training sessions. These can be internal for employees and/or investors or external for customers.
- Create a greatest hits collection of advertisements and marketing materials. Show this as part of an internal or external presentation or event.
Recycle Content Marketing: Patterns and/or Recipes
Show customers and end-users how to use your products.
- Make each recipe into a blog post. Link to appropriate products. Kraft Foods gathered data and built a list from their in-depth offering.
- Use recipes in your communications and/or emailings.
- Place patterns on third party sites as sponsored content or advertising. When I was at Bertelsmann, I added recipes to catalogs.
- Collect recipes into a book (physical or electronic.)
- Use patterns and recipes as physical take-ones in your retail presence or as package inserts.
- Create an on-going column. Can be a regular “Recipe Of The Week”. For example, a number of yarn companies offer free patterns
Recycle Content Marketing: Reviews
Gathers feedback from customers, bloggers and third party experts like Consumer Reports.
- Selectively incorporate reviews into product descriptions online and offline (including packaging).
- Incorporate customer reviews in your advertising.
- Reprint influencer and professional reviews to support sales.
Recycle Content Marketing: Customer Comments
Use customer content (also known as UGC or user-generated content) that appears on social media and review sites. Get permission to use this content. At a minimum track the relevant review sites.
- Write FAQs. Use comments and questions to create a FAQ section.
- Use reader comments and input as basis for blog posts and articles.
Recycle Content Marketing: Customer Service Inquiries
Offer customer service content where and when your prospects and customers need it. Include voice, email, chat and other formats.
- Transform customer service questions and answers into blog posts. Use photos and images to enhance content.
- Include comments in your marketing.
- Answer customer questions in a blog post. At a minimum, acknowledge customers and listen to what they have to say.
- Link to relevant blog posts on sales pages.
- Create post-purchase emails with links to the most asked questions. Reduce post-purchase problems.
- Organize customer service questions and answers into a summary with related data for internal use to highlight potential issues.
Recycle Content Marketing: Sales Materials and Interactions
To avoid creating Marketing and Sales versions of content follow these tips.
- Capture and convert sales questions and answers into blog posts. This helps keep branding consistent and reduces time.
- Create weekly internal communications based on sales questions and answers. Alert everyone to potential issues and other needed responses.
- Edit and improve visuals for sales questions and answers. Then distribute across relevant internal teams. This reduces redundant efforts.
- Collect sales questions into training materials. Help new employees come up to speed.
- Curate sales questions and answers into sales materials. Ensures consistent presentation and answers.
- Transform sales questions into product guide. Supports middle of the funnel requests.
Recycle Content Marketing: Training Materials
As a broad category, training materials includes how-to education, training , and live events.
- Write articles from class highlights.
- Transform slide highlights into other formats.
- Post presentation on social media sites.
- Package content into a paid product.
- Use training materials to bring new employees up-to-speed.
- Repackage training materials into webinars and other presentations. Use different formats may appeal to new audiences.
- Use sections of your training as how-to videos.
- Offer a text transcript of visual training materials.
- Update existing training materials with the latest data and examples.
Recycle Content Marketing: Live Speeches and/or Presentations Content
Include talks and presentations given by management and employees.
- Capture speech audio in its entirety or in small chunks.
- Transcribe talk into text. To appeal to people and search engines.
- Post presentation on relevant sites.
- Update older presentations. This is proven quality content that you should keep relevant.
- Use older presentations to promote new events. Do this to get extra visibility for high profile presenters.
Recycle Content Marketing: Panel Presentations
Panels also offer recycle options.
- Capture video of the panel discussion. Place it on your website, blog or YouTube.
- Transcribe content into text. Give your audience another way to consume your content.
- Collect content by participant. Break video down by question or speaker for snippets to post.
- Use panel questions and/or responses for articles.
- Distribute video or segments to different audiences.
Recycle Content Marketing: Webinars
Since businesses use webinars and other live video options, assess how you can re-imagine them.
- Place webinar on your website. Either as a download or behind a pay wall.
- Chunk your webinar for shorter on-site content. Use this content as a teaser.
- Transcribe the content into text format.
- Create blog posts from the content. Spotlight key points.
- Use participant questions as the basis for articles.
Recycle Content Marketing: Photographs
Visual content conveys information quicker than text to viewers.
- Create behind-the-scenes blog posts or articles from an advertising or product creation photo shoot.
- Post photos on social media. Include consistent hashtags.
- Include photographs in presentations and include attribution.
Recycle Content Marketing: Graphics
Offer non-photographic, visual information to readers. Include charts, visual note-taking, and infographics.
- Aggregate related graphics into an infographic. Encourage others to embed content with a backlink to your original post.
- Create social media shares across platforms.
- Write a longer blog post or article around a related group of graphics. Include captions since readers pay attention to this relevant text information.
Recycle Content Marketing: Video
Repurpose all types of video content.
- Convert video’s main points into a text and image blog post or article.
- Provide text transcription of video.
- Add video to enhance live content such as a presentation or speech.
- Use video clips to entice viewers to see the full video. Use outtakes or clips to create promotions. These promotions may be earned or paid.
- Post video content on a YouTube channel.
- Curate other people’s video.
Recycle Content Marketing: Audio Content
This content includes the sound track to a talk, discussion or presentation. Post on related audio and voice sites.
- Offer text transcript. Supports search findability.
- Post on your blog and other owned media to distribute your audio content.
- Curate new audio content. Spotlight the best of the past week’s audio information.
Recycle Content Marketing: Interviews
Re-envision all interview with employees, customers and influencers. Remember customers and your audience are.
- Break interviews into segments. Focus each on a separate question.
- Transform the interview into a column.
- Answer other interview questions on own media.
- Use additional interview out takes on different platforms.
- Ask a group of people the same question.
Recycle Content Marketing: Forum Interactions (Includes tools like Slack)
Use forums and related platforms as the basis for recycling content marketing.
- Answer forum questions.
- Create videos to answer questions.
- Gather user input for a column or blog post.
- Share blog post content across different social media platforms.
Recycle Content Marketing: Social Media
Use social media provides to re-promote your content.
- Collect highlights from social media for other forms of content.
- Answer questions raised on social media on owned content.
- Create “Evil Twin” content for long form content offerings.
- Transform text and image content into video format for video platforms.
- Create organic social media around your key topics.
- Transform visual content for social media.
Recycle Content Marketing: Live Events and Conferences
Live events, large and small, offer great content recycling opportunities. Even better, they create high attention events.
- Create content marketing before, during and after the event.
- Use event videos to create online content.
- Interview attendees and influencers.
- Curate content and social shares from the live event.
Recycle Content Marketing Conclusion
Recycle content marketing across your owned media, social media and other platforms to get the most out of every content effort.
Make re-imagining content into your content marketing calendar. This will help you to allocate your marketing resources and to keep your costs over time.
When you recycle content marketing, you improve or delete the less loved or irrelevant content in your marketing portfolio. As a result, your content marketing results improve.
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Editor’s note: This article was originally published on April 22, 2011. It was updated on November 15, 2021.
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