Do you recycle content marketing?
If not, you’re missing opportunities to extend your content reach, effectiveness and lifetime value.
While reducing, reusing and recycling are at the core of Earth Day started on April 22, 1970, you can apply these practices to your carefully crafted content to ensure that it doesn’t become once and done output.
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, here are 100+ ways to repromote, convert, update, repurpose and/or curate content.
Recycle Content Marketing Definition
Recycled content marketing encompasses these 5 attributes:
- Repromotes 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.)
- Updates 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.
- Converts existing content into another format. This is Rebecca Lieb’s Thanksgiving Turkey approach to big rock content.
- Repurposes existing information into a new piece of content. This includes dividing big content into smaller content chunks and collecting smaller content into longer content.
- Curates existing content to provide a new context for the information. Curated content taps into your existing content as well as third party content. (BTW: Here’s how to use curated content in your editorial calendar.)
(Note: Recycled content marketing differs from up-cycled content marketing.)
100+ Ways To Recycle Content Marketing Broken Out By Original Type
To honor Earth Day while filling your editorial calendar, here are 100+ ways to recycle content marketing across the marketing department, other areas of your business, customer input, social media and third party content.
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.
- Incorporate packaging information on 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
Blog posts offer content and other formats that are ripe for repromotion, reuse and curation.
- Create social sharing from the main points of the article. This enables you to schedule social shares over time.
- Use Click-To-Tweet to spotlight quotes. Let others share your content.
- 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. Problogger and Copyblogger do this to repromote existing content and qualify new visitors.
- 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
eBooks and whitepapers contain deep information, often with graphics and influencer input.
- Create a shorter summary to avoid TL; DR. (too long; didn’t read) Can be used 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 version for sales team and event give-aways. (Okay this isn’t the most ecological offering.)
Recycle Content Marketing: Advertising Content
This Includes offline (television, newspapers, magazines and radio) and online options. (Note: When creating any form of information or marketing, include additional content that can be transformed into content marketing. This reduces content costs if you’ve gotten appropriate legal rights.)
- 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. This content often appears originally on packaging. In 1904, Genesee Pure Food Company used free recipe books to sell Jell-O.
- 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. (Of course, always allow customers to talk to a human.)
- Use reader comments and input as basis for blog posts and articles. [Hint: When a post has lots of comments, there’s a good chance that there’s at least another post on related material.]
Recycle Content Marketing: Customer Service Inquiries
Offer customer service content where and when your prospects and customers need it. Include voice, email and chat.
Also monitor social media. At a minimum, post your customer service hours on your website and social media. Otherwise, prospects may be disappointed and leave. Don’t forget to set social media guidelines and train employees how to use social media.
- Transform customer service questions and answers into blog posts. Use photos and images to enhance content.
- Include comments in your marketing because customers trust other customers. Direct mailers have done this for years.
- 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 (such as management, marketing and sales.) This highlights potential issues.
Recycle Content Marketing: Sales Materials and Interactions
Due to the Marketing-Sales divide, many sales people spend time creating their own communications and content.
- 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. (Go one step further and add customer service questions to enhance document.)
Recycle Content Marketing: Training Materials
As a broad category, training materials includes how-to education, training (live and online), and live classes (internal, other businesses and universities).
- Write articles from class highlights. Use this content for blogs, websites, long-form social media and third party sites.
- Transform slide highlights into an e-book or PDF.
- Post presentation on social media sites like Slideshare or Pinterest.
- Package content into a paid product.
- Use training materials to bring new employees up-to-speed.
- Repackage training materials into webinars and other presentations. Different formats may appeal to new audiences.
- Use sections of your training as how-to videos. Expand your reach using social media.
- Offer a text transcript of visual training materials.
- Update existing training materials to include the latest data and examples.
Recycle Content Marketing: Live Speeches and/or Presentations Content
Includes talks and presentations given by employees. Maximize the creation effort by developing related content.
- Incorporate tweetworthy statements and charts to broaden reach beyond live audience.
- Capture speech audio in its entirety or in small chunks. Edit the file to delete dead time and ums.
- Transcribe talk into text. To appeal to people and search engines.
- Post presentation on slidesharing site, blog or website. Michael Brenner captured a lot of attention by doing this when he was at SAP.
- Update older presentations. Like other content it’s proven quality content that you should keep relevant. SAP did this with Brenner’s Slideshare.
- Use older presentations to promote new events. This is useful when you have high profile presenters.
Recycle Content Marketing: Panel Presentations
As live content, 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 via email to a different audience.
Recycle Content Marketing: Webinars
Businesses are using webinars more frequently since they aren’t confined by location and allow real-time interaction.
- Place webinar on your website. Either as a download or behind a pay wall.
- Upload presentation portion to Slideshare or other social media site.
- Chunk your webinar for shorter on-site content. Use this content as a teaser.
- Transcribe the content into text format. Rand Fishkin does this in his Whiteboard Fridays.
- Create blog posts from the content. Spotlight key points.
- Use participant questions for articles. Take customer inspiration from every thing!
Recycle Content Marketing: Photographs
Visual content conveys information quicker than text to viewers. Check with your legal team to get releases from professional sessions such as when you create product, live or advertising sessions to use the outtakes and extra images without royalty issues.
- Create behind-the-scenes blog posts or articles from an advertising or product creation photo shoot. Include “Pin This” options. Request backlinks for photo use elsewhere.
- Post photos on social media. Include consistent hashtags.
- Include photographs in presentations for live events, webinars and/or Slideshare. Add attribution.
Recycle Content Marketing: Graphics
Offer non-photographic, visual information to readers. Include charts, visual note-taking, and infographics. Make them pinnable.
- Aggregate related graphics into an infographic. Show longer value of visual content. Encourage others to embed content with a backlink to your original post.
- Create social media shares across platforms. Don’t underestimate the value of Pinterest.
- 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
Includes short informal content, social media video, outtakes from advertising and/or live events or more formal video content.
- Convert video’s main points into a text and image blog post or article.
- Provide text transcription of video. Moz does this for their Whiteboard Fridays to enhance search findability.
- 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. This helps your searchability. (But check legal issues with your lawyer!)
- Curate other people’s video. Spin Sucks’s Gini Dietrich does this with her Saturday column, Gin and Topics.
Recycle Content Marketing: Audio Content
This is the sound track to a talk, discussion or presentation. Post on related audio sites such as iTunes. (BTW, here’s the lowdown on audio content. HINT: Audio is under-utilized!)
- Offer text transcript. Supports search findability and people who prefer to read text.
- Post on your blog. Helps distribute your content.
- Curate new audio content. Spotlight the best of the past week’s audio information. Take an aural approach to Dietrich’s videos.
Recycle Content Marketing: Interviews
Interview employees, customers and influencers. Remember customers and your audience are micro-influencers.
- Break television or radio interviews into segments. Focus each on a separate question.
- Transform the interview into a column. Include both images and text.
- Answer someone else’s interview questions on your blog.
- Use additional interview outtakes on different platforms to enhance your website, blog or Facebook page.
- Hold interviews on a different platform such as Facebook Live.
- Ask a group of people the same question. This is my approach for roundup posts.
Recycle Content Marketing: Forum Interactions (Includes tools like Slack)
While forums have existed for years, some of this type of communications now takes place on tools like Slack.
- Answer forum questions in blog columns, third party site articles and FAQs.
- Create videos to answer questions.
- Gather user input for a column or blog post. Gini Dietrich has specific Slack Groups for her Big Question column and Gin and Topics column. Even better she gives them links and shout outs.
- Share blog post content where appropriate to answer questions. But don’t just push your content!
- Curate different content pieces to provide context and answer participant questions. This can support your search efforts.
Recycle Content Marketing: Social Media
Social media provides opportunities to repromote your content, reuse content created on social media, convert content into another format and/or to curate content.
- Collect highlights of a Twitter chat into a blog post or column.
- Answer questions raised in a Twitter chat in a blog post or column. You don’t need to be the guest to do this. Give attribution and links when you quote other people.
- Create “Evil Twin” content for long form content offerings like Medium and LinkedIn Publishing.
- Transform text and image content into video format for YouTube.
- Reference tweets and other social media shares in your articles and blog posts.
- Create Pinterest boards around your key topics. Note: Pinterest has been gaining traction as Facebook visibility declines.
- Use Instagram to broaden your visual content reach. Many makers (including fashion, sewing and knitting) have flocked to Instagram.
Recycle Content Marketing: Live Events and Conferences
Live events, large and small, offer content recycling opportunities.
- Create blog posts and articles before, during and after the event. Here are 20 conference blog post ideas you can use.
- Use event videos to create online content or products. Many events include a image disclosure for attendees and speakers.
- Interview attendees and influencers. Take advantage of being in the same place to create content. Make appointments where appropriate.
- Curate content and social shares from the live event. Use photos to get more attention.
- Post the past year’s presentations on event site to promote the new event.
- Extend event reach by sharing event content with your housefile.
Recycle Content Marketing Conclusion
Don’t limit your repromotion, reuse and repurposing of your content marketing to an annual equivalent of Earth Day.
Instead integrate recycled content into your on-going content marketing strategy to keep your best content visible to humans and search engines while maximizing results from each content creation effort.
When you recycle content marketing, you get the opportunity to improve or delete the less loved or irrelevant content in your marketing portfolio. This improves your content marketing results because people and search engines aren’t distracted by now irrelevant content.
By reusing existing content from across your organization, you’re able to pool resources and improve teamwork as an added benefit.
Are there any other suggestions that you have for recycling content that weren’t included in this list? If so, please add them in the comment section below.
Here are some related articles that you may find of use.
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Originally published: April 22, 2011.