We all do it: spend hours thinking of topics, craft artisanal headlines, and wait for the sudden influx of new customers to flood in after reading our blog masterpieces.
Unfortunately, the sudden flood rarely happens. Too often, our ideal customers don’t find the content we release on our blogs. Why? We hit "publish" and hope that people will come find us -- but they don't even know we've released something new.
Publishing content should be like dating. Imagine you’re trying to find a girlfriend or boyfriend: Do you think you’ll find someone by never leaving your home? Of course not! You need to go where your prospects are.
In content marketing terms, this means repacking your blog posts into new formats and promoting it on the sites and platforms your customers spend time on -- social media, article aggregators, Q&A sites, and SlideShare to name a few.
In this post, I’ll show you eight ways you can use your existing content to reach more customers and fans. By repurposing and distributing your existing content on different platforms, you can easily and inexpensively triple your content output, and drive many more new visitors, leads, and customers.
1) Turn Blog Content Into an Infographic
Infographics are a great tool to repackage content in a way that’s sharable and visually attractive. They’re also a great way to attract links and traffic: according to AnsonAlex, businesses that publish infographics grow their traffic an average of 12% more than those that don’t.
Infographics are great because they can be a way to take a few normal blog posts and turn them into something visually compelling for readers. Put together properly, they can be easier to read and digest, which makes them more sharable.
Infographics can also be easy to create: for just a few hundred dollars, you can hire a freelance designer on Enovato Studio or Odesk, use a site like Fiverr, or -- for the DIYers out there -- use HubSpot’s free infographic templates to make your own. If you hire someone, just be sure to sketch out a basic infographic concept before handing it off to a designer -- this saves a lot of headache (and expense) down the road.
After you have your infographic, feature it on your blog and make sure to include an embed code so people can easily share the infographic on their sites. Then, promote it through your social media and email channels, and submit it to any of the following directories:
After going through these steps, you’ll have a beautiful infographic that’s collecting links, social shares, and engaging potential customers.
2) Turn a Blog Post Into a YouTube Video
Though YouTube is the second most popular search engine -- behind the ever-present Google -- it’s highly underutilized when it comes to content marketing. It’s far less cluttered with content about things like landing page design, content marketing, and other topics you may cover -- so it's a channel you might want to invest some time into experimenting with.
To create a video, you can simply record yourself talking about the contents of one of your most popular blog posts, or record a Skype or in-person interview with an expert on the blog post topic. For example, let's say you blog about raising wolf cubs (they’re so cute!). You could interview someone who’s raised wolves in the past or simply record yourself talking about raising wolves, interspersed with pictures of your wolf cubs. Just make sure your lighting is good and you are filming in a quiet area. (And here are some additional video tips for beginners.)
Once you have a video made, optimize your title for search, and then post it on your blog and submit to the following video sharing sites:
After its LinkedIn acquisition, SlideShare has become a very popular way for professionals to view and enjoy content. They also rank well, and can drive long-term organic traffic to your site.
To create a nice slide deck, simply pull out 10-20 points from a blog post and hire a designer to turn each of those points into a slide. Each slide should include one key point from your post and a high-quality image. Each slide deck should have one or two introduction slides, 10-20 slides that cover the main points from your blog post, 1-2 slides with quotes from industry thought leaders, and a concluding slide that links back to your website, blog or landing page. (If you want a template to help you get started with SlideShare presentations, check this one out.)
Once you have a nicely designed slide deck, upload to SlideShare and embed the deck into a blog post you write about the deck. Boom -- you’ve now exposed your content to the millions of monthly SlideShare visitors!
4) Turn Your Posts Into Audio
According to Edison Research, an estimated 39 million Americans have listened to a podcast in the last month. This number continues to grow: People like to listen to audio while commuting, exercising, working out, or just relaxing. If this is a medium that your customers are active on, audio episodes can be a great way to consistently rack up subscribers searching iTunes for your content.
Taking advantage of audio is dead simple -- simply hire a professional voice from Fiverr or Odesk to read your blog post aloud, and end with a call-to-action (check out our site for a discount, sign up for our email list, etc.), or try recording it yourself using your computer or phone. It’s as simple as that.
Then, once you have a high-quality recording, upload it to Soundcloud and embed the file into your blog post. Then, you can submit to podcast directories like the ones below for additional distribution:
Some people, especially those working in larger corporations, like to download whitepapers for reference. Though often not much longer than blog posts, a whitepaper has a more formal and professional feel. They also can get shared around internally more often than a blog post.
These can also be easy to pull together: Combine 2-3 longer blog posts into a cohesive document and put the text into a free whitepaper templates or hire a designer from Odesk or Fiverr. Once you have a well-designed PDF, you can give it away in exchange for an email address, or make it a freely available resource for current visitors. You can also upload it to sites like SlideShare, Docstoc, and Scribd for additional distribution.
6) Syndicate Existing Content on External Networks
How would you like if content your wrote was automatically pushed out to everyone in your network, and those in your network’s network? That’s what can happen when publishing on LinkedIn’s new publishing platform: Content you publish there automatically gets pushed out to your network, and can be featured in one of the many topical LinkedIn channels. In fact, a post I published just a few weeks ago was featured in the Entrepreneurship & Small Business channel (and its 4.2 million subscribers), and quickly garnered 26,000+ views.
And, all this came from a republished piece of content. Thanks LinkedIn!
To get started with LinkedIn publishing, you’ll have to see if you have access first (it's slowly rolling out to all members at the moment). If you have access, you'll see a little pencil icon in your status update box -- if you have it, that means you have access.
If you don't have access yet, don't worry. There are other rising platforms (Quora and Medium to name a few) where individuals can publish blog posts and take advantage of the platform’s promotion of popular posts. For example, Medium sends out popular posts in a weekly email. Quora emails updates every time someone you follow publishes a new essay. By taking advantage of the inherent sharing dynamics that exist on these platforms, you can give your existing content second life -- you might garner more views and shares on one of these platforms than you did by publishing on your own blog.
7) Post Excerpts to Q&A Sites
Speaking of Quora, there are plenty of high-ranking Q&A sites where your potential customers hang out and discuss the topics you’re an expert on. Sounds awesome, right?
It is. One simple way to drive more visits to your content is to use excerpts of content you’ve already written to answer open or popular questions on Q&A sites and forums like Quora, Stack Exchange, Reddit, and Experts Exchange. By doing so, you’ll gain a following on each of these sites and give site members an opportunity to click back to the original content on your own site. Just be sure to tailor your responses to the question asked instead of copy/pasting content, and to not come across as too self-promotional, as that can irk some members of these communities.
Want to see a prime example of how this is done well? Oliver Emberton has done extraordinarily well with this strategy, and it’s led to a book and movie deal. Jason Lemkin of SaaStr has done similarly well, growing his audience to hundreds of thousands of readers by leveraging Quora’s readership.
8) Extend Existing Content With Interviews
The last tactic we’ll cover is extending content you already have. Let’s say your old post on raising wolf cubs did really well, but is a bit stale since it was published six months ago. How can you drive more views to a great piece of content that’s run its course?
One easy way to do this is to make it more comprehensive -- add original graphics, design, research, or interviews -- and then republish it. Of these options, interviews are my favorite. They’re easy to do, engage a thought leader in your space, and allow you to promote your content with a known name (assuming you interview someone with a personal audience).
With this tactic, simply email a few experts in your industry and ask them if they’re willing to do a quick interview around the content you created earlier. This interview can last 10-15 minutes: The goal is simply to get the expert’s opinion on the topic you covered, and a few relevant quotes you can sprinkle into your revamped post.
Once you’ve added a few new elements to your post and tossed in some expert quotes, it’s now ready for promotion. Push it out through your social, email, and aggregator channels, and wait for the traffic to roll in.
And we’re done! By using the above tactics, you can easily triple your content output and drive thousands of new visitors (and leads) to your website. Hope to see your content on one of these platforms soon!
Originally published Aug 26, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017