So what’s the difference? In essence we’re looking at taking existing content and turning it into something different to give it a new lease of life. And while respinning, repurposing, reforming, republishing content may all sound like the same thing, there are subtle differences that when employed correctly can have a big impact on your marketing efforts.
To help explain so you can get your head around the ideas, let’s imagine that you have just written a white paper…
Re-spinning content: use me to make your content tailored and specific
Even though your technology may appeal and be useful to everyone, there will naturally be certain sectors you target, or specific types of companies that prove more lucrative. To re-spin your white paper, think about tailoring it to each of these audiences.
While the core messages remain the same, and a lot of the copy will remain ‘as-is’ there are subtle tweaks that will make all the difference. For example:
- Your target sector: do you refer to them as customers, clients, beneficiaries, donors, members, end users?
- Their target audience: what are the specific pains that your customers’ customers are feeling?
- The reader: are they an executive looking for a high-level overview, or someone more technical wanting to get down in the detail?
- The market drivers: what specific legislation or regulatory changes are pushing the agenda?
By tailoring your copy to each sector you’re demonstrating that you really understand your market, which is naturally going to resonate more.
A white paper that discusses how not-for-profits embark on a cloud migration strategy, talking about member expectations, needing to account for every penny spent and constraints laid down by the Charity Commission, is going to be a far more compelling and relatable read than a generic white paper just about cloud migration.
Repurposing content: use me to make your content fit a different channel
Now imagine that you’ve published your white paper on your website, but you want to reach a wider audience. By repurposing it for a different channel(s) you’re making it easier for new members of your audience to acquire that information.
You could pull out compelling ideas and re-write them as updates for your social channels. Or you could take the key takeaway message and elaborate on it from the point of view of one of your subject matter experts, which they can then publish on LinkedIn. Or you could pull out the key themes/messages from your white paper and elaborate on them more through deep-dive blogs that are rich in SEO and therefore going to help you be found online – like I’ve done with “The Little Book of…Thought Leadership Content” on my blog…
Repurposed content is more likely to sit at the top of your sales funnel, helping to hook prospective leads in. Therefore, the call-to-action at the end should be a link where the reader can find your white paper to learn more – whether you choose to gate or not is another question…
Reforming content: use me to pull other content together into something bigger
In this scenario, let’s imagine that you haven’t written your white paper…yet.
White papers are one of the most valuable forms of content you can produce. But they do require a lot of time and effort to create – unless you’re reforming content from pieces that already exist.
If you have a content strategy in place, everything you produce will be focused around key topics, industry trends, or specific products/services your business is trying to push. That means you already have a lot of amazing content – the hard work is done! All you need to do is pull it together into a compelling piece.
When you’re re-forming content, think of it as more of an editing job, taking all those rich lovely assets and cutting, tweaking and reframing sections to make them something new.
Republishing content: use me to share someone else’s content
This is perhaps the simplest of all the content strategies shared here, and yet it’s very effective at helping to reinforce your positioning and establish your credentials.
With this example, let’s imagine that you’ve read someone else’s white paper – perhaps something written by one of the big vendors – and you think it might be of use to your audience. So do you:
- Just share the link?
- Share the link with a simple sentence like “Great white paper from Microsoft on remote working!”
- Share the link and introduce it with the reason you found it interesting, the lesson you learned, or the important thing your audience will learn from reading it – for example “The pitfalls that Microsoft has shared in this white paper around remote working reflect what we’ve seen with our customers in recent months, where end users are struggling to perform all of their tasks while working from home. But interestingly…”
While you’re likely to be reading content every day that you want to share in the moment, this is also the sort of content that you can create in advance and schedule to automate the process of republishing.
Spending a couple of hours researching a topic, seeing what the media, analysts and vendors are saying, will leave you with a pile of interesting/useful/relevant information that your audience will appreciate. Plus, in sharing content from strategically important organisations with strong brands – like Gartner, Forrester, IDC, Harvard Business Review, Government documentation – your audience starts to associate the two brands, which strengthens your positioning in their minds.
Find out more and have some fun
If you’re interested in learning more about how to employ smart tactics within your content strategy to get a better return on your investment, grab a coffee and take a look at this article:
Alternatively, the best way to learn more is to give it a go for yourself. So, grab a piece of your existing content and have a play – think about how that existing piece could be respun, repurposed or reformed to create something new. Or take a moment to research other content you could republish to your audience.
And of course, if you have any questions, or want me to sanity check anything, my inbox is always open…