Repurpose Like a Pro: 3 Ways to Extend Your Long-Form Content
November 12, 2015 | Dan Trefethen
Repurposing is a common best practice among the most effective content creators: you can be much more efficient and prolific if you take a single idea and turn it 15 different ways rather than trying to come up with 15 brand new ideas.
Ideas are super hard to come by, and when you get a great one you have to grab on with both hands and squeeze as much value out of it as you can.
If you’re not sure what I mean by “repurposing,” think of it as taking a great idea and building off it to create something completely new. Kind of like IKEA Hacking, but for marketers.
Repurposing comes in three different flavors:
- atomization, which is breaking a single asset up into smaller pieces;
- aggregation, which is pulling smaller pieces together into larger long-form assets; and
- amplification, which is using the themes & messages of your core content to create related pieces that build the strength of your brand’s connection to the idea/topic overall
We’ll dive into each option separately so you can think about which method or methods makes sense for your content mix and marketing team.
Here’s what atomization looks like.
You take your pillar asset and chop it into smaller, bite-sized chunks: social posts, blogs, email copy, infographics, etc. Atomization gives you more legs to promote the core piece as well as reaching your audience through different formats.
That means one white paper could equate to:
- 16 social posts
- 4 blogs
- 2 videos
- 1 slideshare presentation
- 1 webinar
- 6 email streams
- 1 infographic
- 2 assessments
- 1 knowledge test
- 1 calculator
…and more! For a potential total of at least 35 additional assets from that one main piece. That’s a lot of content!
If atomization is taking something big and chopping it up, aggregation is its hoarding neighbor (in a good way?). With aggregation, you take smaller pieces you’ve already produced and pull them into cohesive collections.
Here’s how that might look, in a handy diagram from TopRank:
Do you have stats scattered throughout your content? Pull them together it into a stats roundup. If you have a bunch of blog posts on a similar topic, why not turn them into an ebook?
Aggregation gives you a multiplier effect to your content, as well, reducing the time it takes to produce long-form assets you can use for lead conversion by working with what you already have.
Then there’s amplification – slightly different from atomization in that you’re taking the themes and ideas from your content to inspire brand new assets. You’re not just breaking your big asset into smaller pieces; you’re creating something entirely new on the same topic or core message.
Interactive content is a perfect fit for the amplification brand of repurposing. It’s more than taking bits and pieces out of existing content – it’s riffing on an overarching concept to reach your audience in different ways.
If you have an ebook all about how to master Pinterest marketing, you can build related assets around that with amplification. You might create:
- A quiz: “How Much Do Know About Ideal Pinterest Image Dimensions?”
- An assessment: “What’s Your Pinterest Marketing Personality?”
- A worksheet: “Plan Your 12-Month Pinterest Marketing Initiative”
- A calculator: “How Much Could You Grow Your Audience With Pinterest?”
These assets are all related, but not just chopped up pieces of the original asset. Building this kind of library strengthens your brand authority on the topic (and doesn’t hurt with SEO, either).
Think about the way we consume content today. People receive messages in different ways, and those messages resonate differently for different people.
For better or worse, we live in a slightly ADD society – all of us suffer from keeping multiple tabs open, with Tweets and Facebook posts scrolling by on our screens.
We marketers need to find a way to amplify our messaging so it can get out there and grab our audience’s attention in whatever way we can.
Whether you use atomization, aggregation, or amplification, make the most of your content by turning it around and giving it a new look. You’ll have more content in less time, and your audience will appreciate the change in perspective.