In our latest Lunch & Learn at Liquid, I talked about the power of content, the importance of consistency, and ultimately shared some practical ways to repurpose your content in a way that truly resonates with your audience.
- It’s OK to repurpose your content. Your audience can’t resonate with your message the first time they hear it.
- It takes 7 total credits before someone truly internalizes a message.
- Use your “greatest hits” content.
- Begin with writing, and repurpose into full text, excerpts, “seeds”, images, and video.
- Deliver a message when it’s most relevant to your readers, not when it’s the newest thing you’ve written.
- Leverage the strengths of each platform, and be intentional, thoughtful, and consistent in your output. Don’t copy and paste or automate content creation.
- Email can be powerful, especially when used properly. Remove your fear of giving too much value in your emails, and remember that emails are one-to-one interactions, not “blasts”.
- Create unique value in everything you output.
Here are some highlights of the talk:
0:02: You need to say something more than once. People don’t notice announcements. It requires repetition to resonate.
0:30: Question: “Won’t I sound repetitive if I repurpose content?” Repetition is not a concern. Even the most engaged and loyal followers can’t possibly consume what you put out.
0:50: People need reminders. Don’t be afraid to drill the message in. As long as you repurpose the value from your content, you aren’t being redundant. You should repeat yourself because doing so helps your message resonate.
It takes 7 credits to resonate.
1:20: It’s like an arcade game — you need a few credits in order to start the game. This concept applies to your message. You need someone to hear your message 7 times on any platform in order for them to internalize it.
2:40: Everyone has a different number of credits inserted. You want to be the seventh credit. Your competitors can help prime your audience, but you want to be the credit that “starts the game”.
Practical ways to repurpose your content
3:45: Use what’s already worked. Take your successful blog posts, your high-converting emails and repurpose the message. New subscribers don’t know about your “greatest hits” and don’t look back at your old content.
4:40: Don’t be afraid to share older content. Your older content still has value, particularly evergreen content.
Example: Don’t share a post in 2015 about iOS 7; that’s not relevant anymore.
5:20: Relevance is always more important than the post date. People need to hear the right thing at the right time, which may or not be what the user needs to hear right now.
5:40: Question: “How much of my content should be repurposed?” You want to strike a balance — you need the seven credits.
6:00: Even up to half of your content can be repurposed. Always deliver unique value.
6:15: Begin with writing. Ultimately, everything you create begins when you write. Don’t write with a specific platform in mind; write with no restrictions.
6:40: Blog posts, movie scripts, video storyboards, emails — everything starts with writing. You can repackage and repurpose the value that originates when you write.
7:05: Sean McCabe’s quote: “You can’t improve what you haven’t written before.”
Unless you have something written down, you can’t improve it. Sean says, “You can’t steer a parked car.”
7:30: Repurpose everything like you can a pumpkin.
7:45: The pumpkin rotting on your door step right now is like a piece of content you wrote a year ago. The content feels like it’s getting old or rotting away. In reality, you can take bits from that content — like you can a pumpkin — and use them for something else.
8:15: Take the blog posts from a year ago, extract the “seeds”, and Tweet them. People don’t do this, even though it’s tremendously powerful.
8:30: Take the innards and make a soup — that’s another whole meal on its own. Make a video out of a blog post; it’s like another substantial meal.
8:55: You can use even the parts you think you can’t use, you can use, even for something as simple as an email subject line.
When you write, create all of these things.
9:30: Full Text: The full text is the entirety of what you’ve written, like a blog post or email newsletter (particularly if you’re focused on the long game and don’t fear sharing a lot of value) — or a downloadable guide or ebook. This is the largest piece.
10:35: Excerpts: For everything you write, create a digestible, 1–2 paragraph version of that message. Don’t copy and paste a paragraph; write about the essence of your message. Find a way to get your point across in a paragraph. These excerpts are ideal for things like Facebook posts or LinkedIn updates. Excerpts are typically accompanied by a link.
11:20: “Seeds”: A one-line takeaway that’s perfect for Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. Find the smallest points that really drive your message home.
11:50: Image or Photo: Stand out from the noise by using a photo when you share your content. Create a visual association from other platforms to your website. This is ideal for Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.
12:50: Video and Audio: This talk is a great example of repurposing — and it started with writing. We repurposed our writing into a talk and a video.
13:30: This applies to audio and podcasts, too. Podcasts are a rising medium right now.
13:50: “Podcasts are the new blog.” — Ryan Hoover of ProductHunt
14:00: You don’t have to release what you’ve written immediately. Get your content in a queue or schedule. When does it make sense to push it out?
14:35: Repurpose evergreen content. Use what makes sense to repurpose. If you’re a menswear company, you don’t want to create a visual style guide of what to wear to the beach this summer, only to turn it into a video that you release in November. You don’t see Windows 95 for Dummies books being repurposed today.
Play to the platform strengths.
15:20: Every platform does something well. You need to treat each platform as unique and embrace what each platform does especially well.
15:45: You can’t copy and paste across different platforms and channels. That’s not repurposing. You need to take what’s best about a particular channel and use it to your advantage.
15:55: Twitter: The platform the most people are getting wrong.
16:15: Most brand Tweets look bad. They have a Facebook URL and have no value. Most brand Tweets are part of the noise. If you’re doing this, you need to stop doing it. You’re telling people that you don’t value their attention and it’s a poor reflection of your brand. Most brand Tweets “shove” content at people and hope it sticks. This is wrong.
17:10: An example of a good brand Tweet uses the strengths of Twitter. Ask yourself, “What value can I provide in this Tweet without requiring someone to click on a link?”
17:20: That’s the secret to engagement on Twitter. “What can I put here right now that doesn’t require people to click a link to learn more?” Play the long game. What value can you provide to enhance the perception of your brand?
17:50: Facebook: Plays well toward an excerpt and an image. Create some sort of value in the post (the excerpt) itself.
18:25: Like Twitter, you shouldn’t be worried about people clicking the link. Do include a link, but people will share posts with value inside them.
19:00: Instagram: Create a visual that’s relevant to your content.
19:10: You want to be intentional in what you post. Be purposeful and mindful about what Instagram does well.
Sean took advantage of his hand lettering expertise and found a way to repurpose the message and say it in different words. He played to the strong visual strengths of Instagram.
20:20: On every platform, be intentional, be consistent, and provide unique value. You absolutely need to provide unique value (a different takeaway or piece of value) every time.
20:55: Video: A lot of people aren’t leveraging video because it takes effort. Restructure your writing into video. That’s what we’re doing with this talk — we’re getting a lot of mileage from this writing adapted into a talk, adapted into a video.
21:30: Video doesn’t need to be a huge production. Video resonates with people because of how personal it feels.
21:40: Email: It’s something a lot of brands get wrong and misuse.
21:50: Email is the most efficient way to reach an audience.
21:55: Provide value in every single email to train people to open and read your emails. Answer people’s questions in some way. Help people answer their questions. Provide unique value instead of making announcements.
22:15: Reward every click inside your email; train people that every time you send an email, there’s something valuable inside for the recipient. Email is extremely powerful when you use it this way. Set the expectation that there’s value — that’s how you can send more frequently.
22:35: Value allows you to send with more frequency.
“There’s nothing wrong with sending daily emails, as long as your audience knows that there’s something valuable in it for them — that they’re going to get something out of it. There’s nothing wrong with frequent emails as long as there’s value inside of them.”
Getting more email signups
22:50: Provide some sort of value before you ask for the email address. Maybe that’s a download or ebook — some sort of lead magnet before you ask.
23:35: The lead magnet starts the relationship out on a good note, since you, the brand, are giving before you’re asking. It’s a perfect example of giving value first.
23:45: Ask for only an email address. You don’t need all those extra fields. Every additional field is a fall-off point. You need the subscriber before you learn more about them.
24:20: When someone signs up for your email lists, answer:
“What am I getting right now?” What are you giving in exchange for a person’s email address? What value are you providing right away?
24:35: “What am I getting later?” What is someone signing up for? Are you delivering value or sending spam? Set the expectation, right from the beginning.
25:00: “How often will I get something?” Is this daily? Weekly? Monthly? You’ll see subscriber counts climb when you’re clear about expectations up front.
25:20: Focus on a single subject. You rely a lot on a subject line. If you’re promoting 10 pieces of content in a email and someone doesn’t open because of your subject line, that’s 10 pieces of content someone won’t consume.
25:40: You don’t need to send your latest piece of content — send one piece that’s relevant right now. Focus on one subject at a time. Relevancy is more important than recency.
26:10: Email is a one-to-one interaction. It’s not a one-to-10,000 transaction. Stop the “email blast” mindset; remove it from your vocabulary. Email is a conversation — at its essence, that’s what email is about.
27:00: Create content around your audience’s questions. We did this with our Lunch & Learn signup confirmation emails — we asked, “What are you struggling with right now? What are your challenges when it comes to creating and repurposing content?” This allowed us to extract the questions and address topics that truly resonate — they’re questions and struggles from real people.
27:35: Your users will feel like you’re reading their minds when you answer a question that ten other people are asking, when you’re solving real problems.
Taking it to the next level
27:50: Make the next step as painless as possible. You’ve inserted the credits and provided value — now set the expectation of what action someone needs to take next. Guide someone down the right path. It’s easier to do that once you’ve provided value first.
28:30: Give before you ask. Consider the rule of reciprocity. You’ll see more results when you give repeatedly before you ask. Show you understand their problem and their struggles through giving them value.
28:45: Communicate with your audience. Social media is a conversation. Email is one-to-one. Understand people’s challenges and struggles. Take their questions and answer them — that’s content creation.
29:20: Automate the send, not the creation. Don’t automate Twitter posts from Facebook — that’s “shoving” content at people.
29:35: It’s OK to schedule the release of content at a specific time, but don’t automatically generate content. Write everything yourself; you have something valuable to add to their lives, so they deserve to hear that from you.
30:10: Every message should be unique. Don’t copy and paste Tweets and send them over and over. Respect your users’ attention and give them something of unique value each time.
30:20: Email courses have come up in the past few years — when someone signs up for your email list, you automatically send someone an automated series of messages in the coming days that helps solve their problems or provide additional value. Email courses are a great example of writing the content yourself once, but automatically delivering content to many different people personally. You write once and it keeps giving.
31:20: The key takeaway: Create some sort of unique value and be consistent in your content output. Find a way to say something that you’ve already said in a different way.
Thanks to all who attended the event. I hope you all took value away and learned how to apply new strategies for repurposing content you've already created in ways that will truly resonate and solve problems for your audience.
About Steve Luvender
Steve Luvender is a Senior User Experience Designer at Liquid Interactive, where he works with organizations to design and implement solutions that delight people and create business results.