Wouldn’t it be great that every time you came up with an idea, you didnt have to worry about it being buried amongst the plethora of content across the web?
This is every creator’s fear
That their brilliant idea will only live a short finite life and never truly reach those who would benefit from it.
But what if you could actually spread your idea across the web and have your content live longer? Isnt it every content creators goal to extend the shelf life of their hard work?
Think about it… you’ve already spent your time developing the idea, preparing the research and creating the actual content, whether it’s a blog post, video, podcast, or infographic. So why not leverage that idea and pour it into different formats to distribute it as far and wide as possible?
Some people learn better by reading, others by hearing, others by seeing. So why not put your idea in front of all these types of learners, who would’ve otherwise missed it entirely? As Seth Godin says, “Delivering your message in different ways, over time, not only increases retention and impact, but it gives you the chance to describe what youre doing from several angles.”
Like the saying theres more than one way to skin a cat, Ill be showing you 10 ways to skin or inject more shelf-life into your content and reach a larger audience. As marketer and entrepreneur Derek Halpern says, “spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% of your time promoting it”.
For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that your main form of content is a blog post. Here is how you can turn a single post into several different formats:
Strategy #1: Create a Slideshare presentation
The easiest way to get started is to create a presentation based on the key highlights of your post. Slideshare is the Youtube for presentations and many visual thinkers go to the site in search of presentations which explain a topic visually.
Dont take the exact content from your blog post and paste it into slides. Thats a redundant exercise. Instead, focus on the key highlights and summarise them into 5-15 slides. When you upload the presentation to Slideshare, include a link to the original post so you can drive readers back to your website to view the entire post.
You can go a step further and convert your presentation into a PDF report and publish it on Scribd or Docstoc. It doesn’t have to be the exact version of the presentation, you can expand on certain points, throw in a few images and you’re good to go.
HOT TIP: Ana Hoffman does a great job of explaining the benefits of converting your blog posts into PDF. In fact, she recommends using Print Friendly to convert them. Read how this 2-minute process leads to more links, eyeballs and exposure for Ana here.
Strategy #2: Create an Infographic
A step beyond a slideshow presentation is my favourite format, the infographic ,(a visual summary of the content of your post in a creative outline.). If you have a number of stats in your post, infographics can help you break that down into digestible chunks which your audience can consume in an structured manner.
You can create your own infographics using tools like Piktochart and Easelly. Then, you can distribute your infographics on your blog, social media profiles and on infographic directories like Visually, InfographicsArchive, InfographicShowcase or DailyInfographics and even Slideshare!
We recently converted HubSpots report on Is Social Selling Creepy into an infographic.
The result was the following and this has been shared almost 400 times across various social networks.
Strategy #3: Record a Podcast
Once you’ve written your blog post and fleshed out the main points, simply read the content into a microphone and convert it into a podcast. Check out these instructions for creating your first podcast. Once your podcast is up, you can use LinkedIn Publisher to embed the conversation.
Watch this simple hack from Ryan Hanley on how to create one within minutes. This is how it appears on LinkedIn
Or, you can use a site like AudioBoom to convert your post into audio presentations.
Strategy #4: Create a Voicemap
You’ve articulated the central points of your idea into an infographic and created an audio file. What’s next? How about blending the two together, otherwise known as a Voicemap.
A voicemap is a graphic recording that transforms ideas into hands-down visuals to simplify complex ideas, engage people and make your ideas stick.
How to create a Voicemap?
You can create your own voicemap using Voicemap to deliver clarity on complex ideas and identify gaps in understanding or areas where your ideas could be improved.
Start by writing down a script from your blog post and add a voice-over to highlight your key concepts. This is a fun and unique way of sharing your ideas with an audience that is receptive to visual learning.
Here is how visual note-taker Rachel Smith from Digitalfacilitation promotes her voicemaps on Twitter:
Strategy #5: Create a Mindmap
Mind maps are incredibly fun and easy to make. A mindmap is a non-linear way of taking notes, brainstorming and mapping out key concepts and the connections between them.
You can create a mindmap and help people understand the connection between different ideas in your post and maximise the synergies between them. You can start with pen and paper and sketch your ideas or if you want to go digital from the outset, try these online mind-mapping tools: XMind (desktop app) or SimpleMind (mobile app).
Infographics tend to be more linear and are more effective when trying to explain a process or visualising data whereas mindmaps are great for brainstorming and capturing seemingly unrelated thoughts and concepts.
Strategy #6: Write an answer on Quora
Quora is like Yahoo Answers, only with far better questions and actual experts addressing those questions. It’s a great place to acquire new information, create a following and drive traffic back to your site.
Or, if you stumble upon a cool question, answer it and then use that conversation as a starting point to an in-depth blog post or tutorial, either on your own blog or as a guest post.
Here is an example where a respondent not only provides an in-depth answer but also draws them to an extensive post they have already written on the topic.
Strategy #7: Record a video
You can either put yourself in front of the camera or deliver your content using screen captures (use tools like Jing or Screenr). The idea is to make your content available on video platforms such as YouTube and Facebook too.
You can use the same slides used to develop your Slideshare presentation, but now you record your voice and screen as you walk through the content. There is also the potential to create a downloadable transcription (PDF).
Hot Tip: No time to create videos? Check out the services of Ranking Articles which can help convert your written content into videos (they are cheap too).
Strategy #8: Use LinkedIn Publisher
When LinkedIn Publisher first launched, there were many users which produced authentic content but many used it to simply re-post their blog content in the hope of reaching a new audience. I disagree with this approach, especially if you have connections which are regular readers of your blog (not the best user experience) plus there are duplicate content / SEO implications. Melbourne Digital Marketing company – Apex Digital, specialists in SEO strategy recommends posting content first on your websites or blog before sharing or re-posting on other platforms to insure Google recognizes you as the originator of the content (not a copycat).
Instead, I like Nathan Ellerings advice who states that You should wait at least two weeks after the post publishes before you republish it to LinkedIn. From a search engine perspective, it gives the bots enough time to detect which post is the original, therefore, lowering the chance that your LinkedIn post outranks the original.
Another method to consider is publishing a summary version of the original article to LinkedIn with a call to action in place to drive readers to your primary website / blog if they want to read the full post.
Strategy #9: Create social media updates
Take small quotes from your blog post, old articles or newsletters and use them as social media updates. You can also add small quotes to images to create quote pictures. These can then be posted on Facebook , Twitter or pinned on Pinterest. There are tons of sites with free photos (Unsplash, Gratisography, StockSnap, etc.) that you can use to create beautiful “pinnable” or “likeable” content.
Whether you write a post, map out an infographic, record a podcast episode or a video, you should extract the key points which can be used as part of your social media content plan.
In fact, Ill do it right now using Buffers awesome app, Pablo (the below literally took me 20 seconds).
The best time to create these is when you start your proofreading process where any sticky quotes that stand out can be transformed into quote graphics. The simply attach them to your favourite social media management tool like Buffer or Hootsuite and schedule away!
Strategy #10: Create a Roundup post
I particularly liked this tip because not only are they quick to put together, but they can be extremely valuable if executed properly.
What is a roundup post?
This is a post which captures a snippet of articles, blogs, external documents which you didnt write but where you provide a short snippet about each one and link to the original source.
Notice how the author summarises the post in a sentence with a link to the original article. Now perhaps in your case, you could use external articles and include your own in the wrap up.
Never Stop Cross-Promoting
These are just 10 ways of skinning your content based on a core idea to reach a broader audience. The great part is that once you’re done fleshing out your idea, you can pour it into all these new formats and promote it over and over again.
You can cross-promote your videos and presentations by embedding them on your site and social media, you can promote your slides and podcast episodes on LinkedIn, you can make quotes images, share quick tips on Twitter and so on.
Once you have an idea, use this content alchemy to make it accessible to as many people as you can. The benefits include receive website traffic from numerous sources, connecting with an audience you otherwise would never have reached and also gaining an understanding of which format reaps the greatest reward for your business (you might be surprised).
So what is your experience with re-purposing your content? What type of content has worked best for you and what do you love to create the most? Let us know in the comments below.