7 Ways to Upcycle Your Marketing Content and Generate Leads and Traffic (With Minimal Effort)

Posted by Natalie Hornyak

You may be sitting on a content marketing goldmine and not even realize it.

Creating a content marketing calendar is a pretty labor-intensive process. You need to research keywords, determine which topics are hot in your industry, look at your analytics to see which of your content is performing well, come up with creative and compelling pitches, and convince a bunch of busy subject matter experts to commit to assignments with deadlines.

And let’s face it — sometimes the well runs dry. Even the best marketers struggle to come up with great ideas from time to time. If you’ve ever hit a wall while developing your content strategy, I have some exciting news for you: the content you’re looking for could be hiding under your nose at this very moment.

I’m talking repurposing existing content.

You may be thinking, “That’s cheating,” or that your audience will grow weary of seeing the same information over and over again. But that’s not exactly true — take webinars, for example. There are so many presentations I wish I could attend, or at least watch at a later date, but can’t carve out the time in my schedule to do so. However, if those brands wrote a blog post presenting similar content, I can read that in a few minutes between projects. And if they really hook me with that post, I may be convinced to watch the webinar anyway to get the full picture.

That’s the magic of upcycling — it doesn’t just provide a relatively low-effort way to create great content, but it also rejuvenates your existing content with new avenues for promotion. Let’s look at a few simple ways you can give your content new life:

  1. Edit your webinars and post them to YouTube.

    YouTube receives billions of views every day. While you might host your former webinars on gated landing pages, you can also edit them for hosting on YouTube. The key here is to condense — YouTube viewers have notoriously short attention spans, and after a few minutes, most will drop off. So cut your webinar down to the most essential proof points, then publish it to YouTube with a CTA driving to your landing page so interested watchers can enjoy the full thing — and subscribe to your list!

  2. Post your YouTube videos to your blog, along with transcripts.

    Video content never stops giving. While you’re increasing your YouTube hits, you can also host those videos as blog posts to drive more traffic to your site. Here’s the real beauty though: by posting a transcript to your video, ideally optimized with great keywords, you can also boost SEO. This also extends your content to people who might not have the time to watch the video, and would rather a quick read of the information.

    My favorite example of video transcripts done right is Rand Fishkin’s Whiteboard Fridays series for Moz. Not only does he provide well-written, well-organized transcripts under the embedded video, but he also illustrates each point with a clear photo of the titular whiteboard to aid understanding and add visual interest. I personally never miss a Whiteboard Friday, as they always teach me something valuable about my job as a marketer, but I don’t have a ton of time to watch videos at work — so I really appreciate those blog posts!

  3. Turn Twitter posts into industry news digests.

    Everyone wants to stay current with news impacting their industry, but not everyone has the time to parse through multiple news sources to find the most relevant or important updates. Luckily for them, you post industry news to your Twitter feed every day (you do, don’t you? If not, start now!). You can gather those tweets into a weekly or monthly blog post with links to each article, along with a brief synopsis and a quick hot-take offering your opinion or reaction to the news in question. (Pro-tip: make those links open in a new tab using the target=“_blank” attribute — this improves your site’s engagement metrics, including bounce rate and time on site.)

    Then, bring it full circle by promoting that curated digest to your Twitter (and other social channels), making sure to tag the author of each piece. Often, those folks will thank you for the free promotion by retweeting your content, exposing your company blog to everyone in their personal network.

  4. Turn one webinar, ebook, or whitepaper into several blog posts.

    A PDF of a whitepaper may be a great asset to drive leads, but it won’t help your SEO — unless you take that content and break it up into sections, publishing each to your blog as a separate post optimized with high quality keywords. At the end of each blog post, add a high-impact CTA driving your reader to the landing page hosting that asset. They've already demonstrated interest in the content by reading through to the end of the post, so they’re more likely to give you their email in exchange for the full story.

    Let’s say you turn one ebook into three blog posts. That’s now three pieces of content promoting the full-sized asset, each appealing to a different area of interest. Multiple three by the number of social networks your company uses, and then multiply that number by how many posts you send out promoting each article — now, your vectors for marketing that ebook have increased geometrically.

    A Recent Example of Upcycled Content

    One of our clients recently tasked us with helping them populate their content calendar for Spring. I took a look at their keyword research, popped into BuzzSumo and AnswerThePublic to see what was trending, and came up with some pitches I thought could gain traction. Right before we sent those ideas along, the client emailed us one of their recent webinar presentations, asking if we could repurpose it for one or two blog posts.

    When I opened up the presentation, my jaw dropped. There was enough expert advice in that one webinar for at least five high-quality blog posts, along with great-looking data and graphics. I told the project manager to encourage the client to send us any other webinars or ebooks they already had, because it would be a crime not to make the most of the expertise they were sharing!

  5. Update old content with new, relevant information.

    Have you ever seen a post in your Twitter feed linking to a blog post, with a message to the effect of, “Based on recent events, I’ve updated to this article”? That’s a fantastic way to breathe life into content that’s nearing its expiration date, generating renewed interest and driving more traffic. If the article already ranks well for a particular keyword, this is also a great tactic to move it up even higher in the SERPs.

    Let’s say you sell IT security solutions, and wrote a blog post about a data leak that occurred a few months ago. If you have recently encountered a news story reporting the total damage done by the hack — or a new patch security pros should apply — you can tack that information on as an addendum, then alert your social networks to the important update.

  6. Offer your in-house tools as lead generating assets.

    Of all the tips on this list, this is probably the one people are least likely to think of. Think of the tools and documents you use every day to get the job done: spreadsheets, document templates, checklists, or step-by-step guides to a particular workflow. Then ask yourself: could anybody else use this? If yes, then fire up a new lead-gen form and publish that bad boy! You’ll be offering a 100% unique, all-your-own asset that demonstrates your expertise and offers considerable value to readers, while growing your email subscriber list.

  7. Group your case studies by segment, then share them in list posts.

    People considering a product or service love reviews and case studies — they help them research the best options for their investment, while proving ROI. If you have a large number of case studies, break them up by the industries or individual personas you serve, write a brief synopsis (including one or two impressive stats) for each, and serve them up into list posts linking to each individual case study.

    Let’s revisit that IT security example. Maybe your sell your solution to multiple industries, from financial services to retail. You could publish a blog post entitled, “4 Case Studies That Prove the Money-Saving Value of Appliance Firewalls for the Retail Sector.” By linking to these case studies, you’re enriching your link network, improving SEO. By tailoring your headline to a specific industry, you’re catching the interest of that unique segment. And again, you’ve just opened up a new opportunity to promote that content across your marketing channels.

Make Your Content Work Harder

These are just a few of the ways you get can more mileage out of the assets you’ve already invested so much time and budget into creating, but I’m sure there are a few things I’ve missed. If you have a great idea for repurposing existing content, let us know by tweeting us @GarfieldGroup!

Sometimes, it takes that second set of eyes to see the enormous potential lurking in an old webinar or sales piece. Garfield helps clients across multiple industries — from technology to financial services, social innovators, and travel destinations — craft content marketing strategies that attract and engage leads like all get-out, even with lean budgets and tight timelines.

If you could use a hand developing and promoting your content, contact us — Garfield will help your company Create Brand Action like never before.