With many people’s focus turning to reusing and recycling their belongings to save the earth, it’s worth remembering that those philosophies have lots of other applications too, such as managing your content.
Given how much time, energy and resources you have no doubt ploughed into creating ongoing content for your brand, just using it once – even the most stand-out elements of it – seems wasteful. So let’s think of how you can reuse and recycle the content you have already written or recorded.
Social media is a prime example of how great micro-content can disappear into the bowels of the internet, never to be seen again. Your carefully crafted tweets and the epic blog posts they were promoting may capture a flurry of attention when you send them out, but a few weeks, or even days later, they are long forgotten.
A lot of the tools brands use for social sharing (e.g. Buffer) allow content that has already been shared to be re-added to the queue of posts waiting to go out. There are also plugins for CMSs like WordPress, which identify old content that has not been shared on social media for some time and queue it up with your new stuff. This helps your content that is older but still relevant to be seen by fresh readers and attract new attention.
Just as there are crafters who take used items and give them a new lease of life through upcycling or even turning them into something completely new, so you can recycle your content by reshaping it into diverse forms.
You can use any form of content you like, even internal office documents, as long as you make sure to remove anything sensitive.
The key to successful recycling is to look at what makes the original interesting and see how that could be replicated in other formats. For example, content that is based mainly on words can be easily turned into a podcast whereas content that contains words and pictures, such as a presentation with supporting PowerPoint slides, could do very well as a YouTube video. (In fact, Microsoft PowerPoint actually allows presentations, with audio, to be exported as video files.)
Make a point of looking for ways to use engaging content across different channels as much as possible and be willing to experiment by trying out different combinations. Your podcast could become a YouTube sensation, while your blog post series could become a successful eBook.
You may surprise yourself with what you come up with. For example, while blog posts are obvious candidates to be recycled, you may find that your YouTube videos could also work well if converted to text. This is particularly true of “talking heads” videos, which are basically just one or more people talking to camera. You might also find that even long-form blog posts can work very well as videos or infographics for Instagram.
Consider what you have already written or recorded that could be adapted for a Facebook Live – the most popular medium of the moment. What you have created that could become a manual that has the potential to be an industry authority? There really is no limit to how you can use and reuse the work you have already carried out.