Answering common questions about smarter content marketing strategies

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Viewers’ top questions during a “Repurposing Content webinar” are answered in this handy guide, to help drive more marketing ROI for all.

The more you know about repurposing content, the more you realize you have a lot to work with. At the same time, the more you know about anything, the more you realize you have a lot to learn. During this week’s webinar on repurposing web content, we received some really thoughtful questions about how to put the discussed approaches into play.

Whether or not you were able to attend the webinar (which is now available for on-demand viewing), we hope you’ll get some useful added insights on how to do more with less – or reduce, reuse and recycle your content for maximum ROI. Check out our session-based FAQs, with tips from the Brafton team.

Q: We have a lot of older content that’s relevant for users, but it’s not gaining traction because it’s buried on our newsletter page. Is it a bad idea to repurpose the articles for a blog or something else?

Dipping into your archive and giving a fresh take on quality pieces is a great way to extend your ROI, but it’s not effective to take the existing newsletter content and paste it into a blog post – it’s lazy. Repurposing content means taking some of the same raw materials – research, original interviews, perma-relevant theories, graphics or formatting designs – and reworking them to create new value. The enhancements should be tailored to the new format, intended platform and anticipated audience. In the case of evergreen information included in previous newsletters:

  • Think about timely developments that provide a platform to revisit earlier insights with new context and create industry articles or op-ed blogs.
  • Consider how you can turn the information into an FAQ, and make it more digestible in a bulleted format.
  • Look for ways to create a series of how-to blogs with easy-to-follow steps rooted in the newsletter tips.

Dipping into your archive and giving a fresh take on quality pieces is a great way to extend your ROI.

There’s also a good opportunity to move away from the written word to engage people who are different types of learners:

  • Break down nuggets of the newsletters into short video blogs.
  • Encompass the strongest arguments in a corporate or service overview video.

Bottom line: Yes, you can do this – just make sure you’re considering what elements of the newsletter are really worth recycling, and how you’re adapting them into something useful.

Q: Would you recommend creating one page on your site where all of the assets (article, video, infographic) on a specific topic live?

Yes. If possible, even create hub pages according to both format and subject so you’re making it simple for users to find what they want. So a payment processing company might have easy-to-find hub pages where visitors can view all videos, and another where they’ll see all of your articles or infographics.

At the same time, you could have category-based hub pages so people can find all content – in any format – that offers small business insights, and another with HR insights. Then people can search according to information, or according to the formats they prefer. If going for a category AND format approach, restrict these hub pages to headlines, or titles and snippets, with users having to click to individual pages for the full piece of content to avoid duplicate content issues.

Repurposing is not the same as taking an existing newsletter content and pasting it into a blog post – that’s lazy

Q: What is the difference between a white paper and an eBook?

Both white papers and eBooks are long form content that’s thoroughly researched and – ideally – positions a company’s products or services in the context of trends or challenges. It might help to think of white papers as the academic journal version (like what you’d find in the American Economic Review or Journal of Health), and eBooks as the magazine (like a chaptered item in The Economist or an extended piece in Women’s Health).

An eBook marries the researched and thought-leading content of a white paper with formatting and graphic design. Though both will have a certain level of formatting, for organization and brand aesthetic, eBooks present the information in a more “quick reference” layout. This can include bulleted lists, clear and concise chapters and snackable graphics – whether depicting high-level takeaways or provoking stats and examples.

Q: Are people using white papers in a pure consumer product B2C site as well?

Yes. Sometimes consumers want longer form content to answer their questions too. Close to one-third of B2C brands reportedly use white papers, and about one-quarter use eBooks. I’m surprised more consumer-facing companies don’t use eBooks – the ones that do seem successful.

For instance, the Curtain and Bath Outlet puts out style guides somewhat consistently, and these are visual eBooks that make it easy to see their products in the context of different décor trends. Companies with a long list of products and merchandise can benefit from bringing added visuals into their long-form content

Q: Do you find Facebook helpful for B2B marketing? Or is that more powerful for B2C companies?

Repurposing helps brands answer a common question in different ways – the longform eBook versus the 60-second video

Depending on a business’ goals for social marketing, Facebook can be a good ally regardless of the industry. While we’ve typically seen B2Cs are more likely to get converting traffic off of their Facebook viewers, it’s proven really successful for B2Bs who want to engage (and re-engage) existing customers and contacts.

LinkedIn and Twitter tend to deliver top lead-focused results across the segment of Brafton’s clients targeting business buyers. But there are also a lot of strategies that can turn Facebook into more of a money-maker or lead generator for B2Bs, while also engaging an existing network. Check out this case study with Daniels Trading for a breakdown of where this brand saw results across social networks (and what content fueled the returns).

Q: Can you talk briefly about the shifting landscape of SEO and how this affects a content marketing strategy?

In short: semantic search (Hummingbird!) and socialization of results pages are taking over the SEO game. One reason a repurposing strategy can help companies stay on top of search is that it gives them fuel to seed conversations across different networks (i.e., a graphic from an eBook can drive social chatter, or a video blog exploring one chapter to catch clicks on YouTube).

Another is that it helps answer a common question in different ways – the longform eBook versus the 60-second video can address the same issue, but the answer is provided in formats that might be a preference for different users. And Hummingbird is all about rewarding sites that provide the best answers. For more about content recommendations in the changing SEO landscape, check out Brafton’s eBook.

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Katherine GriwertKatherine Griwert is Brafton's Head of Marketing Content & Communications. She has covered SEO, social marketing and new media news for several years. Katherine has a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing has been featured in a number of web publications.
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  • Venkat Reddy

    Every white paper is an ebook, but every book is not a white paper. White papers are for researchers, while ebooks are for all. One can understand it as if white paper is mega book then ebook is ‘book’. Peace :)

    • Katherine_E_Griwert

      White papers as more for the research-focused and eBooks as for all is also a helpful way of looking at it. Thanks for reading.