Writer’s block. Content dead-end. It happens to all of us. You want to get an email out as soon as possible but despite intense brainstorming the content well is dry.
Chances are you already have a solution to such a predicament right at your fingertips, you just need a little imagination, outside the (in)box thinking and a dash of creativity. Have you considered repurposing your content?
“Content marketing is really like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.” – David Beebe
Blog posts, social media, ebooks, webinars, user-generated content (UGC), infographics, and the like are the perfect starting point. By taking the core concepts of already existing content and transforming it into something new and fresh you are maximising a valuable resource. Yet, according to stats, only about 30% of marketers systematically repurpose content for email marketing.
This article covers the following topics on repurposing content for email marketing:
1. The purpose of repurposing
2. Content repurposing workflow
- Segmentation and automation
3. Content repurposing tactics
- Repurpose content with visual user-generated content
- Repurpose video content
- Turning webinars into video tutorials
- Repurposing content from social media
- Crafting and promoting an ebook
- Repurposing blog content
- Converting blog posts into courses and tutorials
- Amplifying the popularity of popular content
Ready to dive in?
Email is a “push” marketing method – directly contacting customers to generate repeat engagement and sales. Content marketing is a “pull” method – attracting new customers to increase first-time sales and build stronger relationships with your audience. Combined, they are the ultimate marketing dynamic duo – just like Han Solo and Chewie, Harley Quinn and The Joker, and Batman and Robin.
Repurposing content for email marketing is one of the best and most effective ways of meeting your marketing goals. But, are you leveraging the power of email marketing to repurpose content and expand your marketing opportunities?
What Is The Purpose Of Repurposing?
When you are already juggling several different tasks, generating new content ideas for your email campaigns can be quite challenging. This is where repurposing content marketing comes into play and becomes your new best friend.
Repurposing content for email marketing has four major benefits –
- Timesaving: We all know creating quality content requires a lot of time. However, by diving into your content archives and drawing from past blog and social media posts, videos, guides, infographics, and the like, repurposing content for email marketing saves you valuable time.
- Reaching new audiences: Some people love “inhaling” content by reading blog posts. Some prefer watching videos. Others will go for podcasts over ebooks. If you’re only publishing one or two types of content, you’re neglecting an entire group of potential customers. Yet, by repurposing content, you will create more marketing opportunities to reach, appeal to and engage with different audiences.
- Dusting off old tales: We all have that one favourite book at the back of our bookshelf we like to re-read time and again. Well, repurposing content for email marketing follows the same concept. It puts old (but gold) content front and centre for the recipient to enjoy.
- Get the full benefit from your content: Since you’ve put an immense amount of effort into crafting amazing content you expect smashing performance metrics. But, what if lady luck is on a break and somehow, people failed to notice your marvellous blog post, or infographic, or ebook? A content repurposing strategy will ensure your audience (who initially missed your epic publication) will have a second chance to see, enjoy and love it.
Content Repurposing Workflow
You’ve decided to repurpose content for email marketing but… where should you start?
Here are five steps every content repurposing workflow should follow –
Defining a purpose
A successful and effective strategy needs clear goals. Thus, ask yourself “Why am I repurposing content? What do I want to achieve – i.e. newsletter subscriptions, sales, etc.?” Hint: your answer should not be “because EmailOut said I should.” Additionally, make sure you know the difference between revamping and repurposing content. The first requires minor tweak and twists of existing content; the latter – changing the entire intent and completely transforming it.
Targeting the right audience
In email marketing, your target audience should be in different segments (i.e. subscribers, leads, prospects, customers), which goal and segment you are retargeting will lead you in the direction of which content to select to repurpose. For example, if your email campaign’s goal is to generate more sales, the content you will repurpose will be case studies, customer stories, and the like. Then, you will target your prospects/leads segment rather than a blog to subscribers/customers.
Email list segmentation and targeting the right segment with the right content at the right time can significantly increase your email campaign’s performance. Segmented email campaigns generate –
- over 14% higher open rates compared to non-segmented email campaigns;
- over 100% more clicks; and,
- nearly 10% lower unsubscribe rates.
Auditing existing content
The content you will repurpose needs to match your goals AND the segment it will be aimed at. Do you want to reach and engage with a specific audience to increase subscriptions? Or, do you want to sell more of a particular product/service?
The first place to start looking for content worthy of repurposing is in your past content publications. Audit your content archive to find –
- your evergreen content; and,
- most popular posts.
Dive into Google Analytics to figure out which piece(s) of content resonated the most with your audience and generated the most traffic. Narrow down the top-performing posts. Those are the ones you need to give a brand new, fresh, more polished look.
Pro tip: The best content to repurpose will be the one that provides a gateway to achieving your planned goals.
Have you considered an autoresponder sequence to promote repurposed content?
Putting an autoresponder together may seem like a daunting task. But, with the right email marketing software, it’s as simple as 1,2,3. (Remember, at this stage, you should already have repurposed the content you will be promoting.)
Example: You can transform the raw insights from a recent case study into an epic blog post (incl. relevant charts, graphs) and use email marketing to promote your findings, pique your audiences’ interest, inspire them to take action and, ultimately, make a purchase.
To determine the success of your content repurposing strategy, you need to monitor your email marketing KPIs. Metrics like open, click-through and conversion rates will paint a clear picture of what in your campaign resonated most with recipients and then you can take a step back, review your existing content and repurpose it to improve your performance.
8 Ways To Repurpose Content
Do you know the one similarity between all the different ways to repurpose existing content?
Answer: adding value to the original.
Interesting story: Back in 2012, Karl Kissner (Toledo, OH) found a dusty old box of baseball cards in his attic in near-mint condition. When evaluated, the set happened to include Hall of Famers like Ty Cobb and Cy Young and was valued at over $3 million. Not a bad outcome for a day in the attic! (Time.com)
The moral of the story: Old cards, new money. Repurposing your content for email marketing may not snag you $3 million but it’ll certainly boost your performance metrics and ROI.
Visual User-Generated Content
Did you know that apart from customer reviews visual user-generated content (UGC) is becoming a crucial influencing factor in consumers’ purchasing decisions?
User-generated content may be very similar to word-of-mouth marketing but it has one crucial element the latter lacks – visualisation.
Showing your target audience how real people handle your products or services and the benefits they get awards a sense of authenticity and realness to your brand’s online presence. Hence, incorporating user-generated content into email marketing is a sure way to generate more interest and higher engagement from your audience.
Pro tip: Always ask customers for permission to use their content in your email.
The benefits of user-generated content –
- better engagement rates
- higher click-through rates
- customer reassurance
- low-cost promotion method
- builds trust with your target audience
Video Content Intro Blog Posts (and vice versa)
Did you know 92% of marketers believe video is a vital part of their email marketing strategy?
If a picture is worth a thousand words then… what is a video worth?
From product service promos to “how to” and tutorial videos, this particular type of content works wonders for brands because it captures the audiences’ attention and keeps them engaged.
You’ve certainly created a video or two on a relevant (and popular) topic. Why not leverage it in your email marketing by repurposing it?
Hint: Always included “video” in the subject line. It will pique your recipients’ attention and generate higher open rates.
The impact of video on email marketing KPIs –
- nearly 20% increase in open rates
- over 250% boost in click-through rates
- 26% decrease in unsubscribe rates
Pro tip: If HTML coding sounds like an alien phrase to you then embedding video into your email can be quite a tricky task. If it doesn’t, you have nothing to worry about. However, before you go and start repurposing video for email marketing remember that not all email clients support playing video directly in the inbox.
Turning Webinars Into A Video Or A Blog Post
You just pulled off an epic live webinar. Your attendees were engaged and you are feeling amazing. Now what? Do you archive the webinar and move on?
Usually, webinars are –
- scheduled for specific times/dates
- live events
- split up into digestible sections and topics
Yet, what if someone registered and couldn’t make it? Or, wanted to register but the time/date didn’t fit their schedule?
Regardless of the situation, you can still make it work and extend the life of valuable content. How? By repurposing the webinar and turning it into a video or a blog post and using email campaigns to promote it.
Since webinars are filmed events, converting them into a video (or a few smaller ones) will be easy to achieve. Alternatively, you can take some screenshots and create a dedicated blog post with bite-sized essential information.
By utilising either approach, you will ensure your webinars will never go to waste. Email marketing can help you create more opportunities such as –
- follow up with absentees – promote the repurposed webinar’s content and include links to additional relevant resources
- provide answers to questions that were not addressed during the webinar
- promote future webinars and offer access to scheduled future events or past content
Pro tip: Tools such as Webinarjam and Demio are perfect for setting up webinars and recording them for future use.
Social Media Content
Social media posts are a well of content ideas you can leverage in email marketing. Therefore, you can save time and get the most out of your marketing efforts if you repurpose social media content and use it in your email campaigns. Here are some ideas –
Best social media posts recap
Identify your best performing posts on social media – i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Since they are what your audience likes, shares, re-posts and interacts with, it’s a pretty good bet that turning them into a roundup email and sending it to your email subscribers will be appreciated as well. Depending on the frequency at which you post, you can create a new roundup email each week or month.
Social tips into lists
All those wonderful tips and tricks you’ve shared through social media mustn’t be allowed to wither. Especially considering the time and effort you’ve put into creating an epic selection your audience can use for problem-solving and achieving goals. Hence, convert your most favourite (and popular) tips from social media into a list (bullet point or any other format) and create an email blast your subscribers will appreciate.
Social media visuals
Images are an essential element in a marketing strategy. According to marketing experts, people tend to like, share and repost images more than text-only content. Thus, use your social media analytics to determine the best performing visuals on your social media accounts and repurpose them for your email marketing campaigns. Use them as newsletter headers, email section dividers or to reiterate the email copy.
Example. If you are a hair salon, you can take the top-performing and most interesting social media visuals of satisfied customers rocking their new hair-do and turn them into a promo email – “Which hairstyle would suit you best?”
Fostering trust with your target audience is crucial for your business growth and success. Social proof (a.k.a social testimonials) will make it easy to list all the perks and benefits of your products/services without coming across as overly promotional.
People trust other people’s opinion and recommendations. As such, you can repurpose your social testimonials and use them in your email campaigns to emphasise everything amazing, useful and thrilling about your brand’s products/services.
A brilliant repurposing content technique is recycling content (i.e. blog posts, video tutorials, social media posts, etc.), putting it together into one epic, amazingly-designed and coherent story, an ebook, and promoting it through email marketing.
Your ebook’s chapter titles, summaries and visuals can be a valuable asset in your email marketing strategy. With that in mind, don’t limit yourself to just one email campaign to promote your smashing ebook. Instead, create an email series with teasers and little samples of your new content and make sure to target the relevant segments.
For example, break your ebook into logical segments and use autoresponders to deliver each section at specific intervals along with your initial message and call-to-action.
Pro tip: Whichever ebook element (i.e. title, summary, visuals, etc.) you decide to use in your email, make sure each call-to-action in your email body is linked to a dedicated landing page.
Aside from delivering great content to your existing audience, ebooks can help you grow your email list. How? By offering your leads/prospects a free copy on your website via a sign-up form in exchange for their subscription. It’s not a bribe or blackmail. It’s called an incentive.
Additionally, if you already have a few ebooks under your belt, you can repurpose them by creating individual blog posts for each chapter and promoting the new, fresh content through email campaigns.
Old Blog Content Into New Content
You have written hundreds (or thousands) of blog posts. Unfortunately, only a small audience has seen them, then, they got disregarded into a blog-post graveyard. This is a colossal failure.
It makes no sense to spend hours upon hours on research and, possibly, hundreds of pounds creating new content and then letting it die once it rolls off your front page. Rather than making such a mistake that will certainly slash your ROI, why not think about repurposing your blog content?
Riddle me this, what is more valuable – a new blog post or an old one?
The answer: an old blog post.
Why? Simple. It has matured over time. Remember, the value of a blog post is not in the thousands of visitors you get right now. It’s the tens of thousands you get over time.
Pro tip: Google Analytics is your best friend. Use it to analyse your blog posts’ performance and repurpose your top-performing posts.
The same way TV networks make spin-off series from older shows (i.e. Frasier from Cheers), you can make blog post spin-offs from your content too.
For example, do you think an Email Marketing Trends 2015 post will be useful to promote in email campaigns in 2021/22? No? You’d be right. What about if the content is repurposed to create a new, fresh, better blog post – Email Marketing Trends 2021? Would it be useful then? The answer: Yes!
Three ways you can repurpose old blog content –
- publish an update – this is what we talked about last year and this is how it’s changed
- refresh an old case study – take an old blog post topic, gather relevant insights and visuals, and highlight everything you do differently now
- write a roundup – take an old article and do a quick Q&A session with industry experts then publish all the answers in a new post with a link to your old one
Transforming Blog Posts Into Guides
You’ve got tons of blog posts on all sorts of topics. Why not repurpose them and create a smashing guide which you can then promote through a series of email campaigns (a.k.a drip campaigns). Or, send just one campaign, up to you.
For example, you have quite a few blog posts about email subject lines – what works, what doesn’t, what to avoid, best practice, examples, stats, etc. Take all that information and turn it into “The Complete Guide On Email Subject Lines” which will immortalise your content AND can be used in your email marketing at any time.
Hint: This content repurposing strategy also helps you create evergreen content.
Pro tip: Take into account the “age” of the blog posts you’ll be converting. You might want to give them a polish so they can shine even more (especially if there are any stats involved!).
Popularisation Of Your Most Popular Content
Do you think all your audience knows about your most popular and useful content?
From blog and social media posts to video tutorials and guides, you can repurpose your most popular, top-performing content to show your subscribers what they’ve been missing out on and what you have to offer.
For example, add a section to your email campaign and tell your recipients what people are already raving about you on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn feeds.
Pro tip: You can use your onboarding email series as an extra approach to promote your repurposed content by offering newbies your new exclusive guide or your newest ebook or the latest roundup of testimonials.
The beauty of a content repurposing strategy is that you don’t always have to be a worrywart constantly stressing about new content. Recycle the content you already have.
Through repurposing content, you will –
- save time
- reach a wider audience
- get the most out of your old content
- increase email marketing KPIs
Remember, different contexts and situations present endless opportunities to create spin-offs of your content and use it in your email marketing campaigns.
Now, go forth and repurpose!
Highly recommended further reading –
1) Writing Marketing Emails 101
2) Email Automation: Busting Common Myths
3) Subject Line Mistakes To Avoid
4) 10 Types of Customer Engagement Emails
5) Email Marketing Campaign Checklist (PDF version here)