02 August 2022 |

How to repurpose content and stave off burn out

By Tracey Wallace

Content marketing teams function differently––and need to do so––based on how big or small they are, the resources they have, the length of time the company has been producing content, the size and stage of the company, and more. 

For instance, at the larger tech start-ups I’ve worked at, I’ve joined the content team after years of blog publication. That meant the company already had a decent domain ranking and backlink profile, even if they weren’t ranking incredibly well for target keywords. 

That’s a huge leg up over the early stage start-ups I’ve worked at, where the domain is under five years old, and there is no existing blog content nor backlinking profile to mention. 

The content marketing strategies, then, are very different, too. 

There is one aspect of these strategies, though, that has held steady for me at all of these companies: content repurposing. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Content repurposing, Tracey? I get that. We do that!”

But, do you? 

Content repurposing isn’t just turning your blogs into Twitter threads or LinkedIn posts, though that is usually the only kind of content repurposing how-to I see on social. 

That kind of content repurposing might help you grow your personal brand and following––and you do you!––but it doesn’t help you produce less content that helps more of your internal team hit their goals. 

And you want to help your internal team hit their goals because when your internal team trusts you, relies on you, and uses what you (and your team!) produce to drive more revenue for the business––then you and your team get more resources, are able to call more shots, grow in your career, and see your content distributed far and wide without much extra work on your part. 

Let’s look at the internal teams that likely need your content to help them hit their goals.

It helps to think of these teams as distribution channels, especially if your company is smaller and doesn’t have all these teams in place. 

Team / distro channel Why they need content Typical format needed
SEO Long-form blog content is one of the best ways to rank for competitive keywords––and long-tail ones, too! SEO teams typically work really closely with content marketing teams to stay aligned on upcoming blogs and ensure each is optimized for target keywords.  Long-form, ungated blog content that matches the intent of the searcher. Long form is usually 3,000+ words
At Klaviyo, most of our long-form pieces are 5,000+ words. 
Performance  Performance marketers need more than a landing page to send folks to. They also need a gated asset behind that landing page, something that positions your company as an authority on the topic and for the audience the performance team is targeting (and at which stage of the funnel, too). Sometimes they need long-form gated assets, sometimes they need shorter form, sometimes they want the assets on the landing page, sometimes they will just use a form collection tool that already exists on social channels like LinkedIn. The point is that they need something relevant to say, and something that gets the people they are saying it to to take an action.  Gated content, especially on core company topics that the company ranks decently well for (helps reduce how much you have to spend to win the bid). 
They need this gated content to be visually beautiful, relevant, interesting, and they need it for different parts of the customer journey (unaware, aware, interested, considering, etc.) 
They also often need a landing page that gates this asset, that is also beautiful, intriguing, and converts well. Don’t forget about the nurture flow behind this gated asset, too! Folks who download content are typically classified as leads for a company––which is great, but you need to get that lead turned into an MQL, and a nurture stream is one of your best bets here. 
Partner marketing Partner marketers work to build good will and co-marketing programs with partners in your company’s ecosystem. And, their success is measured on how many leads and MQLs they can drive through those partner relationships and co-marketing opportunities. Partner teams often need, or want, their partners to be included in blog content as much as possible as part of a good will effort that helps partners be seen as experts and get them backlinks. But, featuring partners in content alone won’t drive MQLs. As a result, it is often partner teams who seek co-branded webinars, co-branded white papers, and even guest blogs for partner websites to promote these assets. These assets are ideal for partner marketing teams because they are easy to distribute across multiple companies, and lead sharing is possible across those companies, with the proper legal disclaimers, of course.  Co-branded gated assets that show off the expertise of both your company and any partners associated with yours––like webinars or white papers. 
Typically, content folks don’t just create the webinars, but also run them, which means you’ll be a speaker and manage partner participation as well. Partner marketers typically only manage the details on distribution and how many leads and MQLs are generated. For webinars, you may also be asked to write a blog for either your site or your partner’s site to recap the event. 
For co-branded white papers, you may be asked to write blog posts for either your blog or the partners to help promote the piece (again, partner marketing teams are looking for distribution here).
For both of these options, you will likely need a landing page, and a nurture stream to turn these leads into MQLs. 
Sales Sales teams will use just about anything you give them, but for the most part, they are looking to follow up with leads with interesting information that puts your company in an authoritative and trust-worthy light on important, relevant topics, or to share specific use cases with prospects as they move down the funnel. 
Some sales teams may be OK with sending folks to a URL, but most that I’ve worked with would rather send a lead to a PDF. The thought process here is similar to that of the performance team: They want to keep the lead in the decision cycle, and not let them wander off and lose track. PDFs do that better than blogs, for instance. 
Case studies––live links on the site, yes, but also well-designed PDF versions, ideally in a one-pager format so that prospects can quickly read and get the info they need. 
Feature detail pages––live links, sure, but more often, sales is looking for customizable PDF versions of feature detail pages so that they can quickly customize the content (very light customization here!) to send to an active prospect. Canva can be a really great tool for this. 
Surveys & research on trending industry topics––this again can be a live link, but is often better as a well-designed PDF. Sales folks want this to send out to prospects as soon as any topic is trending in the market. And that makes sense! They want to ping their prospect with relevant information about the latest news produced by your company so that your company looks as though they are on top of the trend, know what to do, and have their customer protected. 
Finally, webinars!! Sales folks don’t much care if they are co-branded or not, they just want them to be relevant and helpful for the leads to convince them to take the next step (i.e. close the deal). 
Lifecycle Lifecycle marketing teams need to convert leads into MQLs, MQLs into customers, and customers into lifetime value. They don’t do this alone, of course, but they do often  manage the CRO side of how different nurture flows convert various cohorts of leads into the next stage of the funnel. Like with every other team on marketing (and sales!), people need to have something to *say* in their outreach to leads and customers, and your content fulfilled that need. Emails, like with performance teams, or the sales team, can’t have too many CTAs because they don’t want folks to get distracted. And one of the main CTAs is almost always a call to get someone to move to the next stage of the funnel (i.e. schedule a demo, start a trial, pick a plan, talk to your success manager, etc.). The other CTA though is usually a link in the copy before the main CTA, and it often goes to content the content marketing team creates. This is here to back up any statements made in the email copy, to serve as proof and to build trust as the team works to turn a lead into a customer.  Case studies––case studies are used in lifecycle marketing all the time. It gives the lifecycle team the option to drop a customer name and link off to it as proof within emails. Testimonials or success metrics do well in nurture streams, and your case study provides the longer context on how someone succeeded with your brand. 
Surveys and research––stats and data are easy to scan in copy and can pique someone’s interest quickly. But, you don’t want to just drop a random stat from around the web in your email copy. Ideally, you are pointing to proprietary data that you can back up with the company’s latest survey or research. 
Academy content––your team might not be responsible for this (mine isn’t!) but a lifecycle team should be using specific, more technical product documentation and how-tos for lower funnel prospects and definitely for existing customers. 
Keep in mind––the lifecycle team is looking for evergreen content! Streams often get set up and then run for 3-6 months (maybe even more!) before someone goes back to change much within them. This isn’t the place to drop industry news pieces. Save those for campaigns, not nurture flows (which are email automations). 

All right cool––so here is what we’ve got in terms of what the teams above need content-wise

  • Long-form blogs for SEO 
  • Gated assets:
    • White papers—co-branded and non
    • Webinars––co-branded and non 
  • Studies and research 
  • Case studies
  • Feature detail pages 
  • Technical product information 

Most content marketing teams aren’t responsible for all of this content. Here is how I typically see it broken down:

Content marketing responsibility:

  • Long-form blogs for SEO 
  • Gated assets:
    • White papers—co-branded and non
    • Webinars––co-branded and non 
  • Case studies
  • Studies and research (co-owned with PR) 

Product marketing, sales enablement and/or customer education responsibility:

  • Feature detail pages 
  • Technical product information 

Even without the two types of content in the PMM bucket, that’s a lot of content, and a lot of distribution channels and demanding teams, for a content team to support. So, how do you do it without breaking down (mentally and physically?!)…you repurpose. 

Content repurposing means that you don’t create a ton of net new content for new requests. Ideally, you are turning any long-form blog you produce into a new gated asset that can serve other distribution teams and needs when they are ready. 

Some folks recommend repurposing webinars you do into blog posts, but I prefer, always, to start with long-form content (which can and is often a survey or research) and then turning that finalized long-form content into additional assets. 

Here is how I do it:

  1. Long-form blog on a relevant company topic––created using customer interviews and to rank for a specific keyword. 
  2. Those customer interviews can also be turned into case studies, and linked from this blog (interlinking FTW)
  3. That blog can then be turned into a gated asset. Since teams often want both a white paper and webinar, I like to just create a gated deck-version of the long-form content (depending on the audience). This means this content can be used both as a white paper and as a webinar, without creating anything new. 
  4. For partners, share the in design file of the new gated asset, and allow partners to put their logo on that same content. They can share it through their channels, too, esp. If they are doing lead sharing OR have clear CTAs to your company in the follow up flow. This activity must track back to leads and MQLs, but the partner marketing team can manage that. 

Here is what this looks like:

We are now starting to do this at Klaviyo for about 75% of the content we produce. Why not everything? Well, because not *everything* needs it. 

Some topics, like this piece we did on ecommerce advertising, are relevant for our reading audience, but not something that other internal teams would want to use for their own purposes (we’re an email & SMS marketing tool…not an ecommerce advertising tool). So, for that piece, we just used SEO as the distribution channel. 

But for other pieces, like our CDP piece here, we turned this also into a white paper, which you can see here. Why not a deck? Well, because the mid-market team didn’t want a deck for this one, and we wanted to work closely with our design partners to get a good white paper template set up. We did the same with our tech stack piece, in blog form here and in gated asset form here. 

You get extra points if you design a PDF in such a way that it could be printed into a physical asset for events.

We have a lot more coming up, and I didn’t learn to do this here at Klaviyo. I started this over at BigCommerce, where the content requests got so high that our team (which was just me for 3 years) was drowning. We hired two dedicated writers, and still couldn’t keep our head above water. And then, I started project managing the entire marketing team in Jira, mostly because I noticed that the requests coming from all these different teams were basically asking for the same things, just in different formats. 

That’s a beautiful thing––because re-formatting content is far easier than creating net new. 

And, repurposing content in this way is what makes the content packaging programs I talked about a couple newsletters ago actually work.