A content repurposing framework is a repeatable process to reuse existing content across marketing channels and media formats.
A well thought out content repurposing framework can help produce content more efficiently with fewer resources by helping you execute a content repurposing strategy. All new content should be created as a launching point for a series of related, and supporting assets that can help you reach your audience using different media formats on a variety of platforms.
What is a Content Repurposing Framework?
As highlighted in our article about content repurposing for webinars, a content repurposing strategy will allow you to recreate and reuse existing content across other media channels. It can either be done manually or with the aid of relevant marketing tools and software. The decision on what to use is often dependent on the team’s marketing budget, learning curve, and expertise.
There are a number of useful frameworks that help business leaders execute strategies across disciplines beyond content marketing. Some other marketing frameworks include the 7Ps Marketing Mix, STP Marketing Model, Porter’s Five Forces, etc. Hubspot discusses these marketing frameworks and a few more in detail. They all provide a system that enables your marketing functions to operate more efficiently.
With specific reference to content repurposing, a framework is a structure or a set of processes, instructions, and techniques that guide the efficient recycling of previously created content.
To offer a more practical context, a construction worker would consider the blueprints of a building a framework for the job to be done. To a professional athlete, a framework would look like the strategy of play outlined by the coach. The list of examples go on but the definition remains the same – a content repurposing framework is a system that ensures you’re not merely running blind as you work to repurpose your content.
How Can a Content Repurposing Framework Help Your Small Marketing Team?
Marketers on small teams still have big goals. Everyone wears multiple hats from research to distribution to running events and hosting webinars. Creating enough content and distributing it efficiently to meet goals around SEO, conversion, and revenue requires diligent planning and execution. A content repurposing framework and repeatable strategy can help make sure enough content is created and that it’s reaching your audience on the right channels.
1. It Improves the Efficiency of Marketing Efforts
Earlier, we made a comparison between a content repurposing framework and a construction team’s blueprints. To understand how the former improves the efficiency of your marketing efforts, take a quick minute to picture a construction team.
It’s important that everyone on a construction team knows what their job is, and how it relates to everyone else’s job. Without a clear plan of what to do first, and what to do second, no member of the team can estimate how long the project will take to complete and everyone has a different view of how the building should be designed. What’s worse, without a detailed overhead view of the entire project, no one can confidently spearhead the blueprint creation process to unify the team’s efforts.
In the end, the only thing that comes out of a construction project without a blueprint is a stretch of land that’s either empty or holding a building that’s a far cry from the client’s expectations. The project would likely take too long and would have to be discontinued or demolished entirely to start again, leading to a waste of financial and human resources.
Content repurposing without a framework might not be quite as dramatic as a construction project without a plan. Nevertheless, it is still chaotic in its own way.
After creating a central piece of content – YouTube video, blog post, or case study – team members can find themselves trying and failing to reuse the content for other channels, not trying at all, or simply taking so long that it becomes counter-productive.
With a framework, things are significantly more organized. The designer knows exactly which part of the blog post needs to be turned into an infographic and the video editor knows where to begin clipping videos for redistribution. More work is done much faster and the purpose of creating the content in the first place – providing useful information to as many viewers as possible – is not defeated.
2. It Ensures Your Content Distribution Process is Sustainable
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, an article published on Forbes asserted that up to 83% of marketers in a group of 7,000 surveyed professionals suffered from burnout. Granted, the peculiarities of the pandemic might’ve caused a spike in those statistics. But, many marketers would still agree that they aren’t a stranger to the feeling of burnout.
A leading cause of burnout among marketers is excessive workload stemming from having to wear multiple hats in a content marketing agency/team and needing to scramble to distribute content once created without a clear plan and process.
While the short term process of haphazardly repurposing and distributing content might be functional for a time, it’s hardly sustainable in the long run. This is because it tends to leave marketers noticeably burnt out.
With a framework guiding your actions and outlining the next steps at the creation of every piece of content, your small marketing team is much less likely to get burnt out. Everyone has a clear idea of what to expect in terms of tasks and volume of work required. They can plan better and even do some of the work ahead of schedule or as required to free up other hours of the day for a break or other tasks. A sustainable content distribution and repurposing process will lead to a comfortable and well-paced marketing team with infrequent burnouts.
3. It Provides an Opportunity to Finetune Your Marketing Processes
One point we made in a recent article about scaling your content marketing strategy regardless of your team size is that it’s difficult to get anywhere if you don’t know where you’re coming from or where you’re going. While the context of the first appearance of this quote was slightly different, it still applies here.
Without a framework to show you what your processes looked like before, there is no basis for comparison when you’re eventually looking to improve those processes. In contrast, when you document your content repurposing framework, you essentially create a time-proof copy of your processes. With that document, you can carefully analyze how your team has been working and easily spot inefficiencies in your workflow.
Five Tips to Help You Create a Content Repurposing Framework
Conceptually, it’s clear that a content repurposing framework can provide value and make your marketing team more efficient. Here are five tips to help you get started:
1. Create Stellar Content: Engage Subject Matter Experts
The first step in any content repurposing effort is to create excellent content. It could be a case study shot on camera or a text-heavy PDF. Alternatively, it could be a longform blog post, a webinar, an ultimate guide, a podcast, or any other type of content your audience tends to consume.
Whatever you choose to create, if you’ll be repurposing it for distribution across your other channels, put extra effort into it to ensure that it meets high standards. One way to make sure your content is authoritative and well-sourced is to engage with subject matter experts for whatever topic you are focusing on. Recorded or transcribed interviews, simple quotes, and links to well-known experts in the field are great ways to source more reliable and trusted information.
It’s not always easy to find willing subject matter experts for your content. However, here are a few places to look:
Depending on your industry, Slack communities are a great place to find and engage with subject matter experts. Slack is more prevalent for tech workers like marketers, developers, and designers rather than professionals in older industries like construction and healthcare. However, if your audience and peers are on Slack, it’s likely you can find subject matter experts to contribute to your content there.
For developers, you can look to the DevOps Slack group.
Your LinkedIn Network
Your own LinkedIn network, but first and second degree connections, is often all you need to find an all-star subject matter expert for an interview or quote. The beautiful part of LinkedIn is that you can easily direct message prospective experts and your reply rate will likely be much higher than a cold email engagement.
Events and Conferences
Nothing beats the ability to engage with experts in person where you have their full attention. Attending industry events and networking with peers and experts in your field is a great way to build a network of contributors to your content. Engaging with them often, even when you don’t have a specific “ask” can help increase the probability of them willing to sit down for an interview or provide a quote for your blog or case study.
Quora might be the most obvious place to identify and engage with subject matter experts. Users of Quora answer questions posed by the community and the best and most helpful answers are up-voted to the top. An underrated feature of Quora is the ability to direct message any user. Although it’s not as ubiquitous as LinkedIn or Facebook, there may be some untapped opportunity to get in front of experts that frequent the platform.
For some more tips on how to engage with subject matter experts, check out the video ⏬
2. Start With the End in Mind
There’s a substantial difference between creating a piece of content to exist on one channel alone and creating it to be redistributed across multiple channels. To ensure that your content repurposing framework turns out the way you want it to, it’s best to create your content with the full intention of distributing it to other places beyond your web platforms.
Here are a few examples of what that could mean:
If you’re having an interview-style webinar, creating content with the end in mind could take the form of leaving a slight pause between your guest’s answers and your questions. By holding on for a few seconds before moving on to your next question after your guest has answered the previous, you would be making the job of the video editor much easier. They can easily cut out the beginning of your question alongside the guest’s answer without worries of accidentally trimming out a valuable train of thought.
In addition to that, starting with the end in mind while shooting webinar content could look like monologuing to state a few fast facts. These facts can be cut out of the rest of the webinar to serve as infographics for your social media channels or even a short standalone video, depending on what channels you use.
Blog Posts and Ultimate Guides
For a blog post or an ultimate guide, starting with the end in mind could mean using bullet-point lists whenever you can as opposed to listing everything in a single, lengthy paragraph.
This is already a standard practice in SEO content writing. But, specifically for content repurposing strategies, using bullets make it much easier to scan through your content and identify which parts can be turned into social media carousel posts quickly and efficiently.
For podcasts, you could simply ensure that you have a detailed script prepared ahead of time. That way, if you need to repackage your podcast as a blog post, the writer wouldn’t need to listen to the entire podcast. Instead, they can use the script to guide their outline and simply use the podcast as a reference point when they need more details to fill out specific sections of the blog post.
3. Divide and Conquer
It’s easy to get carried away into trying to complete all content-related tasks by yourself, especially if you’re the only content marketing specialist on your team. While independence and drive are great for getting by in this profession, they can quickly lead to a burn out and inefficiency. It’s best that you divide up the work and have all team members help along the content creation pipeline from research to distribution.
If your company posts content across three social media channels that require different formats, assign each channel and format to a different person, based on available personnel and skill sets.
For example, have one person create text-based content off a blog post to fly on LinkedIn and Twitter. Have another person design infographics or illustrations for Instagram from specific portions of the same blog post. For webinars, assign the video-savvy individuals to the video editing work and so on.
When multiple people take on different roles, your content repurposing framework assumes a more defined and sustainable outlook.
4. Use Tools and Software as Required
Marketing these days is not what it used to be and that’s a good thing. Today, there are several tools and programs designed to help make your job easier. You can measure your traction easily with tools like Google Analytics, Heap Analytics, and even repurpose content through a Automata’s AI-assisted content repurposing and distribution platform.
A few factors to remember while deciding which tools to pick to aid your content repurposing framework and process include the following:
Budget: You don’t want something that’ll get shot down for being too expensive the instant you recommend it to your CMO.
Learning Curve: The point of the tool is to help make your job easier. That is a lot more difficult if you can’t figure out how to use it in the first place.
Relevance: If you’re searching specifically for tools to help you with your content repurposing efforts, be careful not to get sidetracked by anything else. Where you can, book a demo with your options and figure out if they’ll actually be useful to you or not.
5. Follow these Content Repurposing Experts
There’s no better way to learn about how to define a content repurposing framework than to follow the people that do it well and don’t hesitate to share their strategies. LinkedIn is a great resource to learn about what works and what doesn’t. Here are a few examples of marketing experts that advocate for strong content repurposing frameworks.
John Bonini from Databox runs the Some Good Content newsletter and provides a lot of great free and paid material for content marketers to learn the ways of distribution, repurposing, and how to work with remote freelance teams.
Justin Simon from Metadata recently published his Content Repurposing Roadmap course. It’s a great resource (we bought it) for those looking for a clear and well-defined set of steps to kick of your own framework.
Amy Woods from Content10x, a content repurposing service, is a great resource to learn about content repurposing and useful frameworks. They specialize in this process and serve clients like Convince&Convert, Oracle, and Techsmith.
Sample Content Repurposing Framework for Webinars
In the image above, we’re basing our framework on a company that needs to distribute webinars across its blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The framework is split into five steps.
First, the content marketing manager organizes the webinar with the guest as outlined in the content strategy. Afterward, the inhouse or freelance writer turns it into a blog post with the help of an SEO specialist to make the article SEO compliant. Then, the first set of social media posts are extracted from the initial blog as plain texts for Twitter and LinkedIn.
The fourth and fifth stages are a bit more complex as they require the technical skills of a graphics designer and a video editor, respectively.
Nevertheless, this is a quick view of what a content repurposing framework could look like. It quickly shows what happens after the initial piece of content is created and who’s to take care of what.
Before you create yours, keep the following in mind:
- Your framework doesn’t need to look exactly like this. It’s merely a guide to help you in your process.
- If you’re creating multiple types of content, you can have a single document with several pages outlining how to repurpose each piece of content.
- Your framework can be much longer or shorter than this. But, it’s recommended that it’s written down regardless for reference purposes.
A content repurposing framework that leads to a repeatable content repurposing strategy has several advantages with the highest of them being its ability to improve your efficiency and produce more content across more channels. It could take different forms but it’s certainly something worth putting some thought into.