Repurposing content means to get multiple uses out of one piece of content. For instance, it could mean writing a long blog post, then repurposing that blog post into a white paper, or a podcast episode, or an infographic. Repurposing content is especially important for companies with a smaller content team, where every piece of content needs to achieve maximum results.
For the last couple years, I’ve been watching how streamers on Twitch are building their communities. It’s been fascinating to watch these streamers leverage smart marketing tactics to create and build engagement around their streams. In fact, they really aren’t calling themselves ‘streamers’ anymore, they are now ‘content creators’. Whatever you call them, they are smart, and there’s a lot you can learn about how they are building their channels and brands, that you can apply to your own company’s content strategy.
For example, I recently started watching one streamer, excuse me…content creator, called NickMercs on Twitch. Basically, here’s what Nick does; He plays video games on Twitch most every day for about 8-10 hours a day. So he has 8-10 hours a day of content he has created. He then takes that content, and distills it down to about 15-20 mins of the ‘best’ content (think of it as a highlight reel), then creates a new video from that content, and posts it on YouTube. Typically, the videos he posts on YouTube get 300,000-400,000 views in the first 24 hours!
This is a wonderful example of the power of repurposing content. Nick is able to monetize his Twitch content, then he takes that content and repurposes it as a shorter video for YouTube, and he can make ad revenue off it as well. So in essence, he’s found a way to monetize the same content, twice.
Now I can already hear many of you asking “That’s great, but you’re talking video games on Twitch and YouTube. How does that relate to my business and my content?”
You’re right, the odds are your business can’t create a video a day for YouTube that gets a few hundred thousand views. But what you can do is learn from what’s working for Nickmercs, and apply it to your own content creation efforts.
Nick is doing two things with his content that your business can and should replicate:
1 – He’s creating content for his audience where they are. The primary age group for Twitch viewers is around 18-24 years old and mostly male. This same audience that watches Twitch channels will often consume similar content on YouTube. So by taking his Twitch content and repurposing it into shorter YouTube videos, he’s getting a chance to reach a similar audience, but on a different platform. This is a smart content play, because if the people that watch his videos on YouTube enjoy them, he has a great chance to convert them into viewers of his Twitch channel.
You can do the same thing for your content. Whatever industry or space your content serves, there’s bound to be at least 2-3 main sites where your audience goes to get its content from. Think about how you could take your content and use it in multiple ways to reach a similar audience on different platforms. For instance, let’s say you’ve identified that your audience wants to consume content from blogs, and Twitter. You could post informative content on your blog, then turn around and have a Twitter chat around the same topic on Twitter. The end result is that one form of content helps promote and push people toward the other form of content.
2 – He’s customizing the content for each platform. On Twitch, Nick’s streams can last for several hours. But most people won’t watch an 8-hour stream on YouTube, in fact it may not even be possible to republish the Twitch stream on YouTube due to Twitch’s TOS. So what Nick does is, he changes the content from Twitch to make it more in line with what the YouTube audience wants. He takes an 8 hour stream, and cherry-picks the ‘highlights’ or best plays, and condenses it down to a 20-min video, and posts that on YouTube. This results in content that’s better suited for YouTube, plus the content itself promotes Nick and the content he creates on Twitch. He is able to not only monetize the videos on YouTube, but he uses them to drive the YouTube audience back to his Twitch stream, and hopefully convert them to viewers or subscribers there.
Now if you think about what Nick did here, he basically took long-form content (his Twitch stream), and condensed it down and shared the ‘highlights’ as a YouTube video. So he got two very effective pieces of content from one. I like this idea of taking ‘highlights’ from your content and using that as new content or to promote other content. Think about the applications; You could take a series of blog posts about the same topic and condense them into a shorter white paper, and offer that as a freebie to newsletter subscribers. Speaking of your newsletter, you could publish an issue where you give pull quotes or highlights from multiple blog posts as a way to incite subscribers to read your blog. You could use those same pull quotes to promote the posts when you share them on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
The end result for Nick is two standalone pieces of content that he can very effectively monetize, but that also work well together as one serves as promotion for the other. When you are looking at your own content, think about how you could take your long-form content and break it down into smaller pieces of new content, focuses on your ‘highlights’ or best content, and how could that content be used to build an audience for your business, but also push that audience back to your long-form content.
Now, speaking of pushing back to long-form content. There is one thing about Nick’s content strategy that I don’t like. Notice that in this example, the content he is creating and repurposing is going on two platforms that he does not own. I would much rather see the main content be on a platform that Nick owns, like a website, but I do understand that Twitch as a streaming platform is currently a much better alternative than any tech that Nick or another streamer could use on their own site. But the thing I’m always stressing to clients is to own the platforms where your content lives. Too many businesses even in 2020 feel that they don’t need a website as long as they have a brand page on Facebook.
Own your platform, own the experience. Then when the day comes that Facebook and even Twitch goes away, you’ll be ok cause you’ll still have your own platform where you can create all the content you want.