After a legion of PMGers attended HubSpot's 2016 INBOUND marketing and sales conference a couple weeks ago, one of our team members recommended scoping out this presentation by Salma Jarfi on upcycling. I really enjoyed it and thought it would be fun to put what I learned into practice, so this post will take a dive into upcycling and what it means, as well as some examples of how to implement it into your own marketing. Okay, here we go!
The definition is simple. Upcycling is the act of making something better out of what you already have. In a marketing context, upcyling is a way to leverage and maximize your content marketing efforts by dressing up and repurposing your existing content.
As a marketer or business owner, you're likely familiar with at least part of the content production process. Traditionally, typical premium content creation & promotion goes a little something like this:
- You have an important message you want to share with your audience, so you create a piece of premium content that homes in on that topic.
- You create an optimized landing page to house it (and to allow interested prospects to download it via a form).
- You place a Call-to-Action button for it throughout your website and blog posts so people can easily access that landing page.
- You may share it with your contact database via email.
- You promote it on your social media channels.
This is a perfectly acceptable plan of action... but what if you could do more?
Does everyone in your audience like to read long-form content? Unlikely.
Is your audience living on your website or on social media? SOCIAL MEDIA!
Would your audience receive your message multiple times and in multiple ways if you offered it? There's a pretty good chance that's a yes!
And these all provide justification to consider upcycling your content.
Another great reason to upcycle is that you're essentially providing your content with an endless shelf life (also commonly known as making it evergreen). Often, content does well when it first launches, and then results diminish over time. However, if you continue to pull more value out of the content, it will continue to reap rewards for your business.
According to Salma, the top benefits of upcycling are:
- It’s great for SEO (as you can optimize each piece with a different long tail keyword).
- Your audience can consume your content through their preferred distribution channel.
- You get to frame your message in multiple ways, allowing your message to resonate on a variety of levels.
So, how exactly do you upcycle your content?
Developing a primary strategy for upcycling requires diving deeper into your message and content, and finding ways to dress it up. Of course, this could mean different things depending on your content, channels, audience, etc. It may involve creating a tip sheet derived from information within the original content, creating a SlideShare presentation from a previously executed webinar, or extracting key messages from an eBook or guide and then designing unique social media images (for Facebook, Instagram, etc.) that enhance those messages and make them more powerful.
Let’s look at a piece of premium content PMG produced, and how we can upcycle it.
Our 4 Best Practices for Your Content Marketing Program guide fits nicely into this post, so we’ll use this as our example. Right away, it seems obvious that the actionable “5 Things You Can Do Right Now” lists that accompany each Best Practice section would make for great infographics. That’s four potential pieces of content right there!
We could then promote the infographic on our social channels, linking back to the landing page of the main content to encourage additional downloads, or to a unique blog post created around the infographic. To start builidng our video library, we could even discuss the topic in a short clip while using the infographic as a featured visual. What's more, there are also some great points made within the guide's text for which we could create images and quotes for Instagram and Twitter. Starting to get the idea?
Here’s an image I quickly designed to highlight a quote from the text, perfect for Instagram:
So what do you say... let’s all start practicing upcycling and see our premium content marketing efforts soar!