THE BLOG
06/19/2014 06:55 pm ET | Updated Aug 19, 2014

Recycling:It's Not Just for the Environment, it's Good for Marketers, Too

Resource-strapped businesses of all sizes need to figure out how to get the most bang for their marketing buck, and one extremely effective way to do this can be summed up in three words: recycle, recycle, recycle. Take live events, for example. These are a great way to reach a captive audience -- whether they are attending in-person or online -- but the problem with a live event is that it's a singular, finite moment in time. What about those customers who weren't able to attend the event? What will you do tomorrow or next week or next month to reach your customers? You can't very well hold an event every day.

Recycling content is the way to go, and smart marketers at companies of all sizes across various industries are realizing its benefits. It can improve SEO and discoverability to have multiple pieces of content, and you can link between them so targets can easily progress from one to the next. You can make sure your message is available on your customer's channel of choice, which could include the company website, blog, social channels, webinars and newsletters. Given that today's customers are being bombarded from all angles, recycling content enables businesses to touch their customers multiple times and rise above the noise. And, probably the most straightforward and obvious benefit, it stretches the value of your content, as you're using it multiple times.

Now back to the live events example. Regardless of the topic or target audience, you can extend the lifecycle, reach and value of that event far beyond the event itself:

• Build the event content out into a series of articles that expand upon the topics raised during the event. These could be distributed on your company blog or posted on a third-party blog that your customers read.
• Aggregate all of the content from a live event into a virtual one through a webinar (in addition to broadcasting the event live via webinar). The webinar can then be made available on demand so it becomes an ongoing marketing asset. The beauty of a webinar is that you can embed various types of content within it - including video, PowerPoint presentations, white papers and customer testimonials. Webinars let you capture contact info and track attendee behavior, including how long they view and whether they download any of the assets - which then lets you determine which leads are better than others.
• Use social channels to repurpose and then widely distribute the content from your event. Create a set of videos (interviews with customers or company spokespeople) and post them on a channel like YouTube or Vimeo. Post your event presentation on SlideShare. Disseminate the key findings on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn - depending on where your target audience is. Social channels can be a great way to introduce a wide audience to your product or service - it's just a question of adopting the right tone and sharing the right content on each channel.
• Include event content in your company newsletter. You'll benefit from sending customers and partners a steady stream of updates. Even if they're not looking to purchase at that particular time, you stay top of mind by reaching out to them regularly.
• If you're a B2B company, create a white paper that delves deeper into the subjects addressed at the event, potentially including relevant customer examples, data points and other third-party views from analysts and industry figureheads. An event can only go so deep into the topic, but a white paper can explore and critique the topics addressed.

This only scratches the surface of the various ways you can repurpose content. What's important is that you realize it's a long-term strategy. You have to consider at the outset of any project how you will recycle the original piece of content you create; make sure that the content you create is as evergreen as possible, which will give it a longer shelf life; and adapt the content to suit the channel or medium on which you share it.

Any marketers care to weigh in on unique or novel ways you've recycled content?