As we’ve seen recently, the current recession impacts content marketers in challenging ways. Tech brands in particular are reining in budgets and cutting staff. And yet there’s still so much work for the remaining team members to do. They still have to develop a revenue-generating marketing strategy while also creating meaningful and engaging content. They just have a lot fewer resources to do it all with.
To address how marketers are struggling to do more with less, we created a special limited series: The (Re)Sessions which focuses on the questions on every marketer’s mind when dealing with the most certain thing — uncertainty.
In this post, we’re taking a look at one of the best lessons we’ve learned during this recession: Repurpose the content you’ve already created to get the most marketing value out of it. Hear from our guests about how they’re doing it and get advice on how you too can adapt to cutbacks yet still serve up high-quality content experiences to your audience.
Share Your Genius
The moment your content marketing team takes a hit — maybe you’ve lost team members or maybe that budget you were counting on to round out the year just evaporated — you have to get more value out of everything you’ve already created as well as everything you’re going to create for however long this recession lasts.
That’s where Casted CEO Lindsay Tjepkema and Rachel Downey, Founder and Executive Producer at Share Your Genius, an end-to-end podcast agency, deliver insight on how to brainstorm and plan your content strategy and then wring out everything your team produces, something you should be doing anyway, but in a recession, it’s even more critical to do more with less.
Lindsay Tjepkema: “This is the easier way. I mean, it's so much easier and more fun to say, ‘Okay, what are the big rocks? What are the big themes we're going to talk about, go after, do? There's three this year, or there's two this year, or there's one this year. And how can we get creative?’ And if you're going to spend time, either on Zoom or around that table in the boardroom, getting creative about something, make it this. What's the really cool thing? If we have to talk about apples as our theme for next year, how are we going to do it right? What are the really cool things we could do that our audience would really love? How are we going to be the connective tissue between our brand and our audience with something really, really, fun and creative that we're really, really, excited about? Do that. Do that thing. And then wring it out and keep coming back to it over and over and over. And like you said, it's easier because you're not coming up with net-new messaging every time. You're not having to enable the whole team over and over and over on the what and the why. It's just like, ‘Hey, here's this new way that we're reaching people with this same message.’ And it's more effective because you're getting in front of people. Again, this is what they do, just like you said. And you go create one big thing, and then you get to get creative about how you wring it out. Yes, it's a lot, because the end result is a lot, but it really is easier, and it's a lot simpler, and it's a lot more fun.”
Rachel Downey: “Well, and we talk about budget constraints. Let's say it's not one episode, but let's say it is 12. Let's say you can do 12 for the year, something like that. The reality is one episode can turn into 60 pieces of content. And so that one episode could actually fuel your content calendar for the month.”
Keeping that wringing-out formula in mind, Rachel expands on how you can apply this to your podcast or video series:
“The one thing I would encourage you to do is actually assess your show and specifically assess the show flow,” Rachel says. “And the show flow for those who don't know is: it's your episode rundown. It's the way that you start the episode and then the beats and the segments within the episode that helps you deliver the right moments for the audience. Those segments you can actually intentionally craft repurposing around. So you can say, ‘My first segment I always repurpose as a videogram so that people know the type of content we're creating and why. The second segment, I always repurpose that into a LinkedIn article because it's so meaty and rich that it supports that. And that LinkedIn article, I'm also able to pull snippets out of, and those snippets turn into audiograms, they turn into quote cards, they turn into a carousel image, they turn into an email banner.’ You see what I'm doing. So you can literally upfront design the repurposing that you're going to need for the channels that you own. And the other thing that you can do is if your show has a guest and you have an opportunity to get sort of a well-known expert or guest on your show within the niche that you serve, you can actually save questions for those individuals that are not gated, because I'm not having the ‘gate or no gate’ conversation today, but you can save those as secondary or additional content that people can leverage and use that have nothing to do with the episode itself.”
You can view or listen to Rachel’s entire (Re)Sessions episode here.
Why do we want to repurpose content for as many channels and formats as possible? As Jeff Coyle, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at MarketMuse, a content intelligence platform company, shared with Lindsay on the show, there is no “one size fits all” medium, and multiple formats increase a brand’s chances of reaching their audience.
Jeff Coyle: “Yeah. Everybody doesn't learn the same way.”
Lindsay Tjepkema: “Right.”
Jeff: “As well, everybody doesn't consume content. So there's actually some… long ago, 10 years ago, I was doing presentations about doing persona mapping to learning models. And it sounds so nerdy, but it's like some people learn through auditory, some people learn by reading, visual and hearing. Everybody kind of just assumes that's true, but then their content strategy just doesn't follow through with that. What they come up with is dogma that they feel is ‘one size fits all,’ but there is no ‘one size fits all.’ Some people love to listen to podcasts on their way to work. Some people love long podcasts, some people love short, long-form content, short-form content, visual. There isn't one way. Unless you've got this beautiful, absolutely true model that all CMOs of 100-plus-employee companies only like to read podcasts or read infographics. Try to tell me I'm wrong there?”
Jeff goes on to tell us how he repurposes all the content he creates and looks to performance to judge its value:
Jeff Coyle: “And when you get into that habit of ‘n things’ per source material, you start maybe two things, then it becomes five things. You start to see which of the channels are producing the value.”
Lindsay Tjepkema: “But easier said than done, am I right? Content repurposing can feel a bit more tedious when you're literally creating anew the same material, the same thought leadership, the same strategy, over and over and over. But when it appears in your customer's inbox or in their podcast feed or maybe even your website's blog, they can't tell the difference. So they're not coming through your content, and they're not going through it with a fine-tooth comb. So to them it's just helpful content. So how do you start flexing your content repurposing muscle? Jeff dropped some knowledge for you on that topic.”
Jeff: “It requires discipline. You have to do it. It sometimes feels like lower dimension work. It's not actually up to your skill grade. And if you don't have somebody who's doing it for you, maybe, or somebody on your team or somebody who you've hired as a consultant, you feel like it's lower value. So you got to hold yourself accountable to that or find somebody to do it.”
Lindsay: “It is worth the time.”
Jeff: “It's so worth the time. But I find that that is often, and then doing it every time. Always making sure you check those boxes, hold yourself accountable, hold a team member accountable for actually doing it. I mean, I love podcasts because they're always easy to use as an example because everybody can understand the idea of going from podcasts to show notes, podcast to transcribe, podcast to annotated transcription, podcast to-”
As Jeff’s aware, it can be easy to lose sight of just how valuable repurposing is. A recession can overwhelm a vulnerable content team, and one of the best ways forward is to put a repurposing plan in place. Instead of feeling like this is production work you weren’t hired to do, repurposing can make it dramatically easier to keep up your cadence, especially when you’re a team of one or two.
You can view or listen to Jeff’s entire (Re)Sessions episode here.
A common theme here is that podcasts are one of the most productive content sources you can rely on in a recession. This is something that Julian A. Lewis II, Founder of StudioPod, a full-service podcast media and production company, knows well, and it’s why he’s doubling down on conversational content — Julian’s lived through a recession once before:
“And during 2008, I was at an agency and across the board, they're hiring freezes,” Julian recalls. “Nobody was getting a raise, and budgets were a lot tighter. And I think in some cases I was working at a direct response agency. So a lot of what we did was all about bottom of the funnel. And a lot of cases, people kind of focused primarily on that. But I think where there was a bit of a miss was continuing to fuel the top and the middle parts of the funnel, continuing to let people know that you're there and educate people in the middle part. And I feel like people who have paused or do pause during these times, they almost hamstring themselves a little bit because now they're rushing back to try to say, ‘No, no, no. Hey, we're here also.’ Whereas where their competitors are continuing is where there's an opportunity. And you talked about being able to wring out content. So before we got on this, I mentioned that I think that every brand's going to have a podcast in 2024. And that's not to say that everybody's going to try to be the next Brene Brown and try to hit the top of the charts. But instead going back to what you said about recording the conversations that are being had around the industry, around success that people have seen with a particular company or just more broadly. Because to your point, those conversations could net out to a blog post, a webinar, to ebooks, to all sorts of different content. Even snackable social content, which a lot of things are moving towards that direction with TikTok blowing up. Like short, snackable things that add value to a marketer's experience as they're trying to grow their company.”
In addition to the work he’s doing at StudioPod, Julian’s noticed other brands who are seeing great success with wringing out content across all channels:
“Honestly,” Julian says, “I've seen some great examples of some of the shows that you've put out there through the Casted podcast of how marketers are, one in particular, and I'm not going to try to say the name, but they had a webinar and they ended up creating... They had 35 different segments of it, but they were able to create a ton of... Sorry, it was an event. It was a conference that they had, and they made it virtual, but they were able to get all of that content transcribed so it was easily searchable and findable, and then start to let other teams have access to it to be able to pull different clips. And so I think you have to organize it, all the content that you've had in the past. And then figure out, ‘Okay, yes, this is evergreen, but if it's from 2008, there's probably some things or nuances that need to be updated. Can I quickly jump on a mic and just add more context to it?’ That way it will stretch a little bit further. So I think creating that hub where you can have it all organized, searchable, findable by your product team, your marketing team, your sales team, so they can go in and be like, ‘Hey, somebody's asking me about this.’ It's almost in a sense, creating a FAQ for your internal team instead of having to build out a large deck that explains something to a client, just send them the audio clip from a few years ago that's still relevant today to the question that they have.”
In case you’re wondering about the brand he’s referring to, check out The Casted Podcast episode: When an Event Becomes a Fountain of Content with Planful's Rowan Tonkin & Vicky Houser.
You can view or listen to Julian’s entire (Re)Sessions episode here.
In case you need a final reminder, repurpose, reuse, refresh all your existing content to stretch your resources as far as you can. When the economy gets back on track, you’ll already be out in the lead by making the most of what you’ve already made.
If you need more on what content marketers can do during a recession to not just survive but thrive, check out the (Re)Sessions. For more on amplified marketing, the big idea behind repurposing, check out The Amplified Marketing Playbook. If you’d like to see how your B2B podcasting stacks up against the rest of the industry, take our 5-minute B2B Podcast Maturity Curve assessment. And if you’d like to see how Casted can help you do more with your podcast, video series, or content marketing strategy, check out the demo.