Hadas Avrech and Scott Shapiro discuss the importance and usefulness of content repurposing, and some advice for getting it right.
– [Hadas] Today we’re going to talk about content repurposing and the challenge of having something for everyone.
– [Scott] So, I’m Scott Shapiro. I work in our US office in our professional services team. What that means is I essentially consult for Optimove clients to help them leverage their data and the Optimove product to better their marketing practices.
– [Hadas] And I’m Hadas Avrech. I’ve been working in Optimove for the last two years. And I do growth marketing, which is essentially leveraging the assets produced by the marketing department and overall by the organization to grow our company. So we could say that both of us spend a large amount of our days thinking of coming up with ways and hacks to do more with what we have.
– So content marketing used to be easy, well, not easy, but certainly not as hard as it is today. In the early 1900s, you could just sort of stick a food guide in people’s car, and all of a sudden, a tire company like Michelin is able to establish themselves as a leader in the food industry too.
But it didn’t really take hold. The next several decades were sort of dominated by the average advertising era, sort of defined by broad wholesale stories that we’re trying to reach as many customers as possible with one message. But that sort of shifted. Most famously, Bill Gates is quoted as saying, “Content is king” in 1996, and that’s sort of seen as this sort of turning point where it ushered in the digital marketing era that we are in today.
Instead of having a Sears selling you a mattress where they’re a wholesaler, where the only real time that they have a message out in front of a customer is at a store completely out of their control, you have a company like Casper who’s direct to consumer, who instead of selling you a mattress is really selling you a story. They’re telling you how this mattress got from their warehouses right to your door, and brands now differentiate themselves with their content.
Here at Optimove, we’re always talking about personalization. If you’re in this room, and you’re likely a customer or an employee, you’ve heard it time and time again, we’re always talking about having the right message personalized to the target group, to the right channel, right campaign will easily bring your most success.
So the combination of content being king, which is over 20 years old through Bill Gates, and personalization, which we’re constantly talking about at Optimove, none of this is really new. However, where this becomes an overwhelming equation is now when you have x target groups, each with personalized messaging, on multiple different channels.
All of a sudden, this boom happens where you need so much content to reach all of the people we’re trying to tell you to contact. In a way, content is king kind of screwed over marketers. All of a sudden, it became this rat race to who could create the most content, get it all out there, who could be the best at telling a story that felt most personalized to you, to a single individual.
We had a brand start relatively recently, a video game developer, who said the way they used to operate was, one launch around Christmas time, around the holidays, they have this one game come out, and all of their marketing efforts, all of their content was revolved around this game. So they had to do about a month’s worth of communication to try and drive these sales, people would buy it for a few weeks, and then they’d start the cycle over again.
But now, with two-way communication where their customers are talking to them all the time and they’re expecting to be heard from all the time, all of a sudden, they came to us and asked, “What are we supposed to keep saying? How are we supposed to just keep sending relevant messages to these customers who want to be hearing something?”
And this is a problem that all brands face. How do you scale content creation? And so, that’s the question we’re at least hoping to answer today. It’s a tough one, but we’re at least going to hopefully give you some ideas.
– So one way of doing it is repurposing. Now, proper repurposing of your assets, your pieces, your content pieces and your images to match all of the different target groups that are lurking in your database is the key. If you do it right, you can save a lot of time and money. And we have a lot of customers that on the onboarding process tells us, “How are we going to come up with 100 campaigns?
We have this limited bank of images and content pieces,” and it’s really hard for them to come up with this on the spot. And this is something very interesting because we spend a lot of time on building this perfect segmentation and we really struggle with finding the right message to tell each one of these groups. Now, when you start… When you want to create a new content piece, you start with identifying the need, right?
So you start with identifying the need and then you go through the cycle, and it ends in the measurement. Now, this happens again and again and again for each new content piece that you generate. But look at this cycle and think about all of the time-consuming places that you can find here. For example, just creating the content, just to write it and proof it and send it to design and have all the assets and then you want to promote it, right?
So you have all your PPC efforts, and you want to promote it on social media and your blog and emails and so on. And you have to do it again and again and again for each content piece. It takes a lot of time. So what we’re trying to do here is we’re trying to break that cycle. And how are we going to do that? By adding the repurpose component. So now, when you identify a need, you need to come up with a new content piece, you need to talk to one of these target groups.
Instead of going back and doing this whole cycle again, stop for a second and think, maybe I have something that I can repurpose and I can already use. Maybe something my team generated or something another team in the organization generated or even one of the customers. But think about how you can repurpose this content. So this is really the question, right?
How? How are we going to do repurposing and how we’re going to do it successfully? So, I have to be upfront and say that we don’t have the perfect solution. Content repurposing is hard and it’s a hard topic and it’s hard for everyone. We have ideas, we have all kinds of methods that we’ve worked on and that we saw are successful and this is actually what we want to share with you today.
We want to share with you use cases that we’ve worked on, hoping it will give you tools that you can later leverage in your business.
– To just get started, we’re taking from that content cycle. One of the most robust examples of content that your brand has is your website. And think about all of the time that at least some team in your organization has spent crafting and deliberately shaping the messages of your most public-facing domain.
I can think from my experience, even when just trying to craft like that perfect mission statement about what your company is, those three sentences take so much. The writing, the copy, the revision, just to boil yourself down. And so, this is an example of a high-end sustainable luxury brand.
They make jewelry in the U.S. and they really want to promote the fact that their company, this like sustainable element of their company. They have these three sections in the About Us page on their website, who we are, what we craft, what we stand for. These are like the real tenants that they want all of their customers to understand about them and yet, even from my experience knowing this brand, had to dig through all of the products, which, of course, they want you to buy, but just to get to that splash page, About Us, which is telling you what they want to know about them.
And so, it seems almost obvious, but having put this amount of time into these messages, to bring it right to your new customers in your welcome funnel into that email body and bring it to their inbox rather than wait for them to learn about you by taking those steps and finding it on your website is one way to just sort of take what’s already been written and built and copied and revised to them.
Here’s another example from a completely different world. Here we have a video game company with a fairly sophisticated game. One of their pinpoints was the fact that their game is hard. They’re building a new world that the user isn’t going to know right off the bat. But they have all of these guides, these tips and tricks sections of their website with guides like five mistakes beginners make and how to fix them.
They’ve created all of this, but rather than waiting to lose a customer along this process when you’ve gotten them into the game. But instead of losing them along the way, or if they maybe don’t understand or have trouble, just make sure they’re getting to these guides without having to search for them.
Bring it into your welcome funnel, build a series to educate your customers. Perhaps your business has some kind of safety or regulations. In this particular case, it’s a U.S.-based lottery company, but it could be any European company that was dealing with GDPR regulations, it could be any other gaming company that has sort of data safety and verification concerns.
This is a really important element that these companies deal with. And what this company was dealing with was making sure they didn’t lose people in the verification process. And so, they had built this robust section of their website on frequently asked questions. It seems almost trivial that almost every company has this, but how often do you actually take from that what a team has built and used that to try and both ease your customers’ minds that their data is being used properly, and that there are…see how to help them through the safety and steps of verification, or even if they’re just a new customer and you want to show how you are treating them as like a person and their data to make sure that sort of you build this level of trust in the early stages of your…with your new customers.
Oh, there’s one more. So just sort of summarizing these three, it’s a great opportunity to take your website to educate your customers on your brand, and this is just a great place to take your website and create a welcome funnel with it.
– So, Scott talked about how to educate from your website. But what about all of your other channels? So, this is an example from a U.S.-based male grooming brand. By the way, I can’t see your tags and your company’s, but maybe you can find yourself in the presentation. And this is a brand that is highly invested in generating more and more content and their presence in all of these channels and many more.
And even a brand like this that is generating a lot of new content has to repurpose their content. So, let’s take your active customers, for example. These are customers that you hope that will stay in the same lifecycle stage for a long period of time, right? So on one hand, you want to show them new content, and you want to make sure that they’re going to be engaged.
And on the other hand, as we said, it’s time-consuming and takes a lot of time to create new content. Now, a blog, assuming that your company has one, is a content that is already generated on an on-going basis. Use that. Take this blog and use it with your active customers. So here, for example, you can see here, a blog post that they wrote about how do you shave in space?
So this is actually….this is a funny anecdote. They took this blog, and they’ve built it around a YouTube channel, a YouTube video that was uploaded by an Australian astronaut to just show how to shave in space. So this is also a form of repurposing, it’s another story, we’re not going to focus on today, but this is also a good way to repurpose content that was not even generated in their company.
So they wrote this blog post and they promoted it on their social media. Now, there’s nothing groundbreaking here, right? Taking your blog and promoting in social media. But first of all, it’s important to say you want to take all of your most up-to-date content and just promote it wherever you can in all the right platforms.
But there’s also a caveat, you have to make sure that the platform makes sense. So, we don’t want to just repurpose aimlessly. It doesn’t make any sense to take a good video from YouTube that is 20-minutes long and take it and think it will be successful in Facebook. No one watches 20-minute video on Facebook. People barely watch 20 seconds, right?
So the platform has to make sense in repurposing. So you took the blog, you promoted on social media, great, how about taking it to emails? So, it can be a campaign for your churned customers of this is what you missed. Or it can be a newsletter for your active customers. But repurposing is not just taking the same thing and replicating it over and over again, it’s creating something new from old.
So, you can take a little piece of this blog and you can take a piece of your best products and your best reviews and you can create something new out of three old things. And this is the magic in repurposing. This is where you actually make the difference where you create something new from old. So, we all know the rule of seven, right, that in order for a prospect to make any action, he has to see the advertiser’s message at least seven times.
And just out of curiosity, you’re all here today, how many times you’ve seen ads about Connect in social media? You can thank Fleischer here in the first row. So you’re all here, so it works, right? But in this digital age, seven is not enough. We get distracted, we filter out all of these distractions. So we have to make sure that we cross-hit our active customers in any media that we can and as much as possible.
– So, we want to stop here and take a second to also focus on the technological tools available for some of this and we want to highlight the fact that, this is an example of being able to use one of those tools to create evergreen concepts out of one template into an evergreen concept. So this is using a tool that’s available, that web scrapes, and is able to take just the most up-to-date data from your website right into the email body.
And so while… And so this could be… In this particular case, we’re using a UK-based coupon company and they just want to show the most up-to-date, most relevant coupons for an active funnel. But this could equally apply to do the current quantities of product in your warehouse. It could be the current sporting bet lines depending on like with active current up-to-date from a web scrape on the open not to click, you’ll hear more about all that later.
But we just want to highlight the fact that knowing the most available up-to-date tools, technological tools, is a great resource in understanding how to best repurpose your content and get it into the right places on the right time frames. In this particular example, we also get to see a use of dynamic tagging where the left-hand…sorry, the left-hand template is for fashion and the right-hand template is for travel.
And so you’re able to use custom dynamic tagging plus the web scraping to just have an evergreen use template and just reuse that content into the cycle.
– So you know these best content pieces that you have in your organization, the evergreens, the one that you always keep coming back to, the one that you know for sure that people like and read, that never gets old. So these content pieces are really, really hard to generate, and if someone here is doing content, then you know how hard it is and you can never anticipate the success of these pieces.
Now, we have an interesting example here in Optimove where we were surprised actually. We’ve performed an analysis of all of our blog post and we wanted to see what is the most successful blog post. And from most of them, we were not surprised, most of them were anticipated. We knew already what is the content that is more successful, but we did have some standout, some surprises.
We saw some old blog posts from, for example, 2013, 2014, that we don’t even promote anywhere and they just keep on getting organic traffic from people. So instead of going back to that content cycle and thinking how you can generate a new evergreen piece from scratch, so a good way is to do the other way around.
Look at what your readers tell you. And here, it was a really good example. This is one example. So this is a blog post that Pini wrote in 2013. It’s about how to treat every customer campaign as a marketing experiment. So, what we did, we went over it, we did content and design, we jazzed it up, we tweaked it a little bit. But as we said, it’s evergreen, it’s still very relevant, and we didn’t have to change a lot, and we just updated the date.
So, now we could promote it because promoting an old content is not something that is… I mean, people don’t like to read the content from 2013, especially when it’s something like blog. So, after doing very limited work, we were able to reuse it and actually reuse it as evergreen. So, don’t just rely on hunch, use your data, use analysis, and refresh and republish your best-performing pieces.
So up until now, we talked about how to repurpose content that you’ve already generated. But how about taking content that your customers created and use that. So here we have a U.S.-based online fashion subscription brand that is actually doing a very good job in repurposing what the customers and users generated and created in their own social media channels.
So here, for example, we have their Instagram page, and you can see images of their users and customers. The same thing here with YouTube. And it’s actually a two-fold because, on one hand, you don’t have to invest the time and create it, and on the other hand, you keep them very engaged. I mean, they’re featured in your page, which is awesome. Here’s the same thing. We have their Reviews page on their website, and they just built a whole Facebook page around these reviews.
So, this is also a great way to do that. And this is actually something that we did here in Optimove, and usually, us, B2B people, study from you, B2C people, but here, it maybe could be the other way around. Here, we took…we actually had five reviews in Gartner’s Peer Insights, and we took these five reviews and we’ve built a whole campaign around it.
So we can see Optimove, five stars, and Gartner Peer Insights. This is wonderful. You probably have way more than five reviews so you can do much more with what you have. So, use your customers as content generators. It’s already out there, just use it.
– So like we said, it’s a tough topic. We don’t have like a playbook or a solution that makes this completely reusable, but we hope that we were able to give you some sort of next steps and actions that you can take and bring back. These are available, I believe there’s a little handout, and so you’ll be able to see these on the website.
And we hope that these ideas can at least be relevant for you guys.