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How to Repurpose Your Content for Better ROI – Kim Garst
The Agents of Change

How to Repurpose Your Content for Better ROI – Kim Garst

There are many reasons why repurposing content is smart. First off, why reinvent the wheel? If you have a piece of content – whether it’s a blog post, a podcast, or an infographic, that’s done really good for you, it just makes sense to get more mileage out of it. Not only that, it saves both time and money. Top digital marketers, like Kim Garst, preach the benefits of content repurposing as part of their strategy to help businesses build, grow, and scale. After all, why bother spending all that time creating content if you’re not planning to amplify it.

Rich: My guest today is one of the world’s most retweeted people among digital marketers. She’s a renowned marketing strategist, keynote speaker, and an international bestseller author of, Will the Real You Please Stand Up – Show Up, Be Authentic and Prosper in Social Media.

She focuses on helping entrepreneurs grow their business using social and digital media strategies. She’s also internationally recognized as a thought leader in the social media space. Forbes named her is one of the top 10 social media power influencers. Her eponymous blog is one of the top social media resources in the world. I’m looking forward to a great conversation around how to repurpose our content with Kim Garst. Kim, welcome to the show.

Kim: Super excited to be here. Rich. Thanks so much for inviting me.

Rich: And I got to use the word ‘eponymous’ today. So you know, there’s already a benefit for me.

Kim: Oh wow. That’s a big word.

Rich: It is a big word. And for those of you who don’t know what ‘eponymous’ means, it basically means her website. Her blog is kimgarst.com so now you know what eponymous means. So there you go.

Kim, tell me about your first experience moving into digital marketing and social media. Like what were you doing before and what was that first kind of gateway drug when it came to social media?

Kim: So I have owned an online business for 28 years. When my young oldest son was born, I was on my way to law school and my world shifted the moment they laid him in my arms. And all of the plans that I had totally went out the door and I had to figure out plan B. And that was a really interesting road because at the time, you know, that was like I say, a long time ago.

The internet was just becoming a commercial at that time, and it took me about five years to generate my first $60 online because I had no skills and there was no YouTube videos to watch until your eyes bled. There were no blogs. Literally it was, you know, just trying to figure it out. And I’m totally self-taught.

But what took my business in this direction – the social media direction – was basically a deja vu moment when I started my first business, which was web design, the common theme was, “Hey, if you don’t have a website in five years, you’re going to be out of business”. And when social media came along, I heard the same thing. I heard people saying, “You know, if you’re not on social media, if you don’t get your business on social media, you’re going to be out of business in five years”. And I’m like, whoa, I’ve heard this before.

And so it was one of those moments of I need to pay attention because back 15 years, even prior to that, I was on the forefront of web design. And I’ve benefited so massively from that. And my thought was when I heard that you got to get on social media, I’m like, “Hmm, I need to pay attention here”. And this is one of those opportunity moments where if you could be an early adopter, you put yourself in a much better position. So that’s how I got started with social media.

Rich: Cool. Well, today we’re talking about repurposing content. So what does that mean to you to repurpose content?

Kim: Basically it’s to spend one block of time creating an amazing piece of content, and then milking that piece of content for everything its worth. Repurposing it, meaning, if it’s a blog post, taking it into different formats, putting it out at the social media, amplifying it. Because honestly, one of the biggest things that I see entrepreneurs falling down on, if you will, is they spend a lot of time creating content many times for content sake. And yet they don’t have a plan to amplify it.

And so my friend, Ian Cleary once said that there is no need to create content if you don’t have a plan to amplify it. And that just was like a real eye opener for me at that point because I was like, that’s so true. We create content lots of times and we hope someone bumps into it and that’s not a good plan.

Rich: So I’m sure you’ve heard people say to you, “I don’t have time to create content in the first time. How am I possibly going to find additional time to repurpose that content?” What’s your argument? What do you say to those people?

Kim: I would say honestly that it’s not more time honestly, because what you’re doing is if you can sit down – I’ll just use one quick example – if you can sit down and have a 20 to 30 minute block of time and you record a video, for example, whether you go live or you just sat down in front of your camera and you speak something that is your knowledge base, your area of expertise, your zone of genius, five ways to do whatever it is in your space that you’re super good at and you have five ways to do it.

If you were to spend that same amount of time writing that content, you couldn’t do it in 20 to 30 minutes, right? I would take you three to five hours is the normal timeframe that it takes anyone to write a blog post. But yet if you spent 20 to 30 minutes speaking that content and then have that transcribed, you’ve already saved yourself potentially three to four hours just in that one example.

So I personally feel like, as an entrepreneur where time is value based, you’re doing yourself a disservice just to think in that mindset where you don’t have time to repurpose. You don’t have time not to repurpose.

Rich: So I’m in complete agreement with you and I’m a big fan of repurposing content. I’ve been doing it for a long time. But let’s take one step back and just, you know, we’ve talked about how difficult or how time consuming getting to create that really valuable piece of content. You’ve obviously created a lot of valuable content over your career. What would you say to somebody who’s like, I don’t even know what kind of content to create in the first place? Like what kind of content would you argue is valuable for a business or a professional to put out there?

Kim: Well, content is a gift that keeps on giving, if you have it in a format that is find-able or searchable, if you will. So content that is blog content, for example. I’ve been blogging for 10 years now and my website gets about a million and a half impressions a year now. I’m sorry, a month, a month.

Rich: Even better.

Kim: Yes. And granted, I didn’t start out there, you know, nobody does. But the point of it is that 86% of my traffic comes from Google, which means that again, as long as I continue to create content and update that content and repurpose it, get it out into the world into different formats, let people know it’s there, I have that’s a gift that just keeps benefiting me. So blog content is one of those things that I think is hugely valuable to any entrepreneur.

I would argue the same thing for YouTube simply because YouTube is searchable. YouTube is owned by Google, so that content is again, a gift that keeps on giving. I have Facebook content, interestingly enough, that just continues to work on my behalf. Things that have gone viral, or contagious, whichever word you want to use. And you know, things that were posted on my Facebook page say five, six, seven years ago, and they’re still engaged with almost daily because they’re continuing to be shared and circled in the inner webs. And again, that’s content that just keeps on giving.

Kim: So going back to that your original question, understanding how content works and then what types of content is going to give you the most value. And then more importantly, how do you take that one piece of content and turn it into various types of content. Like that blog post could also be turned into a YouTube video, right?

It could also, you could pull snippets of it outside of the original piece of content and put it on your Facebook page or on Twitter or other places. So it doesn’t have to be so hard. We make it harder than it and then it should be. That’s why the whole repurpose conversation really needs to be embraced.

Rich: I would also argue that if you’re not really super observant and measuring every little thing of how your content is engaged with, I would think that undoubtedly you’ve noticed that a few pieces of content really resonated. You posted something to LinkedIn or Facebook or you had a blog post or even an in person presentation, and you just got more reaction and more engagement than you suspected. And I remember years ago, I wrote a blog post, something like, 50 ways to come up with your next idea for your blog email newsletter or podcast. And I put it out there and it just really blew up. And I knew that I had something of value. So when I had an opportunity to speak somewhere, I pitched that idea. They loved it. That became like an ongoing thing that I kept on being able to reuse in different ways and shapes on different platforms, and then in real life too.

So if you’re sitting at home and you can think back on some of the stuff that you’ve published in the last few years, is it evergreen and did it get a big reaction that might be perfect content to really think about how do I repurpose this and put it in front of a wider audience. Would you agree, Kim?

Kim: Absolutely. And I would even say that instead of worrying about creating new content, you would do exactly what Rich just suggested. In fact, that’s our strategy right now. The entire first six months of 2020 we’re creating no new content. None. We are taking a look at all of our old content and content that has really gotten a lot of engagement. We’re starting with that first. We’re updating it and putting it back out into the world, repurposing it in some unique ways so that it gets more visibility. And Google loves it when you update your content as well.

So my advice would be to take a look at your existing content, a blog post for example, like Rich just mentioned, something that really resonated with your community and say, “Okay, how can I take that and repurpose it?” Does it need to be updated? First start there, does it need to be updated, update it. Maybe do a video of it. You can record yourself reading it essentially. You could pull video snippets out of that recording. You could pull your own quotes. We all say zingers, we don’t look at it that way. But if you were to take a look at this transcript or take a look at the original blog posts, I call them tweetable moments. What are those golden nuggets that you say in the normal course of sharing your zone of genius? Pull those out, make quote tiles out of them. Put the video on YouTube so and embedded in your blog post so you can get some additional SEO juice. There’s just so much that you can do with existing content that you already have.

Rich: 100% agree. We’re in the process of relaunching our flyte new media website and we have so much content over the last 23 years that we’re not looking to create anything new. We’re just taking a look at some of our most important posts out there and like you said, we’re just adding to it, updating the information if necessary. Maybe getting some expert quotes. Is there some updated data that we need to put in? Should we create a video that goes into it? We have 300 plus podcasts from the Agents of Change, can we somehow link to those or embed those, whatever it is to make it the most valuable piece and then be able to spread it in new ways.

So 100% agree. If you do have content that you’ve already done there, that you put out there, blog posts, don’t try and continually create fresh content. If you have really good content that just needs to be a re-polished perhaps.

Kim:  I’m sorry, I was just going to add to that just real quick. It also gives that piece of content a different layer of richness. You know, when you can add those elements, like putting a video into it, it increases the stickiness of the viewership. You know, when somebody comes to your website and there’s a video, they may stay longer. So it gives you some additional stickiness to that piece of content

Rich: Right. Which benefits your SEO. So again, this virtuous cycle. If people listening, Kim have never done much repurposing, where do they start?

Kim: Well, I’m a big fan of going back to your existing content, just like we were speaking about just now, and taking a look at that. That’s a great place to start because it doesn’t add additional burden, if you will. Because a lot of times people are concerned initially about this whole repurposing thing. They’re like, “Oh my gosh, this is too big. I can’t do this.”

So if the content piece on the front side, you’re scared about what’s going to be great content, find something that has been great already and start there. That might be a great place to start. There’s some amazing tools out there that will take your existing piece of content. Let’s say you have a video for example, and you want to turn that video into a transcript that you could put on your blog, that’s one option.

You could go to places like, there’s a great tool called veed.io. There’s another one called repurpose.io. Those are tools where you can drop in your video and it will allow you to put captions on it, and do a lot of the bells and whistles of the re-purposing without a lot of tech skills. Which I’m a big fan of sharing tools that the average person can absolutely use and a segment their content in ways that they can put back out into the world without it being hard.

So those are a couple of tools that are great to take video content and segment it, split it up into different formats and put it back out into the world.

If you have a blog post for example, and you want to create a video with that, designer.io is a great tool that will allow you to do that.  I just came by this tool just recently and it’s a tool called Invideo. Let me just pull that up, I’m pretty sure it’s just an invideo.com. I want to make sure that I’m telling you correctly. Yes, it is invideo.com, and they have an option where you drop in your blog link and when you do that, it’ll help you create a video out of that blog post. So the designer.io does that and so does invideo.com. So that’s a way to take a blog post and turn it into a video. The other two tools were more about the taking the video and turn it into other formats.

Rich: So those are some great tools for repurposing content. Do you have any tactics or do you have like a checklist that you use or your team uses to make sure that you’re getting every ounce of value out of a piece of content that you’re creating?

Kim: Yes, we have internal systems for basically, I break it into three different categories. I have what I call the ‘full play’, which is the full Monty. Like, if I go live and I feel like it’s, oh man that was really great content, let’s run the full play on it. And that would involve turning it into a blog post, creating multiple video snippets, pulling quote tiles from it. And if that’s to include anything that I might say that’s a ‘zinger’, anything that a guest would say that’s, you know, kind of a visual image, quote tile, perhaps even infographics Instagram, Facebook stories, the entire Monty, if you will.

And then there’s also what we call the ‘half play’. Ok, that was pretty good, maybe we won’t do a blog post, but let’s do the quote tiles. Let’s do the video snippets.

And then sometimes you create a piece of content and you’re like, ugh, that just stunk, let’s not do anything with that, let’s just throw that one out the door. So you know, sometimes that happens. That’s the reality of it. You know, it just wasn’t an awesome piece of content. Let’s just throw that one out the door kind of thing.

So I usually, if I’m feeling it, it’s the ‘full play’. If it’s okay and I feel like there’s value in it, it’s the ‘half play’. And we do have a checklist for what we do based on the ‘full play’, the ‘half play’ or oh gosh, let’s just throw that out the door. Obviously there’s no checklist for that.

Rich: Yeah, exactly. And I think that’s a critical piece because you know, it is so much easier to get one valuable piece of content to go far. And if you have a checklist, like we do for the podcast, as soon as the podcast is over it goes to our transcriptionist. The transcriptionist does a pull quote, and a caption for us as well. We create graphics around this, it goes up to a bunch of different places and now we’re even using it on other websites as well, just to get as much value as possible.

On another podcast, we work with some local organizations, business organizations who don’t have audio content and they’re do, they’re repurposing for us by sharing it with their email audience. So if you’re creating something of value for your audience, think about creating a process in place. It just will simplify your life. Either you do it or your team does it, and you’re going to get that content to go much further and get a lot more value. Because the answer these days is not to not try and compete with the internet on volume because you’re going to drown, but instead to really focus on creating value and then making sure it goes out to the right people.

Kim: And I would even say presenting it in form in a variety of different formats because people consume content very differently.

Rich: Great point.

Kim: So just like you were saying, the audio piece, these tools that I mentioned you can take an audio, turn it into what looks to be a video, and people are more likely to consume that content just because they think it’s a visual element even though it’s audio. It’s just a fascinating dynamic. So putting that content back out in different formats really gives it life.

Rich: I know you’re a fan of live video, not really one of my strengths. Um, can you just walk us through, like if you were to create a live video today on a certain topic, what might be some of the ways that you would repurpose that content, Kim?

Kim: Absolutely. One of the things that we do immediately is, again, if I feel like it’s just really great content is we import it into one of our tools that creates a transcript. That’s where we start. Once the transcript is up and invisible, someone on the team goes in and they highlight essentially clips of certain things.

Like, I may ask a guest, I had Rachel Peterson on yesterday talking about a Tik Tok and one of the questions I ask was, “How do you get more Tik Tok followers?” So starting from that question, “How do you get more Tik Tok followers”, and her response, we’ll clip that out of it from a video perspective. And now that’s a standalone video snippet if you will. Just a small nugget out of the entire interview that I did and we can drive traffic back to the full interview based on that one little snippet, but it’s additional value added just from that one thing.

If people stumble across that one thing, they get value from it. And we’ll do that. We’ll have again, 3-5, usually video snippets. We will also highlight quotes, like if she said something that was just amazing or if I said something that was a zinger kind of thing. And we’ll create visual images that we can share on social on Facebook, Twitter, et cetera, where you purpose those sizing for the various platforms so that they’re native to those platforms.

And also, one of the things just to give value back to the guests that we have, we create versions for them as well. And so we send that over to them so that they can share it with their communities. So the video snippets and the image tile quotes are pretty much a standard for us. Obviously the transcript is turned into a blog post. We don’t use the transcript as a blog post. We actually write a blog post around the content, if that makes sense. So it’s not just like, “Hey, here’s a transcript”, because that means that’s not a blog post in my opinion. You have to actually take the context of the transcript and reformat it around more of a blog style piece of content and that turns into a blog. Obviously we repurpose the entire video, put it on YouTube, things of that nature.

Rich: It’s interesting that you say that because we’ve been really kind of doing a deep dive into podcast SEO lately, and I’ve noticed that blog posts always seem to outrank a podcast transcripts, at least in my experience on a few different websites. And I’ve wondered if it’s because Google is looking for that real purely educational content, very helpful. And when we write, we write with such purpose, but when we speak, it’s sometimes a little bit just coming out in the words are forming as we come up with them. And I just think the written word can be a little bit more coherent, for lack of a better phrase, then just having all the “ums” and “ahs”
and all the side notes that we take. And that maybe your approach makes a lot more sense, especially from an SEO and discoverability standpoint as well.

Kim: Well, and with the Google, you know, Google loves conversational style content. But at the same time, the way we do it, it provides a format more of a – I call it scannable – content because most people that come to a blog post are scanners. Most people consume content in that manner because we’re so used to fast, fast, fast, you know, how quickly can we get through this. And I’m a big proponent of designing your content, your blog content, around that style of viewer.

You know, like if there’s five ways they may want to go down and check, “Okay, got it, here’s the five ways”. And maybe one of those ways they want to read in more depth. So they’ll stop and they’ll go and read the text that goes with it.

But that’s why I think it’s important not to just dump a transcript in and say, Oh boom, I’ve got a blog post that’s in my opinion, that’s not good enough. You still have to format it correctly, make it more readable, more bloggish, and still have the original conversational tone, if you will. That’s a part of it.

Rich: Makes sense. Kim, this has been great. If people want to learn more about you and check you out online, where can we send them?

Kim: Absolutely. Well, my blog is, kimgarst.com/blog. Lots of great content there. Definitely check that out and you can find me on all socials under my name, Kim Garst.

Rich: It’s nice when you have such an uncommon name as Kim Garst, not like when you’re stuck with something like Rich Brooks. I’ll tell you that right now.

Kim: It does make it a little easier.

Rich: There you go. Kim, thanks so much for stopping by today. Really appreciate your time and expertise.

Kim: And thank you for having me.

Show Notes:

Kim Garst is a well-respected digital marketer, speaker and author, who uses her expertise to help businesses grow and scale. Her blog is full of valuable info, tips and takeaway, in an area that is ever changing.

Rich Brooks is the President of flyte new media, a web design & digital marketing agency in Portland, Maine, and founder of the Agents of Change. He’s passionate about helping small businesses grow online and has put his 20+ years of experience into the book, The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing