We’ve heard this enough that it’s a permanent script running through our heads, “Content is king.” But how can we keep things fresh and interesting and engaging to our audience so it’s not the same old stale blog posts that we’re pumping out week after week?
Luckily for us, Shaina Weisinger from Repurpose Home, is here to share her strategies and ideas for repurposing content in a thoughtful, creative, and strategic way. Including her “7 by 7” method that she promises will help get you a year’s worth of content to share.
Rich: My guest today is the founder and CEO of Repurpose House. She’s on a mission to show content creators the untapped potential and repurposing power of the content that they already have. Today we’ll be talking about how you can make the most of the content you’re already creating with Shaina Weisinger. Shaina, welcome to the podcast.
Shaina: Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here.
Rich: So you run Repurpose House. It’s an agency that helps clients repurpose content. It’s a pretty interesting niche. So how did you find yourself doing that type of work?
Shaina: Well it was actually kind of a journey to get here. My background is video production for strategic marketing, so I had a production company where all we did was video that was specific to digital strategies. So a part of what I was doing there was telling people ‘no’ a lot, because they were constantly like, “We want this epic eight-minute video that talks about how awesome we are.” And I was like, “No, because nobody cares.” I’m not about to make you that video that’s not going to generate any ROI.
So what instead we would do is come up with really great content that would drive people into eventually caring about that two minute-ish video about how awesome you are. So in that journey I was doing video podcasts for clients because it was value-driven, it’s a really great way to get a ton of informative content to an audience in a way that keeps them sticky. Because podcasters listen for a long time in comparison to any other type of video.
In doing that, part of that package was these repurposed assets. So smaller clips from the show, captions formatted properly for all of the different social media channels. And as I was trying to push this video podcast product to audio podcasters, the vast majority were like, “Listen, we don’t care about the video part, but if you only made those repurposed assets, we will throw our money at you.” And I was like, well, hang on, this doesn’t exist already? And it did in a sense of do it yourself. And also it existed in like a full-scale agency model, but there wasn’t just the niche of like a productized service that only did this one thing. And so, I started it as podcast memes actually, and learned that really the people who were utilizing it the most were marketers who were using podcasts as one arm as their strategy. So we rebranded, changed our target audience, and decided to repurpose everything, text, video, audio, all the above. And now we’re Repurpose House.
Rich: All right. So now you’re really focusing on just creating more out of that original piece of content. Now I’ve heard you say that you can create one year of content in just one day. How is that even possible?
Shaina: So it’s about being savvy and strategic in the pillar content, right? And when we say one year of content, really we’re talking about one year of content on social media feeds. So creating pillar content that you know can be repurposed strategically. So we have what we call the “7 x 7”. So it’s creating seven videos that have seven tips within them. And each of those seven tips being repurposed strategically across all the different social media platforms. So when you really do the math, it scales really pretty well across the entire year. And what’s nice about it is now your pillar content, you’re able to drive people off of the platforms they’re on with your repurposed assets and get them to want to watch the pillar content.
So if they see one tip of seven about how to walk your dog, they’re going to want to close that loop and watch the other six. So it’s nice because you’re funneling people to a piece of content on a website that hopefully has lead gen opt-ins and stuff like that.
Rich: So when we’re talking about this, so the pillar content is going to remain on our website, but then all of this repurpose content we’re going to show on Instagram, or Tik Tok, or Facebook, or whatever happens to be our platform of choice.
Shaina: Yeah, absolutely. And they’re actually really great to use with strategic advertising as well. So you can do that in like retargeting campaigns. You can actually on Facebook and Instagram say, “Hey, if somebody watched 15 seconds of this one tip, retarget them with the next tip”, and then you can push them to the landing page. There’s a lot of different ways that you can do it organically and also expedite the process with some paid ads.
Rich: Nice, nice. So I’m sure there are people who are sitting there at home listening and saying, yeah, that’s great if you have an entire team to create all this additional content, but I’m just one person, that’s not going to work for me. What do you say to that person?
Shaina: You are wrong because it will work for you. Here’s the deal. We are in this day and age where the cameras on our phones are way better than the video production gear that I bought 10 years ago. The quality is amazing. Also, it pains my production heart to be able to say that the selfie style and that gritty, in your own personal space style video performs better than in studio style stuff. So to say that you can’t produce the content because you don’t have a team is incorrect. Because realistically you can even selfie-style shoot these videos, hold your phone out at arm’s length and record your seven tips, seven different times. And now you’ve created all the content. Then it’s a matter of figuring out how to strategically repurpose it. And that’s where you have either DIY solutions or companies like mine will do it for you.
Rich: All right. So it is interesting. So do you have any thoughts on why that kind of more raw video is getting higher engagement than say slickly produced content, that I’m sure you went to school for and got really excited about, and then all of a sudden, we have our selfie lifestyle here/ Why do you think that that performs better? Or why have you seen it perform better?
Shaina: Yeah. So it performs better on social. Like you should always have nicely produced content on your site, talking about your story, things like that. There’s a place for produce content still. But as far as on social media feeds, people want to feel like they’re getting a window into the life of the brand or the person, whoever it is that they’re trying to engage with. And the more organic feeling that can be, the more they feel like it’s an actual representation of that brand. People want to do business with people, not with logos. So it’s like the more natural feeling you can make it the better. And I really think that that’s why social media excels with this whole selfie-style, really raw nitty gritty style of video. And that’s because people want to feel like they’re getting to know you, not the representation of you.
Rich: Now when you first started talking about taking video or even audio content, and then kind of repurposing it, the vision I had in my head was – whether it be a company like yours or an inside group – that first you’d create that pillar content, that slickly produced video, and from it you’d pull snippets or that well-produced podcast. And then you’d pull snippets that you can share. But it almost sounds like, and maybe this wasn’t what you were going out for, but it almost sounds like you could have that slickly produced piece of content by a professional agency if you can’t do it in-house, but then you can take elements, the seven elements or whatever it might be, and just walk outside with a video camera and basically record the snippets of it. So it’s not necessarily that you’re always right cutting and pasting. You might actually be creating something new, but just based on the content that you’ve already developed. Is that what you’re getting at or, is that just a different approach to it?
Shaina: That’s a different approach to it. I think filming it from the get-go the way that it’s going to go repurpose as well, A) it’s more efficient because you don’t have to do it twice. And B) if you’re formatting it in a sense of, you’re actually using the numbers, the numbers do really, really well in engagement. People love odd numbers, statistically, it’s weird. Just the brain for some reason. And then the number seven does the best out of all of them.
So like for instance, if you have the video that’s, The 7 Ways to Walk the Dog, and in this repurposed snippet it’s tip two of seven. Instead of recording just the snippet by itself, you can record them individually and then compile them into one video. But making sure that in that piece of content people know that there’s more to it really steps up the strategy piece of it. You can record them individually and share them on social and that’s great, but really what’s the end game. What’s the step that you want them to take after they’ve watched it? So embedding that into the piece of content is going to be super helpful.
Rich: Plus if you’re just showing them two out of seven or, number two out of seven, there’s obviously an information gap and we always want to fill that information gap. So there’s that pull to the rest of your content. Which brings up something I’ve heard you say that you talk about creating content that you know is going to scale. So how can you determine before you create it that your content is going to scale, and/or how do you prepare for that?
Shaina: Yeah. So this 7 x 7 thing is really our answer or quick answer to that, right? If you’re going to sit down and you’re going to create something that you know exactly how it’s going to be spread over all of the different social media channels, not only that, but you can take these longer form content pieces and turn them into blog posts. You can turn them into LinkedIn articles. They can be a part of your newsletter. I mean, just saying, okay, if I’m going to create this thing, where is it going to live afterwards? And the least amount of time I have to sit in front of a camera, the better really. So it can work with podcast episodes to kind of, especially when you’re interviewing people, the power of cross-promotion is real.
So another great way to promote or to create content that can scale is through 20-minute podcast episodes where you’re going to have at least three pieces of two-minute gold in that. And you know, that’s going to be repurposed and you’re going to be driving them to, again, another piece of content, a landing page where you can now pixel and ask them to download your latest e-book and all of that fun stuff.
So as long as you know this one piece of content that I’m creating is going to be able to be chunked up and used in all these different ways, then you’re in a good place.
Rich: All right. So what is base content?
Shaina: This content is essentially what we’re talking about here. So like your podcast episode, it’s pillar content essentially, whatever the long form is. That you want to send people back to, and then from there is where you fill it up.
Rich: Okay. That makes sense. So talk to me about some of the ways – I know you’ve already given us some examples – but talk to me about some of the ways in which you’ve helped your clients with their content to go farther. Like, can you give us some specific examples so people understand what you’re doing for your clients, or what they might be able to do for themselves at home?
Shaina: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I’ll use a totally different example. We will repurpose blog posts, and traditionally that’s a form of content that’s really difficult to share on social media. Like the Facebooks don’t want you to share links to things, so that’s tough. Instagram, you can’t even share links to anything. So what do you do with all this text stuff?
So what we’ll do is take a hundred word snippet. There should be a standalone piece or a couple of different pieces that can be put together into a hundred words that’s coherent. We’ll create text motion videos out of them. So a hundred words is roughly about 90 seconds when you animate it. You’ve got stock video, stock, audio behind it, a big headline telling them what they’re going to get themselves into. We’ll shape it all the different sizes for all the different platforms. So vertical for stories, Reels, IGTV, you name it. Square for feeds. We’ll do a landscape one for YouTube. And then also image quotes. So within that, was there a stat that is 25 words or less, and we’ll do the image and square the image and vertical, all of that fun stuff, and then thumbnails to support everything. So the YouTube thumbnail, all of that. And out of that hundred word snippet that was already in your blog post, you now have nine assets to share on all of the social media platforms that are formatted properly for engagement.
Rich: All right. Wow, that’s definitely a way to make a lot out of one original piece of content. Does this approach work better for certain types of businesses or certain types of industries?
Shaina: To be honest, any type of industry can benefit from repurposed content. It really is a matter of knowing where your audience is. So are they on Tik Tok? Are they in their twenties, or are they on LinkedIn? Because you’re B2B, there’s just knowing and being savvy about where you place it. But ultimately you can educate in any type of industry anywhere. So if you’re creating educational content, it can certainly be repurposed across all the platforms. And the more you educate and give to people’s lives, the more they’re going to want to engage with you in some sort of business. Whether it’s purchasing something on e-commerce, whether it’s coaching, you name it.
Rich: You know, I see a lot of marketers out there recycling evergreen content. Is there any tips you have about, is there a shelf life for this type of content? Should you be doing adjustments when that blog post or podcast or video hits the airwaves? Or is this something where you recommend to your clients that they put it into an editorial calendar, so every month or six months or whatever it is, that it starts to resurface driving traffic back to that original base content?
Shaina: Yeah, there is something to be said for creating evergreen content. Like you’re saying, you can continuously recycle it. Because one funny thing that I hear from podcasters a lot is, why would I repurpose an old episode because everybody already heard it. And I’m like, everybody already heard it? I hoping that you’re building. Because if you have old episodes that had amazing guests that traditionally did really well for you in the past, why wouldn’t you consistently be putting that out there for new people to discover it and then listen to your episodes and then download?
And that goes for any other type of evergreen content as well. Now there’s some industries and there’s also something to be said for content that’s relevant to the here and now. Just knowing that, I wouldn’t leverage an entire strategy on that, because that’s difficult to scale and it’s not evergreen. Like you said, you can’t go back and repurpose it once it’s done. It’s dead in the water after you publish. So a mix of both would be ideal if you do have to do current event tech stuff.
Rich: Yeah. And also there may be things that are seasonal, so it’s important to bring them back a year from now. People who may live in Maine, everything is seasonable, but even things like Halloween or Christmas, one of the events may be just to make sure that they’re in your editorial calendar. What are some of the mistakes you see people make when it comes to repurposing content?
Shaina: Ooh. As far as on the social media side of it, the formatting. Things like not captioning your videos is a huge mistake. 85% of people on Facebook and Instagram are watching with the volume off. So if you’re a talking head video and you don’t have captions, people are just going to scroll right past you.
And if you think that the “business-y” people on LinkedIn are going to be any better, 80% of them are scrolling on you. So make sure you caption your videos. It’s the easiest way to get tons more engagement.
Rich: Do you have any recommendations on tools to help with captioning?
Shaina: Yeah, so Rev.com is a great place to at least get your captions created. If you want to make sure that they are really clean, as far as adding captions to your own videos, if you want a DIY-style solution, headliner.app is a really great tool. It’s again, it’s DIY, it’ll auto-generate your captions based on Google’s algorithm. So if you’re like me and you talk at lightspeed, you’re going to have a lot of editing to do. But that’s definitely another great way to add it to your own. And there’s a handful of other apps you can use on your phone that will auto-populate them with mistakes and with having to make modifications, but they make it pretty easy now to do it, so there’s really no excuse not to.
Rich: And it’s usually a lot easier to clean up something than it is to type it from scratch. So you mentioned that we should point our short form content back to our long form content. Is there ever a time when maybe that’s not best practices, or do you ever work with a client where for whatever reason that didn’t make sense and you had to come up with a different approach? And if so, what would that approach be?
Shaina: Yes. I mean, in the vast majority of cases you can’t deposit ‘likes’. So with that being said, for some people, engagement is huge for them. They need people to be on the platform, engaging. For instance, if they have sponsorships, if they are promo, like if they are influencers and they need that engagement on the platform, that’s a totally different scenario. Then it’s create specific content for that platform for engagement. But in the vast majority of cases, it’s more about getting them off of the platform where you can actually control pixeling, things like that. Because otherwise you’re leveraging all of your content strategy on a platform that’s constantly changing algorithms. You have zero control over any of it. So if you’re not in a sponsorship situation where views and likes are really going to matter for your income, then the best practice is to get them off of those platforms quickly.
Rich: All right. Any last tips or tricks that we haven’t hit on today that you just find really make it easier either to come up with that original base content, with the idea of scaling it, or just other ways in which we can take advantage of all this repurposing?
Shaina: Yeah, absolutely. So the best way to just start creating is to think of the greatest hits that you are always saying out loud. I know that you may feel like you are on repeat and you’re sick of hearing yourself say it, but the reason that you say it so much is because people want to hear that. So making a list on your phone of those topics as they pop up, as you’re thinking about them. You’re not going to remember them if you just say, “Oh, I’ll remember when I sit down to film”. Have the list running and continuously add to it. And then instead of feeling like you have to film constantly, sit down the first Monday of every month, have your 10 topics, get five different shirts and film all of it and just be done with that content for a couple of weeks, a month, whatever your strategy looks like. But if you haven’t sat down to do like a 7 by 7 thing that we’re talking about, and you’re just wanting to get content out there, run the list, sit down and schedule one day to create it, and then just make sure it’s done and it’s good to go.
Rich: That’s awesome. And the most surprising tip I learned today is have five shirts ready to go. So I really appreciate that tip. Shaina, this has been great. If people want to learn more about you and Repurpose House, where can we send them?
Shaina: Yeah, I would just go to repurposehouse.com. It’s got a ton of really great articles, content courses. Anything you want to learn or find out about repurposing your content, it’s going to be right there for you.
Rich: Awesome. Thanks so much for stopping by today. I really appreciate your expertise.
Shaina: You got it. Thanks, Rich.
Shaina Weisinger helps her clients get more leads and traffic by showing them how to repurpose their content and share it in strategic ways. Check out her website for the latest articles, courses, and tips.
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.