“We wrote our first blog post before we wrote our first line of code.”
- Jon Miller, founder, Marketo

Blogging is important for every business. So we don’t just offer ghostwriting services for others. We blog for ourselves. Why? To discuss big issues such as content strategy, commissioning and ROI, as well as tactics for effective copy creation or editing, not to mention news about Collective Content.

Remember, over a third of marketers say blogs are the most valuable content type. Let us know what you’d like to read about here.

Tag: repurposing

11 essential content marketing links from Q1 19

  1. What CMOs should tell board members (and what boards should be asking)

Let’s kick off with some C-suite advice. Trust us, it gets more tactical and advisory from here…


  1. 3 creative habits that’ll make you more inspired and prolific all year

Ringfencing mindspace so that any team can be creative is so important (we referred to this as one goal of our way of working).


  1. How to turn a single blog post into a month’s worth of content marketing

We talk a lot about how every piece of content is really several pieces of content. It’s even in our writing and editing training course. Here are some useful pointers.


  1. 12 content marketing trends that can help your brand stand out

Juicy trends listicle – say no more.


  1. Multiply your traffic: 3 powerful ways to give your old content a second life

This is a key tactic for getting more out of your best historic content. But get this wrong and you come across as a low-rent SEOer.


  1. How to use LinkedIn as a brand publishing platform

Since we’ve been doing these quarterly lists, we like to feature something with a social angle – and in the early days of Collective Content, we’d often help executives with their LinkedIn profiles and engagement. But LI is about more than profiles.


  1. 3 rules for building a better content calendar

Some simple, solid advice about the kind of content planning every organisation should be doing.


  1. Copy-wise: Beware of too many, too few or misplaced commas

As well as our love of all things grammar and style (being copy-wise)… we love to drop in one of our own posts 😉


  1. Infographic: How to use infographics for lead generation

Not our first Contently link, but as well as loving the right kind of info, we love this riff on “a coffee table book about coffee tables”.


  1. Insourcing, offshoring and creative re-alignment: 10 things I learned about the future of B2B agencies

We don’t often get too inward-looking in these lists but this is a great insight into the kind of agencies you might end up working with – and when to decide you don’t need them.


  1. ‘You don’t get it. You aren’t the point.’

And lastly, some advice for any of us: It’s not about us – it’s about those we’re trying to connect with, however we try to do that. Remember.


Why 11 links for once? 11 is the best times table, no question.


Follow us on Twitter – @ColContent


Read Further

The hidden pitfalls of repurposing content

Photo by Hannes Wolf on Unsplash

You can find plenty of articles about repurposing content – why to do it, how to do it. But few tell you the pitfalls. And there are more than you might imagine.

The concept of repurposing old content is simple and seemingly compelling. When we are asked to perform content audits at the beginning of content programmes (here’s what you need to know about content audits) ‘repurposing’ is always a choice of what to do with each historical item of content (along with ‘kill’ and ‘reuse’ as is).

There are two thoughts that go through lots of clients’ minds when they hear about repurposing. The first is that it will be easy. The second is that it will be cost-effective, in part because it’s easy.

That means there is increasingly a tendency to lean towards repurposing content above other options – including creating fresh content from scratch.

But this can be a mistake.


Repurposing’s pitfalls

Repurposing, by its nature, means working with something that already exists. But an existing item of content – and by item we mean anything from a social post, to a white paper, to a video and more – can be a month old or a decade old. I’d guess it’s typically in the 1-3 years old bracket. So some items need a lot more updating, just because there has been more change in the world since they were created.

Then there’s the question of consistency, which also relates to the authorship of those existing items of content. There has to be a call whether to keep a piece consistent with its original style or update that too, especially if an organisation’s style guidelines have changed. (Don’t know about style guides? You really should.)

This can be easier if the writer or other creative originally involved is still around. They might not be, especially if the work was done by an outside agency.

And on that matter, who gets the byline – literally the acknowledgement of who created a piece – when it’s partly one person from two years ago and partly a more recent edit? That’s not a common problem but we have seen it become one when the byline is between two senior peers at the same company.

Vertical, local

And all of this is to say nothing of two of the main reasons why an item of content is often repurposed. ‘Bringing it up to date’ is a less likely reason than ‘verticalising’ for a particular industry audience or localising for a specific geographical market – say Europe or Germany. In the case of the latter reason, localisation might also involve translation and changing content substance and style to match local conventions.

Verticalising content has especially grown in popularity over the past year or so. It’s also not the hardest thing to do. We’re fans. But the secret is to be sure-footed about which parts of an existing asset should stay exactly as they are.

And the key is in execution beyond repurposing, too. The recipient who works in healthcare of a white paper or email or other item should probably not see the generic version of the asset, and certainly should never see a version that is 20 per cent different aimed at their equivalents in banking or retail or manufacturing.



Another dimension is when someone then tries to optimise old content for today’s search best practice. Search engine optimisation (SEO) and a whole mini industry of SEO consultants can be valuable. But going back to old content to optimise for today is a decision to be made – preferably at the start of any project, not at the eleventh hour.

Also understand that today’s SEO best practice is tomorrow’s ‘avoid-at-all-costs’. Hands up anyone else who has shared an old infographic only to be contacted by its creators and asked to take it down or alter how it sits on a page because now Google is punishing them.


The bottom line is that repurposing can be valuable. But don’t always assume it’s the best way to go.

For all the reasons stated above, it can be complicated, time-consuming and costly. A great existing asset is often best served by creating a brand-new follow-up. That’s not always the case. But one secret content creators rarely tell you is that starting afresh can be one of the easiest processes of all, and cost about the same amount. Take their advice.

Follow us on Twitter – @ColContent

Read Further

Jay Baer on: Content as fire, social as gasoline

baer“Content is fire, social media is gasoline.”

Jay Baer, President, Convince and Convert

 A while back, for a few years, it felt like everyone jumped on social media as a great way to attract and speak with customers. But there was one problem: Lots of companies didn’t have something worthwhile to say.

We used to say they had the gun but no ammo. This is why Baer’s line resonated with us. It’s just a different analogy.

Social media is incredible in so many ways (good and bad). But it’s not so great when it’s just hot air.

Unusually in this series, this post is a two-for-one (BOGOF maybe?). Because Baer’s post made us think of another line, from another content marketing guru, Rebecca Lieb. She has said:

“Content is the atomic particle of marketing.”

It’s a similar idea. Your basic starting position is great content. On top of that, good things happen.

The great thing is that this foundational level of content can be used and reused – cut up, built upon and revisited. A 15-page e-book is likely also four or five blog posts, a bylined post in a publication, updates to your company LinkedIn and Facebook pages, maybe a podcast and video interviews too.

Maybe it’s the season to invest in the gift that keeps on giving.

Read Further

Contact us

Contact us to find out how we can help you:

Email:  tony.hallett@collectivecontent.co.uk

Twitter:  @ColContent

Facebook: facebook.com/CollectiveContent

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/collective-content

Phone:  0800 292 2826