Repurposing Content: What’s Old is New Again

Get extra mileage from your best stories.

Creating quality content is time consuming. We spend hours surfacing our organizations’ stories, finding the right images, and scrutinizing each sentence of every paragraph for what we know will be the next viral hit. Then once we click publish and send a few Tweets, we’re moving on to the next thing. (Check out Garth Moore’s post on why we should spend more time thinking about distribution than publishing).

Jereme Bivins
twitter.com/jcbivins

Jereme Bivins is Digital Media Manager at The Rockefeller Foundation, a co-organizer of NYC’s 501 Tech Club, board member of NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network, and a speaker and contributor to various events and media outlets.

Content doesn’t always expire immediately, in fact, it rarely does. Your stories show the impact of your organization on the world, especially the most popular ones. If you do this well, then like a good movie or book, there’s no reason why your audience can’t occasionally enjoy a rerun.

So with the end of 2014 looming and the ritual emptying of offices and cubicle farms underway, one of the best ways to give your team a break is to squeeze some extra mileage from your best stories by putting together a highlight reel—a collection of your best-performing stories and social content.

Here’s how to do it:

Blog Posts

Using Google Analytics, identify the year’s most read posts to craft a BuzzFeed-like ‘Top 10 Stories’ list for your blog. These stories should share some unearthed wisdom or learnings, updates on projects, or show why your work matters. This is a great way to connect your stories to one another or show how your organization’s work impacts a variety of people or systems.

Break these titles down into ‘Best of’ Tweets and Facebook posts, too. For new followers and fans, these posts are fresh and provide context for your work.

PhilanTopic, a popular news philanthropic news aggregator, does an awesome job of highlighting their top blog posts every month.

Tweets & Facebook Posts

With millions of Tweets sent every day into the ether, few of them are read or acted upon. Take a look back at which of your Tweets received the most favorites, retweets, or clicks and throw them back into the queue. Add a little social proof to your Tweet by tagging it with ‘Best of’ or ‘Most RTed’ ahead of the copy.

On Facebook, take advantage of ‘Throw Back Thursday’ to repurpose your popular content or re-engage your audience with an update or fresh spin to an older post:

Photos & Videos

Thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, organization photo databases are overflowing with content. Look back at some of the photos you’ve collected from the field or at events and use them to create a story collage of this year’s work.

These are only a few ways that you can repurpose your content. Once you start exploring the year’s best stories, you’ll find your own creative ways to build your organization’s highlight reel. So use a little imagination and give yourself—and your team—a break by making your content work harder for you.

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