May 11, 2021
Carve the Turkey: Why and How to Repurpose Your Content

Right now, marketing is all about content. Whether you’re creating content on a blog (like me), uploading videos/streaming, making a podcast, or posting on social media. And, it’s worth acknowledging that high quality, engaging content takes effort to produce. 

If you’re constantly producing new content, it can feel like you are running on a hamster wheel: just running and running, with no end in sight. This can quite easily make you lose interest in producing content, result in sub-par content churned out for the sake of having new content, and contribute to burnout. 

Why you should repurpose content 

To maximize the value of each piece of content you produce, you should approach your content with a ‘carve the turkey’ approach. In standard marketing terms, this is often referred to as repurposing and redistributing content. 

The turkey carving euphemism comes from the idea that when you create a piece of content (eg. the turkey), you can repurpose parts of it (eg. carve pieces of the turkey) and re-distribute it in additional formats or through other channels (eg. passing the plate). 

This strategy helps you maximize distribution of one piece of content, by making sure you are distributing it across all of your channels - whether that’s your website, social media, or elsewhere. It also saves time, because once you’ve created one piece of content (again, the turkey), splitting it up and redistributing it is easier and faster than creating another piece of content.

Not only does this allow you to weave the content together across your channels by allowing you to do things like point from your social media to your blog, or from your email newsletter to your physical store, it also maximizes your content’s lifespan. By extending your content’s lifespan, you are reducing the total amount of content you need to produce to drive results, which will save time and energy in the future. 

How to repurpose content  

Repurposing content is easier than you think. To get started, create a formula for each type of base content (aka, “turkey”), and the amounts and types of content you want to repurpose from them. Here are a few examples:

  • 1 blog post = 3 Instagram Feed posts, 3 Instagram stories, 2 LinkedIn posts, 1 Facebook post, 5 Tweets, 1 email send
  • 1 downloadable PDF / whitepaper / ebook = 3 blog posts, 10 Instagram Feed posts, 10 Instagram Stories, 10 Tweets, 4 LinkedIn posts, 5 Pinterest posts, 3 Facebook posts, 2 email sends 
  • 1 short video (15-second) = 1 Instagram Reel, 1 Instagram Story, 1 TikTok videos, 1 Pinterest Story Pin, 1 Tweet
  • 1 medium video (up to 5 minutes) = 3 Instagram Reels, 5 Instagram Stories, 2 Instagram Feed posts, 1 Pinterest post, 3 TikTok videos, 3 Tweets
  • 1 long video (10+ minutes) = 5 Instagram Reels, 10 Instagram Stories, 3 Instagram Feed posts, 3 Pinterest posts, 5 TikTok videos, 5 Tweets

Your content repurposing formulas will depend on your business and your content. When building your formulas, you want to make sure that you are balancing the right amount of new content and repurposed content. Repurposed content can and should be redistributed over time, so you are constantly providing your audience with engaging content on different topics. 

At the same time, since you spend all day in your content, you might feel like your audience will remember or be able to easily spot repurposed content. But that’s generally not the case, unless you are repurposing over short periods of time. Most of your audience and customers are inundated with content every day, so there’s a small chance that they will remember exactly when you shared a specific piece of content. 

When you repurpose content, you also want to make sure you are optimizing for the channel and format you are “carving” it into. There is some effort and planning involved in this, but it is still less than coming up with completely new content. 

Each channel is optimized for a different outcome or call to action, such as likes, comments, reshares, and you want to optimize your content for that. For instance, when you are repurposing a blog post into multiple social media posts, you don’t want to just paste your entire blog post into your feed. Instead, you will need to trim the blog post into bite sized pieces for each social media post or even turn it into short clips to add variety to your repurposed content. 

Keep in mind: repurposing and redistributing content is strategic, not mindless. In the case of TikTok and Instagram, Instagram even warned that it would deprioritize videos that were blatantly redistributed from TikTok

As you strategize, consider when and how often you want to share redistributed content. Think strategically to really maximize the value of the content you spent so much time working on!

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