Many companies have trouble creating enough content to keep the momentum going in their content marketing strategy. Their executives and employees get too busy to write, create content ideas, or even to record themselves speaking.
Content creation is a muscle that atrophies when it doesn’t get used that much.
But you may already be sitting on top of a mountain of potential content you don’t even know about.
Do you run webinars on a regular basis? Do you give speeches? Do you hold an annual client conference with a full agenda of guest speakers? Then you probably generate enough potential content to last you a year.
How do you turn your webinars, speeches and conferences into content that can attract traffic to your website and generate leads?
Repurpose your content using a concept called the content cascade.
What is the content cascade?
According to conversion rate optimization expert Brian Massey:
“Digital content has legs. One item of content can be cascaded into a variety of channels like a fountain of champagne glasses at a wedding.”
A conference can turn into a series of eBooks, blog posts, social media posts, SlideShare posts, Infographics and YouTube videos.
So how exactly do you create a content cascade and turn your conferences, webinars and speeches into a year’s worth of content? Here are five steps.
1. Record all your presentations and conferences
If you hold a yearly conference for customers and potential customers, record the whole affair. The best way to do this is hire a professional videography outfit to film the whole event. You’ll have hours and hours worth of audio and video that can be re-purposed for later use.
Or you could record just the audio by plugging a recording device into the sound system you’ve set up to power the microphones.
Or you could just record it with your smartphone!
I just returned from a client conference in beautiful Cancún organized by one of my nearshore outsourcing clients. For three days there were keynote addresses, panels and fireside chats.
I recorded everything on my smartphone, and I now have 6 hours worth of audio content, or about 60,000 words, the equivalent of about 80 blog posts.
Of course my client also video-taped everything, but why wait for the video editing process to be complete when I could be turning all that content into blog posts and eBooks now?
Do the same for all your webinars and speeches your executives give.
Most popular webinar tools, such as GoToMeeting and Webex, have built-in recording capabilities. Don’t let these one-time events go to waste without recording the audio and the video for later use.
2. Transcribe your audio
The next step is to take the raw audio or video files and have them transcribed. If you have an in-house person who can quickly and efficiently turn all that audio into a written transcript, you’re already a step ahead of the game.
However, you’ll most likely want to send those files to a transcription service. Most services run about $1 per minute of audio.
TranscribeMe! And Speechpad are two popular transcription services, and turnaround is usually about 2-4 days. If you want next day service you’ll need to pay a little bit more.
I’ve already sent the first few audio files from my client’s conference to my favorite transcription service, CLK Transcription. The next day I received three transcripts from these lovely people, a total of 4,982 words. This is the raw material for at least 5 blog posts and one white paper. And I didn’t pay extra for next day service!
3. Re-write and edit the transcripts into written content
One thing you’ll notice about the transcripts you get back – even though you get words on the page, they don’t make a lot of sense, yet. Transcripts are the exact written versions of what people actually said, with all the “ums” and “ahhs,” and all the asides and non-sequiturs.
You still have some work to do.
So how do you turn all that raw written content into well-organized, well-written content?
Here’s what I do:
I usually read through each transcript to get an idea of what the presentation was all about, and then decide what I’ll turn into a white paper or eBook, and what I’ll turn into blog posts.
A one-hour presentation will usually get you between 8,000 and 10,000 words, which is more than enough for an eBook, or it can turn into several blog posts.
Then I write an outline for the piece I’m going to write, just like I normally do when I’m writing something from scratch. If you can get the slide deck for the presentation it can make writing your outline so much easier, as each slide can potentially be an item in your outline.
Using your outline, go through the transcript and add your headings and sub-headings. Delete unnecessary content and move content around to ensure clarity and flow.
Your next step is to edit, edit, edit. Don’t just remove the “umms” and “ahhhs.” Remove extra words that essentially say the same things. During presentations we use way more words than is necessary because we tend to repeat ourselves.
4. Use the slide decks to add visual elements to your content
Most presentations come with a slide deck, and if your creative department creates professional images for your presentations you can re-use these graphics for your blog posts, eBooks and even for your infographics.
However, many executives utilize PowerPoint’s built-in image creation tools, which can look professional if they know what they’re doing, but more times than not they can look a little cheesy.
Send these images to your designer and have them “professionalized.”
5. Turn the content into different formats for different channels
What can you turn your conferences, speeches and webinars into? You have video. You have audio. You have images. You have written content. There’s so much you can do with it.
Here are just a few ideas:
- Blog posts
- White papers
- SlideShare presentations
- YouTube or Vimeo videos
- Short posts for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn
If you’re holding regular events or webinars, or your executives give speeches at conferences, you have a ton of potential content you can turn into a year’s worth of conference. Don’t let all that potential go to waste. Record everything – whether with a video camera, your iPhone or your Android device.
Turn the audio, video and slide images into a series of powerful, thought-leadership content. With a process for transcribing, editing and posting you’ll probably have enough for a year, or more.
In a future post I’ll discuss the ins and outs of designating one person to coordinate everything.