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In the wake of our recent webinar and AMA on content marketing and AI, one of the persistent questions folks have is, “well, what if I don’t have access to sophisticated AI tools to generate content at scale? How can I compete?”. This is a perfectly valid question, and the answer is recycling and upcycling the existing content we have.

You and I sit on vast reserves of content we don’t use. We make stuff all the time, but it never reaches its full potential. Back in 2008, my friend and former boss Todd Defren coined the term content atomization, the exploding of content into component pieces. That strategy has itself been recycled many times over the years by many different social media and content marketing experts, but the gist of it is:

Turn your content into other content.

Have you ever been a guest on a podcast? Podcasts are great for building awareness in new audiences, but not so great if you want that content indexed by search engines because it’s all audio. But get that episode transcribed and put on your blog? Suddenly you’ve got a massive amount of scannable, searchable text – and this is doubly true for podcasts that you’re a guest on. For example, I had the opportunity to be a guest on Jason Falls’ Digging Deeper podcast. The show was fun, but the text was even better, and turned into a 7,300 word blog post along with the video and audio.

Do you make videos? Get them transcribed. Every day, I post videos on my personal blog and the automated transcripts that go with them, courtesy of Otter.ai (try it for free). A single 10-minute video turns into about 1,500 words. For the In-Ear Insights podcast, we record for 20-25 minutes each week. This past week’s episode on a clinical trials process for AI turned into a 4,329 word blog post to go with the video and audio.

Do you have audio? Turn that audio into animated video for Instagram or full-length video with a tool like Headliner (also try for free). I cut 1-minute video snippets out of our In-Ear Insights podcast episodes for promotion on Instagram.

Do you have text? Consider using something like Amazon Polly to have it automatically read aloud – and then use that audio with Headliner to turn it into video. Here’s a simple example using the text of this blog post:

Can’t see anything? Watch it on YouTube here.

Listen to the audio here:

Download the MP3 audio here.

We call this the Transmedia Content Framework, and it’s how you turn one piece of content into many. As long as you’ve got content that’s valuable and worth sharing, transforming it into as many formats as possible benefits your audience by being available however they want it without substantially increasing your own workload. Think about it: do you really have the time to write a blog post, newsletter, record a podcast, shoot some video, and make fresh social content every day or week? Probably not, if each had to be a unique piece of content. But if you had a great piece of content to start with, could you transform it into as many different formats as possible and then make them available wherever your customers are? Absolutely – and at substantially lower time and resource costs.

Whatever content you’ve got, make liberal re-use of it by turning it into many different formats. You don’t have to create net new content for every channel – just transform your best stuff everywhere.


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