It’s summer in New Brunswick, which means alternating days of sweltering heat and grab-your-toque chilling fog. Like any sentient being, I’ve got vacation on the brain, more so this year after the grinding survival mode of the last, oh, 200 months.
I’ll bet you, too, are jonesing for downtime, beach days, margarita Mondays and some blessed unpluggedness.
My garden is where I’d spend all my time if responsibilities didn’t call me back to my laptop, my kitchen, my family. The garden is my refuge—and my favourite writing metaphor.
They share many traits: cycles and seasons, a time to sow, a fallow time for creative regeneration. There are perennials, such as your evergreen content, and annuals, those posts or pieces that only work for a single season or moment. There’s the prep (research), the planting (writing), and weeding (editing).
That dud post that got minimal likes or comments? It’s just a bad seed that didn’t sprout. Don’t worry, in the garden, as in writing, there’s always something new to look forward to.
In these halcyons, nearly post-pandemic days, when the inspiration well’s running dry, and the garden/park/campground’s siren call lures you away from content-related tasks, let’s look to the garden for insights. I’m talking about repurposing your existing writing, your stories and your posts.
Go Forth & Propagate
Maximize the impact and reach of each post while minimizing inputs of time and energy by repurposing content. I call this approach “breadcrumbs and lemons”: the smaller pieces, like social posts, are the “breadcrumbs” leading to full-length posts and CTAs. And the lemon? That’s the bigger chunks of content that you can squeeze for spin-off content.
Got a lead magnet? Repurpose it into a blog post or video, or repackage the main points in a catchy infographic. Make social posts from all the key messages, always with a CTA to download.
I find blogging is a super-strategic way to centralize your marketing efforts, using posts as the foundation of your social media activity. From one blog, craft at least three individual social media posts. Use a snappy quote, a question relating to the subject, or a version of the headline for your caption. Just be sure to tailor the post to the platform: what works on Instagram might not be simpatico to LinkedIn.
The gardening metaphor? Dividing overgrown clumps of perennials to create new clusters.
Pluck Your Perennials
Think your content always needs to be new? Nope. In fact, your audience needs to see the same message multiple times for it to stick. And if it resonates with them, they won’t resent it being repeated.
Repeat after me: repurpose content across your platforms.
For every longer piece, such as a blog post, create several spin-off social media posts. Conversely, use a social media post as the starting point for a longer email or blog post.
Sprout Those Seeds
Cherry-pick the best nuggets from your website copy, blog, podcast, etc. and expand into longer posts. Raid your sales page copy for stories and themes. Got a course or program? Use high-level material to create teaser posts with CTA to join your waitlist.
A New Season
Things change. Sometimes a lot and quickly. Take a look through your existing content, and look for any pieces that could be rewritten in the context of what’s happening in your industry or the world today. Or if you’ve read an interesting recent article or listened to a great podcast that’s related, tie it to that.
Confession: I hate potpourri. It sends me right back to the overly floral days of my 1980s youth. But I like the concept: mixing a bunch of last season’s blossoms and bounty.
Do the same with some beauts from old posts, curating bits of related content from across your social media, blogs, podcasts–whatever,–and repackaging into a sweet little package.
And, finally, fill that Yeti cup with ice and your favourite pop and just relax.