Take Sony’s breathtaking, award-winning Bravia ads from circa 2006–2007. Users and fans—not Sony or its agency—uploaded them to YouTube where they live in perpetuity, garnering in toto some five million views.
Small wonder advertisers got in on the action. Chrysler’s ad from the 2011 Super Bowl has enjoyed more than nine million views on the company’s YouTube channel, extending the reach and justifying some of that enormous spend on creative
Slice ‘n’ Dice
The Internet runs on content and offers seemingly endless distribution options for all kinds of media: text, images, video, audio, you name it. Yet content creation can be hard. It requires thought. Ideas. Strategy. Data. Production. Editing. Originality. Relevance. Targeting. After you’ve produced a strong piece of content, the goal should be to leverage it in different channels, different formats, and different media for maximum impact. Creativity is hard. Recycling is relatively easy—and increasing reach is nothing to sneeze at.
As You Listen, So Shall You Create Content
Customers and prospects are likely shoving all kinds of content in your direction. You could use it—if only you were listening. What questions and topics of discussion arise most frequently in user forums and in discussion around your brand—or product category—in social media channels? Taking a cue from consumer issues, questions, and resolutions enables you to create how-to content, useful FAQs, and user manuals. Listening could even result in content that funnels into product development
It’s Doubtful You’ll Be Repeating Yourself
Post-Thanksgiving eating is an analogy that could apply to content recycling. There’s roast turkey on the big day, followed by turkey hash, turkey sandwiches, and cold turkey sliced in a salad. Perhaps someone whips up a pot of turkey chili. When you’re eating at home, all that turkey is likely feeding the same audience.
That’s not necessarily so with content. In fact, it’s unlikely. Your own analytics will bear this out, but it’s improbable there’s terribly significant overlap between your newsletter subscribers, Facebook and Twitter followers, and the people who read your blog. Different segments have different content appetites: the form, the length, the medium, and the channel. And in case you haven’t noticed, there’s a lot of content out there. Brand impressions and engagement count.
So do learnings about the format, channels, style, and the relative length or brevity of your content. Recycling not only frees you from the burden of being a virtual new idea factory, it’s also a sandbox in which you can experiment with what’s working— and with whom.