Whether your goal is to educate new audiences about your products, stay relevant between purchases, or evolve your business into a lifestyle brand, there's no better way to engage with customers than with editorial-style content.

The problem is, creating all of that original messaging can take time and yes, money. That's why brands without massive, investor-funded marketing budgets (yup, we're looking at you,  Casper!) have to get pretty scrappy when it comes to developing content.

The trick is to take materials you already own--press releases, past blog posts, white papers, product manuals, catalogs, presentations, and even customer service records--and repurpose those assets into brand new consumer-facing content. Not only is this strategy a lot less expensive than starting from scratch, but you'll be giving customers valuable information they may already be searching for.

Make the move to publishing effective content--on a shoestring!--with these strategies.

1. Tap Your Teams

Chances are, your internal departments are already sitting on a stockpile of content--they may just not realize it. Ask your customer service reps if they have a list of the most common questions they're asked (and their responses).

Those can be used to create a website FAQ and a series of short, search-friendly blog articles. Pages of your sales guidebook or retail lookbook can be evolved into seasonal trend and how-to posts. Engage customers with insider info on new products from your product development team. At Masthead Media, for example, we use this strategy with our outdoor gear client Eagle Creek by creating posts from internal product one-sheets.

2. Respin Press Releases

If the goal of a press release is to garner media coverage--editorial content that reaches customers--why not turn your own releases into blog articles with a consumer-focused slant?

Rewrite key information from the release in a conversational style that fits with your blog voice. It was recently reported that the online indie retailer ModCloth translated a press release announcing the elimination of the "plus size" category into a consumer-focused "#StyleForAll: We're Retiring the 'Plus'" blog post that resonated with their readership.

3. Resurface Evergreen Content

According to data analytics company Parse.ly, the median lifespan of an article is 2.6 days. After that, traffic to the piece can fall off a cliff.

Despite this short lifespan, some of your original content is "evergreen," meaning that it stays relevant well past that short window. Make the most of previously published articles by updating the best ones slightly with new facts, links, and information, and sharing them again on your homepage, in e-newsletters, and on social media.

Not only do search engines like to see regular updates to older content (they're more likely to funnel traffic to an updated page) but new audiences can discover your content.

4. Aggregate and Republish Past Posts

Another way to resurface high-quality content that you've already published is to select 4 to 6 older blog posts, and turn them into a new brand blog post or e-newsletter. Just create a new introduction and a subject line (or headline) that unites the individual pieces of content...and then link to them.

For instance, your retail brand might publish a 2016 Holiday Survival Guide that features past articles with Black Friday shopping tips, popular seasonal recipes, holiday party planning ideas, and more.

5. Recast Presentations

Your team spends weeks putting together presentations--so why not make those slides serve double duty? Give decks a second life by pulling apart the most relevant ones and turning them into slideshows, articles, infographics, and other forms of content on your company blog. Check out Zappos Insights, which has myriad resources on the company's enviable ethos.

6. Upcycle Speeches and Discussions

Whether your CEO is speaking a conference or your VP of marketing is headlining a Social Media Week panel, you can turn your executive team's insights into meaty thought leadership content that lives on the company blog, Twitter, or LinkedIn page. Take notes--or better yet, record the live event--and distill the most compelling content into posts for executive review and approval.    

Published on: Feb 18, 2016