One person's trash is another person's treasure. Many small businesses store internal documents on their private servers and never imagine they might be useful and interesting to the outside world.

But they very well might be. Let's say you went through the process of researching and implementing a new customer relationship management app, and documented the lessons learned about what worked and what didn't.

Why keep that knowledge in a lockbox (to use a term from the 2000 Gore-Bush presidential debate) when it might be useful for other companies--and make you look smart?

With some thought, creativity and just a little effort, you can turn this material into blogs or case studies for public consumption. It can be a clever and effective way to leverage assets that were just sitting around into content that can extend your brand and build your credibility as an industry thought leader.

Almost anything can be re-purposed for click-worthy content--internal market research, standard operating procedures documents that offer insights on best practices, quality control checklists, you name it.

The ultimate result: Your company can become the top search result for people looking for information or help with the kinds of things you do.

How do you go about turning your private junk into public gold? Here are seven tips:

  1. Look carefully at all those documents, then consider a strategy for using them that makes your organization stand out. Position your documents in such a way that you're providing a solid service to the world, while branding your organization as a leader in the field. Easily done if you put a little effort into deciding how to frame it all.
  2. Start each blog or case study with a paragraph that explains why the subject is important and people should care. Then get into the details. This also provides more content for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) engines and gives a reader more information.
  3. End each piece with a paragraph that lays out a call to action.
  4. Find your expertise. A company can probably handle this with internal resources, but if not, consider hiring one of the dozens of content and SEO experts in every city who can help.
  5. Use social media. Once the content is on the company site, the search engines should crawl the site and index the content automatically. Using social media outlets to then get more links to the content and people visiting it.
  6. Release your content at regular intervals based on the best day of the week and time of the day for followers of that site.
  7. Make sure your content matches the audience you're trying to reach. If you're not careful, you could end up wasting countless hours trying to weed out potential customers who didn't match what you're offering.

Don't be bashful about sharing materials you thought were for-internal-use-only. You just may be sitting on a treasure trove of content that can drive more people to your site.