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Jay Thompson is a former real estate agent who worked for the Zillow Group for over six years. He retired in August 2018 but doesn’t seem to be leaving the real estate industry behind. His weekly inman column published every Wednesday.
If you’re a content marketer (and most agents are or should be), you know that developing enough creative content to build and retain an audience is more than a full-time job. Just one of several full-time jobs you might have.
You just submitted listing # 47 for a buyer ready to jump off a tall building. Perhaps you’re trying to get a kid to sign up for a virtual math session with Zoom, or you might be snaking your way through the internet studying a COVID-19 vaccine.
Who has time to keep up to date with the content stream for blogs, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and the platform of the day not to be missed? Clubhouse, someone?
Enter content recycling, also known as content reuse. It could ease the pain of constantly adding new content, making your job a little easier, and giving you a semblance of sanity in a crazy marketplace.
What is content recycling?
Put simply, content recycling reuses existing content and presents it in a new format to increase its reach and lifespan. It’s more than just changing the date on an old blog post and republishing it like new.
It’s not about posting a picture that you used on Facebook to Instagram. That would be cross-channel marketing – a viable tactic, but not really recycling or reusing content.
Typically, recycling is done with “evergreen content” which is content This is always relevant and stays “fresh” for the readers over a long period of time. A recent market report that shows the past sales and average days (or hours) in the market is great content, but not evergreen content.
Blog posts, videos, infographics showing the home buying or selling process, questions and answers like “What is an escrow account?” and “the difference between pre-qualifying mortgages and pre-approval” is evergreen and suitable for recycling and reuse.
Evergreen content isn’t necessarily always relevant. Seasonal content that may only be valid for a few months of the year can also be evergreen. “How to Winterize Your Home” and “When to Plant in Spring” are examples of evergreen seasonal content.
Why recycle content?
Content recycling is primarily about saving valuable time. It’s a lot easier to edit an existing blog post than to stare at a blank screen and come up with something completely new.
Content reuse also has potential benefits for search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines love to see multiple posts on the same topic. It indicates expertise on a subject, and everyone – including search engines – loves an expert.
What can you recycle?
As mentioned earlier, evergreen content is ripe for reuse. But what Specific Content you want to update and recycle? The answer lies in your analysis.
Hopefully you have a way to track visits to your blog. Google Analytics is the gold standard for tracking web / blog traffic and showing you which pages and posts are most visited.
All major social media platforms also offer analysis. That Facebook or Instagram post that is getting lots of likes, shares, and comments is a great candidate for reuse. The same goes for the video on YouTube with many views. If people liked or saw something in the past, they will almost certainly like it in the future.
Sure, you can just go to an old blog post, change the post date, and hit publish. Or, find this popular Facebook post and copy and paste it into a new update. However, you, your audience, and the search engines would be much better off if you modified this older content and reposted the updated piece as new.
It is also very useful and effective to completely re-use old content by changing the format in a whole new way.
I used to be a great blogger. All of the content I’ve created has been published on this blog, virtually all of it in the form of written content. The video was just starting and Facebook was only available to students.
There was no Twitter, TikTok, SnapChat, or clubhouse. Podcasts were just getting started. So I wrote a lot. In line with a few thousand blog posts. If I were still actively selling real estate, I would be converting much of this written content to other formats.
Types of content to create and recycle
1. Create a video
If you can write on a topic, you can make a video on the topic. Select a blog post or any blog post and convert that post into a script for a video. You don’t just have to read the contribution into a video camera (because …boring). Find three or four top points and cover them in a short video.
Post this video on your blog and Facebook page. Tweet it out. If you’re a TikToker, convert a post to this format. Find a nice place outside (maybe in front of an entry) and post it on YouTube. Be brief – no one is going to play through a 10 minute video.
2. Create a SlideShare
This is one of the easier ways to reuse your blog content by simply converting it to a presentation form. Identify high performing content and reproduce it into one SideShare.
In my opinion, SlideShares are beneficial as they are easy to share and introduce the audience to your words in a different, tasty way. In addition, you can incorporate other graphical elements into presentations that are not always present in long blog posts.
3. Create an e-book
Do you have several posts on a topic? Combine them into a downloadable e-book. I had tons of short selling posts on my blog, and I took several of them, put them in a PDF file, and made a “book.”
The nice thing about this tactic is that you may need an email address to access the download. This email address will then be entered into your CRM, database, newsletter feed and other means to keep you in touch with the downloader. Blog posts on the home buying process, the closing process and the lending process have also been turned into successful e-books.
4. Create an infographic
Infographics are a great way to turn data-rich posts into an easy-to-digest and shareable format.
5. Extract quotation marks
Get a catchy phrase from a blog post and create a quote image. Share this quote image on Facebook, Instagram, or any other visual medium and add a link back to the original post.
6. Create a podcast episode
While podcasts can be a lot of work, they are a great way to reach new audiences. Not sure what to talk about in your next podcast episode? Reuse an old blog post.
7. Extract video clips
Do you have a youtube channel? Then you have a wealth of content there that can be used for other purposes. Edit a short snippet of a longer video and move that snippet to sites like Twitter and Instagram with a link to the full video.
8. Publish transcripts of videos and podcasts
Videos are for watching. Podcasts are for listening. Some people prefer to read. Why not transcript videos and podcasts and publish them for the readers out there?
9. Slide podcast episodes into the clubhouse rooms
Clubhouse is the latest craze. It’s just audio and the content is ephemeral which means it will go away once the session ends. It’s like a live podcast session.
You can’t upload a podcast directly to the clubhouse, but you can definitely review the topic of a podcast episode in a clubhouse room.
10. Try out these special conversion examples
It can be helpful to have some specific examples of recycled content. In addition to the ones already mentioned, here are three types of misappropriated content that I’ve found quite successful.
Take into account historical mortgage rate trends: Whatever the reason, people love to see trends in mortgage rates. The nice thing about historical data is that by definition it is evergreen. I created trend diagrams for different mortgage rates and would update it with new dates from time to time. A huge benefit of this content was the shareable trend charts that were all linked to my blog.
Optimize seasonal themes: Two posts I wrote years ago How to survive a phoenix winter and it’s an accompaniment How to survive a Phoenix summerwere some of the most visited posts I have ever written.
I would recycle these on occasion, edit with new or different places and do things edited. They were originally written 14 years ago and still be visited regularly.
Includes walks / drives in the neighborhood: Real estate gold here. Create a post or video like, Gilbert Real Estate: The Islandswhere to write or talk about a particular neighborhood style, listings, and amenities. People and search engines love this content.
Check them out regularly and add new information on property prices and availability. Most of the post stays fixed, but the changes make it current. Pro Tip: Add recent listings for the neighborhood by embedding an IDX search for the neighborhood at the bottom of the post.
Creating fresh and unique content is not easy and can be very time consuming. By using content recycling, the effort is reduced, you can expand your reach to multiple platforms and offer consumers, prospects and search engines what they are looking for.
Jay Thompson is a real estate veteran and retiree who lives in the Texas Coastal Bend, as well as the one who turns the wheels Think now. Follow him further Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. He has an active Arizona brokerage license with eXp Realty. “Retired but not dead” Jay speaks around the world on many things real estate.