How to Reuse Content without Insulting Your Audience

people forget what they've read
Always look for opportunities to reuse content, but never at the expense of explicit redundancy.
Let me explain…
Last week I wrote about the message “maturity” of your audience… how the human brain tunes out what it recognizes as familiar. It’s something you need to grasp in order to reuse content without sounding repetitive.

But that’s not the whole story. People actually enjoy recognizing (“a-ha”) and riding along with topics they love… or obsess over. Using myself as an example, I dig natural health and alternative medicine articles… can’t get enough of them. So, I can read the same Mercola article — or a close variation — 10x in one year without complaint.

Mercola.com never stops pumping out content — two articles a day on average. Without question or criticism, he repeats a lot of what he says. It’d be impossible NOT to with how prolific he is. However, he’s smart enough to know that by making a few tweaks, he can then repackage and reuse the content as if it were brand new.

The casual reader who visits his site 1x a month, will never find out. The fanatical reader might notice but won’t care.

Big publishers always reuse content

You can do the same in your business — whatever the industry. The two-tiered status works… casting a wide net to attract casual fans… while simultaneously working OT to sell the hardcore fan.

From what I’ve seen, too many SMART small business owners never give the two-tiered message a chance. They nix the concept before starting, worrying they’ll offend the sensibilities of the sophisticated buyer…

They twist themselves into pretzels to avoid even a hint of redundancy in their marketing messages: “I can’t say that… they’ll think I’m a moron!” or “Duh! Everybody knows this already… I don’t have to S-P-E-L-L it out for them!”

Yes, you do.

So if I’m describing your, stop. It’s hurting your bank account.

You need to study your audience… and figure out how to best appeal to the customers you want. That requires moving beyond your own gut feelings and “hunches.” It means paying attention to what the data is revealing about your audience, and mapping your content to fit it.

Once you have a good understanding of your customers, you can design custom content. Tweak as necessary and expand it into other formats. When you’ve mastered one medium, move onto another. Smart companies never start from scratch; they reuse content all day.

image courtesy of Tim Regan: Flickr

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