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Martha Stewart Thinks Content Reuse is a Good Thing

By Jake Sorofman | March 25, 2014 | 0 Comments

Last week, my colleague Jennifer Beck made the case that content marketing is something like the art of flower arranging. I happen to know exactly, precisely, absolutely nothing about this particular craft, but I thought she made some great rhetorical points in an effort to describe the artful orientation behind brand storytelling.

Such florid images made me think of Martha Stewart, perhaps the original modern-day content marketer.

We all know Martha Stewart as the domestic dynamo capable of turning an errant doily into a charming centerpiece. Whether or not you like her style, you have to admit: she has a gift for creative reuse.

But what’s far more interesting to me than doilies and glue guns is her brilliant approach to content marketing. Here, she applies her gift for artful recycling to her own publishing efforts. A recipe in her magazine is demonstrated on her TV show. TV segments become how-to spots on her website. A craft project first introduced on TV appears again as detailed instructions published in her magazine.

Every content asset is stretched left, right and center in search of broader reach and audience engagement. Such leverage pays dividends for Martha far beyond the obvious goodness of initial costs that are amortized across a broader set of eyeballs.

As content marketers, we can learn a whole lot from Martha.

Last year, I suggested that content architectures should be loosely coupled and tightly formed, an idea that takes inspiration from IT architectures that emphasize modular design principles to enable software reuse. Here, the idea is similar: design your content architecture from the start with reuse in mind.

For example:

  • An eBook becomes a series of whitepapers
  • A whitepaper becomes a podcast
  • Then it becomes a series of blog posts
  • An infographic becomes a series of snackable stats
  • A case study becomes a series of short testimonials
  • Testimonials become a Vanity Fair-style Q&A
  • A long form video becomes a series of snackable short-takes

You get the idea.

The longer-form assets are the foundations for their shorter-form derivatives. These more snackable bits live upstream in the distribution cadence to whet audience appetite and drive deeper engagement apace.

So, when you think content marketing architectures, think reuse. Then do as Martha does: recycle.

Because, as Martha Stewart would probably say, Content reuse. It’s a very good thing.

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