In today’s multimedia marketing landscape, it’s easy to feel like each channel — from social to email to video to blogs to podcasts — requires its own pipeline, fed with a continuous supply of fresh content.
But a smart approach to content repurposing can relieve pressure on marketing teams, save time and resources in content creation, and open up new opportunities for potential customers to engage with your brand.
Recorded conversations offer unique opportunities to harness the power of content repurposing in several ways. They can serve as an important connection point for your brand in the form of podcasts or webinars. They can serve as the source material for branded articles or executive thought leadership pieces. And they can capture ideas from subject matter experts too busy to put pen to paper.
As anyone who has sat through a lackluster webinar will attest, not all recorded content is created equal — especially when multiple speakers are involved. Talkative panelists have the potential to dominate the conversation, experts get swept up in a torrent of industry jargon, and conversations veer off topic.
But with a little planning and communication, you can skillfully orchestrate a multi-speaker recorded conversation that aligns with your content strategy.
At PodReacher, we’ve repurposed thousands of multi-speaker webinars, conference panels and more. Keep reading for our best insights about:
How to know if a recorded conversation will work for content repurposing
- Podcast interviews with multiple guests, or where the host is an active participant in the conversation
- Webinars or live presentations with multiple presenters
- Conference panel discussions
- Client or case study interviews with more than one guest
- Internal meetings or brainstorming sessions
With most recorded content, it doesn’t matter whether your organization’s representatives are the host of the conversation, the primary interviewee, or one of many guest participants. All of these perspectives are suitable for repurposing into many types of content including profiles, case studies, research reports, how-to articles and more.
Once you begin planning your recorded content — like a partner webinar, for example — you can easily level up your results if you outline the content with repurposing in mind. To do that, it’s helpful to ask three questions:
👉 How will the repurposed content be used?
Turning recorded conversations into written material can have several strong use cases such as:
- Improving website SEO
- Making the content sharable on social media platforms
- Publishing thought leadership
- Providing an alternative access point for an audience that prefers reading to watching a video or listening to a podcast
Identifying the intended use of repurposed content will clarify what kinds of conversations will be the best fit.
👉 What structure and source will the repurposed content take on?
Multi-speaker conversations lend themselves well to many different types of articles including journalistic-style recaps, listicles, case studies or opinion pieces. Likewise, the repurposed content can be written from the point of view of someone who is involved in the recorded conversation, or it could take on the voice of your brand.
👉 What’s in it for the reader?
When planning a discussion with the goal of repurposing, perhaps the most important question to consider is what you ultimately want the reader to take from it. Depending on the subject matter, that means you’ll want to focus on the actionable information and how it might best translate to other channels or formats.
If you’re planning a webinar, podcast interview or other conversation that you hope to record and repurpose, some basic preparation can go a long way.
Here are three things to consider as you gather speakers and outline the conversation.
💬 Identify the right number of speakers
Having too many speakers is one of the biggest causes of chaos in recorded conversations. While it might be politically valuable to include a larger group, it’s often not the best approach if you’re serious about repurposing the information.
Why? With too many voices, each person may only have one or two opportunities to speak. This puts a lot of pressure on them to squeeze all of their talking points into one answer. In the worst-case scenarios, any actionable takeaways are drowned out by a barrage of corporate buzzwords.
By providing each speaker with sufficient (but not endless) response time, both listeners and readers will get a more well-rounded representation of your guests’ expertise and perspectives.
For a one-hour recording, include at most 3-4 speakers. You might consider inviting more people to a longer panel discussion, but even then, proceed with caution. And be sure to include your host or facilitator in the count if they will be contributing to the conversation.
🗣️ Invite speakers with different perspectives on the topic
The advantage of organizing a multi-speaker conversation is that the discussion can cover many facets of the subject matter — but only if you include people who can speak to each of those facets.
For example, let’s say you wish to host a panel discussion about pizza. To cover many possible angles — and to open up multiple content repurposing opportunities — you may choose to invite a farmer who grows vegetables for the pizza, an artisan who builds traditional pizza ovens, the president of the local pizza lovers club and a representative from the national pizzeria trade association.
Each of these guests can speak to a different element of the pizza story — from the ingredients to the national trends — and together, they create a full picture of the topic.
As you compose your guest list, consider the niche each speaker will fill in the conversation. Inviting speakers with unique perspectives allows you to direct questions to the people who can give the most salient answers — and it will also reduce the likelihood of “what he said”-type responses.
💡 Pro-tip: While many top executives are great public speakers, there may be other people in the organization who have a better perspective on the topic of conversation. Invite the people who can best contribute to the discussion, and don’t hesitate to ask a leader about team members they would recommend.
🧭 Think through the content flow
While a strong content writer will be able to create structure out of even the most informal of conversations, proactively setting up your discussion with the end content in mind will ensure that there’s enough material to flesh out all of the key points.
If you hope to create a list, then perhaps each discussion question dives into an individual list item. If you’re after more of a narrative or storytelling article, then be sure to ask guests about their background, as well as what they’re up to now and their plans for the future.
Even the best-planned conversations veer off course sometimes. But by beginning with this end in mind, you’ll help your writer — as well as listeners or viewers — zoom in on what’s most important.
💡 Pro-tip: As you write your questions for your speakers, balance background with actionable takeaways. Background provides valuable context to the conversation and can help your writer fill in gaps with a little outside research. But your readers are ultimately seeking useful information — focus on what they will walk away with after reading your article or watching your webinar.
5 dos and don’ts for leading a multi-speaker conversation
Congratulations! You have a small group of people willing to speak to your topic and you’ve set the day and time for the conversation to take place. Your work here is done, right? Not quite.
Hosting a great multi-speaker conversation requires intention and focus. Whether or not you’re working with an experienced facilitator, there are a few parameters that will keep your discussion on track and set up your recording for successful content repurposing.
The good news is that these tips will also make your panel discussion, webinar or podcast more engaging to all audiences — and to your guests as well!
1) DO ensure you have good audio quality. There’s no need to run out to buy special equipment. The audio capabilities of apps like Zoom are sufficient for most repurposing needs, and other platforms like SquadCast or Riverside.FM can take it to the next level with minimal investment. Do take a few minutes at the beginning of the recording to ensure everyone can be heard and to minimize background noise.
2) DON’T give your speakers all the questions in advance. Overpreparation leads to rehearsed, canned-sounding answers. But don’t leave your guests hanging — provide a list of topics the conversation will cover. Alternatively, you can give each guest a unique question they will be expected to answer, with the understanding that all guests can chime in with additional insights. Do make sure each guest knows the goal of the conversation and what you expect them to contribute.
3) DO ask each speaker to clearly identify themselves on the recording. Writers often work from automated transcripts, and this tiny step can be a huge help. And in panel discussions, it relieves the host from having to read a long list of bios. Do prompt guests on what to say when they introduce themselves. A simple request like, “Tell us your title and organization and one thing you’re looking forward to about fall” will keep people from diving too deep into autobiography territory.
4) DON’T throw questions open to the entire group for answers. We have all sat through enough awkward Zoom silences to want to avoid this one. The facilitator should direct each question to a specific guest, though they can invite other speakers to chime in after the first response. Rotating the guest who is offered the first opportunity to respond is a great strategy to prevent any one speaker from dominating the conversation.
5) DO recap your conversation, as appropriate. Leave a few minutes to summarize the discussion at the end. This can be a useful tactic on podcasts and webinars to call out the most important takeaways. But it’s probably most crucial in internal meetings that are being recorded for repurposing. In a brainstorming scenario, you want people to feel comfortable throwing out all ideas — but unless you identify which ideas should be included in the “final draft,” your writer won’t know what’s important and what’s not.
💡 Pro-tip: Prepare for the tough calls. As moderator, you may need to politely and professionally cut off a speaker who goes off topic or talks for too long. And that may be uncomfortable if that speaker is an investor, a client, a board member or your boss.
Likewise, there may not be space for all speakers’ contributions in the repurposed written content. Give participants a heads up about how the conversation will be moderated, and avoid guaranteeing anyone coverage in the final materials.
On the record
Whether you’re recording webinars viewed by thousands or internal chats created solely for your content writer, conversations have great potential to become impactful written content, ready to be used across multiple marketing channels.
By carefully considering who you invite to speak and how you guide the discussion, you can capture compelling insights and guide your writer to bring your big ideas to life.
Cat Kessler is a freelance content writer based in Asheville, North Carolina. She loves a good story — a craving she satisfies through writing about travel, entrepreneurship and tech, as well as through YA literature and family movie nights.