Despite never hunting or fishing a day in my life, I’ve somehow become an addict of the History Channel’s survivalist show, “Alone.” Ultimately, it appeals to my deep appreciation for people who commit to honing their craft.
If you’re not familiar with the premise, here’s a brief overview:
Ten people are dropped off in a remote part of the world (think: the Canadian Arctic, Patagonia, Mongolia). Each is alone, equipped only with basic supplies. The last one to quit wins $500,000.
Finding food is (obviously) a big part of the show. Competitors think aloud, look at the camera and ask: Do I forage today? Hunt? Fish? What tools should I make and what strategies do I use to successfully find a consistent food source?
Let’s take fishing for example: It turns out there are a lot of different ways to catch fish. (Who knew? Not me!). Gill nets, lines attached to buoys — the options are endless. My key learning from watching the survivalists’ struggles is this: There is no right answer. Success depends on your circumstances.
This is why I get bent out of shape when I hear advice about “the best way” to repurpose content. Sweeping statements do everyone a disservice.
There are a lot of ways to transform recordings into written content. Different strategies work for different businesses, individuals, and industries.
So what do you do when you have a recording rich with valuable insight that you’re hoping to transform? One option is to convert your podcast, recorded Zoom meeting, or webinar into a blog post. In this article, I break down the three most important decisions to make when repurposing recorded audio or video content into long form written content.
Combining talents, maximizing results
Whether you’re managing a content repurposing project in-house, partnering with a freelance content writer or working with an agency (like PodReacher), providing clear and thoughtful direction to your writer ensures the end product is high quality, engaging and likely to convert.
Many think, submit a recording, request a blog article and DONE. Yes, you can do that. But a little reflection (and communication) will get you a lot further. When you combine your industry knowledge with the skills of a talented writer who knows how to hook a reader you’ll really start catching fish.
So, you’ve identified a stellar podcast interview or webinar that you think is ripe for repurposing. What next? As the expert in your industry, providing guidance to your writer in the following areas will set them (and you) up for success.
1. Identify your reader
Who is your intended audience? It’s an obvious question, but the answer is deeply informative and will guide the level of detail and context required in an article. The more specific you are in identifying your audience, the more targeted your writer can be when producing content.
Often, the person engaging with recorded content works closely with your product or service. Webinar attendees are usually current users or eager to become a user. Podcast listeners are engaging with your content in search of actionable insight to further their own professional goals. Below, I’ve listed common reader profiles in B2B marketing.
✍️ Pro-tip: Your reader isn’t always the same person as your podcast listener or webinar attendee. For example, a CEO who’s trying to get a basic understanding of a product isn’t likely to sit in on your hour-long webinar, but it’s far more probable that they will skim a written overview. Think about how you plan to use your blog post to select the best direction.
📌 The user
Not all people are podcast listeners (gasp!). Some prefer to read (or skim) content. Transcripts just don’t cut it — they’re usually super long and unwieldy. Your users (or potential users) are likely engaging with your content because it directly impacts their professional journey.
Users don’t require as much context (since they live and breathe your industry) and can understand more technical, industry-specific language.
📌 The decision-maker
In some cases, when a prospective client is ready to pull the trigger, they have to go up the chain of command before greenlighting a new partnership. CEOs and CFOs don’t necessarily have the same background knowledge as those who will be using your product or service on a regular basis, but they still need to get on board.
Content written for decision-makers can be easily shared with the C-suite or referenced when submitting budget requests. Articles written for decision-makers focus on high-level concepts written in layman’s terms.
🚀 Bonus: Your audience will also influence decisions related to tone of voice and length. Ask yourself these questions to shed light on the right method for you:
- Will my reader appreciate a casual and conversational style? Or will cracking a joke downplay my position as an industry expert?
- Is a professional approach the right fit for my field?
- Is my reader someone who likes to take a deep dive into complex topics? Or would they better engage with a brief article?
- Would a series (as opposed to a standalone article) be a better fit for my reader?
2. Select your source
How will your article be credited? Once you’ve finalized the draft and are ready to hit “publish,” will it get an individual’s byline? Or does it make more sense to take a white label approach?
White-labeled articles are not credited to any specific employee at your company. The article comes from “the voice of the business.”
Recordings with highly technical information often translate best to white-labeled content. This allows the writer repurposing the content to focus on the organization and simplification of complex ideas, rather than capturing the voice and tone of individuals.
🚀 Bonus: Some white-labeled blog posts use direct quotes from speakers and some don’t. If your recording features speakers from your business and other businesses, incorporating direct quotes is a good direction to consider. This allows you to appropriately credit everyone involved.
✍️ Pro-tip: Looking to repurpose a recording with multiple speakers can be especially tricky. Plan ahead when this is the case. Just a few simple up-front adjustments can make all the difference.
👉 Ghostwritten or bylined
Recorded content is gold for opinion and thought leadership pieces. Industry experts and executives are often far too busy to sit down and knock out a thoughtful and well-written blog post, but their brains are packed with valuable information.
If your leadership team says it, a skilled writer can ghostwrite it. Recorded conference keynote presentations, podcast interviews, even voice memos or Zoom calls can be used to collect the wisdom and advice from thought leaders and translate them into meaningful and engaging longform articles.
Recordings also capture the verbiage, tone and personality of an individual, which can then be integrated into an organized blog post that captures voice and gives value to readers.
Crediting a specific employee from your company (but writing in second or third person) is also a commonly used strategy.
3. Land on the right structure
Blog posts don’t have to follow a specific format. Circling back to the point about knowing your reader, different types of blog posts will appeal to different readers. Here are seven of our favorite types of blog posts to write for our clients:
- Classic blog article: A narrative blog post is a great option for storytelling, thought leadership and integrating anecdotal nuggets from interesting conversations. Here’s an example of a classic blog article developed from Revenue Cat’s Sub Club podcast.
- Opinion/analysis: Typically ghostwritten or bylined, opinion pieces are an excellent way to spark conversation among your readers and position yourself (or your company) as an industry leader. Similarly, an article focused on analysis offers a perspective on industry trends or events that is informed by the credited author’s subject matter expertise. This is how Talkdesk leveraged an interview with a retail industry leader to highlight her perspective on customer experience.
- Listicle: If your recording is particularly tactical in nature or advice-heavy, this may be the way to go. See how Cycle Labs broke down a complex subject into an easy-to-read listicle.
- Q&A: Some recordings can feel disjointed, with the conversation hopping from subject to subject. A question and answer format often gives structure to an otherwise disconnected discussion. Q&As are also a great approach when taking multiple short recordings and combining them into a single resource. Look at how Lane Sebring covered the basics of Kajabi with a Q&A approach.
- Hot topic take: Every industry has ongoing, philosophical debates. Man v. machine? In-house v. outsource? Form v. function? When a recording features two experts in a field sharing their personal opinions on a common point of contention, a hot topic take presents the debate, shares both speaker’s perspectives and then invites the reader to offer their own opinion. Here LogicHub tackles an AI-industry debate on intuition v. automation.
- Case study: Highlighting success stories and using customer examples as scenarios are some of the most valuable types of written content to incorporate into your marketing strategy. Recorded client calls and webinars are often excellent opportunities for repurposing. Take a look at this example from Ocelot.
- Profile: When you have the opportunity to sit down with an industry leader or notable person, sharing their story as a human-interest piece makes for a compelling read. Profiles combine background information with storytelling and insight. Here is a profile example from Evergreen Podcasts.
🚀 Bonus: Sometimes one recording can become multiple pieces. This is especially true with webinars, which are often thoughtfully organized and dense with information. If you’re not sure how to extrapolate many articles from a single recording or just don’t have the time to do it, we can help by developing a custom content menu for you.
Perhaps your presentation opened with a customer example, transitioned to a multi-step tutorial, and wrapped up with a stimulating Q&A. If that’s the case, you’re not just looking at a 1:1 conversion. You easily have three (or more) potential blog posts from a single webinar — plus a white paper.
Repurposing with purpose
Audience, source, structure. By considering these three attributes not only can you set your writer up for success, but you can also hone in on your marketing efforts with precision and intention.
There is no one way. Rather, there are many. Once you’ve identified the right approach for your company, partnering with a skilled writer to create carefully crafted content will reel in big results.
Kira Hinkle is the Managing Editor for PodReacher. Her experience as a classroom teacher has informed her philosophy as a writer and editor: Words matter. When she’s not thinking about the best ways to repurpose recordings, she’s making music with her rambunctious toddler and advocating for the Down syndrome community (or binging survivalist TV shows from the comfort of her couch).