Content Creation: How to Turn One Idea Into 20 Pieces of Content

content marketing ideas resized 600Somewhere, we came across a great content creation idea of getting 20 pieces of content out of one idea or topic. We thought this idea would be a great way to provide additional value to our clients while relieving some of our content creation woes. However, we couldn't remember where we saw the idea and quick Internet search reveal nothing about the source (a good example of when to use Evernote). It's an inspiring idea, but one that we have no clue as to how we found it or came up with it. To remedy the situation, we've decided that the best thing to do would be to come up with our own way to turn one idea into 20 pieces of content. Here's what we came up with, and how to turn one idea into 20 different pieces of content:

Start with a Specific Topic

Something like business blogging, green home cleaning, or identity theft is too vague. It may be easier to come up with 20 pieces of content, but this strategy is designed to create content off of one idea, not 20 different angles or 20 different subtopics from the main one. Taking each of the three examples, here's how to make them more specific to get started:

  • Getting Started with Business Blogging
  • Preparing for a Green Home Cleaning
  • Identity Theft Protection Tips

Conduct a Content Audit

When coming up with your 20 pieces of content, you want to make sure that you aren't duplicating something you've already created. So, if you already have a blog post on preparing your home for a professional green cleaning, you don't necessarily want another one (unless you can update the information or follow up the post with more information). Therefore, you want to conduct a content audit so that your 20 pieces of content fill in what's missing. Here are factors to consider when thinking about what you have, and what you need:

  • Types of Content - What kind of content do you have? Do you have webinars, blog posts, white papers, slideshows, eBooks, inforgraphics, or a combination of the above? Do you have types we didn't mention?
  • Age - How old is the content that you have? If there has been changes to the information, then it would be worth either updating the content or following up with content with the new information. If the information is still good, then it might be worth covering the topic again if you haven't for at least a few months.
  • Location - Where is your content found? What channels are at your disposal? Is it all on your website, or do you have some on social networks? Do you perhaps have content on third-part sites? This is an important factor, as knowing where you can place your content will determine what types of content you can create.
  • Complimentary Content - When looking at what you have, think about content that could go well with it. For example, if you have a white paper on identity theft protection tips, a blog post (or a few) could go well with that to encourage downloads of the white paper. You could also turn that white paper into a webinar, and then that webinar into a slideshow. Turning one idea into 20 pieces of content isn't necessarily about creating 20 new pieces of content from scratch, but also using what you have and presenting it in a new way.

Choose Your Content Types

With 20 pieces of content, you don't necessarily have to do 20 pieces of one type, or 20 different types. Now that you know what you have and what you need, you can think about what to create to fill in what's missing. Let's say that you have a great white paper on "Getting Started with Business Blogging," and that's it for this topic. What else can you do? Below are a few ideas:

  • Turn each chapter/section into a blog post. If the white paper has five sections, then you can easily create five blog posts. We're a quarter of the way to our 20 pieces!
  • Create a how-to infographic illustrating a step-by-step in getting started.
  • Create a tip sheet outlining best practices and/or reminders when getting started.
  • Interview someone at your company (or a partner) on how they got started with business blogging. This could be a video, a podcast, and a blog post with the video and a transcription. Halfway there!
  • Write a case study about someone who got started with business blogging, and what their results were.
  • Write two blogs posts: one on what not to do when getting started, and one on the most common mistakes made when getting started.
  • Create a slideshow based on the white paper.
  • Use the slideshow to create a webinar.
  • Record the webinar either as a video or podcast (or both), and use this as additional lead generation content. Four more to go!
  • Create an email discussing how to get started, leading to a call-to-action to download the white paper.
  • Create a follow-up white paper on how to keep your business blog going, or on how to promote your business blog.
  • Find another blog or website where you can do a guest post on getting started with business blogging.
  • Don't forget social media! Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. to spread little tidbits from the white paper. Use social media to promote all of this new content you've created too!

When considering your content types, you do want to think about the resources you have at your disposal as well as the content types that will work with the topic. Video would work really well with green home cleaning, showing how to do the different steps of preparation. However, the other two may only work with an interview or showing a step-by-step through screen captures. Video might not also be a good idea if you don't have any experience creating video, or you don't have the resources or skills to create and to edit video.

It's not easy, but it's doable. How would you turn one idea into 20 pieces of content? Any content types missed? Please let us know in the comments!

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