Short Form to Long Form: Maximizing Your Content Library for SEO Benefits

The topic of turning a library of short-form content into long-form content is the focus in today’s episode. Drawing from her extensive experience in content strategy, Britney Gardner addresses the challenges and benefits of repurposing short form content, emphasizing the importance of organizing and categorizing your content to efficiently create longer format pieces. 

With practical tips and strategies, Britney guides soloish entrepreneurs in leveraging their short-form library to maximize SEO benefits and create comprehensive resources for their audience. 

Join us as Britney shares her insights and empowers listeners to take control of their content strategy, ultimately paving the way for more impactful, authentic marketing.

Get your content organized, get it categorized, and start chunking it out and figuring out which ones go together, putting them together in bigger pieces, making sure that those pieces are a resource.

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Highlights in this episode:

  • 00:00 Efficiently repurpose short-form content for SEO.
  • 04:11 Save old Pinterest pins and Instagram captions easily. Categorize.
  • 06:39 Questions about audience, content, and organization.
  • 11:56 Organize, categorize, and promote your content effectively.
  • 12:46 Repurpose content for PR, save time.

Repurposing Short-Form Content Into Long-Form Content

Hey there, fellow service providers! A few weeks ago, I promised to discuss a slightly unconventional topic – transforming a library of short-form content into long-form pieces. While I usually focus on repurposing long-form content into shorter formats, this question emerged during the Social Search Summit, where I participated in a panel discussing advanced expert topics. 

So, let’s dive into the process of efficiently and expertly repurposing short-form content into longer pieces for those juicy SEO benefits.

Repurposing Content Starts With Organization

First things first – have you categorized and archived your short-format content? For instance, in the world of Instagram, you might have carousels, posts, and reels accumulated over the years. It’s crucial to have them saved in an easily findable format. Why? Well, if you can’t locate your fantastic content, does it really exist? (Think of the “tree falling in the forest” analogy.) 

Avoid the Frustration of Losing Content You’ve Created

On Instagram, in particular, there’s no search bar specific to your profile. To find a post from six or sixteen months ago, you might be scrolling for quite some time–if you can find it at all.

looking for an old social media post

Diving into the issue at hand, finding the right posts can be quite the challenge. For instance, I recently worked with a client who wanted to re-air some podcast episodes and create social media posts to accompany them during her break in December. Although this was a smart move, locating the older posts turned out to be quite time-consuming. What should have been a three-hour task for me morphed into a twelve-hour job, costing both my client and me valuable resources of time and money.

The interesting part is that this client had a content database I’d set up for her in the past, but her team wasn’t utilizing it when publishing social media content. Consequently, I had to recreate some posts and search for others. In some cases, I gave up on finding the original post and created something similar, unsure if it was better or worse.

The reason I bring this up is that the first step in repurposing short-form content into long-form content is having everything easily accessible and organized, preferably in a database, along with any accompanying assets like videos or images. Additionally, you’ll want to have captions readily available for copying and pasting – searching for that old Pinterest pin or Instagram caption can be incredibly time-consuming.

How to Organize Past Content

Now, you might wonder about categorization. Should you focus on content pillars or another system? 

In my Uncommon Content framework, there are three main aspects I emphasize: 

  1. Showing up strategically with a content plan based on a client journey.
  2. Emphasizing your unique voice.
  3. Honing in your content.

Alright, let’s break the ice – there’s a natural category system here. First, we have mapping out, then showing up with your unique voice, and finally honing it in by measuring and organizing your content. When it comes to my short-form content, I want to identify which category each piece belongs to within my framework. Sometimes, a piece may span two categories, but I focus on the one it aligns with most.

creating a content database

If you haven’t already organized and archived your work, now’s the time to start. While I’d love for you to go back and categorize everything from the past year, at least begin today as ground zero. We call this content bankruptcy–start over from today. You can do it!

Moving forward, ensure every piece submitted to social platforms is added to a database and categorized.

Now that we’ve addressed the importance of organizing and archiving your content let’s move on to the actual process of transforming these short-form gems into long-form masterpieces.

Generating Long-Form Content Assets

Once you’ve categorized your content, it’s time to group similar pieces together. This makes it easier to convert your short-form content library into longer format pieces for improved YouTube or blog SEO. 

For instance, in the Uncommon Content framework, part of mapping out includes establishing your brandscape – who you are, who your audience is, and how you serve them. Another aspect involves creating an evergreen content plan that can be executed over time or in content sprints. Finally, ensure your content plan naturally guides people through a journey where one piece leads to the next. 

I could have multitudes of short-form pieces about each aspect of the Mapping Out pillar. Once I group them, I can create a longer-form piece of content on just brandscaping, or I can create an epic piece of content that covers the entire pillar.

So when reviewing your short-form content, determine if a piece is a broad overview or more of a step-by-step piece. That’ll help you see where in “the timeline” it falls. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to transforming your short-form content into valuable long-form assets.

How to Speed up the Repurposing Process

following a process to turn short-form content into long-form content

At some point, it’s time to get to writing (whether that’s the script for a video or podcast, or an actual blog post). And let’s admit it – writer’s block can really throw a wrench into our creative gears. Piecing together a content plan can be a challenge, especially when you’re attempting to merge various short-form pieces into a more comprehensive long-format piece.  There are numerous techniques to help us leap over those pesky mental hurdles.

First, take a closer look at your existing content, such as articles with five tips or three-step processes. Do they align with one another? Can they be combined in a logical order? If so, you may be able to create a “mega piece” by combining these smaller chunks of content.

For example, I’ve successfully merged content pieces covering the three M’s, the three R’s of repurposing, and my chaos-free way to plan content – old, new, borrowed, and blue. By carefully arranging these sections and ensuring they flow seamlessly together, I created an extensive resource that is not only keyword-rich but also valuable for readers seeking solutions in my niche. This is how The Complete Content Plan for Service Providers was born.

Additional Benefits of Merging Short-Form Content Into Epic Content Pieces

By discussing or writing about what you’re doing, it serves as a reminder of just how much knowledge you possess! We all need that reminder, and it’s kind of an enforced way to go through your old genius and remind yourself of it. You’ll gain insight into your strengths and weaknesses, potentially leading to specialization in particular areas or topics. 

Here’s where it gets even more interesting: once you’ve crafted your mega piece, you can: 

  • go back and edit your original short-form content to link to this new comprehensive guide. 
  • You could also create new short-form pieces that are derived from both your old short-form content and your newly-developed long-form content.

So let’s recap: Step one involves having easily accessible, organized, and categorized content. Step two entails chunking out short-form pieces into like-minded groups.

Key Takeaway:

Step one involves having easily accessible, organized, and categorized content. Step two entails chunking out short-form pieces into like-minded groups.

The SEO Benefits of Repurposing Content

In essence, by reusing and repurposing your existing content in strategic ways, you’ll not only breathe new life into your older posts but also enhance the overall value of your content offerings. 

This approach ultimately results in a more cohesive and engaging experience for your audience while boosting SEO – a win-win situation for all involved. Alright, fellow word enthusiasts, there’s a more detailed response to the question presented at Meagan’s Social Search  Summit panel. 

Learn to Strategize Content On Your Own

As content strategists, our goal is to make your content journey easier. (Although I can’t speak for every strategist out there, some may want you to work with them forever and ever. Amen.) Personally, I aim for a brief collaboration that helps you get your content ducks in a row and empowers you to move forward independently.

leaning into your content gold as a service provider

Why? Well, it’s twofold: First, I want to see you flourish and effectively use your content. Second, I believe in your ability to manage your content on your own. Once you’ve navigated the tricky parts and established a foundation of evergreen content, you won’t need constant guidance from someone like me.

Sure, you might want to check in occasionally with a quick call or message – I keep all my former clients on my contact list for that very reason. It’s always a delight when they reach out with updates or questions because it shows they’re applying the lessons learned during our time together and using their content to generate leads.

So, how can you achieve this level of content mastery? Start by getting organized and categorizing your content. Identify related pieces and begin combining them to create longer, more substantial works for your website. This approach will not only make your life easier but also pave the way for sustainable success in the world of content creation.

So go ahead, gather up all that fantastic information you’ve been sharing on social media and compile it into an epic blog post that everyone can refer back to repeatedly.

Creating a resource like this not only benefits your audience, but it can also attract some much-deserved attention from the media. Announce your masterpiece with a snazzy press release, and watch as people flock their traffic to your site, eager to find solutions to their problems.

Do you need help creating a content marketing plan that allows you to shine?

We offer complimentary one-on-one consults to help determine if a done-with-you or done-for-you approach is best for you and your business right now.

Music by Michael De La Torre. Thanks, Mikey!

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