Ryan McCready, Managing Editor at Reforge, shares his "active" content repurposing process for creating more content in less time.
Want to create more content?
Sure, you can write more blog posts, create more Twitter threads, and produce more YouTube videos.
All of that sounds exhausting!
What if you could 10X your content output without really creating more content. Sounds too good to be true, right?
That’s the power of repurposing. The problem is you’re probably doing it wrong!
Here's what Ryan McCready, Managing Editor at Reforge, says:
A lot of marketing teams take a reactive approach to content repurposing. They wait and see if a piece of content is doing well. When a piece of content blows up there’s a mad dash to get that content in front of even more people.
Today, Ryan shares his "Active" Content Repurposing Process. In this Marketing Powerups episode, you'll learn:
- What's wrong with a "reactive" approach to content repurposing?
- How Ryan repurposes content using his "Active" Repurposing Process.
- A real-world example of Ryan's repurposing process.
- One piece of advice that accelerated Ryan's marketing career.
⭐️ The "Active Content Repurposing Process
Marketing teams often wait too late to repurpose a piece of content. By the time they've created all the extra repurposed content, it’s already too late. So not only does the new repurposed content fail, it throws off your publishing cadence because resources have been diverted to something new.
Ryan calls this a "reactive" approach to content repurposing.
Instead of waiting until after you publish a piece of content, you start repurposing while you’re creating the original piece of content. Then you publish the repurposed content at the same time, or around the same time, as the original asset.
He calls this "Active" Content Repurposing:
- Brief the blog post.
- Write the blog post.
- While writing the post, you repurpose it into other types of content (Twitter thread, LinkedIn post, social video, newsletter).
- Publish the blog post.
- Publish the repurposed pieces of content.
This approach has two benefits:
- It helps you share your message across multiple channels simultaneously, increasing the likelihood of your ideal audience seeing it.
- It helps your team keep a consistent publishing schedule instead of randomly pushing out repurposed content when they finish it.
According to Ryan, the most important thing about Active Repurposing is having confidence in your content. You can't second guess your content's value to your readers or followers.
Otherwise, why are you publishing it in the first place?
But, obviously, you probably wouldn't want to repurpose every content into everything. It's why Ryan created the Content Repurposing Menu.
For each piece of content, you can pick from a list of other types of content to repurpose into. You can assign who is responsible for the additional work and how many hours it'll take.
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🎉 About Ryan McCready
Ryan McCready is the Managing Editor at Reforge. Prior to that, he played a key role in the development and implementation of Venngage’s SEO content and social media strategy that contributed to an increase in organic traffic to Venngage’s site of over 300%.
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They’re a strategic partner that’s helped B2B SaaS companies like ProfitWell, Teamwork, Sprout Social and Hubdoc build a predictable revenue engine.
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🕰️ Timestamps and transcript
- 02:06 - Why content repurposing is such a game-changer
- 05:50 - What is reactive content repurposing?
- 07:49 - The "Active" content repurposing process
- 10:20 - My number one recommended demand gen agency
- 11:28 - The content repurposing menu
- 14:13 - A real-world example of how Ryan repurposes content
- 19:31 - How Ryan is repurposing content at Reforge
- 22:00 - A career powerup that accelerated Ryan's career
- 23:49 - Two pieces of advice that Ryan would give his younger self
Ramli John: Want to create more content? Sure, you can write more blog posts, create more Twitter treads and produce more YouTube videos. But all of that sounds so exhausting. What if you could 10 x your content output without really creating more content? Sounds too good to be through, right? That's the power of content repurposing. The problem is you're probably doing it wrong.
Guess what? Ryan McCready, Managing Editor at Reforge, says about it:
Ryan McCready: Reactive repurposing is where you publish something you realize. It's engaging with people that it's doing well on social, those things, and then deciding to create that extra promotional content might not hit the same as it did.
Ramli John: Rather than being reactive, Ryan encourages more content teams to do something, he calls active repurposing. He built a set of processes to embed repurposing into your content production. It's the exact same process he uses at Reforge as the managing editor , at Foundation Marketing, and Venngage. In this Marketing Powerups episode, you learn first why content repurposing is a game changer for content teams.
Second, what is reactive repurposing, and why it's not ideal. Third, a real world example of active repurposing process. And fourth, a power-up that's helped Ryan accelerate his career. Before we start, I've created a free PowerUp cheat sheet you can download, fill, and apply Ryan's active repurposing process.
Go to MarketingPowerups.com together right now or find that link in the description of the show. Are you ready? Let's go
Anouncer: Marketing powerups. Ready? Go. Here's your host, Ramli John.
Ramli John: Let's talk about Marketing Powerups. One of the powerups you have built framework around is content repurposing. That's taking what piece of content, let's say a blog post and repurposing into a video or Twitter tread or any other things. Can you, can you share why this is such a game changer for marketing? Obviously for people in content, they're like, oh, this is, this is obvious. But for, for people who have not about heard about what content repurposing is, why such, such a great game changer for marketing teams.
Ryan McCready: Yeah, for sure. I mean, I feel like I've been doing in repurposing under different names for my entire career. I, I feel I've repurposing in the past couple years it's kind of been what we're calling it. So it's definitely been a part for my career. I've, I've always, I think I've always wanted to get my content in front as many people as possible, whether at vege, whether my own stuff, whether at Foundation, Reforge, any of those places.
And I figured out. When you're just sharing links to your book, post links to whatever on social, people aren't clicking those man that might have worked 5, 6, 10 years ago when there wasn't so much noise on social. There wasn't our, we won't be distracted so much throughout the day by all these other things that are probably not.
But now you really have to put your content almost on a silver platter in front of people get. Get them excited to click into it. And like repurposing was one of one of those powerups I figured out probably three or four years ago, I started writing threats for almost all of my content and just writing, supporting threats that broke down the content, gave them a, a good introduction on what it was, got people hyped.
It didn't bury the lead in the actual blog post. It gave them some interesting. Stats or effect or something that I found, and then using that excitement drove them to the blog post. If I would've shared, if I would've shared the blog post and that's it, don't think I would've got the same results And the same thing, I used the same approach with the LinkedIn slide index.
Like I don't want to tune Mylan Horn, but I was probably one of the first people sharing those, and now everyone shares those. It just, I figured out. LinkedIn loved showing those to people because it, it, it itched their engagement, engagement kind of thing on their algorithm, like people clicking through those and just pushed those forward.
And we saw so many, so much more shares, so many more comments. , it just helped the content get in front of so many more people. By taking that extra step, instead of just throwing up a link.
Ramli John: You're reaching more people essentially with the same piece of content with exactly, you know, same amount you with the same content idea, you're able to.
You're efficient. It's a, it's another thing really great about it. Like it's very efficient rather than like thinking of a hundred blog posts, you're actually able to multiply it. Your output.
Ryan McCready: Yeah. You're not,
you're not writing, you're not one of the. One of the things that always threw me was people are just like more content, more content, more content.
And for some reason people are like, oh, that means a hundred blocks. We need to publish a hundred blocks. You could just plug just one blog and remix it, repurpose it 20 different times. Turn that into a video script, turn that into a podcast, turn that into whatever you want, and especially if it's a popular blog post, like if it's resonating with your, your customers or you following or whatever, don't ditch.
Don't ditch an idea, repurpose it into something. Because if it's, if it's hitting the right, the right people, you want to continue like engaging with them. You don't wanna throw some random idea right at 'em because they might be like, eh, not willing. What so
Ramli John: good. I am a big fan of of that approach.
It's all, it's about that efficiency. I wanna sh talk about this concept that you, that you shared around reactive repurposing. What is, what is that and why is that like not something that, it's not ideal for marketers, for marketing teams call the teams to be doing when they think about content
Ryan McCready: repurposing?
Yeah, I think, I think that kind of ties back to your efficiency comment of marketers, especially going over the next year. We have a lot of uncertainty. We need to be super efficient with our content and smaller teams, even next year might, might be a reality for a lot of companies. So just the efficiency you can pull from content you've already, you've already published and stuff like that is gonna be really important.
That said, reactive repurposing is where you publish something, you realize that it's engaging with people. It's blowing up, it's ranking well, it's doing well on social, those things. And then deciding to create that extra promotional content, you kind of missed your time to repurpose that content because unless you can get it out very, very quickly, which.
Most people can't, unless you can get it out that same day. It's, it's reactive. You're reacting to something that happened and by the time you're done a week, a month later repurposing the content into a video, it might not hit the same as it did when everything was launched the first time. You might have missed your moment.
So a lot of people use that reactive repurposing approach where they wait to see if content is going to be popular before they. , but it sometimes works. I think it's a, I think it's not very efficient to do that because again, you're just guessing to see a week or two later if it's going to do well and it's gonna take over Twitter or whatever, or blow up on LinkedIn.
Ramli John: When you launch it, you wanna make sure it has as much impact as possible and Exactly. You know, if you're just like, oh, okay, let's wait and see, kind of thing. Not necessarily the most effective approach to it. Yeah, because the opposite to reactive repurposing is active repurposing. Can you explain what that is and why is, why is that more, more ideal for, for a better approach than the other one?
Ryan McCready: This is something I coined the reactive and active repurposing something I coined probably this time last year when I was just trying to think. Better ways to describe these processes and reactive is, like I said, you wait for a piece of content to do well. You're waiting on those numbers and sometimes you might not get those numbers per month or two months or whatever.
Like it takes some time to make its way through the algorithm to rank on or to rank on Google, all that fun stuff. But with active repurposing, instead of waiting for that content to. Do well to get data from it. You're moving your repurposing motion up into the production phase, so with af, with reactive repurposing, you are waiting till after it's published you're, it's outside of the production phase, but on the other hand, with active, you are moving it up to kind of the same phase that you're writing the blog post, and I found that so much more efficient.
That you can go in and say, oh, this is a cool process. We should turn this into a slide deck. And you basically could just comment, we should turn this into a slide deck in the Google Doc and then put it into your own repurposing engine. And that approach is so much more efficient than publishing something and be like, oh God, we have to figure out something else to help promote this.
And you're just. Scanning the thing. You're like, oh, here's a quote. We can use that, and quotes are fine, but there's, there's a lot better pieces of content you can pull out of those articles that you're publishing.
Ramli John: I love how you approach that. You're like already thinking about like how embedding, repurposing into the content production process is not like an afterthought essentially.
Ryan McCready: You're giving your content the best chance to catch fire basically. By moving it up into the production phase, because then instead of just pushing a blog post with a, a blog post link with a well-written social share or something to your email list, you got all this content that you can promote it over like an entire week, and then you have in, in the future you use, like if it's, if it's one of your evergreen pieces of content, it's something you.
Continue to throw up once up or something like that.
Ramli John: That's so good. Really, really don't you, you, that's such, such such a tweetable thing you just said like you're giving it the be best chance you're getting, giving you content. The best chance to catch fire. Yeah. Essentially.
Yeah. Which is so good.
Ryan McCready: You know, you need to drive metrics, so give it the best chance to drive those metrics. Don't just like wait for it
Ramli John: to happen. Before we continue, I wanna thank those who made this video possible 42 Agency. Now, when you are in scale up mode and you have KPIs to hit, the pressure is on to deliver demos and signups, and it's allowed to handle the Mangen email sequences, rev ops, and even more.
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Go to 42agency.com to talk to a strategist to learn how you can build a high efficiency revenue engine. Now you can find that link in the description. Let's jump back in.
When you share this active and re active repurposing, you shared this this approach the content repurposing menu. What, what is this and how, how can people use this to help them think about repurposing in an active way versus a reactive way?
Ryan McCready: I really like the content repurposed in menu, and I'm guessing a lot of companies already have it. They might call it something different or it might just. Kind of a process that's already built in. But basically what the content repurposing menu is, how I've built it is you build out a Google sheet and for every main piece of content, so a blog post or podcast or whatever you're putting out, a video, a interview, anything that you're doing, you, you outline all the pieces of content that you can repurpose that blog post, that podcast into, and it helped you think about.
Where, what you're actually gonna create when you're creating the blog press. So for example, if you're writing or just like this podcast, if you're thinking about, you're gonna put a podcast out, you need to, or you can create a video, create video clips for Instagram. You've got all your, all your opportunities for repurposing in a spot.
So you're always thinking about like, oh, we can turn this into this. We need to bake that into the production process. We need. Tell as we're, as we're recording the podcast, maybe we should say, oh, this is a good clip for X. So just changing your mind or kind of changing your mindset of being a little more active instead of like waiting until after, like I said earlier, is, is a, is a big shift.
And with the content repurposing menu, you know exactly your output. as you're like working on the first main piece of content. And I decided to call it a menu because, and this isn't, this is something that I think some people struggle with too. Like you don't have to repurpose it to everything. You don't have to turn every blog post into.
15 different repurposed assets. You can pick and choose like some, some work well as a slide deck because it's got a nice, easy to follow promises. Some might work well as a video because you have a really smart subject matter expert talking, but you don't have to do everything for it. I think when I wrote the article, like I said, something along the lines of you don't order everything on a menu when you go to a restaurant, pick, pick a few saying so good.
Sometimes I feel like I need to order everything but. Can you pick a few things to satisfy your goal of being, of being not hungry or being full, and you can kind of think of like the repurposing menu in the same way you pick a few things to get you that goal of whatever you've said.
Ramli John: That's such a great like analogy where you, you're, you're thinking a bit could even like a buffet where you pick and choose, but you don't wanna, maybe you want a little bit of each for, for one time, but you know, you don't want to get too focused.
You might throw off,
Ryan McCready: throw Yeah. Everything on that buffet. He definitely will throw up. That leads
Ramli John: to the question around how do you decide where which content you should repurpose for everything and which ones you should. I'm guessing, you know, the ones that are probably more high value, high effort stuff, you wanna give it the best chance cuz you invested a lot in it, so you wanna repurpose it to everything versus something that's more, let's say end of year roundup, where maybe that's not such a big thing for that particular company and maybe you just repurpose it for the newsletter like, , how do you think about that approach?
Well, what you
Ryan McCready: content you should repurpose for what? I think for some you can be, like, for every podcast we put out, we're gonna do X, Y, z, three different things. I gonna repurposing into all these different things. And once you build that process out, it becomes pretty easy to follow. But yeah, with those high value ones, you, you wanna take big swings with them.
You want to make sure that it gets in front of everyone. You put a bunch of effort into it, why wouldn't you spend an extra 10% more to repurpose it into all these different things and give it that extra effort? Cuz you really never know. I mean, you can, you can do a lot of work on something and it goes flat.
But if you give it a better chance of catching them, the algorithm or some influencer finding it, I. You never know what happens. Like I've, I've told this story a ton of times. Like part of the reason I even joined Vage was one of my first articles I put out, Rand retweeted it and shared it with his newsletter, and then Eugene, the founder, found it through that.
Like, you never know. That's so good where, where Canto is gonna land. So given it the best chance you can to be in front of as many eyeballs or the right people or whatever, whatever your goals. Is worth that extra 10%, extra five hours that you spent on just repurposing it. Because, and this, this ties into my , my rant of, you don't always need to be publishing new blog content.
You can repurpose it, you can do all that stuff, and you can extend the life of content by repurposing instead of chasing that, oh, we need to publish five blog posts a month. Maybe you publish one and just repurpose it super well. and the impact is exactly the same. And you spent one third of the time, one third of the effort on getting it to that point.
That's so good.
Ramli John: I, I, I love that, that approach, you know really thinking about that is there an example you can share maybe at Reforge or even at Vantage, where, you know, you've thought about repurposing early on and it's kind of, you know, Get more reach for that one piece of content rather than just doing it
Ryan McCready: reactively.
When I was at Fen Gauge, I mean, we did a lot of repurposing, but probably one of the best one from like an active standpoint was when we had put out our yearly graphic design trends article, and from the beginning we would be. We'd be building out a, an infographic, a video of all these different things to launch when it went live.
Basically, we'd be building out slide decks, everything, and we don't, we'd even write like guest posts before you could have placement for it, just to make sure we were the, and anything that you're doing with yearly stuff, the earlier you can get it out. Like we were published it in like September because we wanted to be the first one out there and.
Having those guest posts ready to get links back in the day, it was in value. I mean it was, so it probably helped us rank number one every single year because we just took that very active approach. We knew what we needed to do and instead of waiting for after to like build links and create slide decks and create Twitter threads and create the video, it was happening as almost like a campaign instead of just a singular blog post.
And I. If you can think about your big high value ones as campaigns instead of just a single piece of content, you'll, you'll kind of change the thinking around how you promote those as
Ramli John: well. That's so, so good. Thank you. That's another quote that you had from that article around thinking about your content as campaign to set up one-off things.
I think good way to approach it.
Ryan McCready: Oh, I was just thinking like is once, once you flip that switch in your team's mind too. They become a lot, I feel like they'll become a lot more. On board for the active part of the repurposing. They'll say, oh, we could do this as the production's happening. Or, oh, I thought we could turn this into a video.
It'd be great. So once you think about it as a campaign, Everything kind of lines up a little easier cause you know you're gonna need a promotional email, you know, you're gonna need all these different assets instead of just like, Hey, we threw this blog post up on the blog. Hopefully someone sees it. And is this approach
Ramli John: is something you're also doing a reforge at the moment where before we record it, you said that you have a ton of video content, so now you're thinking about how to approach for the future around an urpo.
Ryan McCready: Process. Yeah, we just, we, we, for all of our cohorts, we record a ton of video for the member events where subject matter experts, basically the smartest people you, you know, in product marketing, engineering come in and break down case studies, talk about frameworks, all that fun stuff. And we haven't really done anything with it.
And there's a ton. There is so much good info and knowledge in that video or in. Webinar, whatever we want to call it. And we're just not really doing anything with it. And now we're taking kind of the active approach of, hey, we probably can use this to promote how great our cohorts are, how great our content are, because it's such a good, it's almost like, I wanna say product led growth, because I feel like that's a buzz org right now.
But it's kind of in that thing of showing like our, our product is content at Reforge. We have the best content in the game, I'll say it, and giving people that, that insight on how great our content is is gonna be such a superpower in the next year. Super. I love
Ramli John: it. You're right. Product led proc, content led growth.
You know, you're thinking about content as a, at the product. .
Ryan McCready: No. So that's super cool. Well, one thing I wanna start testing in the new year when we have some of these super smart people, and this is something that just came to me in the last couple days, is like, how can we, when we're talking with them, when we have them for an hour, how can we spend five minutes asking them like actual search, search driven questions of like, what is your favorite?
Product strategy framework, build an entire blog post around that minute answer that they do. Stuff like that. Just taking, taking a more active approach of like, we have these really smart people, they love to share information with us. How can we be a little more efficient about taking that and turning it to a blog post, a video, whatever that we can use to promote how, how great our cohort is and how great.
Ramli John: That's exciting. Definitely exciting times for sure. I wanna switch gears and talk about careers and marketing careers, particularly you've been in marketing for, for well over eight years now. I would love to hear what's one thing career power up, so to speak, or something that's helped you advance your career for a tip or an advice or something that's particularly been helpful for your, for your
Ryan McCready: advancement in your career?
If I can sew it up into one thing, it. Send the message, send the dm, send the LinkedIn message, send whatever, talk to people. Send the email. You never know. Who has been following your work and who is a fan of it and who wants to chat and who wants to just be friends with you in the marketing world? And I think that was the biggest power up over the past like two years.
I feel like I've accelerated my career growth so fast just by being part of the community and being friends with all these super smart people who are teaching me about different frameworks I can use. Just different ways to think about content and then, then we get on. Then I get on podcasts like this, like we just have been chatting for the last year.
and led to this. So like just send the message. Be, don't be afraid cuz 90% of the people in marketing or in your niche or whatever you are, are super nice people who are looking to make friends in that niche as well. It's not like you're going to be renix fueled for reaching out to someone saying, Hey, I really liked your work.
We should chat sometime. Cause that's how great, great kind of professional relationships start. You never know where they're gonna.
Ramli John: That's so true. I mean, how we met Wes, Amanda, nada introduced both of us on Twitter and that's it. I got the ball rolling and now we've been chatting.
Ryan McCready: You're on the show. We talked weekly.
Yeah. It's it's crazy.
Ramli John: Honestly. Crazy. That is so true. in terms of an advice for your younger self? Like what, what's a, an advice or two that you would give yourself the eight year, eight year younger self when you starting into marketing, you know, Ryan who's just gotten out of a college and trying to get into marketing and first marketing job, what advice would you, would you give to your younger self?
You can travel back in time. Yeah, I think I've got two. ,
Ryan McCready: two great pieces of advice. I would say, well, three, I think what I said about sending the message, being okay to reach out to everyone. Build your, build your crew if you, if you want to call it that. Just don't be afraid to talk to these random people.
They're nice people. So definitely one that took me a long time to get there. It took me like five years of being in the space to get to that point. Two, I think it would be. Like, it kind of ties back to imposter syndrome. Like everyone's just figuring it out. Even like the smartest people, you know, in marketing are putting in the work to figure things out.
They don't know everything they might like. I don't, I don't know everything. I, I humble myself all the time about things that, new things that I learn and new ways to change how I approach things and just being, being okay with not. Knowing everything about everything is, is a, is a big thing, but being driven to go better yourself and figure those out.
And then I think the third one is don't lose your voice. I have a very distinct voice in how I write and like, I've never polished that down for anyone. The first article I wrote at Ben Gauge was titled, millennials Don't Suck, you're Just Old . And it blew up because it was, it was, it used data to basically, Refute all the things that older people thought about millennials and all the young people thought it was hilarious.
All the old people hated it, but they shared it and it blew up. And just taking that, taking that, that kind of, I don't wanna say combative voice, but just, just keeping your voice very true to who you are and figuring. What you want to talk about, especially in marketing, you can, you can do a lock, which is being like very genuine.
That's so good. I love that. Don't you know, your
Ramli John: voice is a superpower on its own, like it's very unique. Yeah. So people should use that for sure.
Ryan McCready: Thank you for sharing. Yeah. You have a super. Everyone has a different background. My background comes from economics. I take a very data-driven approach to everything I do, and if I didn't do that, I would just be like everybody else.
And no one wants to read a generic marketing thing. They want to read something data-driven. They want read something that. You stumbled upon because you're interested in it. Yeah. I mean, now we're not really
Ramli John: necessarily trying to rank, you know, we're not talking about like search algorithm, but it is like a Tori you're building a, you have an not authoritative voice essentially for your unique experience that
Ryan McCready: Yeah.
Google could see us as an notator. Exactly. Yeah. And as we go forward with all this AI content and stuff, Eat, eat, eat is gonna be so important. And that's, that's one thing that I'm very excited to be a re record from because we do have that expert. We have the authority, the trustworthiness, we have all of that from these amazing people.
So I, I'm very, I'm very excited about our content for the next year
Ramli John: or two. Well, that was fun. I hope you learn as much as I did from Ryan. Now you can go ahead and follow Ryan on LinkedIn in Twitter to get more content like this, and you can find those links in the description and show notes. Thanks to Ryan for being on the show.
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