How to Repurpose Your Print Material for Digital Content


I talk a lot to my potential clients about repurposing their print material into digital content. Most times, my clients interpret this as taking their print material and make a digital copy, which is not sufficient. I don't think you need to reinvent the wheel entirely, but you need to do a little more than converting print materials to a digital file.

But why, you ask?

For starters, you created the print material for a completely different audience in mind. Viewers of print products may not be the same as those who would engage digitally. Also, the structure is entirely different.

However, you can take the same concepts of your print materials and repurpose them into effective digital content. You won't have to spend time brainstorming new ideas. You will need to spend the time creating new ways to tell the same story. Are you ready to learn how to repurpose your print materials for digital content?

The differences

There are similarities in print and digital marketing materials. Both need compelling copy that engages your readers. However, print content is often written in a linear structure, taking your reader on a journey from start to finish.

Your digital readers may not be as easily persuaded. A website isn't a linear object with definitive objectives. Instead, websites follow a branching structure, weaving in links and objectives. Websites include multiple calls to action in most scenarios, and the digital user is more easily distracted.

Step one: Gather existing content.

When you're considering repurposing your content, don't only think about your brochure or business card. Instead, think of all the material you have created, including newsletters and press releases, everything in your print arsenal.

Even product packaging can be considered. It is a part of your brand, after all!

Step two: Organize your materials into useful parts.

You've assessed your print materials. Now it's time to organize. Choose your best materials and how they might be reused in a meaningful way for your online audience. Things to look for include:

  • Data

  • Statistics

  • Facts

  • Key Points

  • Highlights

  • Summaries

  • Images

  • Graphs

  • Charts

Step three: Define your purpose.

As with any marketing material, digital content is only useful if it has a goal and can effectively meet it. Your online goals should not be regurgitated from your print goals. You can have a vague plan, but it still needs to be precise. For example, you might think your goal is to create awareness about a product or service.

But that's not a clear goal. That's a high-level goal, and you should get more specific. You might revise this to something like this: create awareness about a product or service to entice a user to download our whitepaper, ultimately leading to sales of XYZ product or service.

To take it a step further, you'll need to define your message, desired outcome, and brainstorm ways to reach your customers.

Step four: Determine the content you will need.

You've got the end goal, but how will you get there? With the content, of course! You'll need to decide what types of content you will produce and how it will serve your customer.

You aren't duplicating your print content (i.e., your marketing brochure) and creating a digital copy. Instead, think about how you can take that print marketing brochure and create new digital content that would engage your online users.

Types of great digital content to consider:

  • Social media posts

  • Webinars

  • Videos

  • Slideshows

  • Podcasts

  • eBooks

  • Infographics

  • Shareable graphics

  • Email newsletters

  • Email marketing campaigns

  • Image galleries

Don't forget to think about who your target audience is for the different content you'll create. Remember, there is always overlap, but users will receive content differently. The person that engages with a social media post may not be as receptive to open an email.

Step five: Begin repurposing.

You've prepared, and you know your goals. You understand your audience and gathered all your best pieces. Now it's time to create!

When you're repurposing, think about creating new introductions or summaries that fit your marketing. You might expand current descriptions to include more appropriate keywords. Print content doesn't need to focus on keywords as much as digital, so this is especially important to focus on when repurposing.

If you're creating images or visuals, you will need to have alternative text to publish online. Alternative text (alt-text) helps make your graphics accessible for differently-abled users and boosts your search engine optimization (SEO) rankings.

Step six: Proofread and publish.

Similar to the finalization of print marketing materials, you'll want to proofread several times before publishing.

When creating digital content, you'll also need to make sure any images are responsive to mobile devices. Otherwise, you're likely to miss the opportunity of a broad audience. In fact, over 50 percent of users browse on their mobile devices, according to a 2020 Statista report.

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