Last week I was at Target and I saw them across the aisle – a gleaming stack of Caboodles.

Repurpose ContentFor the unfamiliar, Caboodles were the must-have accessory for teen girls coming of age in the late 1980s. A molded plastic cosmetic case based on the functional design of a tackle box, Caboodles included all the compartments necessary for your blue eyeliner and frosted lipstick, a mirror and came in all the pastels you could imagine.

And, although it had been years since Caboodles had been on store shelves, their magic was in full effect with the display surrounded by wide-eyed young girls eager to take one home.

Then I went to the mall and saw, on a hanger in a trendy chain store, a black and blue checkered sweater I’m fairly sure I owned in 1991, a black and blue checkered number I was going to wear to the MTV VJ audition I was convinced would happen at any moment.

Retailers routinely turn to what’s been tried and tested to boost their odds for success. Television networks and movie studios do the same, introducing reboots, because these characters and the stories they tell are familiar, beloved parts of our lives.

When it comes to programming, there’s no reason nonprofits and associations can’t do the same. Constituents have a relationship with your organization and trust the content you produce. While delivering fresh information and perspectives is important, you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. It’s also OK to open up the archives and find new inspiration in existing material. There are many benefits to finding fresh ways to bring new life to old favorites including:

  • Sharing with New Audiences: Maybe you published important research but your members hadn’t yet joined your organization. Or maybe they’re already a member but didn’t have the time to read a white paper or attend a webinar? Share existing content in a new format or channels such as rich media syndicated through new threads or discussion topics in your community, social properties and content forums.
  • Elevating Old Favorites: Have a timeless classic on your shelf – the piece, guide, tip or campaign that was a huge hit with your constituents the first time around? Consider bringing it back for an encore performance or update the information with new data for a refresh that extends the outreach to new and old audiences alike.
  • Get the Biggest Bang for Your Buck: Developing and delivering quality content is hard work – there’s a lot of effort that goes on behind the scenes. Take information that you and your team spent time curating and writing, and give it more runway. Consider updating with a slant towards your SEO keywords and common search terms. Elevate its reach across platforms for an integrated outreach of your programs.

But not all content deserves a new lease on life. Times change, technology continues to evolve and trends today may be different than they were last year or the year before. When looking for content to repurpose, ensure the topic is still timely and relevant. Determine how much updating needs to be done—a guide talking about Netscape as an internet browser or resurrecting a blog post on MySpace strategy may not convey the message you’re looking for.

In addition to details, understand if it’s a topic or broader area of interest for your members by digging into your website analytics, e-commerce data in your CRM or event details to understand if it is something people are eager to hear about.

Already have some pieces in mind? Here are four that are top of mind as we head into 2019:

1. Send Your Blog Posts on the Road as Podcasts

Those of us in Austin, like many of your members throughout the world and country, spend a lot of time commuting to and from work, darting through airports or running errands around the city. Podcasts have exploded as a way to make the most of this time, with a wide variety of available topics and lengths that go from snackable, bite-sized tidbits to multi-episode, deep dives into a very narrow topic. Want to get started with podcasts but don’t think you have content? Look back in your blog archives and pull a couple of favorites to record.

2. Reinvent Blog Posts as Guides

Have you blogged a lot about a particular topic, trend or new regulation? Maybe specific to your industry, the history of your organization or how to do something that’s of unique interest to your audience?

Packaging multiple blog posts together as a single guide not only ensures your audience understands everything you have to say about a topic but creates tremendous convenience as well. You can even spin the guide into an email campaign, social media posts, a webinar…the list goes on!

3. From PowerPoint to View Point – Infographics Made Easy

Those who know me well know that I love nothing more than a good slide deck. And before presenting a Personify webinar or live event, I spend a lot of time on my deck. Sure, a lot of it is formatting – making sure everything is aligned, the colors are right, the charts aren’t fuzzy – but more of it is focused on the narrative.

  • What story does the presentation tell the audience?
  • What do I want them to know?
  • What should they take away?

This focus on storytelling and plot also serves as the foundation for great infographics. Infographics are taking a star turn right now – they’re informative, easy on the eyes – but they can be a lot of work, requiring huge amounts of research and design support. But with the right presentation you’re off to a running start – your story is already laid out, facts assembled and even some of your graphics are in place and ready for their close-up.

4. Highlight your Members Stories for Impact

Do you have a number of success stories showing the impact that your organization has had on members and donors? Real people and real stories have a real impact on your mission. Whether short quotes, self-directed video shorts, guest blogs or a Q&A in the community—flip the script from your team creating all the content and give your members a platform to co-create with you.

Your constituents are looking for a place to learn, share and grow their passion with your organization– whether it’s in your community, on your website or at live events. Repurposing content and supporting co-creation of content can be an easy way to make the most of resources already stretched thin, allowing you to quickly fill gaps quickly with relevant outreach efforts because the heavy lifting has already been done. Take a look at what is in your content Caboodle and consider bringing it back for a makeover – it’s not as hard as you think.