Content can be expensive to create, and most marketing departments have to struggle to stay within budget while trying to take their brand to the next level. One way to do that is by repurposing your content. Why is that helpful?

First, often the most expensive part of making content is the research. Researching and creating one piece of content for your marketing plan, say a short ebook, could cost thousands of dollars. But if that same research could be reused, you’d be trimming cost off your bottom line, allowing you to make more with less money and man hours.

Second, repurposed content allows you to map the multiple pieces of content to your sales funnel so that some form or portion of that content, fits each part of your company’s buyer’s journey.

When it comes to repurposing content, there are several ways to do it, but one way is the popular Turkey Dinner Method. How does that method work, and what does turkey have to do with anything?

Thinking Thanksgiving when it comes to Content

Think about a Thanksgiving dinner. You have a giant turkey, surrounded by all those side dishes. When everyone in the family is full and nodding off in front of the football game on TV, how much of that turkey is left? If your house is like mine, more than half.

Of course, everyone knows that the best part of Thanksgiving dinner is the days of leftover turkey. You can have turkey sandwiches for days, maybe turkey spaghetti, turkey meatloaf, turkey burgers, turkey soup, etc. That one meal, which ran you a fortune, end up feeding you for a week or more.

In the same way, if you focus your budget on making a large piece of content, the largest in your overall content marketing strategy, such as a definitive guide or long ebook, you can slice that content up into multiple, smaller pieces of content, filling in the rest of your strategy for half the investment.

The Turkey Dinner Method sprang from an analogy put in place by Rebecca Lieb from Altimeter Group. The analogy basically says that you can create one large piece of content, like the whole turkey, and then slice and dice it to create additional smaller supplemental pieces. That way, you get more content with less.

Cut the Large Chunks into Small Bites

Let’s imagine you invested thousands of dollars in creating a definitive guide. Maybe your company is in the business of selling yachts to millionaire executives, so you made a 120-page ebook on yacht maintenance: “The Definitive Guide to Caring for your Yacht.” How can you cut that one chunk of content into smaller bites?

Smaller Ebooks. You can start by chopping up the individual chapters of your definitive guide and turning them into individual ebooks. So the chapter on engine maintenance can be one book, and so can the chapter on hull treatments.

Each of those ebooks would need distinct titles and covers, so they stand out. They can be offered to email lists or as a free download on social media, with a section in the back of each book to get the definitive guide for more information, in exchange for an email address your company can contact them through, of course.

Blog Posts

If you slice up the content some more, you will see that, with a minimum of rewriting, small sections of each chapter/ebook can be transformed into individual blog posts to put on your company’s website. Each blog post can end with a free download call-to-action to get the ebook the article was lifted from.

With the thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of work that went into one large definitive guide, you can have dozens of blog posts and several professional ebooks, all useful aspects of your marketing strategy.

But that’s not all you can get from your definitive guide, as we’ll see below.

Create Visual Elements

If you made your definitive guide right, it probably also included dozens of graphics and images. Perhaps some of those pages had detailed charts, graphs, labelled maps, or diagrams. Could any of those visuals be lifted from the guide and shared via social media?

In addition to that, new visuals can be used, using the same statistics you found in your original research. Could you make a new infographic post to social media or make available through an email campaign? What about making a slide deck or one-or-two-page cheat sheet for leads to download?

Making visual elements are excellent because they catch the eye and pique interest, which can then lead to people downloading the larger pieces of content for more information. And the best part? Making these visuals would cost a fraction of the usual investment because all the research has already been done for you!

Go into Video and Audio

Cutting up content into smaller pieces is one thing, and making some complementary visuals is another, but there are other ways to transform your content into new, repurposed, useful assets. You can do this through video and audio.

Making video doesn’t have to be anything too extravagant. Sometimes all it takes is a little creativity and the camera that comes on a smartphone, and you can easily make something light and fun to share with your audience.

Audio isn’t much different. All you need is one member of your marketing team that has a pleasant reading voice and a USB microphone, which you can usually pick up for less than one hundred dollars. Have them read the content directly from your definitive guide, or any of the smaller ebooks, and you have material that can be given as an audiobook or in an RSS feed as a podcast.

A podcast delivers to a market that is often overlooked by marketing teams, getting your content to potential customers that may normally not come into contact with your written and visual content.

Putting it All Together

Researching and creating content is expensive, and no matter the size of the company you are working for, your content marketing budget is sure to be less than desirable. Get more bang for your buck (or your boss’s buck) by repurposing content in a smart way, such as with the Turkey Dinner Method.

By making a large content asset and slicing it up into smaller pieces, you will end up with several assets, written, visual, and even audio, to add to your quarterly content strategy. These new pieces of content can be made at a fraction the cost because most of the work has been done for you already.

In addition to that, these content assets fit together, like Russian dolls, to create a content funnel that maps nicely to your Buyer’s Journey.

Someone just discovering your brand may find you through an infographic on social media or your podcast. They’ll later check out your free cheat sheets and smaller ebooks, eventually giving up their email address for larger pieces of content, all the while progressing along their Buyer’s Journey toward the end goal of becoming a paying customer.

With the Turkey Dinner Method, you can plan out a sales funnel with less investment on content, making your department more efficient and improving your ROI.