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How To Breathe New Life Into Unpublished Content

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How To Breathe New Life Into Unpublished Content

Repurposing successful content is old news. You already know how to squeeze as much value out of it as you can.

But what about your content that never made the cut? These assets languish on your hard drive or in the cloud, never fulfilling their original purpose. They could be:

  • Blog articles made irrelevant by breaking news.
  • Press releases never picked up by the media.
  • Thought leadership articles created for trade magazines that ceased publishing before your content could be published.
  • Case studies tabled when your organization’s priorities changed.

All is not lost: Here’s how to breathe new life into that unpublished content.

Find the misfit content

You likely don’t remember every piece of content created that never saw the light of day. To rediscover these potential gems, search your brand’s server for content that never moved to the next folder in the publishing process. Look at your own hard drive (and ask team members to do the same) for completed drafts that were never finalized. Peruse your content management system (CMS) for unpublished content.

Once you find some of this misfit content, it’s time to unearth their hidden value.

Find some misfit unpublished #content and unearth its hidden value, says @Hey_Formichelli via @CMIContent @inmotionshosting. Click To Tweet

Revitalize rejected content

In my 25 years as a magazine writer, I racked up well over 500 rejections to my pitches. I saved each failed idea in a folder on my hard drive, and every so often, I would go through it to see if any of the ideas might be workable for a new publication.

In early 2020, an editor at a prominent women’s magazine asked me to pitch some ideas. I compiled a handful of rejected pitch ideas that I updated and revised. One of those ideas ended up in the December issue.

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You can do something similar. Send the once rejected column written by your CEO to another publication. Take that exclusive release sent to a reporter who never used it and turn it into a release for bloggers in your industry.

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Remember, just because a piece of content was wrong for one outlet doesn’t mean it’s wrong for all of them. Or sometimes, you just need to wait until the time is right. Look at your rejected work with a new eye, and ask: Is it this content’s time to shine?

Just because a piece of #content was wrong for one outlet doesn’t mean it’s wrong for all. Revitalize your rejected content, says @Hey_Formichelli via @CMIContent @inmotionhosting. Click To Tweet

If your revitalized content gets rejected again, publish it yourself on your blog, resource page, social media, etc.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: Guest Blogging: A Step-by-Step Guide

Transform content dismissed because of unexpected events

When I ran a small content studio, we developed an incredible report about how to incorporate the principles of women’s magazine journalism into B2B content to “take it from ZZZ to OMG.”

Right after we released the report to the world, the pandemic struck. Suddenly, no one wanted to read about (or create) fun, entertaining content. Our new content needed to demonstrate we knew what was going on in the world – the gloomy “new normal.” It made sense. Brands that didn’t at least give a nod to the situation in their content looked out of touch and tactless.

But what about the amazing piece of content that seemed wrong to publish based on what was happening in the world?

Tweak the content asset: Sometimes, a simple tweak can turn your content from “They said WHAT now?” to “I need to read this now.”

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A month or so after the pandemic lockdown, we could have made the report work with a new design and lead, such as: “We could all use a distraction these days. Here’s how to bump up the fun in your B2B content to give your readers a welcome break from the negative.”

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Reframe the idea: Maybe the original content treatment still won’t work in the present, but it could be turned into on-trend content.

Say you’re a home furnishings brand. Just as the pandemic started, you were about to launch a content campaign on how to create a luxurious guest room for summer visitors. But now, that angle was irrelevant. Instead, you could have reframed the content into how to turn an unused guest room into a home office or classroom, and the campaign would be right on point.

Your original #content angle might not work in the present, but it could be turned into on-trend content, says @Hey_Formichelli via @CMIContent @inmotionhosting. Click To Tweet

Do something else: With my content studio’s women’s magazine lessons for B2B report shelved, we create new content in the form of an infographic – 30 Creative Alternatives to ‘Unprecedented.’ This amusing infographic showed an awareness of the situation. It also ended up getting even more attention than we expected from the original report.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

Wait it out

If the content went unpublished because of current events, reassess it a few days, weeks, or months later to see if it’s now viable. We did that with our women’s magazine B2B content report. A few months after the pandemic began, people did get tired of gloomy marketing content, ads featuring somber piano music, and emails from brands about how we’re all in this together. We reposted and marketed the report in June, and it garnered a lot of engagement.


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Top Options for Hosting (and Optimizing!) Your Content

Your website hosting decisions can make a big impact on speed, performance, and manageability – and the experience that you deliver to your content consumers. Before you choose a hosting solution, watch this chat with Harry Jackson of InMotion Hosting, where he outlines the three main options and explains the pros and cons of each. Watch now!


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Pick the good from the bad content

In some cases, the unpublished piece of content is simply unsalvageable:

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  • The content is so out of date it’s not worth your time to update it.
  • The case study features a customer now out of business.
  • The video targets a persona your brand no longer serves.
  • The author is no longer in good standing in your industry.

However, even this content is not dead. You can mine it for bits and use them for another piece of content, social media, newsletter blurbs, testimonials, and so on. For example, grab out and reuse:

  • Quotes from subject matter experts
  • Helpful (and still valid) tips
  • Sidebars or short sections connected to unsalvageable long-form content, such as white papers, books, and guides
  • Resource lists

Pick over that content like a grandma using a roast chicken on day three. We’re in chicken salad territory here, folks. Don’t let any usable content go to waste.

Your unpublishable content is not so unpublishable

You’ve delved into your content and come up with some losers you could turn into winners. In many cases, you’ll find the content wasn’t really bad. It was just a case of the wrong place or wrong time.

Now that you have these strategies for reviving rejected, tabled, and otherwise unpublished content, add a quarterly reminder to your calendar to go digging for content gold. You’ll save time and money – and treat your audience to amazing content they otherwise would have missed.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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MARKETING

Old Navy to drop NFTs in July 4th promo update

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Old Navy to drop NFTs in July 4th promo update

Old Navy will update its yearly Fourth of July promotions by saluting the metaverse with an NFT drop, going live June 29.

In honor of the year they were founded, the retailer will release 1,994 common NFTs, each selling for $0.94. The NFTs will feature the iconic Magic the Dog and t include a promo code for customers to claim an Old Navy t-shirt at Old Navy locations or online.

“This launch is Old Navy’s first activation in web3 or with NFTs,” an Old Navy spokesperson told MarTech. “As a brand rooted in democratization and inclusivity, it was essential that we provide access and education for all with the launch of our first NFT collection. We want all our customers, whether they have experience with web3, to be able to learn and participate in this activation.”

Accessible and user-friendly. Any customer can participate by visiting a page off of Old Navy’s home site, where they’ll find step-by-step instructions.

There will also be an auction for a unique one-of-one NFT. All proceeds for the NFT and shirt sales go to Old Navy’s longtime charitable partner, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Additionally, 10% of NFT resales on the secondary market will also go to Boys & Girls Clubs.

Support. This activation is supported by Sweet, who’s played a major role in campaigns for other early NFT adopters like Burger King.

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The Old Navy NFTs will be minted on the Tezos blockchain, known for its low carbon footprint.

“This is Old Navy’s first time playing in the web3 space, and we are using the launch of our first NFT collection to test and learn,” said Old Navy’s spokesperson. “We’re excited to enable our customers with a new way to engage with our iconic brand and hero offerings and look forward to exploring additional consumer activations in web3 in the future.”

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Read next: 4 key strategies for NFT brand launches

Why we care. Macy’s also announced an NFT promotion timed to their fireworks show. This one will award one of 10,000 NFTs to those who join their Discord server.

Old Navy, in contrast, is keeping customers closer to their owned channels, and not funneling customers to Discord. Old Navy consumers who don’t have an NFT wallet can sign up through Sweet to purchase and bid on NFTs.

While Macy’s has done previous web3 promotions, this is Old Navy’s first. They’ve aligned a charity partner, brand tradition and concern for the environment with a solid first crack at crypto.


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About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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