E-books are fantastic tools for content marketing, which is probably why you probably have at least one (if not a few) gated, generating those sweet, sweet leads around the clock. But while e-books are great, they also take work to create. From copywriting to e-book design, e-books require time and resources that many marketers just don’t have.
But what if you could produce an e-book in less time, streamline production, and give your content way more reach? You totally can—and we know an easy tactic that will help you do it: Repurposing your existing content.
Every content marketer is sitting on an archive full of valuable content that is usually just collecting dust. That content takes many forms, from public-facing content on your blog or website to internal docs circulated among your team. But it can do more work for you than you realize, simply by turning it into an e-book.
How to Create Awesome E-Books From Your Content
Repurposing content is a simple, smart, and economical strategy that helps you get more mileage from everything you create. The hardest part of e-book creation is writing and designing something from scratch. But with a little creativity, you can reduce that labor, reuse assets, and create something fresh with a lot less work. This tactic is also useful if you’re stuck on ideas.
So, what content can you use? Here are 10 types of content you probably already have that can be great fodder for your next e-book.
1) Blog Posts and Articles
This one’s a no-brainer, yet so many marketers don’t take advantage. You probably have a blog full of articles on similar themes or topics. These can easily be packaged into a useful guide or e-book that can provide real value to your audience.
Infographics already have a solid narrative, and they often include data, which always enhances your content. You may have a series of infographics that could be cut up and repackaged into an e-book. Or you can use one to build an e-book around.
3) Surveys, Research, and Reports
Whether it’s your annual report or your latest customer survey, anything that contains data is a goldmine for an e-book. (Also, data-based e-books can draw the attention of publications or publishing partners who want to share it.) If you have the data but aren’t sure what to do with it, follow this guide to find the story in your data if you need a unique angle.
4) Interactive infographics
Interactive infographics are high-value pieces of content that take even more time to produce than an e-book. If you don’t repurpose that content, you’re really not making the most of it. Like infographics, these often include a strong narrative or a large data set that may contain new and unique stories.
Anytime you create a presentation, you are demonstrating your expertise in some way. Don’t let those valuable pieces of communication go to waste. These are particularly easy to turn into an e-book because they tend to follow a narrative flow and feature interesting visuals or data.
6) Internal Documents
Any time you create process docs, tutorials, or guidelines for your internal team, you are engaging in the transfer of knowledge. This knowledge is helpful for your own team, but anything that includes instruction or tips would probably be relevant or interesting to others in your industry.
We’ve found internal docs to be a surprising source of great content, and we’ve used them to create useful content for a larger audience. For example, our internal tips for brainstorm meetings became a popular SlideShare, and training documents for new producers became the basis of our Everything You Need to Know About Visual Content e-book—the most popular e-book we’ve ever made.
7) Motion Graphics or Brand Videos
Motion graphics, brand videos, or explainer videos are great to convey an idea quickly and succinctly. But there are times when people might need more information. If you’ve covered a certain topic in a video, you might expand on that narrative and supplement with additional information to create an educational e-book.
8) Misc. Collateral
As we mentioned before, any piece of communication can become the inspiration for your next e-book. You might have a piece of sales collateral, a webinar, or an interesting podcast Q&A on hand. All of these pieces can be repurposed into an e-book, whether it’s a sidebar, a chapter, or the entire e-book.
5 Tips to Repurpose Content Into Fresh E-Book Designs
If you think you have some good content on hand, here are a few ways to spin it into your next e-book design.
1) Create a comprehensive guide. If you have a ton of content on the same theme, you probably have enough to spin it into an A-Z guide on the subject. This helps you demonstrate your thought-leadership, and it can also be useful to rank for certain keywords, as search engines love rich, high-value content..
2) Choose a specific angle. Sometimes subjects are too broad or generic, in which case focusing on a niche subject relevant to your industry or readers is a smarter move. An e-book on how to provide great customer service might be overdone. But an e-book about how to deliver great customer service on Twitter will resonate with a specific group.
3) Consider news and trending topics. If your content is related to an industry trend, popular issue, or something in the news, you may find an interesting angle or tie-in for your e-book—if it’s appropriate. (Follow these tips to make sure you’re newsjacking the right way.)
4) Repurpose design assets. If you’re working with visual content, reuse, remix, and repurpose those visual assets to reduce design time and preserve your brand’s visual identity. That includes charts, diagrams, illustrations, or data visualizations. (Avoid these common e-book design mistakes, though.)
5) Use the original piece content to promote your new e-book. You can give your original piece new life by using it to promo the new e-book. You can also break your new e-book into even more assets. (Here’s how to expand its shelf life with a divisibile content strategy.)
Most importantly, keep looking for opportunities to make the most of your content, streamline your process, and improve the quality of your e-books. For more on how to do that:
- Find out how to make customizable templates for easier, faster e-book design.
- Bookmark our roundup of 101+ resources and tools to make better e-books.
- Get inspired by these 5 awesome e-book design examples.
If you need an extra hand with your e-book design, let’s talk through it.