The Pluses of Repurposing Content

fundraising Associations Now May/June 2015 By: Samantha Whitehorne

Associations have lots of content sitting around. By repurposing it, you can not only bring it back to life and add another member benefit, you may also be able to boost your association's bottom line. 

Say your association has a book, magazine, or white paper that's already considered successful, whether in terms of sales, member engagement, or some other factor. Is there a way to reuse it and make it even better? Absolutely, say many associations that are successfully repurposing—and sometimes even charging for—previously published content.

But before an association can figure out what and how to repurpose, it must know what it already has created. However, this first step is where many associations run into problems. After all, every department is producing lots of different, valuable content and often they're not talking to one another, so they don't know what already exists and who's seen it.

Experts recommends conducting a full communication audit to determine what's there and what's reusable. After completing that lengthy task, associations can use three easy ways to begin generating additional revenue from their most valuable content.Here are some ideas from Association Headquarters’ Senior MarCom Manager Sarah Black:

Repackage It

For example, the American Society of Hand Therapists has published a quarterly newsletter for many years, and each issue includes some type of research or clinical content. However, that rich content was never seen again after being published in the newsletter. So ASHT started to republish those articles in a “From the Archives” section that was added to the newsletter.

The results are great: It has been a hit with members, who have appreciated having an opportunity to remember techniques or studies that are useful in their practice. Plus, it's given the organization a bump in sponsorship dollars.

Make It User-Friendlier

The Society for Biomaterials publishes a quarterly magazine that includes statements and research, and it creates specialized content published by several special interest groups (SIGs). What was happening previously was that content was published and forgotten about, but the organization is now working on a bookmarking/catalog project. SIG content will be bookmarked in digital issues that have been archived, and an online listing would be made available to members. Those interested in SIG content can click and immediately view the SIG article they're interested in. In essence, it's the same content, just much more user-friendly and intuitive. It's a good reminder that members will pay for convenience.

Bundle It Up

Perhaps you have a pre-recorded webinar, three magazine articles, a research paper, and an e-book on the same topic, but there's no quick way for a member to discover them all. Consider bundling them and giving members the option to buy the bundle for a discounted rate, especially if one or two of the items in the bundle is not a big money-maker for your organization.

This is a great place for associations to get started on the repurposing front. Plus, it seems to hit on two major revenue-generating factors: spotlights an association as a thought leader and it's easy for members to use.

[This article was originally published in the Associations Now print edition, titled "Good to Great."]

Samantha Whitehorne

Samantha Whitehorne is deputy editor of Associations Now in Washington, DC.