Recently, while reading an article about strategies for re-using existing architectural assets, I realized that some of the same techniques can be applied to re-use existing assets to create new content for your blog, website and social profiles.
One of the biggest problems that clients face is with creating new content. Staring blankly at the blinking cursor on their computer screen leaves them feeling that they have nothing to write about. In the article, the author discussed two different approaches to architectural re-use. You can use both of these to re-use existing assets to create new content of your own!
The first approach, he explained, is to just ‘re-use’ the existing asset (in this case, the building) ‘as is’. This can be a quick, easy and economical way to get the most out of an existing property. Say you have an old, obsolete fire station. An example of ‘re-use’ might be to gut it and use the space for a community center or meeting room.
The other approach was to re-think the space, creating different functionality and breathing new life into the structure. He referred to this as ‘adaptive re-use’. An ‘adaptive re-use’ of the obsolete fire station might involve fitting it out as an office or even a residence.
In each case, you aren’t starting from scratch – you have the property and shell already complete! Rather than starting from scratch every time you need to write a blog post or article, I suggest that you review YOUR existing ‘properties’ – your existing content assets like print brochures, presentation slide decks, reports, statistics you have gathered, frequently asked questions – and consider how you can either re-use, or adaptively re-use, them to create new content!
First, brainstorm and collect all your assets. Think outside the box! In addition to the items listed above, consider including old photos or printed materials used years ago to promote items you no longer offer but might be nostalgic to your clients and customers. Check to make sure that any content you will use is still accurate and relevant. This is a good time to update it, if necessary.
Take the printed brochure. If it is still accurate and attractively designed, you can ‘re-use’ it by re-creating it digitally. Then put that on your website as a download, post it to your blog and/or share it on your social profiles.
Convert presentation slides into a Slideshare or Flipbook which you can then share in the same way. If you are lucky enough to have been in business for more than a decade or two, dig out those old newspaper or yellow page ads. Your clients might enjoy seeing the old products or services you offered. Or it can underscore your years of experience. I worked with a client who owned a flower shop that had been in the same location for more than half a century. I encouraged her to track down old photos of the street and storefront to share socially. ‘Re-use’ in this case involves scanning the images and sharing them. Ditto if you can find an old business card!
Going back to that brochure, consider adding the new products and services you offer. Refresh the text and/or add some images. Add some testimonials. Since it is digital, you now have the option of adding video. This is an opportunity to take what you had and IMPROVE it!
If you have a bit more time, you can ‘adaptively re-use’ the data from a report to create a Slideshare or Flipbook. Do the same with any statistics you have or with the results of any polls you have run. Frequently asked questions can be gathered and used as post prompts as well.
The idea is to think creatively about the assets you already have – why knock down that existing firehouse if it is still structurally sound? With a little planning, it could be a cool new bar! Next time you are staring blankly at that blinking light, think about how YOU can re-use existing assets to create new content.
Need someone to wade through YOUR existing assets with you? Want someone to take your assets and create new content for you? Give me a call at 212.664.1872 – I can help!