Why (and How) to Repurpose Your Audio Content into Articles

This post is the first in a series we’re doing on repurposing content. Today, we’ll focus on repurposing audio content into written work – for example, turning a podcast into a blog post or guest post.

For insight into how to repurpose audio content – and why this can be such an effective strategy for content marketers – I talked to Jaclyn Schiff, the founder of PodReacher, a company that turns podcast episodes into written articles to boost discoverability.

What Does Repurposing Podcasts or Webinars into Blog Posts Look Like?

First, let’s define what we’re talking about. When a thought leader from your business appears on a podcast – whether as a host or a guest – they’re creating a lot of valuable content for the podcast’s listeners.

To maximize the value that content brings to your company, you can repurpose it into a blog post, guest post, or article for an ongoing column the thought leader writes for. 

This is different from creating show notes or even a transcription of the episode. Jacci notes that both of those have value – show notes are great for current listeners hoping to return to topics, and transcriptions are great for accessibility. 

But repurposing a podcast or interview into an article means creating an entirely new content asset from the same source material. The written content you produce from a podcast episode will offer unique value to your audience.

Why Repurpose Audio Content into Articles?

Why bother repurposing audio recordings in this way? Jacci outlines four main reasons:

  1. The web is text-first. Google and other search engines are getting better at indexing images, videos, and audio files. But text is still the content that performs best in search. By capturing your best ideas in this format, you increase your likelihood of being found through search engines. Jacci notes that she has yet to see a show notes page rank in search, but that she has seen repurposed articles rank – especially for longer-tail keywords.
  2. People are more likely to share content in print. Anecdotally, Jacci notes, podcast guests are more likely to share written content on social media than a podcast. Maybe it’s because text makes it more obvious when a person is being interviewed or featured. If you’re podcasting in hopes of expanding your audience, you’re more likely to achieve that expansion via social media shares and engagement if you provide guests a text-based version of the content to share.
  3. Repurposing reduces your total workload. Content marketing is labor intensive. Repurposing audio content to power your blog or guest posting pipeline is an excellent way to do more with less – and still see great results (see reasons one and two).
  4. Repurposing brings in a new audience. Jacci notes that podcast show notes tend to be most useful for people already listening to a podcast. That’s where they can get a sense of what the newest episode is about or find a favorite episode without listening to them all. But they’re unlikely to reach anyone new. Articles based on the ideas in your podcasts, though, can reach an entirely new audience. The key is to position them in a way that appeals to your target audience and to follow SEO best practices to maximize your visibility in search.

Clearly, the benefits of repurposing audio content are significant. So let’s get into the nitty gritty of how to do it.

How to Repurpose Audio Content into Articles

It’s worth repeating here that “repurposing” involves more than transcribing. Think of it like baking a batch of cookies and using some of the uncooked dough to make cookie dough ice cream (though please be careful with the raw eggs!).

The cookies are delicious. The ice cream is delicious. They both come from some of the same ingredients, but they are two fundamentally different desserts, and they’ll work well in different settings.

Repurposing a podcast into a piece of writing is like that. Here’s how Jacci recommends going about the process to maximize your odds of success:

  1. Write for the new format and destination. Just as you wouldn’t eat frozen cookie dough from an ice cream cone, you shouldn’t treat a podcast transcript like a blog post. Instead, use the topics and ideas addressed in the podcast as a jumping-off point to create an article that has an introduction, sections, and a conclusion. Include helpful external links and visuals. Give readers something they couldn’t get from listening to the podcast episode.
  2. Report what happened. Jacci refers to this as the journalistic part of the repurposing process. An article based on a podcast should be true to what happened in the podcast. That might mean using direct quotes from the podcast and acknowledging they came from a recent podcast episode – and then offering a larger story around what happened. One option here if you’re seeking third-party publication is to present the opportunity to develop a first-person narrative and publish it in an “as-told-to” format. Here’s an example.
  3. Consider your goals. If you’re repurposing content in hopes of expanding your audience, you’ll want to create written content that encourages people to share. This repurposed podcast episode succeeded in doing that by declaring the interview subject a “super connector.” This categorization both intrigued people looking to connect and appealed to the subject himself – and the article performed well on social.
  4. Consider your target audience. The audience of a blog is different than the audience of a podcast. For one thing, anyone on the web might find a blog post. That means you may have to provide introductions, definitions, or background information that aren’t necessary in a podcast episode. As you repurpose content, be sure you understand who your target audience is and what they need from you.
  5. Consider positioning. While the personality of a podcaster may be enough to convince their audience to get interested in new topics, the rules are different in text. Because you may not have an established relationship with your readers, you have to give them a reason to care about your topic. That means positioning it in a way that appeals to them, which means, again, understanding who they are and what they care about.
  6. Identify clear takeaways. Jacci recommends thinking of each article as solving a problem for someone. Ask yourself what the reader will get out of your article. Remember: web users will likely come across this version of your content via search or social media. Your headline, intro, summary text, and image have to make it immediately clear why they should click and read.

As you can probably guess, it takes time to do this well. But if you're committed to content marketing as part of your overall growth plan, repurposing content is one of the more efficient ways to keep a program running.

There’s no reason to say you have to stop at a blog post, either: from there, you can fuel social media, email, and even video! You can create eBooks! You can build a pillar page featuring top insights from other pages! 

(More on that in future installments of this series.)

Expected Outcomes When You Repurpose Audio into Text

So what can you expect from repurposing audio content into text? Results will vary, of course, depending on your subject matter, audience, and ability to create compelling written content. But anecdotally, Jacci has seen the following:

  • Publication on HackerNoon and other top Medium publications
  • Publication in CIO, Drive Global, and other top industry publications
  • Engagement on social
  • Backlinks, especially when articles are used as guest posts
  • Appearance in search results, especially for long-tail keywords

All of these can increase brand awareness, exposure, organic rankings, and referrals. Sounds pretty good, right? We at Propllr certainly think so. In fact, we strongly believe in repurposing all content relevant to your brand, including PR wins (here’s how to do that).

Want to read more about repurposing content? Sign up to get our weekly newsletters when you see the pop-up. We’ll have more installments in this series in the coming weeks.