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Repurposing Content for Your Training Programs

— by Natia Seegars

Course development

Repurposing content is an important way to deploy new content for your in-person or online training programs without having to start completely from scratch. Added bonus: You also have the luxury of knowing how the content has performed in the past!

Rinse, Recycle, Repeat – This goes for training content too!

In an era of rapid content consumption, companies are churning out content faster than ever. So it’s no surprise that many organizations have an abundance of existing content in their libraries. But, once a piece is used, it often sits on the shelf! Meanwhile, trainers and marketers spend countless resources producing more content to meet the needs of their audiences. Here are a few ways to breathe new life into old content:

  1. Develop a Content Strategy. 

    One critical factor in repurposing content is to create a strategy! And, the first part of the strategy is to clean house and catalog your content. As you build your strategy, consider topics and training modules you will want to cover. Building a training or content calendar can help to clarify this process, as you identify key elements you will need.

  2. Decide on an Evaluation Process.

    Another equally important step — get rid of what is no longer usable or relevant and highlight what is current and important. Training developers will need to pay particular attention to streamlining and not over working content that just does not fit. This is where the costs can add up!

  3. Take an Inventory of the Content.

    Build a list of all pieces and group them by topic, audience, or type. One great way to catalog and manage training materials is through a Learning Management System (LMS). This allows trainers to organize and manage content in order to make it easier to access relevant training materials in the future. Organization is half the battle when it comes to repurposing your training assets.

  4. Prioritize Content. Go for Quick Wins!

    Prioritize quality materials that could easily be converted to online or other digital formats. A 2017 study entitled Recycled & Reused: Repurposing Training Content for Digital Delivery conducted by Conduent Business Services, LLC and Training Industry, Inc revealed that delivering training in a digital format is not only preferred, but also more effective. The study also suggests that trainers prioritize content that:

    • Has a short shelf life
    • Is Frequently used
    • Has a large number of users (or downloaders)
    • Requires little instruction or guidance from a trainer
    • Can be learned in small or simple learning pieces
  1. Enlist Support of Internal and External Teams. 

    It is a large undertaking to catalog and convert exiting content to new formats. Reach out to other teams or departments inside or outside of your organization. They may have suitable content that could be reused in a different context or for a specific audience. For example, if you are training channel partners or resellers, you might find that a top-performing partner can offer collateral, processes or other training materials to help round out your training program.

A content repurposing strategy is helpful for creating and deploying new training assets. It is also a critical part of managing intellectual property, and a good way to leverage prior efforts of content creators. Repurposing content is a powerful way to deliver effective training experiences without reinventing the wheel.

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