What is Substack? Can it work for you in the B2B marketing space?
Plus, can you repurpose content for Substack and ultimately grow your audience?
So many questions and we’ve got the lowdown! Spoiler alert, the answer to all of the above is yes!
Plus, you might be quite surprised by the range of audio opportunities this platform also presents...
So, let’s take a deep dive into Substack…
It’s always exciting when a platform really starts to make waves.
While Substack has been around since 2017, in the past year or two there’s been a real surge of interest – and we always have our repurposing caps on…
And we particularly love discovering the ways that businesses use the platform and how content can be repurposed for it.
What is Substack?
According to a Hubspot article, Substack is, “a major game-changer in the world of online publishing” and the, “biggest disruption to journalism, personal writing and thought leadership since the blog boom of the 2000s”…
So basically, it’s important. Substack describe themselves as, “an online platform that provides publishing, payment, analytics, and design infrastructure to support subscription newsletters. It allows writers to send digital newsletters directly to subscribers.”
You can publish your email newsletter and/or podcast for free, or you can put it behind a paywall, which is what makes Substack different to any other email service provider like ActiveCampaign or AWeber.
It’s like a Mailchimp – Patreon mash up in that it offers mailing software and template-building capabilities, which are very easy to use, much like Mailchimp, but with the added functionality of being able to easily monetize your content with a Patreon-style subscription payment option built in.
How does the money work?
Substack is very clear that it pays to provide excellent free content but to save your best work for your paying audience.
For example, a common model is to send three free emails per week/month, plus one special email just for paying subscribers.
Substack itself makes money by charging creators a 10% commission on their monthly subscription revenue and there is a credit card fee of 2.9% + 30 cents charged by Stripe, their payments processor. It’s very simple and straight forward, which is good!
Can it work for B2B?
Substack is a space where journalists, authors, politicians and even rock stars have found a home – for example, famous author Salmon Rushdie has a Substack and so does rocker poet Patti Smith and the divide-the-room British politician Dominic Cummings.
So it’s a clear winner for consumer-facing brands and creators, but this doesn’t mean that B2B marketers can’t do the same… because many are.
It’s also important to note that it’s not just written newsletters, there is also Substack for Podcasts which is an extremely interesting development for the platform.
It provides the ultimate vehicle for repurposing! You can record audio clips or full-length podcast episodes directly on Substack, or you can upload pre-recorded clips or episodes. And you can publish your podcast on all major platforms from within the Substack interface. So it acts like a podcast host.
So you could use it for a podcast, and/or you could insert audio into your newsletter which provides a new way for your audience to engage with your content.
A really interesting feature here is that you can engage with your listeners if they are on Substack and you can email them episodes.
A downside of podcasting is that you don’t know who is listening because that data isn’t necessarily available, but if you deliver your audience content on Substack you can grow a listenership AND you know who they are via email.
How to repurpose content for Substack
Here are just a few ideas that we came up with for repurposing content for Substack.
1. Repurpose blog posts
We’ve mentioned before how you can repurpose blog posts into newsletters.
But, because you are using Substack, it’s a good opportunity to look for ways to incorporate a paywall aspect too - by providing additional, premium content in the emails that doesn’t feature in the blog post. This could be mentioned in the blog post “for more on this subscribe to my newsletter on Substack.... “
2. Repurpose social media engagement
Take topics and conversations that are taking place on your social media channels, and turn them into compelling content that answers questions and helps to solve problems... and deliver this exclusive content via Substack.
Make this clear...for example, engage to a point and then mention that you are developing a newsletter about this topic and will share with your Substack subcribers on a particular date.
3. Repurpose audio content
You can add your existing podcast to Substack and embed it into your newsletter, or you can cut out relevant clips and include these enticing snippets throughout, encouraging subscribers to listen to your podcast.
Something to consider is that you can deliver 100% exclusive audio content as a podcast on Substack, or 100% free content, or some exclusive content and some free.
Either way, you can be sure to repurpose your audio content into audiograms, tweets, images, twitter threads, carousels, polls and more... where you can make your call to action to subscribe to your newsletter on Substack for more.
4. Repurpose video content
Use content from your webinars, livestreams and thought leadership videos and develop it into written content for your newsletter.
NOTE: Substack for video is in currently Beta and it looks like you’ll be able to add videos that people can watch free or paid for, and emails will link to the video on the platform...loads of repurposing opportunities for video content here – watch this space!
5. Repurpose longer-form content
Substack also provides repurposing opportunities for your longer form content.
Take white papers and research reports and break them up into a series of newsletters – keeping some back behind the paywall, so that it’s only accessible for your paying subscribers.
You can then add a clear CTA like, “we did an additional study on this and the findings are shared with our email subscribers...”
You can research the top writers on Substack who are tackling issues and questions in your industry, then approach them and offer to sponsor their newsletter… getting yourself in front of a targeted, engaged and interested audience.
Just a tip, I’ll leave it there!
Are you on Substack? Are you currently repurposing content on Substack? We’d love to hear your tips and suggestions in the comment section below.