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How to Repurpose a White Paper or Research Report into a Webinar

How to Repurpose a White Paper or Research Report into a Webinar

How can you get more people to engage with the findings in your white paper or research report?

Downloadable PDFs are a brilliant way to boost your credibility and showcase industry expertise, but even the most awesome research report can struggle to connect with a wide readership.

Repurposing it into a more accessible format, like video content, is a fantastic way to ensure your report gets the exposure it deserves.

In this episode and blog post, I share the whats, whys, and hows behind repurposing your research report into a webinar.

Hit play on the podcast player below or read on to find out how these two professional, thought-leadership styles of content can work together to generate more interest in your findings and get more ROI from your report.

Confident content repurposing: why a webinar?

It might sound like a huge jump to go from creating a comprehensive text-and-graphic pdf to producing a (potentially live) long-form piece of video content, but before you write the idea off entirely here are some things to know about webinars:

A webinar is just a piece of video content

The aim is to present an idea or share knowledge about a topic, similar to an online lecture or a seminar – a web-seminar if you will…webinar!

There are lots of different webinar styles, so you can find an option that suits you best

One person might present the webinar, or there could be a presenter and interviewee, or there are round-table/panel type discussions too

Webinars can have PowerPoint presentations or slides, but these aren’t essential

You could host a live webinar or pre-record it

Depending on the platform you use to stream your webinar, there may be multiple options for audience interaction ­– such as allowing viewers to comment in real-time ­– which you can opt to have if you wish

As you can see, there’s a lot of flexibility to creating a webinar. Plus, you’ve already got your webinar content sorted! So there’s no need to fear the idea…here’s why they’re the perfect partner to a research report.

Why webinars and white papers are perfect partners

There are several reasons why it’s ideal to repurpose a white paper or research report into a webinar, but the main reason I believe this is because:

White papers, research reports, and webinars usually discuss one of your industry’s problems or topics in-depth. They’re a powerful credibility-building initiative and help to establish you personally, or your business, as a thought leader on that topic.

If your business creates these types of content, you’re establishing your business as an industry leader that stands out from your peers.

So they’re very similar in terms of their aim and what they do ­– but why do they go hand in hand so well?

It’s all to do with format.

How content repurposing breaks format limitations

A downloadable PDF document can be an strong piece of authority-building content. But it’s very one-dimensional in terms of its format. In fact, without an active promotion plan that incorporates different content types spread over multiple channels, it’s very difficult to get a white paper or research report noticed ­– let alone read.

A video doesn’t have this problem.

I’m known for preaching about the power of video but there’s a reason why. All the data supports just how influential video can be when it comes to your audience.

What’s more, video content doesn’t have the same limitations as a downloadable PDF. It can be shared far and wide on social media channels, your website, industry article sites, video sharing sites, and much, much more. And that’s before I even get into the repurposing potential…

There are some great examples of white paper to webinar repurposing out there. For example, The Infinite Dial report gets repurposed into a webinar on launch day every year. I’ve seen people flock to watch it first-hand!

It’s something I’ve even seen our clients do. The Treasury Recruitment Company produce an industry benchmarking salary report, The Global Treasury Salary Survey. In one episode of their podcast, Treasury Career Corner, founder Mike Richards sat down with some of the people who had worked on the salary survey to discuss the findings so far. The expert discussion was very much webinar-style and goes to show just how much repurposing potential there is for these kinds of reports.

Now let’s get into the six-step process.

How to repurpose a research report into a webinar

1. Plan your content

The great thing about content repurposing (of any kind) is you already have all your ideas ready to go. It’s just about packaging them and presenting them in a new way.

So first you need to decide what you’re going to talk about. A white paper or research report may cover just one topic in-depth, or it may tackle several. For a webinar, it’s best to focus on one topic. If you have a lot of topics, then you could repurpose the report into a full webinar series.

There are exceptions to this that work well, e.g. The Infinite Deal webinars by Edison Research, mentioned previously, cover the whole report in one webinar.

Once you’ve chosen your topic, the next step is to drill down into the key points within it.

If you’re interviewing someone or hosting a round-table/panel discussion, use these key points to write your questions or use them as a guide to keep the conversation focused.

2. Decide your format

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, there are lots of ways to host a webinar.

If you want to present by yourself, then make sure that you’re comfortable with your content. Perhaps you’ll want note cards, a slideshow presentation, or a script to help you.

Or maybe you want to interview someone. An expert on the topic or someone who’s contributed to the report would be a brilliant choice.

Perhaps you want to invite multiple contributors, experts, or your industry peers to discuss the topic in a round-table or panel type discussion. For these options, I suggest writing out your questions, and even sharing them with guests in advance so they’re prepared.

Hosting industry thought leaders and experts can give greater credibility to your discussion and will help generate a buzz around your webinar. It’s also a great way to connect with others in your industry ­and build relationships which could lead to further opportunities.

3. Reach out for feedback

If your research report is already live, connect with those who’ve read it. Find out if they have any questions, want more information on any specific area, or would like to hear from a certain expert about the topic.

First-hand feedback like this gives you insights into what your audience actually want. So don’t overlook this step. This added value will help draw people to the webinar, even if they’ve already consumed the original piece of content.

Which leads me onto number 4…

4. Promote your webinar

Whether you’re sharing a pre-recorded webinar or hosting a live one, you’ll need to generate some hype to get people to watch it. Here are some ideas:

Those people you reached out to in step 3? Get back in touch and let them know when they can watch the webinar

If you sent out an email blast as part of your research report launch, send another letting them know about the webinar

Use key points or statistics to create eye-catching graphics for social media and drum up some interest

Consider running paid social media campaigns to get more attendees

Talk about the webinar in forums, communities, or groups you’re a part of

The overarching advice is to think about where your ideal audience hang out online, and get the information in front of them in a way that makes them think “that sounds interesting”. Maybe that’s sharing graphics or insightful stats, or giving them the chance to share their input. Ultimately, only you know what your audience want and where they are.

So that’s the content side covered. What about tech?

5. Prepare your tech

There’s lots of software choices when it comes to hosting a webinar. Some come with all kinds of bells and whistles, and others are more straightforward. I recommend thinking about what you’d like to be able to do (e.g. present live, have your audience comment, or drop questions in a Q&A box, etc.) and then finding a software to suit.

Some options to consider for live webinars are WebinarJam or GoToWebinar. For prerecorded, take a look at SquadCast or Riverside.fm. Or you could use Zoom for either.

Other things you’ll need to think about are cameras and mics. Don’t panic, you don’t need a TV show setup or the latest DSLR ­– just make sure everyone has a webcam and headphones with a built-in mic. These are the best low-cost options for ensuring decent webinar video and audio.

If you or your guests do have external mics or cameras that you want to use, then by all means do. But always check that the computer and software settings pick up the right camera and microphone before the webinar ­– defaults can be your worst enemy!

One final note on tech ­– if you’re hosting a live webinar, always hit record. Here’s why…

6. Distribute ­– and let the repurposing continue!

It’s time to share your webinar with the world – but the repurposing doesn’t stop here.

The best thing about repurposing your report into a webinar is that you then have all this fantastic video content: the best content for repurposing!

You can chop and change this into so much more brilliant promotional material for your report, like social media videos, an edited video for your report landing page or website, and could even strip out the audio to make a podcast episode. I could go down a real repurposing rabbit hole here!

If you want more guidance on repurposing webinars, check out this episode with the awesome Louise Brogan, How to Repurpose Webinars, where you’ll find even more inspiration!

So that’s it: your six-step guide to white paper to webinar repurposing. I hope you found it useful and inspiring! If you have any questions about this repurposing project, or any others, get in touch with me on social media, and I may feature it in an upcoming podcast episode.

Content repurposing is our bread and butter here at Content 10x. We help our clients maximize their weekly and existing content by repurposing it into awesome multimedia content – taking the stress of their teams, while helping them achieve their content goals. Check out our range of services and find out which could best suit your business here.

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