What to Do With All Those B2B Content Leftovers?

November 30, 2022

If you’re managing your B2B content marketing strategy properly, you have an editorial calendar that lays out what topics you will cover—and in what formats—throughout the year.

Nevertheless, content will get produced along the way that you can’t immediately use—either because it’s off-topic or because you edit bits out of the content that does get published while improving its flow and punchiness.

What to do with those leftovers seems like the perfect subject to discuss in the aftermath of Thanksgiving, where families across the country are figuring out what to do with leftovers from the holiday feast.

As with that turkey, ham, and the morsels from eight other Tupperware containers, there are several options. Let’s explore my top six.


The Reprise

In the days immediately following a major dinner, there’s often enough of everything leftover to simply re-run the same menu (especially if there are fewer people to be served).

It might not attract the same level of anticipation, excitement, or gratitude, but no one will refuse a scaled-down helping of turkey dinner a few days later.

Similarly, you can combine leftover pieces of well-written content into secondary articles about topics on which you’ve already published.

They might be follow-on pieces that go deeper into subtopics from the prior article, or simply a second take that’s published on a different channel.

Either way, unless you’ve published so widely on the subject that you’re already a domain authority, having another piece out there with your company’s name on it won’t hurt a bit.

Much like the dinner re-run, however, don’t expect your second article to garner the same level of excitement from humans or search engines.

They’ll be grateful for the information but might not heap on the praise for a job well done.


The Deep Freeze

Sometimes it’s nice to have a pre-made meal on hand, ready to throw into the oven without having to spend ages preparing it from scratch.

Give thanks for the freezer, our best friend when we’re in need of a hot meal but don’t have the time or inspiration to cook something up.

Portion out those dinner leftovers into handy dandy Ziploc bags and pop them into the ice box. I bet you won’t make it to February without tapping into your post-holiday stash.

Ditto those pieces of juicy content that don’t quite fit into this month’s editorial flow.

Separate them into easily deployed text blocks and file them somewhere convenient on your hard drive or server. You might even create a folder called “Freezer”—I certainly wouldn’t judge you for it.

Then, when content hunger strikes and you don’t have the resources or inspiration to come up with something in a timely fashion, you can dip into those frozen reserves.

Pull out something semi-complete, add the finishing touches, and voila!


Making a soup involves boiling ingredients down to their essence and concentrating the flavors

The Soup

Arguably the most iconic destination for holiday leftovers is the enormous pot of murky liquid that bubbles away on the backburner for what seems like days.

Toss in whatever you’ve got—bones and all—and let time and temperature work their magic.

Turning leftovers into soup involves boiling them down to their essence, concentrating the flavors, and then filtering out the indigestible bits to create a hearty meal.

Why not do the same with your leftover content?

Throw lots of vaguely related bits and pieces into a document and then boil them down to their essential messages.

Add a little prosaic cream to help it all come together and season with some carefully chosen quotes, stats, or flashes of inspiration.

Sometimes, the best soup is made from whatever you find lying around in the refrigerator and pantry. No recipe required.

I venture to suggest that some of the most readable content comes from a similar place, concentrated from bits and pieces that are found lying around the author’s unpublished document folders.


The Curry

Contrary to some people’s misconceptions, curry is neither exclusively yellow nor a toxic soup designed to turn chicken leftovers into a restroom staycation.

Ranging from the mild and fragrant to the down-right fiery, curries are gravy-based dishes that upgrade ho-hum ingredients into flavorful, palate-inspiring experiences.

If you’ve never explored high-quality Indian, Pakistani, or Thai foods (to name but three of many curry-tastic cuisines), please include them among your New Year’s resolutions. I recommend finding (or hiring) an expert guide and then keeping an open mind.

Meanwhile, take dull pieces of perfectly consumable content and spice them up to produce a piece that grabs your audience’s attention and makes them wonder why they’ve been ignoring you their whole life.

The key to a great curry is finding the right amount and blend of spices to liven things up without ruining the dish.

The same goes for your leftover content. Throw in some controversial statements, big claims, or ideas that challenge conventional wisdom, but do so without losing your credibility.

Curries are typically served with delicately flavored rice and fresh breads. Consider accompanying your controversial content with some straightforward, explanatory material that reassures the audience that you know your stuff and gives them something familiar to chew on while savoring your spicier ingredients.


Take seemingly random ingredients, season well, and fry until crisp

The Mash and Fry

In my home country of England, there’s an iconic leftover dish called bubble and squeak.

The basic formula is a mix of leftover cabbage and potatoes that are mashed together and then fried to produce something akin to a latke.

In practice, almost any leftover vegetables can be included. My favorites involve parsnip, carrot, and even some Brussels sprouts (although I realize those aren’t everyone’s cup of tea).

I’ve broadened my mash-and-fry approach over the years to include almost any leftover ingredients—proteins are also welcome—chopped or mashed into small pieces.  

The secret is adding some meaningful seasoning—I particularly enjoy Cajun spices— and then frying the whole thing long and hard enough to develop a nice crunchy layer on the bottom.

What does a content mash-and-fry look like?

Whatever you like. Just be careful to set your readers’ expectations accordingly.

Give it a representative title, such as “Twelve Random Thoughts on {Your Topic}” or “Fifteen Conversation Starters around {Topic}” and tie the ingredient pieces together succinctly and snappily with a crisp narrative thread.

Sometimes it’s the juxtaposition between unexpected topics and flavors that makes it work.

Just be sure to keep it interesting and palatable.


Throw Them Away

And for all the remaining bits that don’t even make it into the curry pot or fry-up, there’s no place like the kitchen trash can (or composter, if that’s your vibe).

I’m all for the waste-not-want-not approach but pragmatism must kick in somewhere.

We’re not vultures or hyenas when it comes to digesting organs, bones, and gristle, and nor should we expect our audience to do the content equivalent.

Ask yourself whether there’s any realistic possibility of working that leftover scrap into something digestible—by following any of the approaches I’ve just discussed.

If the answer is no, hit the delete key and direct your attention to a more worthy Tupperware of sentences.


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Image credits: Adobe Stock


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