Repurposing content update: Since the original publication we’ve updated this blog with more ideas for repurposing content. We will continue to share new ideas and examples with you.
How long does it take you to create a piece of content? And I’m not talking about your run-of the-mill, 300-word blog post. I mean content with purpose and substance.
Full transparency here: This blog post took me about 10 hours from brainstorm to distribution. For a small little marketing shop like Marketing 261, that’s a big chunk of time spent.
If you’re anything like us, you probably lack the resources to regularly spend this much time producing content. And, you also want more from the content you’ve already spent hours creating.
That’s where repurposing content comes in. It’s using your existing material to your advantage AND breathing new life into the content you’ve left on your website to collect cobwebs.
By reimagining, reworking, and reformatting your existing content, you can produce fresh pieces without starting from scratch each time. Here’s how content marketing pro, Benji Hyam, is repurposing content at Grow & Convert:
“I’m big on redistributing older articles. I find that most companies will do an initial push for distribution – sharing their content on their social networks, sending out the piece of content to an email list and running some paid ads, after that, they stop sharing the post and move onto the next one. Taking this approach leaves a lot of traffic on the table. I believe that promotion is never dead for an article. If you start promoting the article and it does well on the first push, I’ve found that repromoting that article a month or two later can yield 2x+ the amount of traffic on the first push. For example, I produced a story about Pieter Levels and it got 10k visitors on the initial promotion push. I thought that amount of traffic was great and though “promotion was done.” However, I shared the post a few months later on Reddit and it got another 15k visitors and became one of the top posts on our site. If we hadn’t repromoted it, we would’ve left a lot of traffic on the table.”
Does Your Marketing Strategy Include Repurposing Content?
That’s a BIG endorsement for repurposing content. Here’s 5 more benefits you can expect to see from repurposing:
Rescue Your Budget & Resources
Whether you use freelancers or internal team members, you’ve probably noticed that quality content doesn’t come cheap. Using your existing content to create new pieces requires fewer resources and, in many cases, won’t require a professional writer.
Writer’s Block Solved
We all become uninspired from time to time. When repurposing content, you don’t need to create new ideas – just use your greatest hits!
If you’re looking to target a specific set of keywords, create multiple pieces of content that cover that topic. If you choose to repurpose content for different platforms, you’ll also have the opportunity to gain high-quality links back to your site.
Your audience consumes content in different ways. Some enjoy reading long-form blog posts, while others like to watch videos or download an eBook to read at their convenience. Converting your existing content into new formats will help to reach new people that you’d miss otherwise. You’ll also be able to get older content in front of new followers or customers through repromotion.
Creating multiple pieces of content around a topic will help to build thought leadership and authority. Your audience will know where to go if they’re looking for information about that subject.
What Types of Content Should You Repurpose?
Any piece of content can be repurposed, but there are certain types you should target first.
“Repurposing content is not only cost-effective and a smart use of time & resources, it’s a smart distribution strategy. Marketers should spend roughly 20% of their time creating content and 80% of their time distributing it. It’s important to feel excited and prideful in your work, but there’s no prize for hitting publish. That’s when the work begins. Your audience isn’t a homogenous group that likes to consume content in the same way. The same person who wants to see a 60 second video may not have time for a 40 page eBook. The art of repurposing content allows you to create more unique, relevant and tailored content experiences while extending the shelf life of content you’ve already created.”
Content that’s considered evergreen is always relevant, high-quality, and broad in nature. It will continuously produce results and cover topics that will interest readers for years to come. Posts discussing trends, fluctuating statistics, current news, or a specific holiday are not evergreen.
“When you create any piece of content for repurposing, you want to make absolutely sure that your piece is the best one on the topic. It’s a strategy we’ve followed at KlientBoost, and our content snowball continues to grow from it. Let’s say that you want to write an article around pizza recipes, and you see that competition has an article around 50 pizza recipes. If you publish an article on 12 pizza recipes, you’re not going to get the traction you’re hoping for, even if you repurpose that piece of content. Your content needs to be deeper, longer, funnier, have more examples, and give a better experience than any other competing piece of content out there.”
Successful Blog Posts
Use your analytics to make strategic decisions on which content pieces to repurpose. If you’ve found success in a blog post month after month, you’re likely to see similar results on a different platform.
If a high-quality piece of content hasn’t performed well on your site, it might still gain traction on a new platform. Changing the format and audience could be just what it needs to succeed.
“Repurposing content is a key component of any PR initiative. By strategically adapting content to audiences that matter, you’ll boost your content ROI while continuing to get your message across.”
Do you have old blog posts that contain outdated information? A simple way to breathe new life into older content is to update it with new opinions and data. You can also make it easier for search engines and readers to find your older content by making sure it’s optimized properly.
Blog posts over 1,000 words, eBooks, and whitepapers are examples of long-form content. They can all be condensed into shorter posts, podcasts, videos, and more. Your long-form content will be a gold mine for material to repurpose.
“We use this tactic a lot and two additional benefits to repurposing long-form content, a) it’s easy to outsource to freelancers and, more importantly, it can be a fantastic tool for cross promoting your lead gen programs. Think of the blog post as a teaser to the white paper and make sure there’s a clear call to action on where they can learn more, whether it’s a white paper, webinar, video, etc.”
Before you Repurpose…
Repurposing content means giving your existing material a makeover. It’s not just copying and pasting your material into a new format.
Before you begin, you should always set a goal for each piece of content and identify ways to improve it. Keep your audience in mind when choosing a new platform or channel. It might be smart to make a list of platforms your competitors have targeted as well.
“Be hyper knowledgeable of where and how your audience consumes content. Read their newsletters, listen to their podcasts. Redistribute content in places that matter. If you haven’t done a thorough persona exercise — that includes surveys and interviews and a pretty good understanding of your ideal buyers’ watering holes — you are probably wasting time and effort.”
While repurposing content will save you a lot of time and resources, don’t get lazy with the process. It’s all about intention, not just repurposing content for the sake of publishing.
Promotion is Never Won and Done
If your piece of content fits the criteria, it’s time to start repurposing. Before choosing from the methods below, make sure to set your goals and identify a target audience. Here are the top ways for repurposing content:
Create an Infographic
Transform any piece of content into a shareable infographic. Even dry statistics and data look interesting when visually presented. Sites like Canva and Venngage make it easy for non-designers to create stunning graphics.
Having limited resources with no dedicated content marketing person; we are always trying to maximize our content efforts. Infographics have been one of our best performing content across the board. Presenting stats and telling a story in a visually digestible way gets a lot more engagement than most long form pieces of content. Creating an infographic with any proprietary data/insights (from your product or by doing customer surveys/research etc.) can create a lot of buzz. Bonus: share the infographic with your prospects to create trust and authority.
Create a SlideShare Presentation
SlideShare has an incredible 70 million users that brands can share content with. Create a presentation from your existing posts and optimize it by including relevant keywords.
Convert List Posts into Separate Posts
Lists posts are great for communicating several ideas at once but often lack depth. Create new pieces of content by breaking up your list posts into (x) number of separate pieces.
Refresh and Optimize Old Posts
Update your older content with fresh ideas, new opinions, and statistics. Refresh your call to action if necessary – especially if the old “Call us today!” CTA shows up.
Revisit older posts to make sure they’re optimized for search engines. If not, add internal links with natural anchor text, insert relevant keywords, and link to external sources.
Repromote on Social Media
Many brands make the mistake of promoting their content for only a few days. By frequently repromoting a piece, you’re likely to expand your reach each time. Social media management tools like Hootsuite and Buffer make repromotion a breeze.
Create surround-sound for your content. When you publish a blog post on a specific topic, like a product launch or a big thought leadership piece, don’t just let the story play out in one content type. Amplify your message by creating alternate content using video, short audio clips from a podcast, or quotes for social. Give your team soundbites to share on their social networks and make sure it links back to your original content. Good content is made better with the right amplification.
Create an answer on Quora
Within Quora, search for topics and questions that relate to your piece of content. Next, craft an answer using your content as a reference. Never copy and paste your material directly into your response. Instead, find different ways to communicate that information and insert links to draw traffic back to your site.
Syndicate on LinkedIn, Medium, and Quora
Republish articles on your LinkedIn, Medium and Quora blogs. This is a great way to increase reach and drive brand awareness. Always include a note at the top and/or bottom of the page directing readers to the original source.
Create an Email Series
Email marketing is still one of the best ways to reach your target audience. To create an email series, break down long-form content into smaller pieces, or compile related blog posts to develop your emails.
Create an eBook or Ultimate Guide
Both eBooks and guides require a lot of content but can serve as excellent lead generators. Find related blog posts and use the material to create a comprehensive piece.
“Repurposing your content into upgrades in exchange for an email address can be one of the most effective ways to not only generate more email addresses of potential customers from your anonymous website visitors, but also to provide them immense value. Content discovery online is hard especially when you’re not sure what your users want to do next, so this gives you an opportunity to bring them down the funnel and let you build a relationship. Begin by mapping out your conversion funnel of top, middle, and bottom of funnel content then take those exact pieces of content and create them as downloadable PDFs, then display them on the pages that are above that content in the funnel.”
Break Down Long-Form Content
If you already have eBooks or guides, use the material to create new blog posts. At the bottom of the post, create a CTA for readers to download the guide or eBook.
Create a video
If you’re not already creating video, now’s a perfect time. Use your blog posts or other pieces of content to form the script.
Create a podcast
If your audience consumes content on the go, create a podcast for easy listening. Use your existing content to create your podcast scripts or to choose topics.
Start a Twitter Chat
If a certain topic performs well on your blog, start a Twitter chat around it. This is a great way to increase engagement and develop thought leadership. Promote your Twitter chat beforehand to make sure you have plenty of participants.
Guest posting gets your content in front of a whole new audience. Find a relevant site to contribute to and expand upon one of your popular blog posts. Many tech startups, such as Buffer, have seen impressive results from guest posting.
Create a Training Course on Skillshare
Use a how-to post as the basis for a new training course. While developing a course sounds daunting, it’s an excellent way to increase brand awareness and develop industry authority.
Present at a Local Meetup
Nurturing a digital audience is great, but it’s equally important to network within your community. Using your existing content, create a presentation to share at a local meetup or conference.
Create a Visual Tip List or Checklist
Have some helpful tips or checklists within your existing content? Reformat that advice into a visually appealing graphic. Checklists and tips are easily shared and perform well on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
Create Part 2 of a Blog Post
If you have a blog post that can be expanded on, create a “part 2” post. This is a great tactic to establish your expertise in the topic and boost SEO.
Create an FAQ page
Look at the questions you’re already answered in your blog posts or other pieces of content. Make a list and compile a comprehensive FAQ page that includes references back to your original pieces of content.
Create templates (like this content marketing management template) for your audience to download. Templates are excellent lead generators and can easily be created from your existing material or by referencing your own processes.
Make repurposing content a part of your strategy from the beginning. By dedicating a few hours each month to repurposing content you’ll breathe new life into older content and save valuable time and resources.
Do have a repurposing content success story to share with us or different strategies we haven’t mentioned? Share with me on Twitter @michelleburban.
Repurposing Content Update
Do you follow @TheCoolestCool on Twitter? Give Ross Simmonds a following — he shares his experience on repurposing content on a regular basis.