Your old content is amazing! That’s what your readers would say IF they stumbled upon the work of such an articulate wordsmith. 🙂 So why not repurpose and repost those legendary archives? Learning how to repurpose your content to get more shares, more traffic, and more engagement should be part of your marketing strategy.
Whether you are a prolific blogger, Youtube video creator, Instagram showoff, expert Pinner, Facebook guru, or any other type of creator, this strategy works wonders. In a previous post on how to master content creation, we touched on this topic briefly. Now, let’s explore repurposing content in greater detail, including actionable steps you can take today.
Why Repurpose Content
There are several worthwhile benefits to repurposing content. We can all agree that creating articles, infographics, videos, and just about anything you post online is time-consuming and tough work. Given that content creation requires so much effort and industry experts tell us it’s the magic pill for growth, why are we so reluctant to repurpose content? Here’s a list of compelling benefits to push you forward:
1) More Traffic
Clearly, we’re all trying to get more traffic. By repurposing our content, we generate more eyes on our content.
2) More Time
Repurposing content gives you time back which you can use to PROMOTE content. After all, shouldn’t you be spending 80% of your time promoting?
3) Search Results (SEO)
Folks searching for specific content have a higher likelihood of discovering your content due to the SEO benefits of repurposing content. Googlers will not have to dig deep to find those exceptional pieces.
4) Multiple Mediums Cast a Wide Net
If all your visitors truly hang out in only one place, then why are you active on multiple social networks? Similarly, your content needs to exist in various pockets of the interweb to reach your audience.
5) Content ROI
Content writing and promotion are time-consuming activities and therefore indirectly expensive. If you’re putting in that much time, shouldn’t you squeeze as much mileage out of each piece? Repurposing content prevents older pieces from going to waste. It’s the ultimate form of digital recycling. YMMV!
6) It’s 5PM Somewhere
Your content gets shared once and usually only to a few channels. Not everyone sees it in their timelines, nor does everyone live in the same time zones. By repurposing and resharing content, not only do you have more to share, but also a greater chance to reach people all over the world. The average lifespan of content shared on social networks is no more than an hour or two, and we accept that it’s OK to tweet frequently, then apply the same logic to distributing content in various forms for global reach.
How to Repurpose Content
The first step in determining how to repurpose
STEP 1: Adjust Your Content Production Calendar
You likely have a list of content pieces in the queue or a formal editorial calendar in place. If so, I highly recommend revisiting the content sequence and adjusting all your upcoming content based on a very simple philosophy. Ask yourself the following question about each item on your list:
Can this article be repurposed into another format?
If YES, move to the top of the queue or earlier on your calendar.
If NO, move to the bottom of the queue or later on your calendar.
This is a critical step in your content strategy. Think about repurposing content BEFORE you create content. By simply adjusting your future content to maximize content that can be repurposed, you’ll take advantage of the massive benefits of creating less, promoting more, and maximizing ROI sooner rather than later.
STEP 2: Evaluate Content Inventory
Next, take stock of your existing content inventory. Where does your original content exist? For most bloggers without a large media team, this should be a simple exercise. For larger publications, there may be multiple channels to audit. For example, some people might run a Youtube channel, podcast, and a blog.
For bloggers, a really quick method to identify all your content is to generate a sitemap page. Some themes may already have such a page template that organizes all your posts by categories or months. Whatever tools you use, try to get all this content centralized into a master spreadsheet so that it becomes easier to manage repurposing tasks.
Identifying content to be repurposed
There are several types of content which fit the criteria for repurposing. These include:
- Evergreen content – These are timeless pieces which are still relevant. Articles like “The Twitter Bird has a Name” or the differences between “Content Marketing vs Native Advertising” are interesting, relevant, and can still stir up interest for your audience.
- High quality content – A good way to classify a post as worthy of repurposing is to evaluate its value in the marketplace. What sort of response did the post receive? Was the post mentioned in other articles or blogs? If so, these are good signs that people have recognized its value.
- Your most popular posts – Simply stated, the posts that have received the most traffic, shares, likes, and [positive] comments should be repurposed into a newer queue. For example, you can determine your most popular posts via Google Analytics, or JetPack Stats module in WordPress. Or use a plugin such as this – WP Popular Posts Pro – (also made by my team)
- Relevant trends – For example, f you have a post about the Best Hallowen Costumes of 2015, it can be repurposed in various formats such as a Slideshare or Pinterest board.
How do you actually find these pieces? Other than manually sifting through the archives, channels, or timelines, here are a few shortcuts:
- Use Google Analytics to find out which have gained the most views and reads.
- Use Buzzsumo to determine which pieces have had the most shares on your domain.
- Use your website’s search bar to see what’s being searched for – or – check your analytics for search queries made by visitors. Look up keywords and check if you have published content which is in line with today’s trends.
- CheckGoogle Image referral traffic to see which images are driving the most traffic. Apply the same logic to other visual sites such as Instagram or Pinterest.
- Piggy-back of the most trafficked sites in your niche, and spy on their most popular posts (usually in their sidebar).
STEP 3: Repurpose Content
Now that you have identified several content pieces worth repurposing, the next step is actually doing the work to repurpose content. Here are several examples to help spawn ideas. In addition, I’ll use a real example post – The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Media Kit – to demonstrate how we repurposed it.
Repost content on social media
As mentioned earlier, we should try to spend more time promoting content rather than creating content. The good news is you’ve already put the time to write the blog post, create the video, or take the beloved photo.
The simplest way to repurpose content is to do so on social media. Though, it’s important to reframe the content when posting to the social networks. Additionally, try to test different headlines. Using our post as an example, we can derive the following sample updates to be used for reposting:
- The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Media Kit
- Creating a Media Kit? Follow this guide.
- 8 Powerful Tips for Creating a Media Kit
- Media Kit Guidelines for Bloggers
Keep in mind that some social media platforms are very “noisy” and the likelihood of your content being seen is low. Twitter can be especially noisy so be sure to experiment with posting frequency for best results. Here is a list of repurposing hacks for social media:
- Use Triberr to give your posts more traction by having it shared by multiple tribe members
- Twitter also has a repost feature worth testing
- If you run a WordPress site, there are plugins available that will repost old content – example: WP Content Resharer Pro by my team 🙂
- If you run a YouTube channel refresh the headline and description to make it relevant
- Create new thumbnails for your YouTube videos to spark more interest or align with current design trends
- Pin beautiful images from your Instagram account to a Pinterest board
- Do a quick live broadcast talking about a subject and then direct users to the rehabbed content
Clearly these activities take far less time than creating a new content piece.
Create new content from existing content
Again, let’s use our own post about the media kit. Not everybody will stumble upon this gem, nor do some people want to read a 2,000-word guide on how to create a media kit. Given all the benefits of repurposing content, we can think of creative ways to leverage our efforts. Let’s begin:
1) Turn the post into a Powerpoint Presentation
We can convert our content into bite-sized chunks or slides and make it a downloadable file.
Example: Download the Ultimate Guide to Creating a Media Kit
2) Post the Powerpoint Presentation on Slideshare
Next, we’ll take the downloadable file and repurpose it for SlideShare (no additional effort require). Simply upload and voila! We can upload this to various other submission sites, but only choose those of high quality.
3) Turn Presentation Slides into Pinterest Pins
Now, let’s save each slide as a separate image file that we can repurpose for Pinterest. Click the screenshot below to see this in action on Pinterest.
4) Convert Content into Video or Audio
We can also repurpose the slide deck into a video to be posted on your YouTube channel or Facebook or Twitter. Sorry, I haven’t done this part, however the link below demonstrates how easy this is to do.
Alternatively, simply create a video of yourself discussing the content explained in your blog post. If you’re camera shy, sites like Fiverr help you circumvent those fears by hiring someone to act out your blog post.
You can also use sites like Blab.im which will record your content and give you both the audio and video version of your recording. Use the audio version to upload onto sites like Spreaker or Soundcloud.
5) Reference Post in a valuable Quora Answer
Now that we have great content, we want to practice our 80 / 20 rule and make sure people know it exists. Find opportunities to add value to other discussions, and link back to our content.
6) Repost on Medium
7) Repost on Tumblr
8) Create an Infographic
Using third party services, we can get an inexpensive infographic made to compliment the post and then submit it to the top infographic sites for maximum exposure.
People who aren’t skilled in graphic work can easily create infographics thanks to easy to use tools such as Canva and Piktochart.
9) Create a blog post series or e-book
If we had enough content in this same subject area, we can potentially group the articles into a post series or e-book.
10) Repurpose for lead generation / call-to-actions
We can also convert our post to a more robust how to guide or an e-book which can be used on a landing page to drive leads or subscribers.
11) Curate and round-up your content
Many of us spend a great deal of time curating content created by others. However, if you regularly publish articles and your stockpile of archives just keeps on growing, don’t be afraid to curate your own content. This strategy is visible across all channels, not just online.
Large media companies such as HGTV reuse their material. For example, House Hunters now has a House Hunters Collection series. Fixer Upper creates an episode of their favorite projects of the season.
Websites such as Cracked.com use this strategy by creating an article about their most popular content from the prior week.
Apply the same principle to our content. Since we anticipate writing many articles that appeal to bloggers and publishers, we can create “The Top 10 Articles Triberr Users Loved” towards the end of the year. What was once buried in the archives is now repurposed for FREE & MORE traffic. Look for such patterns in your posts to easily categorize them for reuse.
12) Same topic, different market
I’m stretching here, but another way to repurpose content is to retarget it for a different audience. Our example post – The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Media Kit – has been read by several thousand people, shared by hundreds, and received good feedback. However, since the original post is fairly broad, and our audience is made up of different people from farmers in Iowa to the millennials in big cities like New York , we can possibly repurpose it by creating an off-shoot article titled “A Guide to Creating Media Kits for Photographers” or “Media Kit Tips for HyperLocal Publishers”.
These new articles would require slight contextual changes and a bit more research to match the hyper-focused title of the repurposed post. Luckily, the structural format of such posts, assets, and media can remain consistent to expedite content creation / repurposing. This strategy opens up your content to a whole new audience.
Phew… now you see how one piece of content can be turned it into multiple high performing pieces of content. The possibilities are endless.
Hopefully, this article gave you ideas that fit your company or personal content marketing goals. Ideally, you’ll turn these into to-dos for later this week. Repurposing content will save you an enormous amount of time while generating FREE traffic using existing resources. It’s for WINNERS!
Have another idea that works? Share it in the comments below.