Best practice for repurposing your content

Posted by Chris Woods on 24 Aug, 2016
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Content is still king in the world of marketing, and if you’re trying to have an impact with your target audience, you should be focusing on the creation of engaging, dynamic, interesting content, to bring in leads and convert browsers into buyers.

Every now and then you might create a piece of content that really strikes a chord with your audience – perhaps it receives more shares or likes than usual, perhaps an influencer picked up on your piece, or maybe you noticed your ‘time spent on page’ stats skyrocketing for that particular article, blog or post.

With so much effort having gone into the post, and having gained so much success from it, it would be a shame to consign it to your archives and never use it again. The same goes for the other posts that you have invested time and effort in – those evergreen pieces that are useful, informative, relevant and interesting. That’s where repurposing your content comes in.

Repurposing your content is the process of breathing new life into older content, tweaking it to ensure it’s still relevant and then sharing again in a new format. You can also repurpose content for different mediums – for example, you might repurpose a popular blog from your company’s site into an article fit for sharing on LinkedIn, or you might repurpose a video that was intended for your site to share on Instagram or Snapchat. And into different formats – a series of case studies or interviews into ebooks for example, question and answers into podcasts or articles into infographics.

If you’re ready to put some of your older, yet still valuable content to a fresh new use, follow these best practice tips to ensure you go about it in a way that adds value to your owned media channels, rather than simply rehashing what’s already there.

Always add new information

Imagine, for example, you wrote a blog on a Windows software update. It went down a storm with your target audience and resulted in a number of readers subscribing to your newsletter or signing up for technical support. Six months later, an update or patch is released. By adding some more relevant information to the end of your original post, you can justify sharing it again. By adding new content, you’re even giving those who read the article the first time around a reason to read it again!

Updating older pieces as new news, information or best practice emerges is one way of repurposing your content and helps your website stay current. Older posts may be indexed higher up in Google due to the links and shares acquired over time.  Keeping these pages up to date means new visitors finding you in the SERPs won’t be presented with outdated information.

Choose formats carefully

By extracting the most important pieces of information from a certain piece of content, you can transform it into another format which is better for sharing. For example, if you wrote a blog or created a podcast which was packed with statistics and trends in the property market, you could then repurpose that content into an infographic, ripe for sharing on various visual-based social networks.

A blog post in which you interviewed a key figure in your field, a social media influencer, a celebrity or a thought leader could be transcribed into a compelling podcast, but might not make a great infographic.

A YouTube video of a keynote speech you gave at a conference could be used as the basis of a slide show, series of blog posts, an ebook or a whitepaper.

Be sure to choose your formats very carefully – what works in a video might not actually work in an infographic, and what works in a podcast might not translate into a blog post very well.  

Always be relevant

Try to achieve relevance whenever you repurpose content. For example, if you created content based around the Olympics four years ago, now is the perfect time to repurpose it. It will lose all relevancy if you wait three or six months to do so. Try to adapt your content so that it dovetails with current events or trending topics.

Plan ahead

When you plan your editorial output, consider how each piece or idea might be repurposed in the future. If you already have an idea of how you can leverage content in new ways further down the line, you’ll be creating an editorial calendar that is packed with value. You’ll also never be stuck for something to share with your audience.

Look at what’s popular

Not all content will be fit for repurposing, so you should focus instead on the content that performed best for you. If you don’t get much mileage out of podcasts but get plenty of engagement with blog posts or YouTube videos, there’s a clear argument for focusing on those two formats.

Look at the performance of your content in your archives and examine which pieces performed the best, using a variety of metrics from engagement to time spent on page.

Put your audience first

Before you repurpose any form of content, consider what your audience will get out of it in its new form. If you’re repurposing something for a different platform, bear in mind the fact that different platforms have different demographics. The audience on LinkedIn for example will differ greatly from the audience on Instagram or Tumblr. Make sure you adjust your content, and always write or create with your audience at the forefront of your mind. If you don’t think they’d get any value out of a repurposed piece, don’t bother!  

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