Repurposing Content Definition

Gavin Hirst - Friday 17th September 2021


A guide to repurposing content – content marketing tips

Creating content is a labour of love. It is not something that should be ‘bashed out’ and forgotten about. Instead, each piece of content you create should be well thought out, well structured and have a clear purpose and audience.

All of that, of course, takes time.

And whilst that time investment may well return a positive ROI when it comes to engagement and even conversions, could your well-crafted content be working harder for you?

Repurposing the content you have worked hard to create could be a relatively simple way to make that piece do even more – reach more people, drive more engagement and potentially be seen or heard by new customers.

There are many reasons why you should repurpose the content you have created. Sometimes, it can be a case of updating older, stale content that has performed well in the past but has stopped ranking as well as it once did, but could bounce back with a bit of care and attention.

Other times, it can be a case of creating a new piece of content and then evaluating whether it can be repurposed for other channels. Can an insightful blog be repurposed as an entertaining podcast? Can an internal presentation be converted into a thought-leading Slideshare? And what about turning those interviews you conducted into an expert advice ebook?

We spend a lot of time creating and curating great content, but we often don’t truly maximise that content to its full potential.

In this post, we are going to take a closer look into why you should repurpose your content and provide you with some examples of the content that can be repurposed, giving it a fresh lease of life and expanding your potential audience.

Why should you repurpose content?

We’ve already touched on this, but repurposing content has a number of benefits:

  • Reach a new audience – let’s face it, we all consume content in different ways. Longform blog posts are great for some people but for others, they couldn’t imagine anything worse. Visual content can be really appealing to some and mean nothing to others. We all know that person who listens to podcasts religiously but others just don’t enjoy audio media. Establishing the platforms where your customers are engaging can really help to focus your repurposing efforts.
  • Boost rankings – remember that awesome blog you published a couple of years back? It was ranking number one and also had the featured snippet for the main target keyword. How’s that going now? Too many of us create something great and then forget about it and hope it is still performing as well. Instead, we need to be better at monitoring the performance of our content and when rankings start to drop, breathe new life into the content. Update the data, introduce new supporting information or completely update the post based on more recent changes to your audience. Doing this can help to boost the rankings of that post and restore it to greatness once again.
  • Make more of your efforts – Sometimes, content just fails to perform. For whatever reason, it doesn’t reach your intended audience, even though you know they will absolutely love it. Repurposing your content and using different channels, like video, podcasts or even slideshares can help you to reach your audience through different channels and may bring them back around to your original piece of content.
  • Reinforce your message – Repurposing content is not just about taking a piece of content and making it available through another channel. It’s an opportunity to build on your good work and reinforce that message through another channel. Just because you converted the content behind a blog post into an infographic doesn’t mean that you don’t still want people to read your blog. Using different mediums for your content just means you have an opportunity to reinforce the strong message from your original piece of content.

Too many of us are obsessed with trying to create amazing content every day. Instead, we should put more of our efforts into getting the amazing content that we have already created seen or heard by more people.

By taking something you have already created and putting a new spin on it, you are giving yourself less work to do and more opportunities to reach more people.

How do you decide which content to repurpose?

Whenever we repurpose content for our clients, we base everything on the metrics. We take a close look at the analytics and see which posts are performing well, or have performed well in the past, and prioritise these posts for repurposing.

We also ensure we are only repurposing evergreen content. There is no point in repurposing a piece of content about something that has been and gone and will never come back again.

For us, it’s a combination of the topic and the metrics that determine which posts will be repurposed.

Sometimes it can be a case that even the best content can’t be repurposed and that’s ok. As long as you assess each content piece on its own merit and make an informed decision about what can and can’t be updated, you will have the best possible opportunity to benefit from repurposing your content.

9 ways to repurpose content

There have been lots of posts written about the best ways to repurpose content and some of them are from our favourite sites like SEMrush, HubSpot and WordStream. This, however, is our take on things and the content repurposing we have seen work for some of our clients.

Blogs

The most popular form of content online is blog content. There are billions of blog posts out there, some of which deserve more time in the limelight (and many that don’t). That means that blog content is the most popular when it comes to repurposing of content. Here are a few of the things you can do with a blog post:

1.       Update it

The easiest place to start when it comes to repurposing an old blog post is simply to identify high performing, evergreen blogs and look at ways in which they can be updated and improved. This could be updating the data, including new reference sources, adding new imagery – there are lots of ways to update your old blogs but make the updates significant so Google can see there has been a change in the post.

2.       Turn them into podcasts

Podcasts are rapidly growing in popularity. As people spend more time commuting, either in their cars or on public transport, or even just walking, they are turning to podcasts, not only as a source of entertainment but also as a source of education. Imagine that instead of reading all about the benefits of repurposing content, you could listen to it whilst you walk to work or you are out on your lunch break.

A podcast episode, or a series of podcast episodes, allows you to expand on the information and provide examples you’ve pulled from the post in a conversational way. They also allow you to introduce a new audience to your existing content on your blog, helping you to drive more website visitors.

3.       Turn them into video content

An alternative to producing a podcast is to turn your top-performing blog content into short videos. As we know, video content is highly digestible across a number of platforms including social and for many, engagement stats for video content are much higher than written blog content. Video content allows you to express yourself, be more personable and present your content in a visual way that appeals to a lot of people.

Adding video content to an existing blog content also allows you to include a link or an embed to that content within the existing blog, allowing people to choose how they consume that media.

4.       Gather content for an ebook

Producing an ebook is less daunting than it sounds. In a lot of cases, you have already written a lot of high-quality content that would be included in an ebook – you just need to pull it all together into a format that adds value to the end-user.

ebooks boost your business credibility and you can use them to essentially pull together all of your content from a topical cluster into one place that you can then encourage people to download. Not only does this put all of that topical content into one easy-to-download place, it also means you can collect potential customer data by asking them to provide their details when they download the content.

5.       Turn them into guides

Similar to how you might create an ebook to pull together all the content in a topical cluster, you might also want to consider repackaging a series of old blogs into one more detailed guide about a particular topic.

Traditionally, in the past, we have identified individual keywords or small groups of keywords that we have targeted with individual blog posts. Many of those old posts still exist, covering off similar topics without having the authority to rank well, or worse still, competing against each other. Instead, pull all these old posts together into one detailed guidepost and you will often find you create a single page that is optimised for a huge variety of keywords and has more topical authority.

6.       Create a regular email newsletter

No matter how much you promote your content across your various platforms, there will usually be some posts that slip through the cracks that people miss. This is where a regular newsletter (weekly, fortnightly or monthly depending on how much content you create) can really help.

You will see from your analytics which are the best performing posts from a specific period but instead, looks at the lowest-performing, especially if you know the content is great. Then use your email newsletter to push this content directly into people’s inboxes where they are much more likely to engage. If your metrics for those posts are still low, you might want to consider rewriting them so you also get feedback on which posts work and which don’t. We also like to include a section to include third party content as well so it’s not all about blowing our own trumpet and be sure to curate posts you know your audience will love.

7.      Turn internal data into case studies

For many clients, we try to maximise the value of internal data – data no one outside of the business has access to. This unique content can add some real value, especially when you can share some insight on industry trends based on the data you have collected. There are a number of ways this can be repurposed instead of it simply being used in internal emails or presentations.

Writing a blog is the obvious thing to do, however, instead, think about using that data to create a case study. You can draw inferences from the data you’ve collected in the past and try to learn something new. One benefit of turning collected data into a case study is that it shows your readership that you are effective at interpreting data. It makes your blog look more credible.

8.      Use third party sites to drive content ideas

Whenever we research a new blog topic, we use a variety of resources to help to inform both the content and the structure of that post. Let’s say we have a topic in mind. The first thing we will do is carry out keyword research and find the most valuable keywords in terms of volume and difficulty. Then we will plug those into Google and check the actual results. Is there a featured snippet? What are the People Also Ask questions? Are there videos or images? These all help to inform the type of content we might want to create for that topic.

Another great resource is third party sites such as Quora or Reddit. Identify popular threads relating to your topic (questions with lots of upvotes and/or comments) and then look to create a blog post that answers that question in-depth. You can then jump into the thread and answer the question in detail, adding a link to your blog so people can find out more. That way, you’ll get traffic from people wanting more detail, but you also found a topic that people are clearly interested in so hopefully you will also see some organic value too.

9.      Visualise your existing content

There are a number of ways you can visualize your existing content to make it more appealing to those who don’t like to read blogs or listen to podcasts for example. We’ve already touched on the value of video content, however, infographics are also still a very valuable tool. No matter what type of content you are working with, the chances are, there is some information in there that can be made into an infographic.

Instructographics are also becoming increasingly popular as a way of displaying how-to content. Instead of giving data like an infographic, instead, they give instructions about how to do something in an easy-to-follow format. This type of visual content is ideal for platforms such as Pinterest which focus on visual content and have huge volumes of engaged daily users.

Summary

We know that creating great content is time-consuming so why not include some content repurposing in your content planning and make the most of the amazing content you already have. You will be surprised at the value you can add to the work you have already done, increasing both your audience and your engagement whilst maximising the potential of the work you have already done.

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