It’s no secret that content marketing can be labor intensive. Creating an engaging, well-researched, beautifully designed piece of content isn’t easy. It’s a creative process that requires time, energy, and money. So it makes a lot of sense to repurpose content to get the highest level of return possible.
By repurposing content, you can increase your productivity, and dramatically accelerate your content production by putting in just a small amount of extra work.
But how do you know how to repurpose content?
Here's everything you need to know to get more mileage out of your best material.
What Is Repurposing Content?
Repurposing is taking content, research, and ideas and finding multiple ways to reformat and reuse them. It’s stretching the contents of your creative work to produce other unique blog posts, ebooks, guides, infographics, guest posts, social media posts, and more.
For example, you could conduct original research and compile it into a white paper. You could then use pieces of data from the white paper to create an infographic that you distribute to other websites. You could also write a blog post about the data and turn individual charts into graphics that are used as social media images.
This example shows how efficient and effective content repurposing is and how it can benefit your marketing efforts:
You can work smarter instead of harder.
You do the research once. You create a compelling idea or hook one time. Then, you use the original core concepts to create branches of content that are unique yet based on the same foundation.
You can stretch your resources.
When you create an epic piece of content, the last thing you want to do is toss it to the side once it has fulfilled its original purpose. Through repurposing, you can find new uses for content even years later by republishing, revising, and renewing.
You can connect with new audiences.
Content that works for one audience may not work for another. Through repurposing, you can make sure your content resonates with a variety of audiences by creating multiple pieces of content based on the same topic, yet written for the preferences of different demographics or verticals. You can change the hook or reposition data to make it a better fit for publication on a variety of websites and blogs.
You can create multiple types of content formats.
Certain content formats perform better on certain platforms. So when you reformat your content into a variety of formats such as infographics, images, charts, and smaller graphics, you can successfully publish your content across multiple platforms.
You can achieve a variety of unique goals.
Different types of content produce different results. Repurposing allows you to turn your story into the type of content best suited to help you reach your goals. For example, if you want to collect leads, you can turn content into a gated white paper, or if you want to get more digital PR, you can publish guest posts sharing the findings of your study.
Here are a few ways you can repurpose and reuse your content, research, and ideas successfully.
How to Repurpose Content
Content repurposing takes content and reuses it in multiple ways. This could be taking one piece of content and breaking it down into multiple pieces or it could be taking a bunch of smaller pieces of content and combining them to create something new.
Turn One Piece of Content Into Multiple Pieces of Content
Let’s walk through a situation where you could create one piece of content, and then use it to create dozens of pieces of repurposed content.
- Start with a webinar. Deliver a presentation that includes slides and a full script.
- Live stream the webinar. Connect with a new audience by live streaming your webinar through social media sites like Facebook Live, Periscope, and/or Meerkat.
- Publish the slides on SlideShare. You already created the slides so don’t let them go to waste. Publish them on this professional content sharing community and promote them through LinkedIn.
- Put the full webinar on YouTube or Vimeo. Record both the sound and screen during your webinar and then upload it to one or both of these platforms. You can then embed the video on your website.
- Put short video clips on social media. Create small snippets of the webinar and publish them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Turn the audio into a podcast. Upload the audio from your webinar onto a podcasting platform like iTunes Podcast App or Stitcher.
- Publish the transcript as a blog post. Turn the audio into text and use it as on-site content.
- Turn your topic into a short ebook. Take the content you discussed during your webinar and create a short ebook on the information.
- Turn the information into an email series. Break the information into sections that you can release to audiences through an email drip campaign.
- Break the content down into multiple blog posts. Use smaller sections of content to create blog posts focused on more specific topics.
- Turn your slides into social media graphics. Pull graphics, quotes, images, and charts from your presentation to create images that are a fit for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Turn Multiple Pieces of Content Into One Piece of Content
Repurposing content also works in reverse. You can take multiple pieces of content and turn it into one epic campaign. You could turn:
- a series of blog posts into an ebook
- a library of interviews into a digital summit
- a group of social media images into an album
- an email series into a PDF guide
- a group of audience questions into a guide
Before you start your next content creation project, take a minute to review the content you already have. You will likely uncover multiple ways to create new content using existing resources and assets.
How to Repurpose Research
If you are going to go through the labor-intensive job of collecting original data, you want to use the data in as many ways as possible.
To get the most out of your research, create data sets that can stand on their own, and create content around each of those sub-topics.
At Fractl, we surveyed more than 500 top-tier publishers. Instead of using our findings to create one piece of content, we drilled down into sections of the data. From one survey, we created three pieces of unique, long-form content.
Content Asset #1: Guide for Best Practices for Pitching Publishers
In the broadest use of the data, we created the white paper “Secure High-Authority Press: 500 Digital Publishers Tell You Want They Want.” The guide positioned our findings to provide a resource for marketers who want to know how to get more digital press. We used the parts of our research that could provide insight into what would help marketers connect with publishers.
Content Asset #2: Media Relations Guide on Etiquette
We also looked at the data as it related to understanding the perspectives of the publishers we interviewed. We created the “Media Relations Guide on Etiquette” by sharing the parts of the data that specifically related to understanding their pain points, preferences, and the etiquette of pitching.
Content Asset #3: Guide to Writing Subject Lines
We also drilled down into the topic even further to create an entire white paper focused solely on what publishers want and don’t want to see in subject lines to create. “21 Tips for Pitching Publishers and Writing Exceptional Subject Lines” positioned the data to help improve outreach specifically in the category of writing subject lines.
By looking at our data and considering the multiple perspectives that audiences would be interested in learning about, we were able to turn small data sets into their own white papers. This enabled us to turn one research project into multiple resources and get the most value out of our work.
How to Repurpose Ideas
A lot of marketers make the incorrect assumption that successful content needs to be 100% original. But putting different spins on similar topics has proven to be successful.
You can repurpose ideas by looking at one main concept from different angles to create multiple pieces of content.
At Fractl, we found a way to stretch the topic of travel hygiene for our client Travelmath. We started with researching hygiene in public spaces and then slightly spun the topic to make it something new for publishers.
We focused on the cleanliness of airports.
And then we focused on the cleanliness of hotel rooms.
We also focused on the cleanliness of the New York subway.
Each article was completely unique and told from a different perspective, but all built from the same concept and methodology.
How to Repurpose Content by Republishing and Revising
You can also repurpose by turning old content into new, fresh content. Republishing and revising is a way to recycle your content so your work never goes to waste. You can do this in three ways.
Update Your Long-form Content Assets
When you spend time and resources creating long-form content assets, you cannot let that hard work go to waste as your content becomes outdated. Continually revisit your guides and reports so they include relevant information. Consider creating and promoting quarterly or annual updates. HubSpot’s annual State of Inbound Study is a good example of updating done right.
Republish on Your Website
Just as you don’t want your old long-form content assets to go to waste, you don’t want to let your old blog posts to collect dust either. Revisit your old posts, update the content with fresh information, add new images, adjust the titles, and republish it as a new post. This is not duplicate content if you republish the content properly and don’t change the URL or publish it on a new URL.
Republish on a Third-Party Website
You can even reuse your previously published content to get placements on third-party websites. Many high-authority websites accept guest posts that have been previously published as long as it is disclosed and includes a link back the original content. Sumo compiled a list of publishers that accept this type of repurposed content.
We all know content creation isn’t easy. But hopefully, now you can see that there is a way to save yourself time and resources as you create it.
By repurposing old content assets, ideas, and research, you can stretch your work, increase your content production, connect with a larger audience, and maximize your content marketing efforts.