Repurposing Content for Maximum Impact
Repurposing content, when done correctly, can save you time and resources. Given the speed and volume at which content is produced, even a great idea can go stale quickly. Keeping up a constant stream of new material may be ideal, but it’s impractical. Repurposing content allows your content to work harder for you, reaching new audiences without leaving you overworked.
Why Repurpose Content
As the painter Hans Hofmann said, “Eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” By the same token, repurposing is a process of discarding what no longer serves your marketing and communications needs so that what remains will, with a little tweaking, help you achieve your goals.
Repurposing content is a smart practice common to highly effective content marketing programs. It provides you with a few major benefits:
- Repurposing content saves you and your team time by reducing the amount of work you have to put into your content.
- When you repurpose content, you can tailor it to fit new channels and platforms, gaining exposure to new audiences. For example, a great podcast interview can be repurposed for a Q&A in your newsletter or on your website.
- Repurposed content is easier to keep up to date and organized. You probably know the frustration of having to sift through dated results when searching for timely information. Repurposing your content helps you maintain a library that is fresh, accurate and easy to use.
How to Repurpose Content
To make repurposing content a regular practice and gain all of its benefits, you’ll need to define a process, goals and distribution plan.
Develop Standardized Processes and Procedures
While repurposing the odd article or post here and there is useful, planning content with the intent to repurpose it is an even better way to go.
Process 1: Organizing and Cataloging Content Assets
Make the task of repurposing content easier on yourself by keeping track of content assets, such as photos, videos, transcripts and release forms, so you can easily find them down the road when it’s time to give your work new life. The tagging system built into your CMS helps your readers find relevant content and can help you gather related pieces when putting together collections or topic overviews.
Process 2: Create Content Templates
Creating templates for various platforms and channels cuts down the work time when repurposing. FAQs, explainer pieces and even Q&As are an easy way to extend the reach of your content, and they often follow a predictable format. Templating these can make plugging in the most interesting tidbits from a podcast interview or magazine feature quick and easy.
Process 3: Define a Rubric for New Content Needs
Whenever you begin producing new content, make a checklist of all the components you’ll need to satisfy each channel and content type. For example, if you know you need to interview a subject matter expert for your publication, make sure you also coordinate:
- A headshot or environmental photo of the expert to be used in print, online and on social media
- Audio and/or video recording, so clips can be used on your podcast, on social media or in a short video
Process 4: Create Interdepartmental Visibility
As your content program matures, you’ll need to balance content interests from different teams, departments and stakeholders. Creating visibility into what’s being created and repurposed allows you to spend more time on strategy and efficiently creating content than fetching and fielding requests. When your team members know what’s available, where to find it and how it’s organized, your content library becomes optimized for self-service, so everyone’s needs can be met faster and with less effort.
Define Goals for Repurposed Content
First things first: what are you trying to achieve with repurposed content? Are you trying to raise brand awareness? To generate sales, or gather leads? Begin by understanding where the gaps in your content that you need to fill, and use those priorities to identify the points in which your old content isn’t delivering.
It may be that the format of a strong piece of content is incompatible with certain channels. It may be that, due to algorithm changes, some content isn’t showing up on Google the way it used to. The digital world changes all the time, and what once worked well might not work anymore. Embrace the change, and get your work back out there.
Iterate, Update and Distribute
Once you’ve defined your processes and goals, it’s time to start repurposing. Define what main points you want the revised or repurposed content to include, as well as the intended audience and format. Next, put your work through a new round of fact-checking. The last thing anyone wants is to repurpose a post only to have it include a bunch of outdated info. No matter how evergreen the topic itself, take the time to verify your key points through research, subject matter experts and any stakeholders involved. Once this is done, it’s largely a matter of formatting for each platform, whether a blog, company site, or social media channels.
Example of Repurposing Content
Let’s say, for example, that you have a food blog with an old recipe for biscuits. There’s a trending recipe going around TikTok, so searches for biscuits are up. You know your old recipe post is great. In fact, it’s better than the trending one, but you posted it five years ago. Your goal is to increase traffic, benefit from a trend and communicate to your readers that your work is the best.
You could update the title to something like “These biscuits are better than TikTok.” Refresh the introduction to mention the trend. Add TikTok to the metadata, and include it a couple times in the article. You might swap out the old photo for something more reminiscent of the trending one. After that, you can promote the recipe on social media, TikTok included, with the message that it’s an improvement over the trending recipe, rather than something five years old.
Want More Guidance on Repurposing Content?
Check out our guide on Reverse Publishing. This step-by-step manual will show you how to repurpose your best-performing digital content for your print publication(s). Fill out the form below to claim your copy.