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Repurpose Your Content to Max Out Your Budget and Reach New Audiences

posted by Michael Epps Utley Michael Epps Utley
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Do you want to make the most of every single content marketing budget dollar and piece of content you develop?

Who doesn’t?

The best way to do this is by repurposing the content you create.

It allows more people to interact with it — and the ideas and messages in it — in the format and media they prefer.

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT REPURPOSING CONTENT

Repurposing Content: The Basics

When you repurpose content, you refresh, transform, extend or recycle material you’ve already created. It could be repurposed in its original format, for instance, a blog post is recycled into another blog post. Or it can be repurposed in another format. In this case, a blog post is transformed or recycled into a video, webinar, social post, infographic, or other formats.

Repurposing content takes work and some imagination, but it’s usually less labor-intensive and costly than creating new content from scratch. That’s because you’re reusing much of the research, learning, and ideation from an existing piece in the new one.

For example, if you transform a blog post into a webinar, you’re taking the ideas, facts, figures, and images from the blog post and turning them into slides and a script. Or if you extend the use of a white paper in a video, you could feature a panel discussing the ideas presented in the white paper. You likely don’t need to conduct fresh research or do any new writing. You simply need to request that the people on the panel read the white paper and someone has to outline the discussion and come up with a series of questions or prompts to keep the discussion going. Once filming is complete, an editor must piece together the video to make it compelling to viewers. This is definitely less work than creating a video from scratch.

Repurposing essentially extends the distribution of the original content you create. You use the same information, a portion of it, an extension of it, or pieces that got edited out or left on the cutting room floor to reach more people. It’s a good way to extend your content marketing budget and maximize the use and impact of your work.

What Content Should Be Repurposed?

Not everything should be repurposed. Here are some factors to consider before deciding to repurpose a piece of content:

  • Your goals.
    • Do you want to publish more repurposed content because it takes less time and money to develop than content created from scratch? This is one of the most common reasons to repurpose, but also one of the weakest. Repurposed content should be as good as — or better than — the original material. It must also provide value. It should never be just more of the same.
    • Do you want to reach different people? Content developed for this reason should be created to align with the needs, expectations, and mindset of the new audience. It shouldn’t be the same content presented in a different medium or with a few words or images changed.
    • Do you need the content for another channel? If this is the case, ensure the repurposed material is right for the channel. In other words, if you repurpose a blog article for video, find a way to animate it, turn it into a question and answer session, dramatization, or panel discussion. No one wants to watch someone read or present a blog article.
    • Is it intended to help bring in leads? If you want your repurposed material to generate leads, it must be compelling enough for people to want to give up their personal information to get access to it. A blog article that generates a high level of engagement may not be enough to get leads. You should consider extending it into a white paper or ebook to get people to want to share their email address or phone number to unlock it.
  • The channels.
    • What distribution channels will host the repurposed content? It’s important to define this before repurposing so you develop content that’s right for a new medium. A reader’s expectations for a blog article are very different than those for a viewer of a video.
    • What does the channel’s audience want to know, think or do? The users of different channels have very different expectations. Those who are social media users are far more passive than someone participating in a webinar.
  • Repurposing criteria.
    • Do you want to maximize the use and distribution of content that has performed well? Be aware that content that does well in one channel won’t necessarily do so in another. Make sure the repurposed content is right for the new medium.
    • Is there content that could be easily updated with fresh data or information? Refreshing content is a cost-effective way to extend the life of a stale piece, especially one that proved popular in the past or has significant search traffic volume.
    • Do you have evergreen topics that don’t change over time? Facts, figures, statistics, and information from evergreen pieces are ideal for repurposing for use in other channels or leveraged in timely pieces.

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to start repurposing your content.

CONTENT REPURPOSING OPTIONS

Here are some of the most popular content repurposing opportunities. Use them as inspiration for your content marketing program.

Blog posts

Blog posts are the most common type of content and offer one of the best repurposing opportunities.

  • Top performing posts can be repurposed in other media.
  • Outdated content with SEO value should be refreshed and reused with new data and leveraging current best practices.
  • Extend popular articles into a series. Add internal links across them which encourage cross readership and that provide SEO value.
  • Create shorter pieces of content from longer ones. Use the shorter pieces to entice readers to check out the extended versions.

E-books and white papers

E-books and white papers are great for repurposing content. Many companies turn popular content into chapters of white papers and e-books and use them to generate leads by requiring contact information to access them. If you decide to do this make sure you add value to your original content so readers can’t find the same material readily accessible on your website.

Infographics

Infographics are becoming a popular way to repurpose existing content and get a new audience to interact with it. Infographics present content in a visual way. Many companies transform text-based stories into infographics that resonate with people who prefer to get their information through pictures and graphics and not by reading.

The key to repurposing written content into an infographic is knowing what to keep, what not to, and what you need to add. Headers usually become sections of infographics. Text gets turned into bullet points, statistics, charts, graphs, or icons. Make the information bite-sized so users will want to engage with it and move through it. Sometimes you will need to make adjustments to your written story to make it work in a visual medium.

Newsletters

It only makes sense to extend the use of your content through newsletters. They’re essentially a free distribution channel. Most people engage with newsletters on smartphones, so it’s important to share content in them that’s short, scannable, or highly visual. Find ways to tease the content in the email newsletter itself. Don’t make the common mistake of giving it all away in the email, which discourages people from clicking on links and visiting your site, which should be your ultimate goal.

Presentations

Sales presentations and collateral are known for being dull. Why not make yours more compelling by adding charts, graphs, quotes, client stories, and more from your best marketing content? It will keep consumers engaged and likely lead to more closed deals.

Social Media Posts

The most common content reuse opportunity is in social media posts. Leverage the most compelling statistics, quotes, statements, images, and other nuggets from your longer-form content in social media to generate interest in it.

Video

Repurposing content into video is becoming a popular tactic. A whole generation of people has grown up with video and prefers it over other content types. This has made many businesses scramble to create more video content. The key to successfully repurposing other forms of content into video is to make it right for video. If you’re not sure how to do that, hire a video expert to help you out.

Tip: When you repurpose your content into video, don’t focus exclusively on long-form videos. Create short ones as well that can be shared on social media. Also, don’t forget to repurpose video content into other forms for people who prefer to read or listen to podcasts.

DO MORE WITH YOUR CONTENT

Repurposing content can be done for many reasons. The key to success is having a purpose when you repurpose content. Never do it without giving it a lot of thought because badly repurposed content is worse than having no repurposed content at all.