Today, companies create more content than ever. A recent report published by Accenture shows that marketing leaders feel they produce “moderate-to-enormous” amounts of content. And 92% of those leaders surveyed said they’re producing more content now than they did two years previously, with 90% also stating that they expect to produce even more content two years from now.
If you invest heavily in content creation, you’ve probably heard the old digital marketing adage: write less, promote more. Generally, companies spend lopsided portions of their budgets on content creation and far too little time actually promoting the content that they create.
After a piece of content’s initial promotional run, it isn’t uncommon to see traffic stagnate. The post reaches your immediate audience and settles at its peak position for relevant keywords a few months down the line, but it isn’t seeing the bursts of traffic that it once did.
If it’s a piece that’s highly relevant to your audience, and your audience has grown since it was first published, it makes sense to play with the idea of a second promotional round to get it out there. But, you don’t want to promote the post again without adding some value or changing the way your audience interacts with it.
This is what is known as “repurposing content.”
Why You Should Repurpose Content
Repurposing a piece of content can be a great way to breathe new life into old work. You went to all the trouble to research, craft, and promote the content in the first place—you have to make sure that you get as much out of it as you can. There are a few key reasons why you should consider revamping old pieces or repurposing them in new formats.
Reach New Audiences
Repurposing old pieces of content can help them reach new audiences. Your audience has likely grown since you first published the piece.
Additionally, some users prefer one format to another. Perhaps a large portion of your audience would more readily absorb the information if it was presented through a video instead of a blog post.
Repurposing your content for different mediums helps to make the content more appealing to your audience at large.
Improve Visibility of the Content
Repurposing content can help to improve its visibility.
This boost in visibility comes from your own audience for the reasons above, but you’ll see boosts in organic search visibility as well. Repurposing content for multiple formats can help you to secure more organic search real estate for targeted keywords, and have content ranking for more keywords in general. Bolstering a blog post with a SlideShare presentation, for instance, can be a great way to secure two top-10 positions for the same keyword, while expanding your reach to new platforms.
More Coverage for Important Topics
According to the Marketing Rule of 7, customers will need to hear a message seven times before they begin to absorb the information and become willing to buy.
For topics that are critically important to your business, finding ways to get the same content in front of your audience can be a great way to drive home important points. Use repurposed content to reinforce important messages.
Choosing the Right Content to Repurpose
If you invest heavily in content, you probably have deep archives of content that you can draw from for inspiration. Still, you want to make sure that you’re repurposing and revamping pieces that will provide the best return for your business.
A few factors that you should consider when choosing content to repurpose include:
Popularity and Audience Demand
What are the most popular pieces that you’ve published? What pieces have your audience loved? While popularity alone shouldn’t be the only factor you consider when choosing what content you’d like to repurpose, it certainly should play a large role.
Use metrics like views, time on site, and social engagement—as well as analysis into the impact of particular assets on purchase decisions—to identify compelling subject matter. Then you can begin brainstorming interesting ways to repurpose or revamp the content based on how users engaged with it previously.
Another factor that you should consider when choosing content to repurpose is the newsworthiness of the topic. Maybe there have been some popular news stories that have garnered specific topics a lot of attention. Choosing topics that your industry currently has high levels of interest in can be a great way to bolster your promotional efforts.
Is a blog article or white paper simply out-of-date? In rapidly changing industries, content that was published even a few short years ago can quickly become stagnant and actually hurt your credibility if they fail to take recent industry changes into account.
If you published a blog post about SEO is 2011, a lot has changed between now and then. You would be doing your readers a disservice to continue to connect them with dated information.
Content Repurposing Examples
Now let’s take a look at some examples of how companies have been able to breathe new life into old content through repurposing.
These are just a few of the many different ways that you can repurpose a single piece of content, but hopefully, these examples will get the gears turning and help you to identify some simple steps you can take to squeeze fresh juice from old fruit.
1. Short Informational Videos and Repurposed in Many Formats
Convince and Convert is a brand that is known for creating high-value content. Their content creation process differs from most companies, with a heavy focus on repurposing the content that they create.
Their founder, Jay Baer, creates two- to three-minute informational videos on a variety of topics. Then, he finds as many ways as he possibly can to repurpose that content to reach a wider audience.
The Convince and Convert team can turn a single short video into a blog post on their site, a video for multiple platforms, a podcast episode, several social posts, and a blog post on Medium.
That’s a lot of content for a single video that is under five minutes long.
2. Writer Syndicated Content in Medium to Grow a Social Following
Ben Hardy is a writer for Jeff Goins’ popular writing blog. After publishing for a few years, he decided that he wanted to start repurposing his posts in an effort to grow his following. His chosen method was posting his blog content on Medium and networking with others on the platform to grow its reach.
His Medium presence caught fire and his articles started to go viral. This resulted in a surge in traffic back to his website. He added a call to action at the bottom of his Medium articles, which were now seeing significantly more traffic than they did on his original site. All that allowed him to grow his subscriber list from 0 to 20,000 subscribers in just six months.
3. Repurpose a Popular Blog Post as a Paid eBook
CopyBlogger is a company recognized as a content marketing pioneer in digital marketing circles. They are well known for producing long-form, easy-to-read content on a wide range of digital marketing topics.
One of the company’s most popular blog posts, “The 3-Step Journey to a Remarkable Piece of Content,” was repurposed as a slide deck, which has garnered more than 55,000 views on SlideShare.
4. Turns Whiteboard Fridays into Blog Posts
On Fridays, the team at Moz publishes short informational videos in which they break down topics related to search marketing. These videos are a part of their “Whiteboard Friday” series and have become a staple of the brand.
Every time they publish a new Whiteboard Friday video, they also put together a blog post, complete with video transcriptions, to give their audience another way to consume the content. This helps to extend the reach of the content and gives audiences a choice in how they consume the information.
5. Focus on Refreshing Old Content with New Info
In 2015, Buffer wanted to push their content repurposing strategies to their limits. To show how much impact repurposed and revamped content could have, they announced the “No New Content” challenge.
This challenge involved suspending their content creation efforts to focus on repurposing two to three pieces of content each week for one full month. Their argument was that these old posts were still relevant and beneficial for their audience, they just needed some small changes to update the content and make them relevant with new information.
While they didn’t shun content creation completely after the challenge ended, it was still a resounding success that demonstrates how impactful repurposed content can be. During the experiment, their organic search traffic grew by more than 4%, their repurposed SlideShare presentations generated more than 100,000 views, and one of their Medium posts reached the Top 20 posts on the platform.
6. Give Old Blog Posts New Life on LinkedIn
Matthew Woodward, a well-known blogger in the SEO industry, made a great case for repurposing content when he blogged about his efforts to begin using LinkedIn as a publishing platform. His strategy was to take previous popular blog posts from his website and create follow-up articles that detailed how the strategy has been working for him while providing some new tidbits to add new value.
In a few short weeks, he grew his subscriber count by more than 300, just by taking the time to revamp and re-publish a few blog articles on a new channel. Compared to the time it would take to create new content from scratch, this is a great example of how repurposed content can be well worth your time and provide measurable returns with minimal effort.
7. Repurpose Popular Blog Post as a Slide Deck
Adspresso’s content repurposing efforts are a great example of using repurposed content to capture more search real estate for a chosen keyword.
By taking their popular blog post and repurposing it as a presentation on SlideShare, the company was able to secure two spots in the top four results for “Social Proof” on Google.
8. Repurpose the Entirety of Site’s Content as a Paid eBook
Pat Flynn, the owner of Green Exam Academy, started the company when he was studying to take the LEED exam. Rather than just taking notes throughout the process, he decided that he would turn his notes into blog posts and publish them so that others could benefit from his work. When he was done, he had a site chock full of helpful study guides and LEED exam study content.
Rather than just letting his blog posts sit there and collect advertising dollars, he re-packaged all of the blog posts into a convenient eBook for $19.95 and sent it out to his email list. The result was pretty amazing. More than 25% of those who responded bought the eBook—and many of them had already passed the LEED exam!
Taking content that you’ve already published for free and repackaging it in a convenient format can be a great way to generate direct revenue from previous projects.
9. Make eBooks into so Much More
Kapost has always made repurposed content a priority. In The Derivative Content Model, we detail how repurposing should be baked into your content operations processes to get the most bang for your buck with each piece of content.
Here’s an example of what the derivative content model looks like in action:
For another example, our recent report, the 2018 Marketing-Sales Alignment Benchmark, will feature several derivative blog posts, shareable infographics, and a webinar.
Any time we release a substantial piece of content, we bolster it with derivative pieces to improve visibility, deliver the information to specific personas, and improve the return on the work invested each piece of content we create.
Repurposing and revamping older content should be a part of every content operation. Content operation teams must operate smarter, not harder, and repurposing an older piece of content is always less time- and cost-intensive than producing something new.
Repurposing is a great way to take a piece of content, which many would view as a sunk cost, and get it in front of new audiences. In fact, failing to do so leaves money on the table.
Want to repurpose your own content? Download the templates that will get you started.