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The Power of Repurposing Content and How to Do it Right
- Propelrr Contributor
- 02 Nov 2022 5 min read
When it comes to content, just because you’ve published something in one format doesn’t mean that’s all it’s worth.
If you’ve been doing content marketing for any length of time, you know that ideas sometimes come easily, and other times it’s the complete opposite.
That’s where repurposing content comes in. Promoting the same content in multiple formats gives you opportunities to demonstrate expertise while connecting with a bigger audience; people who may not have seen the content when it was first published.
If your jam-packed schedule and other marketing responsibilities make it challenging to find the time to brainstorm new content ideas for, then this guide is for you. We’ll discuss what content repurposing is, its benefits, and how to best repurpose your existing content.
Repurposing content – what does it mean?
Content repurposing – sometimes called content recycling – is taking content you’ve already published and adapting it into something fresh. You can either re-adapt the content yourself or hire a freelance writer to rework the content for you.
While repurposing old blog content into new blog content remains the most common format for content repurposing, there are other emerging formats it can be done in as well. For example, you can take content from an existing article (or articles) and repurpose it into a new format, such as an ebook, a slideshow, an infographic, or as the script for a video.
Of course, you can’t get away with simply copying and pasting previously published content. That results in duplicate content that gets heavily flagged by Google.
Instead, you should aim to publish previously used content on different channels or blend it with other formats like video and audio. Your old or outdated content is prime material for repurposing – just remember to make it relevant rather than simply re-post it.
What are the benefits of repurposing content?
One of the main benefits of content repurposing is more effective distribution on channels your users prefer. For example, you may have previously published short, “snackable” content like an infographic to push your audience toward long-form content. In this case, a great way to repurpose your long article or white paper is by turning parts of it into short-form content to drive more user engagement.
Repurposing content the right way not only connects you with a broader audience but also drives plenty of other valuable benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones.
1. Extend your content’s shelf life.
While one person develops newsworthy content, someone else reports on it and, therefore, repurposes it.
Books, too, get similar treatment. A humble novel can soon get made into a film and again repurposed into an entire television series. Content can, technically, have an infinite shelf life so long as it’s meaningfully repurposed.
Remember that one post you particularly loved writing and publishing? Go back to it and see if you can conjure up more to say about it. A previous idea that you also thought was great could be the seed for something entirely new and equally engaging, especially if you return to it after a period of time.
This line of thinking applies especially well to social media. You’ve likely published tons of one-liners that are perfect for embellishment. Don’t let that old-but-gold-tweet die if you think you can reuse it for something like a blog post and, subsequently, extend its lifespan.
Be wary of throwing bits and pieces together and assuming you’ll turn a whole lot of nothing into something, though. Part of extending the shelf life of previously published content is polishing it and expanding on it with something you haven’t said before. Websites at the top of Google’s search engine results pages got there by generating engaging content their audience wants to read, not by duplicating content willy-nilly.
2. Generate more content in visual formats.
These days, it’s next to impossible for content to enjoy the limelight if it’s just one giant wall of text. If there was ever a formula for viral content, it would undoubtedly throw lots of visuals into the mix. Remember that long-form article you worked hard on just to be disappointed with its engagement rates? It’s time to add some visuals and help it shine.
If you need a few ideas for the types of visual content to include in your repackaged content, a good place to start is with images, illustrations, and graphics that clearly convey the message you want to get across.
Visual content goes a long way toward raising brand awareness among new audience members and convincing potential leads to convert into customers. Visuals are especially helpful if you’re digging into a tough-to-explain idea or concept and want something like an infographic, heatmap, or chart to make your life easier.
You’ll also find that the more previously published content you repurpose to include visuals, the easier it’ll become to engage more of your followers over different social media channels. This, in turn, will cause more of your followers to share your repackaged content on their favorite social media sites, so long as they find your new content more snackable and enjoyable.
3. Meet content requirements more easily
Earlier, we touched on the fact that staying consistent with your content generation can be tricky. We’ve all been there: you have a week or two full of writer’s (marketer’s?) block and churn out content that’s half-baked at best.
It’s important that you avoid posting content just so you can meet content requirements on your calendar. That said, the power of repackaged content can provide you with some much-needed breathing room. You’ll have more time to work on novel topics since you’ve saved time already by repurposing content. By doing this, you’ll have a much easier time sticking with your schedule and improving your distribution of often-limited resources.
What to avoid when repurposing content
As straightforward as content repurposing can sometimes be, we’re only human at the end of the day. It can be easy to make mistakes when repacking something, especially if you approach it as a simple copy-paste job. When repurposing content, do your best to avoid the following:
- Repurposing content that is super out of date or wasn’t very valuable in the first place.
- Repurposing something without being able to add anything of value – if you have nothing new to add, chances are that it’s something best left untouched.
- Creating conflicting information or statements for the sake of recycling old posts.
- Spinning posts or republishing something that someone else wrote. If, for some reason, you’re covering a complicated topic, don’t pretend you became an overnight expert by blatantly piggybacking off someone’s well-researched work. Instead, do your own research and merely take inspiration from already-published content rather than just copying it.
Your main goal when repackaging content is to keep feeding your audience with engaging and meaningful content. There’s no shame in admitting that you can’t always bring new ideas for content to the table. In repurposing content, remember that:
- Repacking old content can help you save time while still connecting with new people.
- Approach content repurposing as a supplement – not a replacement – to the content development strategy you use as a marketer, and we guarantee you’ll soon revitalize lots of older content and enjoy engagement with a broader audience.
- Avoid repurposing content just to post new content; always make sure it will add value
We can also give you tips on how to create a content repurposing workflow. Just subscribe to our newsletter and get it straight in your inbox.
About the Author
Lee Li is a project manager and B2B copywriter with a decade of experience in the Chinese fintech startup space as a PM for TaoBao, MeitTuan, and DouYin (now TikTok).
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