Just as your body needs a regular supply of nutritious food and exercise, your website needs up-to-date, quality content so it can help you build a thriving business.
But planning, creating and maintaining top-notch content is time-consuming. Because of this, clever marketers are strategic about the content they choose to create, and they utilize the art of repurposing in order to extract maximum value from their work.
Here are some notes on how you can do the same.
What is Content Repurposing?
Let's start with the basics - content repurposing is when you take content you've already created and change it, so it then suits a different goal.
You spend countless hours crafting content that'll help you build trust with your audience - you research topics and carefully design each piece to educate your readers and encourage them to explore what you offer. So why put together an amazing piece of content, publish it, then leave it to gather dust?
Content repurposing involves taking the same information you used in one piece of content and repackaging it to appeal to a different audience, or to serve a different purpose. This enables you to create more resources for your customers, and expand your reach, with less work.
Why Should You Repurpose Content?
Repurposing content is efficient - and that might be all the justification you need. But there are other (arguably more important) benefits.
Content marketing is all about meeting your customers with the information they need, when they need it. But the type of content they need will obviously differ based on their personal preferences, and what they're looking to learn during various stages of their buyer’s journey.
If you share too much during the early stage of the buyer’s journey, you can overwhelm your customers, yet if you share too little, or if you present the information in a way that doesn’t resonate with your audience, they'll go looking somewhere else for answers.
For example, early in the buyer’s journey customers may recognize that they have a problem, but they may not be looking for a specific solution just yet. This is when educational content is useful - provide them with the information they need and point them to additional resources where they can learn more.
As the consumer becomes more knowledgeable, they'll begin to seek solutions. At this point, you can cover the same topic in a different way - perhaps comparing the various methods for resolving their problem in a detailed guide. Although you'll use some of the same information in both pieces of content, the way you present that information will differ based on the buyer’s need.
To take this a step further, everyone is different. Some people like to read blog posts, while others prefer podcasts or webinars. As such, repurposing your content into several formats will enable you to reach people with different consumption preferences. The educational content I mentioned above, for example, could be a blog post, but with a few tweaks it could also become a podcast or a video.
Repurposing content enables you to:
- Build a more comprehensive and diverse collection of content.
- Expand your reach to a wider audience.
- Meet the needs of your customers with the information they seek at different stages of their buyer’s journey.
- Develop a more efficient and scalable content operation.
How to Repurpose Content
Content repurposing opportunities are everywhere. And the best part is that you can start with the content you already have.
Here are three ways you can begin repurposing content today.
Break large pieces of content into smaller ones
Some organizations create one (or several) substantial pieces of content that target the most important keywords for their business. Content marketers refer to these pieces as “cornerstone content.” Ideally, this content is well-researched and well-written to demonstrate your knowledge and attract customers.
Cornerstone content is great, but you’re probably not the only one who wants to rank for those keywords, and if you don’t have a strong foundation you may find it difficult to gain traction. Targeting high-volume, competitive keywords before ranking for smaller ones is like jumping off the high dive before you’ve learned to swim - you need to lay the groundwork before you can expect to succeed.
You can build a supportive base for your cornerstone content by repurposing it. Break it down into smaller pieces that target less competitive (but complimentary) keywords. Then be sure to include a link to the cornerstone piece.
As an example, let’s imagine you offer a SaaS solution which enables people to create beautiful business documents (like proposals, brochures or reports) in minutes. One of the important keywords for your organization is the term “business proposal templates.”
You have a piece of cornerstone content in your resource section that targets this term - it discusses the topic in depth and shares important findings from a study you conducted when you were developing your product. As a call-to-action, it includes downloadable business proposal templates in exchange for an email address.
The possibilities here are endless, but to get you started, here are a few repurposing ideas that can help you support the success of this resource:
Repurposing content for social media
- The original research you shared in this piece is priceless. Fill your social media queue by citing the findings you shared from the study. Just be sure to also include a link to the full resource to generate awareness and encourage downloads of the templates.
- Spark discussions in a Facebook or LinkedIn Group by bringing up these same findings. Or, volunteer to be a guest on a relevant Tweet Chat.
Repurpose the contents of the report into different formats
- Create and publish a SlideShare presentation with the same information presented in the resource.
- Ask one of your executives to share the presentation at an industry event.
- Record a video of the presentation so you can share it on YouTube.
- Offer to be a guest speaker on a podcast or radio program where you can share your findings and point listeners to this valuable resource.
Repurpose portions of the report into blog posts
You can also submit them as guest blogs to other publications, or publish them on your own site, LinkedIn or Medium. Here are a few suggestions.
- Write separate posts for each of the templates you created, explaining what they are and how they should be used.
- Provide a deep dive into certain findings from the study and explain what they mean to your customers.
- Write a post that summarizes what you published on SlideShare and embed a link to the presentation.
Combine small pieces of content to create cornerstone content
Some organizations have embraced blogging, but have never been able to invest resources in the creation of cornerstone content. When this is the case, there are often opportunities to combine several smaller pieces of content (that address the same theme) into one that’s more substantial.
This can be a huge opportunity. Blog posts disappear into your archives over time. Why not use that same content to create longer-lasting assets for your website?
Here are some examples:
- Combine 3-5 blog posts into a comprehensive guide or eBook, then add an introduction and transitional language to tie it all together.
- If you have a target audience that's more technical, repurpose the guide or eBook once again. Adjust the wording to be more formal and turn it into a whitepaper.
- If you have a big collection of blog posts on a specific topic, use that content to record a series of videos and offer them as an online course. Or, if that’s not your thing, share them separately on YouTube to create more visibility for your brand.
Repurpose strong, individual pieces of content into different formats
Content producers often have a preferred medium. Perhaps you feel most comfortable with the written word and like to produce blog posts or eBooks, or maybe you prefer giving presentations and favor the creation of videos or podcasts.
There’s nothing wrong with embracing your strengths, but sticking to one format will limit the reach of your content.
Some of your target customers might not like to read, while others may resist videos because they don’t feel comfortable playing them at work. Repurposing your content into different formats can help you reach a whole new audience.
You may need to push yourself here, but it’s worth the effort. For example, whenever possible I like to repurpose my blog posts into infographics or cheatsheets. This makes the content more valuable for my readers, who can download and save the image for future reference, or pass it along to a colleague. But the image is valuable to me as well - I can use it to promote myself on social media and I can optimize it for search, which will improve my ability to rank.
Consider these different formats (and any others you can imagine):
- Blog Posts
- SlideShare Presentations
- Live Presentations
- Images for Social Media (tips, quotes, statistics, charts, diagrams, etc.)
- Downloadable PDFs
Could you recraft your content into any of these other forms? If so, repurpose it!
What are You Waiting For? Master the Art of Repurposing Content
Content repurposing is the act of taking content that you've already created and changing it so that it suits a different goal - and it’s a huge opportunity to make your content work harder for you.
Repurposing content is an important part of any content marketing strategy. It enables you to create a stronger online presence by growing and diversifying your content, expanding your reach and improving your ability to satisfy your customers (and the search engines) at scale.
Above are just a few examples of how you could repurpose your content, but I’m sure you could come up with plenty of your own.