Extend your content’s shelf life by recycling the best and reworking the rest
It’s hard but rewarding work creating relevant and engaging content for your brand’s channels. And we have good news! Repurposing content lets it live on in other formats and reach your audience in new and effective ways. Repackage blogs as social media posts. Transform videos into blogs. Harvest presentations and webinars for web pages or newsletters. Evergreen content can be reimagined across a brand’s website, social media accounts and even in print. Here, we take a look at how to repurpose content to help you engage with—and grow—your brand’s audience.
The Benefits of Repurposing Content
Sharing content across platforms builds credibility and reinforces a brand’s expertise. Plus, your brand’s audience may not be exactly the same on each platform—from different social channels to your newsletter—and customizing the content for different platforms can help appeal to a wider audience. And repurposing content, like updating an older blog with new information or adding in examples of that work in action, can help with SEO.
Recycling content also provides the most bang for your buck because there’s no need to reinvent the wheel every time. After all, you’ve already done the work. Finding creative ways to reframe content will make the research and effort doubly worth it by increasing its reach.
Example: We repurposed this Yakkety Yak blog post about using hashtags into an Instagram animation to sum up the main points. By distilling the information and presenting it in a visual way, content can reach more people across multiple platforms.
Start With Strategy
The best content is strategic from the start. Begin by understanding your goals and audience. Then create an editorial calendar to plan out which topics to cover and when to promote them. When planning a new piece of content, write out a list of places where its information should be repurposed in order to reach your goals. Then, brainstorm new ways to present that content across those channels.
Make sure to consider video content strategy, too. Plan to shorten and repackage longer videos for blog posts, social media and more. Before getting started, consider each platform’s best fit: For instance, images and infographics perform well on Instagram and Pinterest.
Example: We repurposed a blog post for the Selective Mutism Association into content for an Instagram carousel. Reimagining the information as easily digestible, single-sentence slides helped the Association inform and educate followers on social media. Plus, a striking color palette made the graphics stand out on social media feeds.
Refresh the Best Content
Check your analytics and archives. You’re probably sitting on a treasure trove of quality content. Refreshing existing website content with updates that benefit readers can also help a brand’s page show up in search results. Most readers prefer to read a recent article rather than one published a few years back, and updates let search engine crawlers know the content is fresh. Make sure to update the post date, too.
Repurposing content in this way gives your best material a second—and third and fourth and fifth—life. How do you know which content is working best? Check out our quick guide to measuring content performance. Revisiting high-performing content lets you expand on what’s working (and revise what isn’t). Ask yourself: Would this blog content make more sense as a listicle or Q&A? Could the information from this Instagram infographic fit into a podcast discussion? The possibilities are endless.
Example: We turned an engaging webinar hosted by the American Brain Foundation about healing after grief into multiple new formats. Following the event, we created a search-optimized blog post that incorporated graphics and a recording of the webinar. Then we created an Instagram graphic highlighting a noteworthy quote from the event—and used the opportunity to send those interested in learning more back to the blog post. In that way, content that originally lived as a webinar was transformed into multiple interconnected formats, each strengthening our client’s expertise and brand.
Get Creative With Your Content
Repurposing content provides the chance to highlight what’s working and revisit what underperformed. If content didn’t work as well as you hoped the first time, you may decide to present it to your audience in a different light. Analyze the existing piece to see what improvements to make. Consider: What is the content’s purpose, value, look and feel? Which platforms have you tried and which are unexplored? And most importantly, what is your audience looking for? Even with blog posts, a different format or headline may grab someone’s attention better. Think like a journalist and decide how best to tell the story. Should it be a light-hearted feature, a statistic-heavy listicle or an informative Q&A? Then, go beyond the blog format. Can the content function as a video, an infographic, a podcast or a social media carousel? Would adding one of these to the existing blog benefit readers?
Example: We refashioned this Yakkety Yak blog into an infographic for Instagram. Visually summing up the content creates a fun and engaging way to capture audience attention. Plus, the Instagram post references the blog, directing the audience to a “link in bio” call to action that can get more views on the original content. In this way, the two pieces of content are in communication with each other.
Repurposing content provides the opportunity to add new information and updates—keeping your content relevant throughout changing times. Consider your content’s purpose, your current audience and how you’d like your audience to expand. If a video appeal only hits a select number of people, think about the ways you can turn that content into blogs, profiles, social media posts, newsletter spotlights and more. Your content should reach the biggest audience possible. Recycling, refreshing and resharing content across different platforms will bring more engagement overall.
Example: When working with the American Brain Foundation, we repurposed an emotional donation appeal video project into a series of blog posts about the people featured. Breaking the original video into individual profiles created lots of new content across the ABF site—and each new blog post is a fresh opportunity to connect with the audience. Plus, we pulled out several snippets from the main video to share on social media.
Ready to repurpose your content and reap the rewards? Check out our blogs on creating engaging content and subscribe to our newsletter for even more tips.