Producing content requires a lot of work.
There’s the brainstorming for ideas, the researching, and then the actual writing itself.
Once that part’s done, you have to think about adding some visuals to make the post more interesting, as well as sprinkling in some relevant keywords for SEO.
Marketeer research shows that a piece of content takes anywhere from six hours to 12 days, depending on the content’s length and depth.
With so much time (and money, if you outsource content creation) wrapped up in content, it’s not surprising that more and more marketers are beginning to find ways to repurpose their old material rather than starting from scratch every single time.
Reusing helps them get more mileage out of the original piece, rather than letting it just move further back in the archives.
What’s surprising, though, is that this this a still fairly underutilized tactic: Data from Curata shows that only 29% of leading marketers systematically reuse and repurpose content.
But we can expect this number to go up over the coming months. Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs found that 57% of marketers said finding more/better ways to reuse content was one of their top three main goals for this year.
It should be something you’re thinking about, too.
Let’s look at some specific ways you can reuse content and the best practices that will help ensure your second (or third, or fourth) re-creation is as successful as it can be.
What Content Should Be Reused?
First things first: Let’s understand how you’ll determine which content should be repurposed.
A good place to start is in your content archives. Look for the pieces that could be deemed “evergreen” (AKA timeless and/or high-quality).
Do you have any posts that you are especially proud of? That you spent a lot of time researching and developing? That are still highly relevant today?
These are your evergreen pieces.
Next, look back at the data. Find the pieces of content that were popular with readers – the ones that got a high volume of traffic and/or social shares. These clearly had more value to your audience than other pieces, so add them to your list.
The last thing to keep an eye out for is any topics that are especially timely.
For example, if you wrote a post about Facebook ads a while ago, and you’ve learned quite a bit since then or big news has just been released about the topic, this would be a post you could add to and improve in a repurposed piece.
Now that you’ve got a running list of topics you can work with, let’s look at some of the main ways you can get to work reusing content.
Ways to Reuse Content
By switching your content to a new format, you can bring new life to it without having to reinvent the wheel. Here are some ideas to consider.
By expanding on a topic or consolidating several old posts into a new, updated eBook format, you create a long-form, valuable asset for your audience that takes a deep dive into a particular topic. Better yet: You can monetize this type of content or use it as a lead magnet for growing your list of email subscribers.
During the reusing development phase, remember to add compelling visuals like photos or screenshots to illustrate this new asset.
Transforming words from a blog post into an engaging, visually interesting video helps you give your content new life because, well, it looks and feels totally different. Plus, video helps speed up comprehension: Pair audio, visuals, and on-screen text, and ideas can be much more quickly understood.
What originally took five minutes to read can be communicated in video in about 30 seconds. And using a tool like Doodly, you can literally illustrate concepts before the viewers eyes.
Social media posts
Reusing content specifically for social media posts means that you take a social-first mentality with creation. You’re thinking about how your social audience consumes content (likely mobile) and what types of posts they’ve engaged with in the past.
Using this data, you might turn an old piece of content about solving a specific problem into a fun, interactive quiz that you can share on Facebook, for example. Paired with strong, easy to design visuals and a smart paid promotion strategy, you can use social platforms to reach new target audiences quickly.
The inbox is still a sacred place, so transforming your content into an automated drip email campaign is an easy way to ensure you’re reaching your engaged subscribers with your best material. Deliver value to your audience on a regular basis – so you’re always top-of-mind.
Paired with videos or surveys, you can repurpose content into click-worthy emails that drive traffic to your site and keep your sales funnel moving.
With an audience of 70 million users, SlideShare takes the best parts of PowerPoint and pairs it with the Internet for easy searchability and sharing. By turning one of your old posts into a SlideShare presentation, you create an informative piece of content that can be distributed to people all around the world.
More than 18 million pieces of content have already been shared here, so it’s a good idea to think about what you can pull from content to teach or present in this space, too.
Some data shows that infographics are liked and shared on social media 3x more than any other type of content. That alone should be reason enough to considering reusing your content into this format.
It’s fairly easy to do this, too: Take a post that’s loaded with facts, stats, or hard numbers, and turn it into a dynamic visual. By condensing a text-heavy article into a graphic-heavy format, you instantly create something that can be readily shared.
You can also think about taking one of your pieces of content and recording audio, so that your audience can download it and listen to you talk through the piece while he or she is on the go. Or, if you have a podcast (or plan on starting one), you could use your evergreen content as a roadmap for topics to discuss.
Putting your valuable material into a different format like this one helps you better accommodate different learning preferences and can get more of your audience to consume your content.
With all of these ideas for reusing content under your belt, let’s next look at some of the best practices that will help ensure your efforts are worthwhile.
Best Practices for Reusing Content
Anyone can reuse content, but only a few do it well. Here are some basic tips and best practices to keep in mind while you’re crafting your second-run content.
Have a plan for promotion
You can’t just put your content into a different format and push it out through one channel – you need a distribution and promotion plan so it actually gets seen. Share these new formats through various outlets, such as social media, email, your website, etc. and encourage your followers to share as well. It’s okay to share more than once, too – just give each push a different spin.
It’s important to gauge the success of your efforts along the way, so be sure to ask for feedback via surveys and emails to see what your audience likes, doesn’t like, and wants more of in the future. You’ll never know unless you ask – so give your audience a voice and let them tell you directly.
Be sure to study the results and metrics that indicate which pieces of reused content worked well. By leaning on this hard data, you can develop future materials that are as successful and valuable to the audience as possible, rather than “winging it.” Numbers don’t lie.
Study your competition
Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing and note which formats they’re finding effective. Every audience is different, but you can still study what they’re testing and noting patterns and trends in their reusing efforts. You don’t need to mirror their approach, but you can monitor it and make notes.
Reusing Content: Get More Mileage
With the tips you’ve learned here, you can put together a strategy for getting more mileage out of the original content you’ve worked hard to create. By testing different formats and constantly monitoring these efforts, you can find out in which directions you should move your future efforts. As you develop your plan, keep in mind that reusing is all about using what you already have. Don’t start from square one every time you need a new piece of content.
Ready to get going? Let us know in the comments below what your first content strategy you plan on trying out 🙂
When she’s not assisting wherever she can within our organization, you can find her eating pizza, solving sudoku puzzles and hanging out with her family.
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