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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: The Value Of Repurposing Your Content

There is nothing quite like taking something old and making it new again. How many times as a child did you take something like an empty paper towel roll and turn it into a telescope? Or, transform an old jar into a decorative planter for your mom? Ah, memories.

While this blog isn’t about the whimsy of arts and crafts using recycled items—I think the kids may be calling it upcycling now?—magic can happen when taking old content and making it new: the magic of repurposing, of saving money while reinforcing your current content marketing program.

(In short, adult magic.)

And the key to making this magic happen is knowing what content to keep and what content to kick to the curb, by asking these questions:

Why Repurpose Content?

Repurposing content can be done when a company, such as yours, is rebranding or launching a new/updated website. During this time, they will rifle through old materials to see what can be reused for optimization or tossed. The value of repurposing will essentially come down to time and manpower. If they have good content that just needs a quick facelift, they can save the company money and time without sacrificing quality.

However, launching a new website shouldn’t be the only time you repurpose content. It’s likely that not everyone is going to see the blog post or video you shared one time on your website. By repurposing content via other marketing channels you ensure your message and information is reaching your audience no matter what platform they use. It even enables you to reach people who you may not reach otherwise. For example, people who don’t use social media might catch your latest blog in this month’s e-newsletter and vice versa. Not only does this reinforce your message, but you maximize your reach.

How Can Content Be Repurposed?

  • In Monthly E-newsletters

Scheduling a monthly e-newsletter and not sure what to say? This is the perfect opportunity to repurpose your existing content. Search through old blogs, video libraries, company brochures – all this messaging can be repurposed in a well put together email blast. Simply select a topic of focus, find existing content on that topic (blogs, videos, testimonials) and piece it together to create a themed email blast. If you’re including a blog, no need to put all the content in the email, instead include a few sentences and then link out to the blog page on your website using a call to action such as “Read More”. After all, you want people to click through your email to your website! It’s one of the “Do’s” of email marketing.

  • On Social Media Platforms

Make sharing existing content part of your social media strategy. Recently posted blogs and even old blogs that are “evergreen” make for easy shareable content. Snippets of content can be pulled from larger text to create a short social media post that links to more detailed information. And because social media is great for short messages it’s the perfect place to repurpose videos, infographics and images. Don’t worry about someone seeing your content twice, chances are they won’t, but someone new might!

  • Create a Podcast

Do you have a lot of video content? Why not pull the audio from them to create a podcast. You could potentially reach a new audience without very much effort or the additional cost of creating new content.

Other Ways to Repurpose Content

There are also a number of ways to utilize existing content with a quick buff and spruce to look like new:

  • Remake an old PowerPoint presentation into a how-to video
  • Turn content from an old blog or news post into an infographic
  • Use content from an old blog to create a script for a video
  • Update old blogs with new information and republish them under a catchy new title
  • Use old content from marketing materials to fill out empty spots on your website
  • Use snippets from company brochures to create social media posts or messaging for e-newsletters
  • Use videos as a basis to write supporting content in the form of a blog and post the content on the same page

However, even if the content you plan to repurpose is evergreen, it’s best to review it for any necessary changes such as updating old calls to action, including more recent or relevant in-links and backlinks and adding new or relevant keywords. It’s important to ensure you’re using content that’s still relevant and accurate. One of the best ways to do that is to utilize analytics and keyword research tools to determine how well content pieces have done in the past and to determine what should be updated now (and if you’re unsure where to start, we have a team of experts ready to help, so be sure to give us a call).

As part of this process, it’s also a good idea to give your content an editorial touch up as your style has likely changed over the course of time. Do you still capitalize headlines the same way? Have you done away with the Oxford comma? Has the tone taken a different direction? These are the types of things that need to be assessed.

When Does Repurposing Not Work?

Like we said, the goal of repurposing is to take some old content, make it fresh and have it work for you with as little effort—and money spent—as possible. Sometimes, though, pieces that may have worked in the past aren’t worth the effort. They can prove more cumbersome to rework rather than writing something from scratch. Sadly, these pieces should be tossed. Keep in mind that it is also difficult—if not impossible—to repurpose news events or content bogged down with a lot of outdated statistics.

As long as you ensure that your old content can work for you with just a touch of elbow grease, repurposing is the way to go to save you both time and money. After all, why reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to?