I can’t stand to see anything go to waste. I guess it’s part of my frugal (or some might say cheap) nature, but waste drives me crazy.
So I’ll roll up that toothpaste tube and keep squeezing it until I get the last drop of toothpaste out. The same goes for turning the ketchup and mustard bottles upside down in the refrigerator and reusing plastic baggies over and over again.
Given my distaste for waste, it’s not a huge surprise that I’m such a big fan of content repurposing. Because to me, there’s nothing more wasteful than putting the time and resources into creating a piece of content and then only using it once.
What Is Content Repurposing?
Here’s a simple definition of content repurposing: Recycling content you already have so it can be used in different media and across different platforms so your audiences can access and consume it in different ways.
I’m seeing more and more of this firsthand as several of my clients have shifted some of their focus toward having me update and repurpose existing content instead of create new content. To me, this is super smart for several reasons —most obviously, it’s cheaper to hire a writer to revise and update an old article or blog post than to write a new one from scratch.
The best content for this kind of repurposing is what’s referred to as “evergreen” content. This means that the content is timeless instead of time sensitive. An article about tax law, for example, would not be evergreen because the content is subject to change. But an article about cash flow strategies would be evergreen because the content doesn’t change much over time.
One of the beauties of digital marketing is that it offers so many different ways to repurpose content. My favorite involves whitepapers, which have become one of the most popular marketing tools out there.
Whitepapers are typically 2,000 to 3,000 words in length, if not longer, but not everybody has the time or attention span to read this much. To increase readership and get more marketing bang out of your whitepaper investment, you can break your whitepapers up into shorter articles or blog posts.
For example, a 3,000-word whitepaper could be broken up into six 500-word blog posts. You can also take the opposite approach: Create a whitepaper from blog posts like I used to do for one of my clients. I would write a series of blogs about a particular topic and then combine them all into a comprehensive whitepaper.
Another one of my favorite content repurposing strategies is reusing blogs as newsletter articles, or vice versa. That’s what I do each month by slightly tweaking this blog and sending it out to my newsletter list. This enables me to “push” the content out to my audience while also posting it here online where search engines can find it. This boosts my search engine optimization (SEO) results, too.
More Repurposing Ideas
Here are a few more content repurposing ideas to consider:
• Social media — You should be sharing any content that you publish online via all of your social media channels: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. This content can form the basis for numerous social media posts and tweets.
And be sure to take advantage of LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform for repurposing your blogs and newsletter articles. Just click on the “Write article” button at the top of your LinkedIn home page. From here, you can write into the template or copy and paste content from your website or a Word document. Don’t forget to click the “Share” button so the article is shared across the platform with your network.
• Special guides and e-books — If you’ve built a decent library of articles and blogs, you’re sitting on a content goldmine. Look for common themes you’ve written about which could provide opportunities to create a special guide or e-book. These can help further position you as a subject matter expert in your field.
For example, if you’ve written a few articles about ways to cut your taxes, combine them into a Year-end Tax Planning Guide. Or if you’re written some blogs about college saving, combine them into The Ultimate Guide to Saving for College.
• Slideshows and infographics — You can convert a PowerPoint presentation, PDF or Word document into a marketing slideshow or infographic using Slideshare, a free website and app with more than 80 million users. This tool is custom-built for content repurposing, making it easy to give new life to marketing materials that might be boring or drab.
Infographics are especially popular nowadays. They can take reams of statistics and data and make it interesting and digestible. Just make sure the underlying data itself is relevant and of interest to your audience.
• Webinars, podcasts and videos — If you’ve hosted a successful webinar or podcast, hire a writer to repurpose the content into a whitepaper or series of blogs. I’m talking to a client now about doing just this: His company produces weekly webinars focused on commercial real estate topics and he wants me to create two blogs out of each webinar.
Your webinars and podcasts can also be repurposed as videos that you can post to YouTube. A friend of mine who opened an online record store last year creates videos where he talks about all things vinyl record-related and he recently passed the 1,000-subscriber threshold on YouTube. Check out the Deaf Man Vinyl YouTube channel.