Let’s face it, it can be difficult to come up with fresh ideas for content all the time. Many people have this unconscious expectation that once you create a piece of content on a topic or idea, then you can’t ever discuss it again. It’s already been covered.
The good news is, you don’t always have to come up with brand new ideas for your content, and there are ways to take the content you already have and create dozens of new pieces of content from it. This is called repurposing.
Repurposing is the process of taking an existing piece of content and creating variations and adaptations of it. This can give you access to new audiences, new sources of traffic and new opportunities to collaborate.
Benefits Of Repurposing
There are many benefits to repurposing that make it an excellent play for most content marketing campaigns. Here are just a few:
- Good for SEO – Repurposing content can allow you to attract search traffic on many different variations of a good keyword. You can target slightly different keywords with each piece of repurposed content and open up entirely new streams of traffic.
- You get a better understanding of your audience – Repurposing will allow you to compare and contrast different approaches to your content and discover what works well for your audience.
- It reinforces your core messaging – Through repurposing, you’ll address the same message and idea from many different angles. This will help establish you as an authority on these topics and will make your core message stronger through repetition.
- Easy to scale – It’s easier to delegate content repurposing to your team than it is to assign the creation of original content. Your team members start with the foundational content to work from and reference. This is particularly good for new team members who may not have a good feel for your brand yet, and who need a little guidance.
- Conserves resources – Coming up with brand new content all the time can be incredibly taxing on your creativity. Repurposing content that you already know is performing well requires only a fraction of the critical thinking that exploring and researching a new idea would.
Where To Start With Repurposing Content
When it comes to repurposing, some content is better than others. It’s important to start with content with the following qualities:
- Evergreen content – Content with information that will be valuable and helpful for a long time. Will it still be relevant 3 months from now? How about in 2 years?
- Content with engagement – Repurpose content that people are already engaging with and enjoying. Content that’s working already is the most likely to continue to be valuable to you. Check your analytics, comments and social media engagement to see which content is performing best.
Examples Of Repurposing
There are many different approaches to repurposing. Some approaches will suit your skillsets and audience better than others. Let’s explore some of the different strategies available for repurposing.
To help visualize how these work, let’s examine each approach through the lens of a SaaS company creating content around “customer success.”
How To Repurpose Podcast Content
One good podcast episode can be worked into dozens of pieces of content. It’s important to remember that, even if a podcast is just audio (though video podcasts are on the rise), you have lots of opportunity to create repurposed video content.
One of the best tools a podcast can create is a transcript. An hour-long video can be up to 5,000 words long or more. Though Google is getting better at recognizing images and audio for Search Engine Optimization, it still relies heavily on text. A transcript is filled with all kinds of keywords and search terms that should help your content get discovered and drive traffic quickly.
Here are a few simple ideas to transform a single podcast into dozens of pieces of content:
- Consider recording yourself (or you and your interviewee) to make video content for the podcast. (I use zoom to record my podcasts, which can capture video too!)
- Record screenshares when your guests are demonstrating how to do something.
- Make a transcript of the interview for people to read.
- Make an article with highlights from the transcript.
- Turn quotes into tweets and click to tweet links.
- Take quotes from the interview and turn them into memes.
- Take short clips from your interviews and turn them into video memes.
- Record a short video of you recapping your big takeaways from the interview.
Even if you don’t publish all of your video, you should still consider recording video. A good place to have video is if/when your guests get into detail on “how to” do something. Use a screenshare to take a clip of them working on their screen and walking us through the “how to.” Here’s an example of a video I created while interviewing Jeremy Slate on how to find podcasts to get featured on.
If you want to start creating video memes, check out Video Podcast Producers’ tutorial on building video memes here:
A great example of getting the most from podcast repurposing is James Schramko’s Superfast business podcast. James has developed an all-star team of content creators to take his interviews and quickly transform them into dozens of pieces of content.
They take the raw transcript and add links where relevant, and they showcase the top quotes and takeaways with click to tweets and images as well.
Here’s a podcast episode from James on How to Repurpose and Improve Your Podcast Content.
How To Repurpose Facebook Live Content
Facebook Live is one of the fastest growing forms of video content. People love the unscripted feel and authenticity that comes from being live. Plus, the ability to engage with and respond to your audience directly on the broadcast can allow you to better serve your audience live.
It’s very easy to download these videos and use them in other forms.
- Upload the video to Vimeo or YouTube – Just take the video from FB and upload it to another channel. You can edit and polish your videos before uploading them to improve them if you want, or you can choose some of the best clips from your live video and just use those.
- Embed your live videos into content – It’s easy to embed your live video onto a blog post or website after the broadcast. This is a great way to add some interesting video content to a text-heavy post.
- Make a transcript and turn your video into written content – If you don’t have written content already developed, you can download your video and get a transcript for them. With a bit of editing, you can take the transcript from these videos and make a great blog post from them. Take clips, quotes and key takeaways from your broadcast and embed them into your post to capture the energy of the video into text.
How To Repurpose Written Content
Written content is one of the most flexible and repurposable pieces of content. Usually, you can stitch in and cut out content in written articles without any need for reformatting, rereading or any of the technical headaches that can come with video or audio. Here are a few ideas for how to make more of your written content.
- Convert a listicle into many different articles – Listicles, which are articles that are built around a list and usually have titles like “Top 10…,” are often easy to create and can be very popular. These kinds of articles are useful for testing out ideas quickly and seeing how your audience responds. If you have a listicle that becomes very popular, you could create individual articles for each list item.
- Combine your top content into a listicle – The reverse is also possible. If you’re creating a lot of different content, you can combine the highlights into a new listicle. A good example of this comes from the Superfast Business Podcast, where they list their top content at the end of the year each year (Top 10 Most-Downloaded SuperFastBusiness Episodes of 2017).
- Use your writing as a video or podcast script – I often get emails from my audience saying they love the long articles I write but wish sometimes they could consume it as a podcast or video. If you do long-form written content like I do, maybe consider how you could make a video or podcast episode with the highlights, or just feature the main idea so someone could consume it quickly and easily. Plus, you can always embed these videos and podcasts right into the original content to make it even more engaging.
How To Repurpose Content Into Email Series
If you’ve been creating content for a while, it’s likely there some common themes and patterns in what you’re discussing. A powerful way to curate your content and repurpose it is to put it together in a series of daily emails and frame it as a course or tutorial. You could break up one listicle into a series of emails, or you could take several articles on a theme and send a new article each day.
This is particularly useful to offer on “start here” pages, where people who are new to your site will often go to find your best content.
How To Repurpose Webinars
Webinars are rich with powerful quotes, good images and engaging information, but they often get shelved and forgotten after a big launch. It’s possible to take your recorded webinar, have a transcript written from the presentation, take that transcript and some of the visuals you include in your webinar and turn it into an eBook or article.
It’s also sometimes possible to cut up one 60 minute webinar into a few shorter videos and make an email series from them. You may or may not want to cut your offer out of the end, depending on where you want to use this email series and what offer you make. If it’s a small “tripwire” offer and you’re making a “start here” series, that’s probably a good move, but don’t put your 10k coaching package offer out to someone who just made their first visit to your site.
How To Repurpose Content With Updates
It’s likely that not all the content you create will be evergreen. There are hot topics in every industry that are changing quickly.
Perhaps you had a great post a few years back that was well received by your audience, but over time it has started to lose its traction. Technology is changing the landscape of the business world so quickly these days that a post that’s only 2 years old can be seen as “outdated.” This is easiest to do with writing, as you can usually just update the post you’ve already published, but it’s possible to do with video and podcasts as well.
Revisiting great content and updating it with the latest information can bring it back to life. Often it only takes a few small edits and maybe a few new bits of information to turn your old content into something fresh.
Here are a few easy wins for updating:
- Update old stats, data, and citations with newer and fresher sources.
- Revise and expand on any areas that have changed a lot since you first created the content.
- Look for new keywords to target in the content.
- Just add more value. When you look at the content you created a few months or years back, you can look on it with fresh eyes and find ways to clarify and add more value.
Remember that updating content is especially important for the content that is already ranking well for competitive keywords. You can be sure there are competitors out there looking to “Skyscraper” your best content and steal away your traffic. By continuously updating and improving your pillar content, you ensure you continue to rank where it counts.
How To Repurpose Content For A New Audience
Let’s say you wrote an excellent post on customer service for SaaS companies that did very well. The concepts that you cover in your post could apply to a service business. By changing the audience you target and address in repurposing, you can take the hard work you put into creating one piece of content and easily create several other iterations.
How To Repurpose Free Content From Premium Content (And Vice Versa)
Perhaps you have a paid community as part of your business. Your members get access to some of your best content. You can create a condensed version of your premium content and make it free. Maybe you can use the first lesson in your course, or one key element of the process you use to get results. This not only can serve as a lead generation tool but also give them a small taste of what it is like inside your community.
Use this free content to promote your membership community and attract people who want to see more of that kind of content.
Take a look at how Mark Manson subtly creates awareness and desire for his private community. His premium content is listed on his site for the world to see, with a small note that it’s for subscribers only, but you can still click it.
Clicking through to the article, you’re able to read the first few paragraphs. It’s enough to draw you in and get you hooked, and maybe even think you’re getting away with reading a premium article for free. But then you get to a point where you’re stopped and notified about his membership.
The reverse is also possible if you have some high quality free content that you can add more information to or expand on certain key details related to your free content in premium content.
How To Repurpose Content By Addressing Different Skill Levels
If you’ve created an amazing “beginner’s guide to X,” examines how you can make an advanced version of the same content. Often people will start with a “beginner’s” guide but never create anything else. Sometimes this means that people won’t think you can serve them (because they’re advanced and you only help beginners). By creating content for different skill levels, you’ll address the needs of a broader audience and give people the opportunity to progress with you.
Take a look at the differences between the beginner and advanced guides for SEO on QuickSprout. They both address the same topic and even similar strategies, but the depth and emphasis on the topics is very different. This makes it possible to serve a much broader audience with your content and make sure there’s something for everyone to enjoy on your site.
How To Collaborate With Repurposing To Add New Perspectives And Value
When looking for ways to repurpose, you should not just look to your own content. Repurposing content can be a “low hanging fruit” in terms of opportunities to connect with influencers. You can use all of the systems mentioned above and offer to collaborate with others to improve their content as well.
Mixing your ideas with those of other influencers in your space can breathe new life into an old topic. Plus, it can often expose the content to a new audience if the influencers you work with share it.
Repurposing like this is a good strategy to build relationships, especially if the content you are repurposing has a lot of traction already. It will make it an easy sell to whoever you reach out to, as they’ll see the already-successful content on the subject.
For more on collaborating in content, check out – How To Combine Influencer Marketing With Content Marketing
Another great framework for collaborating on repurposing content is called The Poster Boy strategy by Bryan Harris. The basic idea is to find content that influencers have created –usually a guide or a “how to” article works best — then follow the guide exactly and document everything that happens. Create content explaining how you followed their process and the results you got. This typically is extremely flattering for the influencer and can open up many interesting doors for the creator.
Best Practices For Repurposing
There are right and wrong ways to repurpose. Here are some of the best practices you can use to make the most of your repurposed content:
- Create with repurposing in mind – Even if you’re creating original content, keep in mind how you may be able to repurpose it in the future. As you’re creating your original posts, you’ll make more opportunities for repurposing down the line.
- Plan for repurposing – Even though it’s less work than creating original content, repurposing content still takes time and effort. Be sure to leave room in your editorial calendar for repurposing so that you have the time and energy to make it happen.
- Repurpose with the customer in mind – Keep your content relevant to your customer. People will be able to tell if you’re just repurposing to lock down a few new keywords for SEO. People won’t engage with that content, and you won’t get the results you were hoping for anyway.
- Add more value with every repurposing – Be sure that there’s something fresh in every piece of repurposed content.
- Use analytics and engagement to find repurposing opportunities – It’s best to start repurposing with content that is popular and has traction. Look through your analytics, comments and social media to find your top performing content.
- Cross-promote your content – As you start repurposing content, make sure one piece is promoting another. If people are interested in one piece of content, it’s likely they’ll be interested in the repurposed version.
- Repurpose evergreen content – Focus on repurposing content that will stay relevant for many years to come. This kind of content often includes high-level ideas and principles that hold true even as trends and technology change.
- Modify and adapt the content to the medium – Different channels and mediums for content have unique advantages and traits. Videos are great for demonstrating a process or workflow, while infographics are great at telling a story through data. Make sure you understand the medium you’re repurposing your content to and leverage its unique advantages.
Repurposing your content can simultaneously make your work easier and bring you more results from the hard work you’ve already invested into your content creation. Make it an integral part of your strategy and look for opportunities for easy wins with your audience.