Regularly creating new and relevant content is the biggest challenge for every journalist and thought leader. And it is hard work. Is there a way to reuse popular content that has been painstakingly created?
The benefit is pretty clear: The effort needed to repurpose existing content is much less than to create completely new content. That’s why repurposing content should be an important part of any content strategy.
Content reuse is critical to your success. It is the fastest way to create high quality content. If you haven’t integrated this tactic yet, consider doing it.
What you will learn in this blog:
- Why you should repurpose your content
- How to find suitable content
- General tips for revising content
- The 3 key principles of repurposing content
Why you should repurpose your content
We will first take a closer look at the biggest advantages of repurposing content.
You know how tedious and time-consuming careful content research can be. Repurposing a piece of content is also a labor-intensive process. But it’s not like a complete rebuild.
Also, suppose you spent a lot of time and effort researching and writing an article. First of all, you will probably feel a little pride.
Second, wouldn’t it be a shame if you only gave your readers one chance to consume the high-quality content?
Repurposing content saves you a lot of time and effort. You will also benefit once again from your best content.
Many companies also share this view. Take a look at Curata’s diagram, for example.
Repurposing content means that you can prepare your content in different formats. The main formats are audio, video and text.
If you replay your best articles after some time, e.g. as a podcast across different platforms, you will significantly increase their reach.
Although the users in your target group probably have a lot in common, they most likely don’t have the same learning style: more than half of people learn mainly from visuals. But also quite a few users are auditory learners. That means that these remaining customers are not optimally addressed with only articles and videos.
Re-published articles presented as podcasts can help you reach the remaining 30% of auditory learners perfectly.
We’ll stick to the subject of psychology for a moment.
The human brain learns mainly through repetition. This is another crucial point, and that is why it is recommended to distribute a message in different versions and formats, as well as in different media.
By reusing your content, you ensure that the information you provide remains in the memory of your target group.
Did you know that on average 51% of traffic to websites comes from Google & Co’s organic search results? This is the result of a study by BrightEdge.
You may wonder what this has to do with repurposing content. Well, repurposing your content offers you the possibility to update all your SEO-relevant data.
You should check whether the keywords are still correct, the links are still up-to-date and whether metadata is stored.
In the first part I briefly explained the reasons for repurposing content. Perhaps the question now arises: Which type of content is actually best suited for repurposing?
How to find suitable content
So, first of all: of course, theoretically, any content can be reused. However, not all content is equally suitable.
So what should you look out for when you are looking for content to repurpose?
In general, the content that is most suitable is the content that either
- was often shared,
- has a good Google rank,
- has many backlinks
- and above all, is still relevant.
But you should address these points one after the other.
Take a content inventory
You start with a so-called content inventory. This means that you analyze your existing content. The following criteria are best suited for this.
With one look at Google Analytics, or any other web analysis tool of your choice, you can quickly identify the content that has the most page views.
Are there social media contributions that attract your attention through an above-average number of social shares?
You should also take a look at blog posts that have received many positive comments. The same goes for blog posts that gave rise to lively discussions.
If the topics are still up to date, you can follow up and pick up the topic again.
Now take a look at those articles that could generate many backlinks. This means that this content was particularly relevant for other content creators.
I’d like to recommend a highly readable Quick Sprout article on the types of content that most backlinks generate.
Another hot tip is to look out for evergreen content. This is content that is read over and over again and is time-independent. A valuable tool for identifying evergreen content is the so called “Evergreen Score” by Buzzsumo.
Example topic: “How to build a doghouse in 5 steps”. An article with clear explanations and attractive photos is excellent for timeless, relevant content. Because this much is clear: Even in 5 years people probably will still be keeping dogs.
Allow me a little hint on my own account. Our Content Intelligence Tool goes one step further, because it even gives you seasonal topic recommendations.
With just a few clicks, you can discover in which months, topics such as cycling, recipes or university are particularly popular. And this much is certain: the results are sometimes amazing.
As you can see, there are many criteria that can help you to find suitable content for repurposing. You simply focus on selecting the content that performed well in your analysis against as many criteria as possible.
Pretty simple, isn’t it?
General tips for revising content
Before you start repurposing your content, be sure to consider the following points.
This will ensure that the older content still matches your goals and values.
- Does the selected content still match the positioning of your company? If not, adjust the core messages accordingly or dispose of the content.
- Has the target group remained the same? If something has changed here, the content must be changed accordingly.
- Are the keywords from that time still up to date? Or is it appropriate to adapt them?
- You should check and update figures, data and facts. Nothing is more embarrassing than old data.
- Check all links. Google punishes broken links with a worse ranking.
The 3 key principles of repurposing content
Once the content is selected, you can start to let your old content shine within new splendour. Now I’ll show you which three key principles you can follow.
1. Serve content snacks
This is the most common form of repurposing content: You divide a longer piece of content (e.g. editions) into several small “canapés” (including articles). Keyword Content Model. Let me give you three examples.
Whitepaper –> Blog
Split a white paper or e-book into a series of blog posts. In the individual posts, you refer to the original format and offer it to your readers as a free download.
Longer articles are also great for a variety of newsletters.
Blog –> Social Media Posts
For social media, you can even break the content down into even smaller pieces. Sometimes a quote or a picture is enough. Just take an article like this one (33 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know About Your Own Body).
From there, grab part of the introduction for a short teaser on Facebook. And the most interesting quotes and statistics you simply use for Twitter.
Videos –> GIFs or shorter videos
Do you have a longer video about your company, your products or whatever? Then repurpose it. Create multiple short videos or animated GIFs. These snack videos attract attention and are great for social media.
Also possible: Simply publish your existing content on a new channel, such as Apple News+.
2. Multiple short content becomes one long format
The reverse procedure is also possible: You create a comprehensive content format from several short content sources.
Blog posts –> Whitepaper or e-book
For example, you could collect well-functioning blog posts on the same topic. Enrich this content with some up-to-date information. You could also create a whitepaper or e-book from it.
We humans love simplicity and good summaries. These are ideal prerequisites for regular compilations. You can use this type of content quarterly or semi-annually, for example.
Compilations are short teased listings of your best blog posts. They are usually read with pleasure and often shared.
Short How-to Videos –> Video Course
Have you created several thematically similar how-to videos? Great, then combine them into one video course. You can then offer the video course for download on your website.
3. Move your content to a different format
The last common option is to publish your existing content in a completely different format. Do you remember the three main formats text, video and audio?
Print –> digital formats
As a publisher, you have access to a wide range of printed content such as magazines, brochures and studies. Why not reuse this content?
Add interactions and animations to the content and you have the perfect content for social media, your website or your blog.
Video –> Blog
Once you have created a video, you can convert it into a blog and embed it on your website. The advantage of this is that the new content is now also ranked by the search engines. And thus provides for more traffic on your website.
Blog –> Podcast
An increasingly popular form of repurposing content is the conversion of a blog into a podcast. According to a 2017 Edison Research survey, 24% of respondents listen to a podcast at least once a month.
Take their most popular posts and articles and turn them into podcast episodes. Don’t have a podcast yet? Well, it’s easy to get started.
Furthermore, podcasts have one crucial advantage: your voice. Just like video, it’s a very personal medium. With a podcast it is relatively easy for you to build a personal relationship with your listeners and create trust.
Try out new platforms
Of course, you can also make it easier for yourself and simply test new platforms with existing content.
When publishing content on other platforms, you don’t have the pressure to rewrite or edit the original content.
Sites such as Medium, LinkedIn Publisher and Business2Community enable content syndication. These huge platforms can help you make your content accessible to a larger group of people.
However, before you decide to distribute your articles on these websites, you should check one thing first: Check whether your original content contains a “rel=canonical” tag. This little tag gives Google the important information on where to find the original article.
The tag can be added quickly with the Yoast plugin, for example.
An important aspect of a well functioning content strategy is to regularly serve your target group with varied and relevant content.
Repurposing content is therefore an indispensable way to conserve your own resources and keep time to a minimum. Used correctly, it also has the potential to have a huge impact on your website visits.
Finally, a personal suggestion: Let these three principles guide you. And take the liberty of trying out one or the other format in a playful way.
Only through small experiments can you find out how the reuse of content can help to attract significantly more visitors to your website.
Do you have any other ideas on how to reuse content? We would love to hear them. Just text us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.