Content Marketing Masterclass: Part Eight
Doc Martens. Crop tops. Acid wash jeans. We all thought they were going to go in the history books and stay there forever. Except they didn’t. And so it turns out my mother-in-law’s advice to hang on to your entire wardrobe at all times is solid after all: at one point, every style will have a revival. For better or worse.
Because what was once old can be new again - and that includes your content. There are two approaches you can take as a small business trying to maximize ROI on your existing content: promoting your content like there is no tomorrow and repurposing it.
Repurposing content is a strategy to build off your previous content successes. It takes existing published content, refreshes it and puts an entirely new spin on it to create something new and different. If you’re looking to get more for your content buck, read on.
This post is Part Eight in a brand spanking new Masterclass Series on Content Marketing. We believe it’s an incredibly important topic – and according to a little survey we did, you do too. Trouble is: there is so much content on content marketing out there (talk about meta) and a lot of the intel is conflicting.
We bring this Masterclass to you in partnership with Anouck Meier, Chief Storytelling Officer at Ampersand. Anouck is a conversion copywriter and a content marketing strategist who has worked with numerous brands, big and small, to help them achieve their business goals through strategic content. Let’s get the story on content straight once and for all in a comprehensive guide. Ready to dive in?
– Jeroen Corthout, Co-Founder Salesflare, an easy-to-use sales CRM for small B2B companies
Repurposing Content: The Good...
If your time and resources are limited - and, let’s face it, who has unlimited access to these things anyway - repurposing content can be a very smart move. Instead of working hard to create content day in, day out, you use the same content in more than one way to reach more people.
There are lots of advantages to repurposing content:
Reach new audiences
Repurposing your content for different mediums or platforms means appealing to more audiences and extending your reach. Some users choose visual infographics over long form copy. Some prefer podcasts instead of ebooks. Others still are more into video.
Michael Brenner of SAP puts it this way: “Multi-channel marketing … provides the content our audiences are searching for, in all the places they search.”
Boost your SEO
If you take a smart approach, repurposing content can generate additional opportunities to target a desired keyword or phrase.
What’s more, if you take your repurposed content outside your site, you can build quality links back to your site with the added bonus of controlling the anchor text in the link.
Reinforce your message
In a world where your prospects are flooded with information, repetition is instrumental in letting your message sink in. Marketing’s Rule of 7 states that buyers need to hear your message at least seven times before they’re ready to close the deal.
Repurposing goes a long way toward reaching this quota - especially if you keep your message fresh and varied (as we’ll discuss further in this post).
Gain extra authority
Publishing quality content in a variety of places on a single topic can help raise your profile in your specific industry and help you position yourself as an expert.
Make the Most of Your Content
Contrary to popular belief, creating content isn’t free - at a minimum, creating quality content costs time and energy. So repurposing content helps you maximize the investments you’ve already made. It ensures that users who missed your epic blog post the first time around have a chance of seeing a variation of that same message on round two.
It's like layering that flowy summer dress with a chunky knit so you can wear it year-round: it's just the smart thing to do.
...The (Not so) Bad and The (Not so) Ugly
If there are that many benefits to repurposing your content, why are so many content creators not taking full advantage of the opportunity?
My guess is that they’re either just not aware of the opportunity. Or - and this seems to be the case for a lot of marketers - they fear getting hit by a duplicate content penalty by the search engines.
However, Google and the search engines reserve the right to penalize your website only if you’re excessively copying content in a manipulative manner. With repurposed content, you are only trying to increase the awareness of your brand – surely that's not a violation of Google’s guidelines.
What is more, repurposing content isn’t just duplicating. Instead of copy/pasting, you’re providing something new and different. Search engines and users aren’t going to see that as the same content.
In sum, you would have to repurpose incredibly large amounts of content and be seen as malicious with your intent for duplicating that content. If done right, it’s a non-issue.
Which Content Deserves to be Repurposed?
So which wardrobe staples deserve reviving? Time to go on a treasure hunt! Cipher out the top contenders for repurposing by considering the following.
Evergreen Content Never Goes Out of Style
Only repurpose content that’s evergreen in nature: content that continues to be valuable and relevant over the months (or even years). It’s timeless, quality content. It’s the little black dresses and the Chanel handbags of content and they will steal the show on the catwalk time and time again.
You might be surprised just how much of your blog archives qualifies as evergreen. If you come across content that is largely evergreen except for a few outdated references, give it a stylish new makeover!
Dig through Google Analytics and see what your most popular posts have been over the past year. If you’re checking your monthly reports, be on the look-out for top content that was published before the start date of your report, like a July post topping the charts of your September content.
Figure out why those posts performed well to get your repurposing game plan going.
How To Repurpose Your Content: 4 Totally Doable Strategies
I’ve listed 4 different strategies to repurpose your old content below. After republishing your post in specific places, the common thread amongst these strategies is to add value to the original.
Tailor the post to the needs of each channel/audience. True repurposing requires that you alter the piece of content to make it fresh and appealing to a new audience.
1. Republish Your Posts
But first: pick the low hanging fruit.
There are a number of platforms which will allow you to republish your old blog posts, getting them in front of a larger audience. To republish your existing content, simply sign up for an account, copy and paste your article, and hit “publish”.
This is repurposing at its easiest.
Here are some places for you to republish old blog posts:
- Medium allows you to republish your blog posts and get them to a wider audience. It’s almost like a social media platform, but for blog posts. Setting up an account is free and easy - get inspired and check out the Salesflare Medium page.
- GrowthHackers is a platform for content related to startup marketing. All you have to do to promote your post is submit its URL, like we did with this post on content distribution, for example.
- LinkedIn is another place where you can easily republish your post. Use your company page as a content hub for re-sharing your blog posts.
- Quora might be a slightly less obvious place to republish your content, but the social answers site makes it incredibly easy to repurpose content, either in replies to questions or as posts to Quora’s user blogs. This can also work in reverse—your answers on Quora can become the seeds for blog posts on your site.
2. Publish spin-off content
High-quality content can spinoff more high-quality content, and your audience can benefit from both. There are a couple of different ways to do this.
- You may come across a piece of content that could use a makeover but nevertheless still ranks well and pulls in significant traffic. In this case, you may be able to salvage the majority of the content and only change a few details.
Simply update the content within the post using the existing URL to keep hold of its SEO value and you're good to go.
- One of the most straightforward examples of spin-off content is converting a listicle (a list post) into a series of individual pieces of content.
To do this, take a listicle and break out each item on the list into a post of its own. Next, flesh things out in more detail and add extra data, research, tutorials or examples.
- You can also try the reverse of the numbered list idea. Take a cluster of related posts and turn them into one single summary post.
- Write a case study. Take the topic of an old article and find an example that illustrates your point. Better still: use your own internal data to write a case study. Or document your "making of" process for your blog so future clients can see what it's like to work with you.
- Write an expert roundup. Taking the same topic of your initial article, ask a number of experts their opinion or tips on the matter. Then publish all of their answers as a new post, linking to your old post.
3. Use a Different Medium
So far, we've stuck to repurposing content by re-writing or re-organizing written content. But hey, if you're ready to get a little more creative, there are tons of options out there!
There are so many different mediums you can use to repurpose your existing content, from visuals, to video, to audio… all you have to do is re-format your content.
Here are some ideas to get more mileage on the same old content by simply using a different medium:
- Make a presentation. If your post is full of interesting data and actionable advice, you can turn it into a slide deck. Sharing your slides to a social site like SlideShare provides additional opportunities for engagement.
- Build an infographic. A step beyond the slide deck is the infographic, which is a complete summary of the content of your post in a visual outline. Use software like Piktochart or Visually if you want to design your own infographic but lack professional design skills.
- Create an ebook. Once you’ve blogged a lot about a specific topic, consider repackaging your blog posts into a fresh new guide.
Supplement your posts with additional information, data or research. Add photos and a proper introduction. Make the ebook something that is worth the additional investment and as an added bonus you can use it in your lead gen efforts or - as the case may be - as an extra revenue stream.
- Craft an email sequence. Some content lends itself well to bite-sized chunks, which can be ideal for an (automated) email sequence.
Turn a list post - like this one - into a drip series of emails. Once you have it set up (use an email service provider like Convertkit or Drip), you can offer the series to readers on your blog and use it to generate new leads and subscribers.
- Create a podcast. Chances are that some members of your audience prefer content they don’t have to, well, actually read. And it makes sense: listening to podcasts is an easy way to make your commute more productive or to provide some well-needed distraction during your workout.
Turn your blogpost into a podcast and you'll open up a whole new way of connecting with your audience.
- Host a webinar. If you’re ready for some live interaction with your audience, a webinar is an ideal medium. It allows you to both present on a topic and engage your audience in conversation. Use your existing content as a jumping-off point or use a series of blogs as a base for your presentation.
- Make videos. Don’t let your great webinar go to waste. Repurpose it as a YouTube video, ensuring that your great content lives on.
And while you’re at it, make some extra videos out of existing blog posts: your text is a perfect foundation for a script. Wistia is one of many online tools to help with video content for your website.
4. Re-promote to Social Media (Yes, Again)
Finally, it’s worth repeating that it’s hard to over-share your content on social media. Once you’ve located that evergreen, quality content, you should share it over and over again.
While it might seem counterintuitive to share the same content to the same audience, research has shown that reposting can bring in 75 percent of the engagement of the original share.
Moreover, reposting is a necessity if you want to reach people in different time zones, find new followers, and test variations of your content.
Refer back to the post on content distribution in this Masterclass for in-depth tips and tricks on promoting your content on social media.
How Will You Repurpose Your Content?
One great content idea can often be spun out in a number of different ways and lead to dozens of pieces of content. With these tips on repurposing content, you’ll be getting a lot more value out of your content efforts.
As you can tell, the possibilities for repurposing content are endless. And you can take these ideas even further: think about making an online course out of your content or compiling a resource hub for all your content upgrades.
A final piece of advice: consider how you’re going to repurpose your content before you start creating even a single piece of content. Make “can we repurpose this content” part of your ideation brainstorms and it'll be even easier to get more out of less content.
How does repurposed content fit into your marketing plan? Do you have any other methods of repurposing content? Let us know in the comments!
And don’t forget to check back next week for Part Nine of our Content Marketing Masterclass about the ROI of your content!