Repurposing Content is Smart — Here Are 5 Clever Ways to Do It

repurpose website content
Scott Webb Photography, London, Canada

Imagine this: you buy a pair of shoes, but you can only wear them with one specific outfit. The same is true of your other shoes and other outfits. Sure, some people hold their closets to this rule, but it’s expensive wasteful. So, why run your website the same way?

I’m a huge proponent of repurposing content because at the end of the day, you paid for the content (whether with dollars or time), so you might as well get the most bang for your buck. Most digital marketers know that completely duplicated content isn’t a great experience for readers, however, content about a similar topic can actually help drive SEO traffic to your page. And believe it or not, readers like repurposed content when it’s done the right way.

There’s no single method to making repurposed content work for you, because it largely depends on who your audience is, and that will change from site to site. You’ll want to figure out some insights about what delivery methods your visitors engage with most. Do they prefer articles or videos? Are infographics a hit? Does short or long content perform well? Additionally, you’ll want to think about your social media channels, and how they can help you leverage your content. All of these insights can not only get more eyes on what you’ve published, it can also help you decide which marketing partnerships will likely be the most beneficial, thanks to these audience insights.

Here are five clever ways to get the most mileage out of your content and how to make it more engaging.

1. Turn it into a multimedia experience

You may have seen Moz’s Whiteboard Friday, where Rand Fishkin & Co. take a different SEO-related concept each week and illustrate how it works. The videos are one of the most educational parts of my week, but Moz goes one step further. They also publish a hi-res photo of the finished whiteboard, and type out all of the text below the video. If that isn’t enough for you, they also embed an audio file from Soundcloud so if their users are podcast people, this option is available as well.

A single weekly post repurposes content in four very user-friendly, and engaging ways. While many people watch videos, others would rather quickly scan an article. And if the lesson that week was particularly illuminating, the photo allows the visitor to share it with only a few clicks.

2. Revisualize the content

Moz takes, quite literally, a straightforward approach to repurposing content, simply delivering the same product in different ways, but there are other methods to making the same thing feel fresh. If you have a piece of content that lends itself to becoming an infographic, then take a few moments and create one.

Even if you don’t have a graphic designing bone in your body, there are lots of free tools out there to help you design an image people will engage with. My favorite is Canva. I discovered it a few years ago, and since then I’ve created marketing materials for clients, social media posts for college intramural programs, lengthy infographics, a new cover for my novel, business cards, and some casual pics just for the heck of it. Do a quick content audit, focusing on which pieces get the most engagement, and start thinking about new ways to present it.

3. Socialize articles… Again

People are typically pretty good at Tweeting or posting their content to Facebook, but are you employing the most engaging tactics? Let me illustrate. When I used to write for a celebrity blog, we’d have headlines like, “You Won’t Believe What Shoes She Wore With This” and post a picture cropping out the shoes. Sometimes, if the headline was that ambiguous, we’d crop out the celeb’s head, too.

Of course, this is the most shameless form of clickbait, and no one likes that, so don’t go that far, but think in th same frame of mind.

If you have an article about how to de-stress and de-clutter your life, create a graphic with the article title, or a little factoid that will entice readers, and direct them to the article link. By using this method, you get double leverage out of your post without looking lazy and simply posting the same link again, or coming up with something like, “Throwback to one of my favorite posts.” If you’ve tried that method, it’s ok, we probably all have at some point.

You can also launch a week-long social media campaign. For example, if you have a website about yoga, feature a new pose each day to balance the seven chakras. The info is already on your site, you’re just making it accessible in a new way.

The main takeaway should be that there are other ways to make old content seem fresh without having to spend any time on it.

4. Create a newsletter

There’s a marketing newsletter I follow (I won’t name names) who has one of the least creative approaches to their newsletter strategy. They literally just send me the entire article that was posted to their website that day. But you know what? It works. I nearly always open it (hi, advertisers!), and honestly, if it weren’t for them spoon feeding me that whole 2,000 words every morning,  I wouldn’t necessarily visit their page without being constantly reminded of this high quality content.

This isn’t to say that you should just send your exact content in a newsletter, but there are similar methods you can use. When I wrote for Transamerica’s blog (which won a content award while my team was there, but has since been taken down), I’d use a simple MailChimp template, plug in our hero images from the posts, write a little blurb, and send it off. It worked so well that I plan to try a similar method with this blog once I have enough content publishing regularly (one of my New Year resolutions).

Take a look at MailChimp, Constant Contact, or a similar email service and see if you can draw some inspiration for your own future newsletter.

5. Make an eBook or whitepaper

Do you have years worth of content? So much content that it could be… a book? Why not give that a try. Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi had a deadline approaching for his Epic Content Marketing book, and since he was short on time, he tapped some old content for inspiration. By updating some previous blog and LinkedIn posts, he was able to knock out his 25 chapters.

Take a look at what you’ve got and how it can repurposed into something that serves both you and your readers. Here are some ideas:

  • Create a whitepaper using tips from a few similar articles
  • Publish a gated eBook with a brief overview of something your readers will find helpful. If you’re a personal finance blog, compile some actionable tips you’ve given to readers over the years. Then make it downloadable once they submit their email.
  • Create a masterclass series and offer it for a fee on your site. You can offer it in the form of an eBook or a series of whitepapers. Using the topic you’re an expert in, create some original content to accompany what you’re repurposing and help people learn what you know.

There are nearly endless ways to repurpose content, and it’s secretly an area of content marketing that I’m passionate about. I strongly believe that people should get the biggest return possible from the time and money they put into their marketing efforts. If you want some simple suggestions for how to start your content repurposing efforts in a fresh way, I’m happy to help.

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