If repurposing content isn’t part of your strategy, you’re losing money on your marketing.
Though they are tools that can speed up the content process, even the most streamlined content production processes take time, due to the sheer number of steps involved:
- Map out your content ideas
- Research the topic
- Create the first draft
- Review and edit (multiple times)
- Publish the content
- Promote and hope it resonates
And that’s just for one piece of content! Anyone who’s studied SEO best practices knows it’s important to consistently publish fresh content to harness its true power.
So how can marketers be sure they’re getting the most value out of all that hard work? The key is to repurpose every piece of content you make, so it can be shared across multiple platforms multiple times, and reach your audience wherever they may be.
This guide will show you how to build content repurposing into your strategy, no matter what type of content you’re creating.
- The benefits of repurposing content
- Step 1. Find out how and where your audience engages with content
- Step 2. Map out your content topics and pillars
- Step 3. Choose your central piece of content
- Step 4. Identify key points to reshare
- Step 5. Create additional assets
- Step 6. Publish and schedule everything
- Step 7. Monitor results and metrics
- Step 8. Rinse and repeat
The benefits of repurposing content
If you’re already feeling overwhelmed by the amount of time needed to create fresh content, you may be thinking that repurposing content is only going to eat up more of your resources.
But repurposing content will actually save you time and money in the long run if you do it strategically. Here are some of the benefits you’ll see if you use this method:
Better ROI on your content marketing
Imagine you spend $1,000 to pay a writer to create a long-form blog. You publish it, share it on your social media, and then never think about it again. That piece of content may do a bit of lifting for your strategy, but you’re missing out on its long-term benefits.
Now let’s imagine you spend another $500 on a graphic designer, who will create a series of high-quality explainer images to go along with that content piece. You not only integrate these images into the content piece, but you also:
- Share them on Instagram over the course of 6 months
- Compile them into a single infographic to share on social media
- Turn the images into a slideshow for YouTube
- Integrate the images into an email drip campaign
For a small additional expense, you’ve turned what would have been a one-and-done content piece into five pieces you can share with your audience in different ways. Talk about bang for your buck!
Improved search engine optimization
If you’re creating content to increase organic traffic to your site, then you may notice that over time your top-performing pieces will start to lose their momentum. This is called “content decay,” and it happens for a few reasons:
- Google’s algorithm prefers fresh content
- Topics change, and audiences prefer reading the most up-to-date pieces
- Your competitors are going after the same keywords with their own (fresher) content
By repurposing old blogs by adding fresh content and republishing them with a new date, you’ll see these decaying content pieces pick up traffic once again. Here’s an example from Google Analytics. You can see that after the article was updated in April of 2022, it soon started to pick up traffic after it was repurposed:
Rapid audience growth
Repurposing your content grows your audience faster because you’re using different methods to connect with different types of people.
Someone who doesn’t enjoy reading may never visit your website if you’re only publishing blogs. But if you come out with a podcast that reshares all of your blogs, you’ll capture the attention of people who enjoy audio.
If you’re only publishing your content on your company website, then you’ll be entirely reliant on organic traffic to reach your audience. But if you repurpose that content for Medium or as a LinkedIn article, you’ll tap into audiences that have never visited your website before.
The more creative you get with how you repurpose content, the bigger your audience will become.
New partnerships and opportunities
One of the best ways to leverage repurposed content is by partnering with other organizations to expand your reach.
For example, let’s say you’re in the cybersecurity industry and you’re working on a 10-minute explainer video about how to avoid online scams. You’ve already decided to chop this up into 5 2-minute videos for YouTube, and 10 one-minute videos for TikTok.
With all of those assets, you can start reaching out to other businesses that share your audience. You could ask a financial institution to share the video on money scams with their mailing list, and seek out an online retail business that will reshare the video covering online shopping scams.
Forming these valuable partnerships will be much easier if you come to the table with a fully formed piece of content, and since you’re already repurposing it, you won’t have to create something brand new to sweeten the deal.
Step 1. Find out how and where your audience engages with content
Having a deep understanding of your audience is vital for your entire marketing strategy, and content repurposing is no different.
In addition to knowing things like your target customer’s curiosities, anxieties, and desires, you must also understand how and where they like to engage with content.
Your audience isn’t a monolith, so the answer to how they like to engage with content is likely quite varied. Some members of your audience may prefer reading long-form content, while others want a video or podcast, for example.
The best way to find out is through experimentation. Offer your audience a wide variety of content types, and see what resonates. Eventually, you’ll begin to see patterns, and will soon have a good idea of the types of content you should be focusing on.
Finding out where your audience likes to discover content will impact your distribution channels. Once again, it’s likely your audience congregates in multiple places, so test multiple publication methods and let metrics be your guide:
- Which social media platforms give your posts the most traction?
- What types of emails get the most clicks and opens?
- What other publications does your audience currently enjoy?
Figuring out where and how your audience consumes content before you start planning your repurposing strategy will save you time in the long run, so don’t skip this step.
Step 2. Map out your content pillars and topics
The phrase “repurposing content” makes it sound like it’s something you do after a piece of content has been created.
But it’s far better to start planning how you’ll repurpose content before you’ve created it, when you’re mapping out the topics you plan to cover. This way, you can have one single planning session for all your content pieces (original and repurposed) in one fell swoop.
For example, let’s say you are working on the marketing strategy for a landscaping company, and you’re planning out your content for the busy spring season.
You know you want to cover the following topics: Spring Flowers, Eco-Friendly Gardening, and Topiaries.
Now, divide those topics into sub-topics:
- Most colorful flowers
- When to plant seeds
- Arranging your flowerbeds
- Natural landscaping
- Eco waste management
- Water conservation
- How to clip hedges
- Topiary creation
- Best natural hedges
Now that you know the large topics you’ll be covering in the next few months, you can start planning how to get the most mileage out of each topic with repurposed content.
Tip: Want to learn more? Read our article “How to Create a Killer Content Pillar Strategy”.
Step 3. Choose your central piece of content
For each of the topics you’ve identified, you’ll want to focus on one central piece of content. To extend the landscaping metaphor, think of this piece as the trunk of a tree. It will be the main support piece for the topic, and from there you’ll “branch out” by repurposing that piece of content.
There are a number of different central content pieces you can create, but you want to make sure it will be large enough to give you plenty of content repurposing opportunities. Here are some ideas:
Start with a long-form blog
If SEO is an important part of your marketing strategy, then it makes sense to begin with a long-form blog. Longer written content (over 1,000 words) tends to perform better in search, provided it’s well-written and not full of fluff.
A long piece like this will help you cover the topic thoroughly, and then you can extract bits and pieces to repurpose however you like. For example, you may create a graphic to support the main points of your article and repurpose that for Instagram.
For example, here’s a short video we made out of our long-form blog The Complete Guide to Using Storytelling in Content Marketing.
Start with a (video) interview
If your topic requires the insights of someone with subject matter expertise, this can be a great place to start. Record the interview, and use software like Descript or Otter.ai to turn the conversation into a transcript.
This will give you plenty to work with for content repurposing. You can turn the entire interview into a blog of its own, turn the audio into a podcast, and chop up the best moments from the interview into videos for YouTube or TikTok. Like we did in this example:
Start with something you’ve already created
If you’ve already been creating content, then you’re likely sitting on a gold mine of repurposing opportunities. Turn to your archives and look for content pieces that can be repurposed in some way.
Start by looking for content pieces that have already resonated with your audience. This will guarantee that your repurposing efforts will pay off since you already know your readers/viewers are interested.
You can also try repurposing content that underperformed. A new format for stagnant content may breathe new life into the piece and bring it up to speed with your top-performing pieces.
Expand your top-performing social post
It can be hard to predict when a Tweet or LinkedIn post will go viral, but once it does, that’s a signal that you should repurpose that social post into something more.
Take a look at your top-performing posts, and see what kinds of insights and questions people had as they looked at the post. Use these to expand the content into something bigger, like a full article, a video series, or a roundup.
Tip: We compiled 12 examples of how you can repurpose content for social media in this article.
Step 4. Identify key points to reshare
Once you’ve created your central content piece, it’s time to get out your fine-tooth comb and go through it for repurposing opportunities.
Look for the key points of the content piece, and analyze how you might repurpose them with something new.
Let’s use the landscaping example from before. Imagine you’ve created a 2,000-word blog article on natural landscaping. During the repurposing process, pull out each of the main points and brainstorm ways you can reshare them.
Point 1: Benefits of natural landscaping
- Develop a cost-savings calculator
- Twitter thread: Top 10 benefits of natural landscaping
- Turn customer quotes into images for Instagram
Point 2: Understanding your climate and ecosystem
- Infographic showing different climate considerations
- Downloadable PDFs for different ecosystems
- Segmented email campaigns based on customer geographics
Point 3: Types of rocks and plants to consider
- Video showing client examples
- Instagram story featuring different plant types
- Quiz: Choose your plants and rocks
Point 4: Hiring a professional landscaper to help
- Integrate customer testimonial videos into the article
- TikTok introducing the landscaping team
Many of the assets you create can be reintegrated into the central piece of content or quickly created out of the text and research you’ve already done. With this planning strategy, you’ve turned a single content piece into at least 11 unique pieces to share with your audience in different ways.
Step 5. Create additional assets
Now that you’ve mapped out a list of the additional assets you want to build off your central content piece, it’s time to start creating.
If you have an in-house content team, you can maximize your time by creating thorough briefs for the specialists you work with, so they can all work simultaneously to pull together the additional assets.
If you have a more streamlined team, then lean on various tools to make the repurposing process easier.
For example, you can use StoryChief’s Twitter Thread Designer tool to quickly repurpose a Twitter thread into a beautiful LinkedIn post.
If you want to create more visual elements, but don’t have access to a designer, you can use a tool like Canva to quickly create imagery and resize it for sharing across multiple platforms.
Tip: To see more examples of repurposed content, take a look at our article: “Repurposing Content for Social Media - 12 Creative Examples”.
Step 6. Publish and schedule everything
As you develop your new assets, you’ll want to schedule them strategically to give your content a longer lifespan.
This is where StoryChief can really help. It’s easy to repurpose content you've written in StoryChief to share across social media, and you can schedule these posts in advance so you won’t have to spend too much time getting them ready.
This is also a good time to schedule your long-form content on other publication platforms. For example, you may post a blog you’ve written on Medium or as a LinkedIn article a week or two after it’s gone live on your site (this won’t impact your SEO, as it won’t count as duplicate content on those platforms).
As you schedule content, do your research on social media algorithms to determine the optimum time to share content on different platforms.
Step 7. Monitor results and metrics
Once everything is scheduled and published, it’s time to analyze all of your hard work to see how it performed. Take a step back to look at the metrics from all of the different assets and formats you shared.
In StoryChief you can quickly see what pieces perform the best. You can analyze content by:
- Individual performance (views and reads)
- Channel performance (engagement and growth)
- Campaign performance (views and reads across all pieces of content in a campaign, this includes social posts, blog articles across different channels)
- Funnel stage performance (views and reads across all pieces of content in a certain funnel stage)
Depending on the content piece, you can go more into detail on different platforms. You can look at:
- Organic traffic
- Video views
- Email opens
- Conversion activities
- Link clicks
- Time on page
- Social reach and reshares
- Comments and likes
- Direct feedback
Take notes on what worked well and what fell flat. You’ll use this information to refine your repurposing strategy over time.
Step 8. Rinse and repeat
Content repurposing isn’t something you do once and then never do again. As you make more content, you’ll create more opportunities to experiment with your audience and content style.
Make it a habit to revisit old content pieces every few months. Check in on how they’re performing, and if necessary, find new ways to repurpose them.
Stick with this methodology, and you’ll get the most mileage (and the best return on investment) from everything you create.