In recent years, “Reduce Reuse Recycle” has become the mantra of the Environmental movement. It’s simple and catchy and, quite honestly, it makes a lot of sense. It refers to three things you can do to limit the amount of waste you put out into the world. You can reduce your consumption of things like aluminum cans or paper bags, reuse or repurpose items such as empty food jars or scraps of material, and recycle any relevant items. By doing so, you will be doing your part to minimize your carbon footprint and contribute towards saving the planet. And in fact, repurposing content isn’t all that different.
What, you may be wondering, does this have to do with content? Isn’t the whole point of content to be constantly new, fresh, and on-trend? How else will you keep your followers engaged and attract the attention of influencers?
Contrary to what you might think, applying these exact principles to content creation is actually very sage advice. Think about it for a second – what’s your goal when you put out a piece of content? You want to provide your audience with something of value, right? You want to be seen as a trusted source of information that will ultimately lead people to buy whatever it is you’re selling. This means you need to be strategic about what content you put out into the world. You don’t want to clutter up the environment with excess waste… do you see where I’m going with this?
What is Repurposed Content?
Repurposed content means taking your very best content and reducing, reusing, and recycling it. Ok, so maybe that isn’t exactly the right terminology, but the point is this: it takes a lot of time and effort to write high-quality, engaging content, especially if it’s long-form like an ebook or a white paper requiring a lot of research. So, you might as well get a lot of bang for your buck and repurpose and reuse that content as much as you possibly can.
Benefits of Repurposing Content
So WHY is repurposing content better than coming up with fresh ideas all the time?? Here’s a rundown of the main benefits to you and your business when you practice content recycling:
1. Save Time
How often do you find yourself wishing there were more hours in the day? Well, guess what? You can’t create more time, but you can use your time more wisely. When you start repurposing content, you only need to do the bulk of the research once and then you can use that same information for a blog post, a social media post, a podcast, an infographic, etc. And all that time you spend looking for the perfect image or the perfect quote to go along with your piece? Once you find it, you can use it again. And again.
2. Achieve Multiple Goals
I am not a big believer in multitasking (a topic for another post), but if there is a way to achieve more than one goal with the same piece of content, then sign me up! Let’s say you have a store and you want to increase visitors to your website and to your physical location. If you’ve got an amazing blog post that is drawing people to your website in droves, consider turning that into a social media post with a coupon valid only in-store.
3. Expand Your Reach
Not everyone consumes content in the same way. For example, I love podcasts and listen to them every chance I get. I’ve got a friend who is an avid reader and will sit for hours reading blog posts and articles. My daughter gets all of her information from YouTube. You could reach all three of us (or people like us) with the exact same ideas just in different formats. Ever heard the expression “meet people where they are”? That’s exactly what you can do when you content reuse, arranging it into formats and places where your target audience is likely to be found.
4. Boost and Diversify Your Online Presence
They say you can’t be everywhere at once. But in the land of the Internet and social media, you actually can be! You can take your best work and repurpose the content for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, your website, your blog, Medium, YouTube, TikTok, the list goes on and on. You obviously don’t have to (and shouldn’t) go overboard – we share some specific ideas and best practices below. But you can get busy repurposing the same content into different forms to make sure you and your brand show up in all of the relevant places online, with consistent messaging.
5. Improve Your SEO
The more high-quality content you put online, the more Google and other search engines will learn that you are a reliable source of information, thereby improving your SEO. By repurposing your content, you can continue to target the same keywords. By using them in different formats, Google will see you as providing consistently high-quality content on the same topic, but not as repeating the exact same thing over and over again.
How to Repurpose Content
I am not saying you should write a blog post, wait a week, and then publish the exact same thing again. That is more “repetition” than “recycle” and is not likely to be very effective. Instead, you can focus on repurposing your best content.
Content reuse means either changing the format of the content (i.e. turning an ebook into multiple blog posts or a podcast), the target audience (i.e. taking a post you wrote specifically for small businesses and changing the focus slightly to make it relevant for solopreneurs), or both. But all of the initial research and hard work that you did remains relevant, and it becomes the meat of the repurposed content.
Here are some seven specific examples of ways to repurpose content:
- Create videos
- Design an infographic
- Divide an ebook
- Extract quotes
- Produce a podcast
- Revisit social media
- Host a webinar
Let’s explore these examples in more detail.
1. Create Videos
Video works for some types of content better than others, so this won’t necessarily apply to every blog post you write. But you can certainly take interesting snippets and main points and record yourself (or another expert) talking about them.
If you write a how-to guide, for example, creating a tutorial video to go alongside it is an easy way to take advantage of content recycling, maximizing your time and effort.
2. Design an Infographic
If you’ve collected a lot of data and statistics about a certain topic for a blog post or an e-book, a great idea for content reuse is an infographic. You can create one yourself using a tool like Canva, or you can hire a graphic designer to do it for you. Infographics themselves can make a great social media post or can stand on their own.
3. Divide an Ebook
Writing an ebook can be quite an undertaking, but it can also reap large rewards. In addition to serving your business well as a lead magnet, dividing an Ebook is one of the best ways to repurpose content. You can take each section or chapter of the longer piece and repurpose that content into shorter blog posts or social media posts.
4. Extract Quotes
Sprinkling thought-provoking or informative quotes throughout articles and blog posts is always a good way to spice up your content and make it more interesting and authoritative. You can also take some of those quotes, pop them into a design template (again, Canva is your friend!), and voila…you’ve got something to post on social media or send out as part of an e-newsletter.
5. Produce a Podcast
Podcasts are all the rage, so you might as well jump on the bandwagon. For example, if you’ve written a long article, you can repurpose a lot of that content into the beginnings of a podcast script. We definitely don’t recommend just reading the article aloud and calling that the episode, so you likely will need to put in some additional effort, but it will still be easier than starting from scratch.
The reverse is true for this one as well – if you’ve got a killer podcast episode, think about how you can take the information and turn it into a blog post.
6. Revisit Social Media of the Past
Remember how I said repurposing content doesn’t mean just copying and pasting the same information at a later date? I still stand by that, except for this one exception! Look back at your social media posts from 6 months ago or longer – no one can remember that far back, so if you posted anything that is still relevant or might be of interest to new followers, it’s perfectly acceptable to repost it.
You can use a different image or update the text slightly to reflect anything new, but the crux of the post will be recycled.
7. Host a Webinar
When you put hours and hours into researching a topic to write a thought leadership piece, for example, you may or may not actually include all that hard-won information in the article. Don’t let all that valuable time go to waste – content reuse the main points of the article along with the additional knowledge you’ve gained and put together a webinar. You can invite participants and host it live, or record it in advance and share it on your website and social media.
Start Repurposing Content Today!
I challenge you now – go back to a piece of content you created that you really loved, that you think best speaks to the essence of you and/or your business. Perhaps your pitch deck or first blog post. Think about the different ways to repurpose that content – can you turn it into a video? An infographic? Or, go back to a piece of content that didn’t perform as well as you thought it might… maybe it was just the wrong format and all you need to do is repurpose it into something else, and then it will go viral! You never know until you try.
At Purple Chia, whenever we write content for our clients, we are always thinking of all the different ways it can be repurposed and reused. We’ve seen this strategy work wonders, and we’re happy to work our magic on your content too. Rather than advising you on the specifics of repurposing content, why not just let us do it for you? Content experts specializing in quality content creation, Purple Chia’s goal is to create content you can be proud of, again and again. Reach out and learn how we can help grow your business through the written word.