We have all heard the slogan, “Reduce, reuse, and recycle.” Perhaps you even practice this concept within your household by repurposing old or secondhand materials. Many people actually find creative ways to find new purposes for used goods, like creating flower vases out of glass bottles, composting food scraps, or even using old newspapers for paper Mache.
Whether it’s newspaper, plastic, or your older sibling’s hand-me-downs, repurposing used materials allows you to extend its life and reap its full benefits. But single-use goods are not the only products that can be repurposed. In fact, this sustainable practice can also be applied to content.
Constantly creating new, fresh content is a great way to stay trendy and relevant. But have you ever considered the potential of repurposing your old content? Believe it or not – just like materials that are classified as “single-use” – you won’t always see the maximum effects and perks of content in its first life.
Content can be repurposed through various methods, all of which involve making optimizations to an existing piece to maximize its impact. With a few tweaks, repurposing gives content a second chance to attract a whole new target audience of consumers.
By implementing the practice of repurposing content, you are essentially creating a system or – sticking with the theme of environmentalism – a cycle that feeds and regenerates itself. By repurposing your existing content, you can increase reach, extend the life of old content, acquire new uses from this content, and get a return on your time.
Here are some strategies for repurposing your existing content.
Copy It (Directly)
Copying content directly may seem repetitive and ineffective, as there is nothing really new or fresh about duplicating old content. However, copying old content (that’s yours, of course) word for word and uploading it across new platforms offers an opportunity to reach new audiences. Sourcing old content (from blogs or social posts) in an email campaign is also a great way to reach mailing list subscribers.
If your social team has previously published content to Instagram about an annual sale, for instance, you can directly copy this existing content into a future email campaign about the same annual sale. This way, you’re reaching a whole new audience (email subscribers) with the same piece of content.
You can even turn existing content into a printable or download PDF or file.
Another strategy for repurposing content is excerpting. This is the process of taking out smaller pieces of a larger chunk of content and using those bits elsewhere (in copy, images, etc.). Excerpts can be anything from a few sentences taken from an existing blog – that are reused in new email copy, for example – or any visuals/images from an old ad – which can be recycled into a new social media post.
Excerpting also allows you to highlight key points and snippets from a greater, existing piece of content. A good tip is to link the original content page in the excerpted parts, which will drive attention back to the original content. A key point of excerption is that it enables more social promotion and wider use of a variety of social media platforms. Note: It is important you do not excerpt content on other webpages. This will result in duplicate content issues. Only excerpt content from webpages on social channels, emails, or creative.
Updating existing content provides several benefits, including extending the life of content, ensuring accuracy, and addressing open or new questions. To update old content (whether it’s blogs, social posts, case studies, etc.) you should add in new and relevant information and make revisions to old information.
In some cases, old bits of content may no longer be relevant or accurate – like stats, facts, and figures – so it is important to revise and update this information so it can remain helpful to readers. The last thing you want is to feature inaccurate or useless content that could potentially present readers with false information.
Another way to update existing content is to refresh headlines and titles to be more relevant to current trends and goals and more relatable to your target audience(s). You could also consider updating any visuals or images within your content to better reflect the current reality.
Reformatting old, written content to create videos, slideshows, audios, and visuals is another great way to maximize the impact and reach of your existing content. For example, reformatting content into YouTube videos, podcasts, or tutorials with a visual aid (like a slideshow) allows you to feature and utilize this content in a new way. In some cases, reformatting existing content into more visual or auditive tools can make it more useful or interactive for your readers/viewers.
Sharing this reformatted content through YouTube or any other social media channel that supports its usage can even capture a new audience. Reformatting content into videos, audio, and visuals makes your content more engaging and shareable. As a result, you’re not only reaching a wider audience, but also this audience is interacting more with this repurposed content.
Other ways to reformat content include to re-writing the existing content or even including infographics, live videos, image galleries, timelines, quizzes, tools, and maps into the content page. Through this, your existing content becomes more visual and interactive, thus engaging your audience in a different, perhaps more intriguing way.
Curating content involves grouping together similar bits from different pieces of your existing content and publishing it in one new piece. For example, you can take a few sentences from some of your old blogs and use them to create a caption for a new (and relevant) social post.
Through curation, you can repurpose many segments from different pages, therefore the “new” content you end up with is repurposed almost entirely from your existing work! So it may feel and read like something completely new, but it’s all recycled material.
Curating is a really useful tool for repurposing content because it allows your target audience to find all related, relevant, and useful information in one place. This makes searching and navigating your site easier for your audience(s). Having one succinct piece of curated content that can address and answer questions for your audience makes your brand or business more appealing and saves your team time and creative energy in creating new content (and may even save you money!).
When curating content, you should also aim to tag and engage influencers (on social posts) and use affiliate links for products to maximize the impact and reach of this repurposed content.
Multiplying allows you to maximize existing content. Through the process of multiplying, you essentially are creating new and more alike content from a single piece of existing content. In order to do this, you should first consider how this one piece of current content can apply to a different or greater target audience. Essentially, ask yourself how can you make this content relatable and relevant to a different, niche audience.
Multiplying existing content allows you to turn one idea into many new and related ideas. This process of repurposing maximizes a single piece of successful content while simultaneously engaging and reaching different audiences.
ZGM Knows Content
Here at Zero Gravity Marketing, our skilled content team knows the ins and outs of content. We are experts in maximizing content and understand how repurposing can allow your existing content to reach new audiences. Contact Zero Gravity Marketing and allow our content team to repurpose your content for maximum impact!