Whether you lead the content marketing for your own business, a small-to-medium sized company, or a larger brand means that you are constantly in planning, development, and production on a variety of creative assets. Starting from scratch for every single content item is not only exhausting, but it might also be unnecessary. A key tool that you should build into your content marketing plan is repurposing content that you have already created into new formats for new channels. Maximize the efforts you have already invested in your content, and consider how future content you develop can also be repurposed.
Earlier this year, we identified remixing your content into new formats as one of the content marketing trends of the year (and into the future). Remixing your content or repurposing content means taking a single piece of content and then transforming it into new formats so you can distribute the content to new channels and reach a new audience.
Repurposing content may sound simple enough, but it can also become overwhelming if you have too much content and too little time. Where do you start? We’ve broken down the process into nine steps so you can put this trend into practice and action.
1. Audit Content
Start by auditing your current library of existing content. If you have many many years of content, you might want to focus on the past one or two years to start. Of course, if you are just starting out you may only have a few months of content to sort through. That is okay too!
Create a spreadsheet where you list all of the content in your audit, denote the type of content, date of the original publication, and the channel(s) the content was published on.
Break the existing content out by types such as eBooks, white papers, blog posts, and landing pages, to name just a few. The more comprehensive the content item, the more likely it is a key candidate for repurposing. Additionally, it is important to assess whether you have evergreen content pieces that are ready for a refresh or an update. These evergreen or longer-form content pieces will often have more elements that you can pull out for repurposing. Develop sections of longer content into unique content pieces that can stand completely on their own. This might seem obvious, but make sure all of the content that you spent the most time or resources on developing is also included in this audit.
Once you have audited the content, review the content with a few items in mind. What content has performed best for you already? Performance might be measured in views, clicks, sign-ups from the page, shares, etc. Next, consider what content is ready to be refreshed either due to new updates or to renewed interest in a certain topic. The opportunity to upcycle content when your product or offerings have changed is not only necessary but also the perfect time to repurpose content. Do you have content that you invested time and effort in, but the content just didn’t generate much interest at the initial launch? Identify areas to improve the content piece by adding visuals or updates or formatting for a new channel.
Add a column in the content audit spreadsheet where you can make notes about the performance, updates needed in the content, and any other ideas your analysis might produce.
Review the content audit and analysis you completed and start to brainstorm. Brainstorm ways you can refresh and repurpose your existing content that will improve the content and make it read as “new” or “exciting”. Make your content more social. Add graphics. Add video. In the case of content that has performed well already, what new format will bring a new audience to the content. Can you transform the content into a video or add an informative infographic that enhances the content further and opens up new channels for engagement? Make sure your brainstorm includes a variety of asset types such as new images or infographics, video content, social media, emails, and more.
Now that you have brainstormed many ways to repurpose your content, it’s time to make a plan to actually start! We recommend you begin by choosing three content items that will be repurposed in a variety of ways. Don’t just turn three blogs into videos. Instead, try a few different ways of repurposing your content. Launch a webinar based on a blog, create a totally custom infographic using the data you cited in an eBook, build an email series to promote a landing page. Plan to use these three new content items as an informal test. If the content item you turned into an infographic performs really well, then in the future, you might focus on creating more infographics. Or if the webinar based on a blog post didn’t draw a large audience, then you might re-think the type of content your customers want to learn about in the webinar format. Make a clear plan of action for the final content items to create. Outline a timeline to create them, and assign tasks to yourself or your team to execute the plan.
It’s finally time to create the repurposed content! Since you already have the foundation of the content, this should be the fun part. Focus on transforming the original content into something new and exciting. Whether it’s a colorful infographic, breaking down the content into an email series with bullet points and icons, or filming short “how-to” videos. Get creative, try new format ideas, and figure out how to give the existing content a new “look” for the new format.
Issuu is a powerful tool to use when repurposing content. Issuu enables content creators to take an original longer-form content piece and break it up into individual elements that can be reorganized into social media posts, mobile-optimized articles, GIFs, and email assets. Join Issuu.com to enhance your content marketing stack today.
You’ve come a long way in the process of repurposing content, and this is where you actually get to launch your newly repurposed content to the world. Make sure you have content formatted and ready for the channel you are targeting. The email series should be built and deployed in the planned timelines. Make sure the infographic you created is formatted to look great on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook with a clear call to action and link in the post. Poor distribution of your content will make all the efforts to date pretty worthless. Don’t drop the ball here, make sure you maximize the distribution of this content.
Congrats, the first round of your content repurposing work is now complete. It’s time to monitor the fruits of your labor. Are you noticing that one format or channel is receiving more engagement over another? Monitoring the engagements, clicks, reads, and more received by your repurposed content items is an absolute must. These different metrics will inform your future content marketing strategy and content repurposing. If one execution doesn’t do well, it’s not that you don’t want to try it again, but you may need to tweak the idea to find the right formula. Is your infographic still not receiving any interest or driving people back to the original blog post? Can you simplify it more or even adjust the colors or layout? In the case of repurposed content that does find success, consider if the formula might work well again? If you find you are creating new customer engagement through the email series, then consider the next email series you can build — perhaps the content already exists and is ready to be repurposed!
That’s right, you just completed your 1st round of repurposing content following these steps. It’s time to repeat steps 4 - 7 and identify another three content items to focus on from the brainstorm. Then plan, create, distribute, and monitor these three items. Definitely continue to experiment with content formats and try to find new and unique ways to repurpose your content. Adding more variety you add to your content plan will keep your work more interesting and will also help you determine what content types drive the most engagement with your audience.
The last step is to optimize this process for your own content marketing strategy. Include content repurposing into your monthly content calendar by planning to repurpose three items a month. Figure out what types of content you are able to repurpose most successfully. Plan and create new content with the intention of repurposing it at a later date. Optimize how you repurpose content to make it work for your content marketing plan and to hit your marketing goals.
Now that we have outlined the nine steps to start repurposing content, we hope you are ready to try it yourself. Tackling a new process is always a little hard to start, but the important thing to remember is that you already have the existing content! Repurposing content is all about taking content you already created and refreshing it to reach a new audience.