When people reuse and recycle things, they are seen as environmental warriors. But when content marketers repurpose content, are they just being lazy? A big NO.
Every single piece of content that we consume online is a product of someone’s genius, creativity, and time. Content creation is not for everyone. Creating content that is relevant and creative remains one of the greatest challenges that marketers face, the Content Marketing Institute said in a study [pdf]. It’s not only about finding the right topic or inspiration, but also finding the time and pulling all resources. A recent survey by TechValidate reported that 43% of content marketing professionals take four to six weeks before their teams or organizations can come up with a content strategy that works.
Maintaining a blog, website, or social media accounts means being under constant pressure. Followers and visitors demand engaging content frequently, but the problem is marketers are human beings who cannot possibly churn out a large amount of new content repeatedly and improve the quality each time. One way to address this is by repurposing content, which is a genius in itself. The audience matures and expands as platforms evolve and technology advances. Your content must be able to do the same: mature, improve, and evolve.
Content reuse is an art altogether. A truly ingenious and creative marketer revisits, rewrite, and refreshes old content. So before you bang your head against the wall trying to come up with new, engaging content, look at the content that you already have and turn that piece of genius into gold. Here’s how you can turn your second-rate content into a smarter campaign asset.
Keep it relevant and meaningful
Your content marketing goals should include publishing timeless content. These are pieces of content that have a long shelf-life, not time sensitive, durable, and most importantly, focused on meaning. A meaningful content is one that focuses on context and insights rather than the event or happening. It tells you not about the “happening” but “what happened.”
Content marketing production should invest in content like this. Replacing the “published date” with an “updated” byline makes online content more relevant and accurate. But of course, make sure it is really updated with fresh insights or research. That will make your content structure both relevant and meaningful.
Go for bite-size, snackable treatment
If you want to particularly engage with your social media followers, learn how to turn blogs, features, and long-form content into bite-size and snackable ones. For example, turn a blog into a “listicle” or a list-type of article. You can recreate topics on travel, relationships, fashion, and even financial advice into a “top 10” and make them more interesting.
You may also drop. The most popular drop content is headline + link, hoping to get everyone curious. Try coming up with more creative drop content such as inspirational quotes, striking statistics, or a remarkable image drawn out from old content. If you have an interesting data or statistic, you may turn that into a “Did you know” post. This is one way of improving your social media presence.
Make content visually appealing
Visuals are taking center stage. A 2014 survey showed that use of video content increased from 8% to 58%, while infographic usage increased from 9% to 52%. This has a lot to do with how the human brain functions. According to studies, it only takes one-tenth of a second for the brain to make sense of a visual. Also, people remember 80% of what they see compared to the 20% of what they read.
The key takeaway here is making your recycled content more visually stimulating. Turn a research into a slideshare presentation or convert a statistics-heavy blog into an infographic and say goodbye to boring charts and graphs. Pick an image for a content marketing blog then add a quote or a few tips before you promote it on social media. You may also turn your how-to and DIY articles into a video to expand their reach. If you have a content that is fun and amusing, you may reuse it by turning into gifs and even memes.
It is the audience that ultimately decides if content is timeless, relevant, and engaging. Refresh your old online content by offering them directly to your followers. For example, create a podcast or webinar and engage more users and followers to participate and share insights. You may also start a forum thread in reusing your content. Getting fresh comments and opinions is a good way of updating your content. You may also turn content into quizzes or a poll because people just love them.
Mind your timing and audience
In some cases, there are pieces of content that can be repurposed at any time. However, not all content is so timeless that it is shareable at all times. Some content will do better at certain times. For example, you published a recipe in your blog that is perfect for sports-crazy fans. It would be better to re-publish it during the NBA Finals or the Superbowl. Timing is everything.
Your content strategy should always include demographics, whether you are to publish new content or reusing your content. If you are repurposing it, you have to know for whom. Say, for instance, you have an old content about traveling solo, you can update that with millennials in mind. Your content strategy blueprint remains true whether you are dealing with fresh content or recycling an old one. It must engage the right person at the right time.
Good content will always be good. When it comes to turning an old content into a marketing asset, you should know the right time and platform before you use it again. Instead of constantly pressuring yourself to come up with new content, do not forget the goldmine you have built hundreds of posts ago. Good content will always find a new home.
Opening image Photo courtesy of 9355 via Pixabay.