Content marketing should be a crucial part of your overall digital marketing strategy; having useful, accessible, relevant content on your site is key to getting better rankings, improving your Quality Scores for paid search and giving your customers something to engage with on social.
However, producing high-quality content can be very time and resource intensive. For all channels, a consistent publication schedule is highly advisable, but this can often stretch even the most hardworking copywriter. One way to solve this problem is through repurposing your existing content.
What is content repurposing?
Content repurposing is about utilising your existing content and making it work for different audiences in different contexts. It is a kind of content metamorphosis, turning your existing blog content into a series of PDF downloads or infographics, guest posts or podcasts. This helps you to gain more value from your content.
There are two main benefits of repurposing your content; increased reach and saving your resources.
Your potential customers consume content in different contexts; some will read a blog post, but others may prefer to consume this content in a different format, such as visually through an infographic. Some of your customers will be accessing your content on their desktop computer, others will be reading on their phones during their morning commute. Due to this, content repurposing means that you can reach new and different audiences with the same piece of content.
If you have one really useful, long-form guide, repurposing this into different formats will take far less time than attempting to produce a new guide. You’ll have spent a large amount of time producing a high-quality piece of content but this also needs even more time spent promoting it. By recycling this existing content, you can save time during the content production
How to repurpose content
There are numerous ways to repurpose the content that you have already produced. Ultimately, all of these come down to changing the format in order to appeal to a different audience and their media consumption habits.
At this stage, it’s a good idea to have a clear picture of your potential customers and how they consume content. For example, you may be in a sector where customers want (and expect) to receive daily updates, which means that your content repurposing strategy will be focussed on the best ways to achieve this.
While there are a variety of ways you can repurpose your content, the following are some of the (sometimes overlooked) ways you can change format to achieve this.
Downloadable PDF guides
Downloadable guides can be a great way to repurpose some of your best blog posts. Let’s say that you run an estate agency and have put together a number of short guides of the best places to property buy in various cities in the UK. One way to repurpose these is to collect them together in order to create an ultimate guide to buying property in the UK, with each city you’ve already written about given its own section.
You can then turn this collection of posts into a comprehensive guide, format it as a PDF and give it away as a downloadable guide – in exchange for the potential customer’s email address. This allows you to increase the number of email subscribers, opening up another avenue for potential customers to enter your sales funnel.
Facebook Instant Articles
Some social media platforms have their own internal publishing systems, primarily designed to keep users on that platform rather than directing them away to other sites. While this can be a negative for businesses as you ultimately want your social audience to visit your site, it does give rise to new opportunities.
An example of this is Facebook’s Instant Articles. These are a new way of serving articles via Facebook, primarily designed to be fast loading and more responsive for smartphone users. It can work in terms of content repurposing if you take an existing article and simplify it for mobile users, who are likely to want the key points only.
Medium is an ideal publishing platform for content syndication, allowing you to create nicely formatted posts to distribute to the platform’s growing audience.
There are a number of benefits specific to Medium. Firstly, it’s very easy to create easy-to-read articles with clean code on Medium, meaning that you can re-package your content to reach a new audience. Secondly, Medium’s algorithm attempts to rank articles on quality (rather than popularity or recency), meaning that you can still rank well if you’re a small fish in a big pond. Thirdly, you can link directly to your site while benefitting from Medium’s domain authority, both of which have some value for SEO. Finally, it has a large (and growing) user base, particularly if your business is within a B2B, tech-related sector.
Despite claims that email marketing is dead, trillions of emails are still sent every day and – in many cases – email has a better conversion rate than other channels like PPC and social. This makes email an ideal channel for repurposing your existing content.
One of the best ways of doing this is by compiling a monthly newsletter featuring your most popular posts and sending this out to subscribers that have already opted-in. Rather than solely relying on organic search to bring traffic to your blog, featuring posts in your email marketing efforts will help get your content in front of customers that already have an affinity with your brand.
Guest posting is already an established link building and outreach strategy, a way to further promote your existing blog content. Unlike posting on Medium, for example, most bloggers and sites that allow guest posts will expect you to give them something unique. However, writing entirely unique content for guest posts can lead to diminishing returns.
One way to solve this problem is by repurposing your existing content into guest posts – partly utilising information that you have already put together but editing it to appeal to a new audience or to apply it to a new context. For example, a software company may have produced general content about the benefits of their software, but this kind of content could be repurposed into a guest post which talks about the solutions their software offers for a very specific audience or sector.
Images and infographics
Another fruitful way that you can repurpose existing content is by turning it into a more visual format. In some sectors, customers prefer to access information through infographics, and are more likely to share and link to these. Some blog posts are often already well-suited to being turned into visual assets; step-by-step ‘how to’ lists, for example.
While you may want to hire a designer to create a really engaging graphic, it can be done quite easily for free. Sites like Piktochart and Canva allow you to create branded infographics – as well as other visual formats like graphs and charts – within an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop interface.
Podcasts have been around a long time but they are still relatively underused as a marketing channel. Creating a podcast is, then, an innovative way to repurpose your content if your business has the resources available to give it the attention it deserves.
In terms of repurposing your content, producing a series of podcasts based around the key topics of an already-written guide can help to raise your business’ profile by positioning your organisation as approachable experts.
Problems with repurposing content
While repurposing content can save time and help you reach new audiences, there are some drawbacks. These mainly have to do with ensuring that the content you’re producing is unique enough to not cause issues with duplication, and making sure that your content production workflow is streamlined. Luckily, these problems can be easily overcome.
SEO issues with duplicate content
Simply copy-and-pasting the exact same content onto different mediums can lead to problems. If you are syndicating your content at a very extreme level – e.g. posting the same article across hundreds of different sites – you will be setting yourself up for duplicate content penalties. Even at a much lower scale, having a duplicate article hosted on a different website as well as your own means that only one version will be indexed and ranked.
There are a number of ways of resolving these issues with duplicate content as a result of repurposing content. The most obvious one is to ensure that the content you’re producing is unique. Rather than copy-and-pasting an article directly onto Medium, for example, you could rewrite it slightly to make it unique to that platform. This does, however, lead to other issues around workflow (see below).
Other ways to resolve the problem are to ensure a link back to the original article is included within any syndicated content and – for cases where the repurposed article strongly resembles the original – to include a rel=canonical tag. Adding this tag to an article tells Google which URL should be treated as the original.
Perhaps the biggest drawback to repurposing content is the additional time it can take to actually create the new formats. For example, turning a series of blog posts into a PDF means creating new imagery, adding additional metadata, creating a table of contents, adding references and formatting text in different ways.
There are tools available for automating content in this way, particularly if you’re a large enterprise where all content is syndicated and distributed across multiple different channels. This kind of software is often cost-prohibitive for smaller businesses, however. In these cases, utilising pre-built templates can help; create a basic branded infographic template, for example, that can be utilised each time you reformat blog posts into visuals.
Furthermore, the time taken to produce repurposed content can be offset by automating some aspects of its delivery and promotion. For example, while a downloadable guide takes time to put together, it can be promoted automatically through marketing automation. By setting up a workflow of content that a subscriber receives after entering their email address, you can ensure that the content that you have produced and repurposed is viewed by your potential customers at the right stage of their own buying journey.
if you’d like any advice regarding your content automation or content strategy, then do not hesitate to get in touch.