Reduce, reuse, recycle – repurposing old content

Recycling and repurposing your old content is a completely legitimate way to get more bang for your copywriting buck. The bane of every copywriter’s life is time, or lack of it, so any shortcut to repurposing contenthigh quality content is always useful. Repurposing old content will undoubtedly save you time and effort if you know how to do it properly.

Luckily we’re on hand to help you and your content marketing team go green and recycle!

Start with these 3 steps:

1)     Analyse

Before you rush in to revamping your content, take a step back and look at how your content has fared over time. As you examine your existing content, you should ask yourself questions such as:

  • Which pieces have succeeded?
  • Which haven’t?
  • Could any of your content be updated?
  • Does it lend itself to another format?

These are all questions that will inspire the next stages of repurposing your content, so don’t scrimp on the studying!

2)     Reformat

We’re luckily enough to live in a world filled with different content formats. Images, videos, podcasts, articles, blogs, white papers, presentations and more are all available for the tech-savvy content marketer to use. If you need a little inspiration, take a look at our 10 ways to recycle one piece of website content.

By producing content in a variety of formats, you’ll connect with a wider audience. Visual learners will prefer presentations, infographics and snazzy videos. For those who prefer putting on a pair of headphones, produce webinars and podcasts about your subjects.

If you’re a bit ahead of the game and you have already produced an e-book or white paper, use it! Choose your favourite excerpts and transform it into a catchy blog post. This also doubles as great promotion for the e-book so it’s a win-win situation.

We’d suggest transforming your best ‘how-to’ and listicle blog pieces into presentations. A Pinterest board or Slideshare account is a great way to engage your audience with this kind of content. Presentations are a quick and digestible format that are great for busy readers who don’t have time to read long passages of text. They don’t take long to put together either!

3)     Update

We all know that things can change very quickly. Theories evolve, are debated (then sometimes debunked), and some revolutionary new data could be introduced to a topic you’ve already written about. You may not have time or enough source material to create a completely new article, but you could make adjustments to the old one to bring it up to date.

A spin-off article with direct links and quotes to the original can gather interest for both articles, and direct more traffic to your site. If you don’t feel like you have quite enough for a whole new article, you can choose to update the content within that URL (so you can keep hold of the SEO value) and promote it as an updated version.

Thanks to the analysis you did earlier, you’ll know which posts are the most popular so you can update them to keep them fresh and on trend.

Evergreen content

In the immortal words of Westlife and Will Young – you “want to take this moment and make it last forever” when writing content. Unless your piece is topical, it should have a sense of timelessness.

However, even then you should be thinking of ways to take a news hook and extrapolate some perennial lessons from it. Not to blow our own trumpet too much, but you can find a good illustration of this point in our piece about John Oliver and the EU referendum.

By writing high quality evergreen content, you’ll have a growing bank of pieces that you can bring out and republish to your audience on social media. These kinds of pieces are ripe for re-promotion, and will seem fresh, new and exciting to your newer readers/people who missed them first time around.

So what are the advantages of repurposing content?

Let’s recap the main benefits of include repurposing and recycling in your content strategy:

  • Repurposing content will save you time and effort. The time that would have been spent writing new pieces from scratch can instead be invested into promoting the revamped/ reformatted versions.
  • Adapting content for different mediums and social media platforms will help you reach a wider audience.
  • Repurposing content can also give your site an SEO boost. Creating a range of materials that address related topics helps you to build out your ‘hub and spoke’ content strategy.

When you combine the skills of updating/ recycling old content, repurposing your best pieces into multiple formats, and creating new content from scratch, you will have an unstoppable content marketing machine!