How to recycle your content (without repeating yourself)

Let’s be honest: Continually producing high quality, interesting, engaging content is really hard work. Every new piece that you write is creatively challenging and time consuming in equal measure, and it can be frustrating when all of your efforts produce a single piece of content that gets left to linger in the archives after it’s had a one-time promotional blitz.

Well hold on to your hats, because we’re about to reveal one of content marketing’s best kept secrets: not all of your content needs to be brand new. You can use those old pieces of content again and again.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

‘Recycling’ is big news in the 2013 content marketing sphere, and it’s time that your brand started taking advantage of it too. Think of all the content your company has already produced, and don’t just stop at blogs and web copy – think e books, case studies, articles, white papers, newsletters, videos, brochures, presentations, podcasts, and any other hidden gems that you’ve got tucked away in your hard drive or paper archives. Then think of all of the things you can transform these existing pieces into.

Example case study

That white paper you wrote 6 months ago could be repurposed into a series of blog articles, a presentation and a video. You could format your original research into a press release, an infographic and a series of tweets. That’s a single white paper that’s now provided content for your blog, website, YouTube channel, Slideshare account, and all your social media channels.

3 reasons to get into content recycling

The possibilities of content recycling really are endless. Think outside of the box, and be creative, and you’ll reap three main rewards:

  1. Content recycling will save you time, money and effort
    This point might seem obvious, but there’s no denying that time, money and effort are three things that every business, regardless of size, needs to save as much as possible. Reimagining the possibilities for your existing resources will help you to discover the fantastic bank of content that’s already at your fingertips, making your production process quicker, easier and more cost effective.
  2. Re-shaping your content for different platforms helps you build relationships
    Repurposing your content will allow you to promote it to a variety of different audiences – for instance, you can share one unique piece with other companies in your newsletter, other website readerships in your guest blogs, and your diverse range of Twitter followers on social media. This will help to instigate conversation and interaction (particularly amongst those who missed it the first time around!) and build awareness of your brand in a number of different sectors.
  3. Re-vamping old content will spark ideas for new content
    Of course, you can’t produce all content on this way – you’ll still need to add fresh pieces to the mix to ensure that your content is relevant and up to date. However, looking at your existing content with a refreshed outlook could help you to spark ideas for follow up pieces. For instance, if several people ask the same question in the comments on your latest blog, why not write a new piece to answer them?

Remember, as Shelly Bowen from the Content Marketing Institute says, “repurposing content isn’t about copying and pasting. It’s about reinventing and evolving.”

Make sure your recycled content gives something new to your audience, and you can’t go wrong!

Do you have questions or tips about content recycling? Leave us a comment or tweet @writemysite to let us know!