When your business is still new, you are probably doing all the work. A big part of it is content creation – be it blogging, making videos, updating your social accounts and more.
If you’ve been doing this for a while, you know how hard it is. Not only do you have to create content regularly but you also have to come up with fresh ideas to write about and find new angles to approach old topics to keep your audience interested. How exhausting!
But hold on! Here’s an idea that can make your life easier: why not breathe new life into your old posts and continue to gain value from your most popular content? This is a great way to further promote your content and to offer extra value to different types of audiences.
This tactic is known as “content repurposing” and the idea behind it is pretty simple: people consume information in different ways. One person might enjoy reading a blog post while another one might prefer to watch a video or a webinar or listen to a podcast on their commute to work.
So, instead of constantly coming up with new ideas, why not reuse older content in a way that brings extra value to your audience and without upsetting search engines? Below are several repurposing techniques that you can use to increase the shelf of your content on the web.
What is repurposing content?
It refers to creating new content based upon what you already have and highlighting those ideas again in a new medium that works best for your different audiences.
I like how Erin Everhart defines repurposing content:
“Repacking one piece of content across many different media. Each time, you’re adding to it (or taking away from it), and making it unique for the source, the medium and the user who’ll be reading it.”
So, by repurposing content you get to create new content in a new medium based upon what you’ve already done and help get that content in the hands of more people. This can also save you lots of time in the content creation process.
Why repurposing your content is a great idea
There are many advantages to repurposing content such as:
Get a search engine optimisation (SEO) boost. Several pieces of content that cover the same or a similar topic can generate additional opportunities to target a desired keyword. In addition, it can help you to attract search traffic on many different variations of a theme.
Reach a new audience. Most likely your original piece of content has made an impact on one or two groups of customers. By repurposing your content for different mediums you can reach an audience wherever they spend time online. Michael Brenner of SAP has a great way of putting it: “Multi-channel marketing […] provides the content our audiences are searching for, in all the places they search.”
Extend the longevity of your content. While you may have blog posts that you’ve written a year ago that still pull their weight in Google traffic, that’s not the only way to make your content last. Repurposing your content can add longevity to content that otherwise may be forgotten.
Gain extra authority. When you write about a particular topic once, you’re the person who has done their homework. Write about it several times, and you can lead others to regard you as an expert on the topic. One of the major benefits of great content marketing is that it can help you to establish yourself as an authority in your industry. So, when you constantly write about a specific topic, you only stand to further your reputation as an industry expert.
Make a bigger impact. Repetition can increase the chances of people hearing your message. Here’s how Seth Godin, American author, marketer and public speaker, puts it: “Delivering your message in different ways, over time, not only increases retention and impact, but it gives you the chance to describe what you’re doing from several angles.”
As you can see, there’s really no downside so you have no reason not try it.
Where to find content that deserves repurposing
Below are the three easiest ways to find your best pieces of content that are worth repurposing:
- Use analytics to find your most popular blog posts
Your archive of blog posts is bound to include some really helpful and popular content. It would be a shame to let them sit there.
So, go to your Google Analytics account to see which posts have performed best in the past year. Look at monthly reports from the last year and try to identify the top content that has had the most pageviews. Read section 3 from our Google Analytics guide to learn how to find the blog posts that are most engaging.
- Figure out if you have more to say on a particular topic
Go through your blog archive and see if there are any articles that might use some improving or expanding. Perhaps something major has changed since you first published the post or maybe you’ve learnt about some new and useful information that your audience can benefit from.
- Look at the feedback you’ve received. In addition to checking the traffic stats for your most popular blog posts, also look at the comments section and social media comments to get some new angles or ideas on how to rework the post.
Ok, now to the good stuff.
Simple ideas to repurpose and get the most of your content
Repurposing content not only gives you breathing room to get creative, but it can also add value to your original posts. Below are several ways to turn your existing blog posts into new content that won’t mess with your search engine optimisation efforts.
1. Update or refresh older content
Now that you know which pieces of content still rank well and pull in significant traffic, do you think they could use updating? Is there new advice or information that you could add to a particular post to add more value?
If there is, then make some adjustments and tweaks within that particular post to appeal to today’s audience and update it. Keep the existing URL to keep hold of its SEO value and promote it again on social media. This gives you a good excuse to reuse your old content while also providing the quality and value that performed so well in the past.
If you feel that only a few bits and pieces from a popular blog post can be salvaged, then rework the post, add new information and publish it as new.
But be careful…
If you choose this solution, you’ll need to ensure that the updated content doesn’t cause SEO problems.
To do that, you can apply a 301 redirect from the old post to the new version. This will send visitors to the new post and will also tell search engines that your original post has moved permanently. Learn more about 301 redirects in point four of this article.
Reuse content in different formats
Here are some simple but effective tactics to reuse your old content by giving it a fresh look and a new format.
2. Turn it into a presentation
A presentation is a brilliant yet underutilised tool in the world of content marketing. The idea is to take interesting statistics, meaningful quotes and actionable advice from a blog post and turn them into slides. The result is a presentation that can offer an easy-to-read recap of your original content.
Start by taking each of your core ideas and re-imagine it from a visual perspective. Use free quality, expressive images, include text in the form of a quotation or key principles to add context, and there you have it: the basics of your presentation.
Here are some tools that can help you create your presentations:
- PowerPoint (You can get PowerPoint as part of an Office 365 package here.)
Don’t forget to also link to the post you’re making the presentation about.
When your presentation is done, all you need to do is to upload it to a social site like SlideShare. This can provide additional opportunities for engagement and it also makes it easy for anyone to embed your content right in to their blog post.
3. Build an infographic
A step beyond the presentation is the infographic where you can summarise the content of your post in a visual outline. This technique is perfect if you have a lot of data and statistics in your post.
A visual approach makes it so much easier for your audience to understand complex data. Plus, an infographic is more engaging and fun, and more likely to be shared online. Check out our collection of infographics for inspiration.
4. Create a podcast
Chances are that some of your prospects or customers prefer listening to podcasts to reading blog posts. By turning your blog post into a podcast, you open up a whole new way to connect with your audience.
It’s not difficult either, even if you’re a beginner with little to no technical skills. You can either record the audio version of a blog post or go a bit further and get experts together to hold a panel discussion. Don’t be intimidated by the technical part as you don’t need fancy recording hardware to create a podcast. Simply use your computer’s built-in sound recorder and you’re all set.
5. Record a video
Done the audio? Why not also record a video? It can be as simple as talking in front of a camera. Use the ideas in your post as the foundation for your script, and present them in lecture style with some added graphics and enhancements to make it more engaging. Our Swift Six videos can come in handy if you need some inspiration.
When you’re done, upload your video to your YouTube or Vimeo channels and start promoting it on social media sites. You can also add a transcript for those who might like to read it rather than listen or view it.
6. Host a webinar
A webinar enables you to present your topic and engage your audience in conversation at the same time. Use a topic from one of your most popular blog posts as a jumping-off point for your webinar. You can also invite other experts to share their tips and advice.
Take it online and make it free to sign up for anyone interested. Don’t forget to also promote it via email newsletters and social media to encourage people to join.
Here are a few tools that you can use to hold your webinars:
- AnyMeeting (free for a maximum of 200 attendees)
- GoToWebinar (with the cheapest plan at $89 per month for up to 100 attendees per webinar)
- Webex ($89 per month for up to 100 attendees)
7. Turn it into an interview
What better way to get brilliant new content for your blog than by interviewing experts and authorities on a subject? Send some emails to industry experts with your blog post topic and tell them that you’d like to get their opinions and advice on that particular topic. Then publish their responses in a new blog post and don’t forget to also link to the old content.
8. Create an ebook
If you feel you have more to say about a specific topic that you’ve already covered in a few blog posts, why not put together an ebook?
If you have numbered list posts like “Ten ways to….” or “Six tips to….”, you can breathe new life into these posts by drilling down into each individual point and turning them into full posts. Next, all you need to do is to get all those posts together into an ebook.
Here’s how to do it: choose a central topic, compile your most popular and relevant blog posts while also supplementing with additional information and research, add an intro, cover page, table of content, some images and format it into a handy ebook.
Once you have your ebook created, you can use it to grow your mailing list by offering it for free in exchange for their email address, or for a fee. However you choose to offer it, make sure it provides great value to your audience.
9. Turn it into graphics for social sharing
If you have many “Top ten” blog posts, you can easily turn them into social media updates by sharing one tip at a time. Use some great images, add a tip as part of the image or in the status update and share them on social networks like Facebook or Twitter.
You can do the same with quotes. Use some great tips or quotes from your posts and turn them into stunning images that also provide value. Brand your images with your logo and share them on social sites like Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram, Facebook and more.
10. Create a checklist
People love crossing things off from lists. It reassures them that they aren’t forgetting anything important. So, if you have blog posts with lots of tips and advice, turn them into checklists with step-by-step instructions of things they need to do to accomplish a particular goal.
You can even make the checklist available in a PDF format and allow readers to download it so they can use it whenever they need to.
Here’s an example from our blog: we’ve published this comprehensive guide with seven vital SEO first steps for a new website. Since the guide is pretty long, we’ve also created a checklist that anyone can download and use when optimising their new website.
Repurposing your content using any of these methods can help you get more visibility, a boost in search engine results as well as better reach for your different audiences.
The most important thing to remember is to not regurgitate the same information time and time again. Make sure to always add something different to make it unique for that particular medium and format.
What (other) ways to breathe new life into old content have you found to be most effective? We’d love to hear your advice and what you’ve experienced.