At an uninspiring sales meeting, in 1911, IBM MD Thomas Watson Jr. interrupted the presentation, saying “The trouble with every one of us is that we don’t think enough. We don’t get paid for working with our feet — we get paid for working with our heads”. Watson then wrote THINK on the easel. Over the next century, “THINK” appeared in IBM print and TV advertisements, product manuals, social media handles, becoming the motto of the company – a perfect example of repurposing content.
What is content repurposing?
It is the practice of transforming all or some elements of your existing content in order to expand reach. Repurposed content is typically converted into a new format (for example, turning a blog post into a newsletter).
What are the advantages of recycling content?
When we started building our community, we had a small team to work around with it. Even now, we have a very closely-knit small core group – each assigned with specific tasks. Naturally, in such a setting, the onus of specialized content generally falls on a select individual or group of people, who are expected to produce content at scale, at a high frequency. At the same time, writer’s block is normal and one so is a team’s bandwidth. One can therefore expect fatigue. This is where content repurposing helped us. We could pick up one well-made piece of content, be it a listicle, or a blog post, or a video, and convert it into many chunks for social media posting for the whole week. A long video could generate multiple captions, and at the same time, those captions could be used for designing image-based posts. In short, complete recycling of content. How did that help us?
It saved us time, effort & money
Creating quality content takes a lot of time & effort. If one takes man-hours into count, that’s also a lot of money. It requires keyword research, brainstorming article ideas, writing video scripts, gather expert quotes, and the list of tasks goes on and on. It takes a significant amount of time to come up with that masterpiece.
On top of that, this cycle is never-ending. The time it takes to publish new resources adds up. Content repurposing, on the other hand, lets one draw from past articles, videos, or other assets and cut down on the time it takes to produce new assets.
It helped us reach a new audience
People consume content in different ways – some people like reading newsletters or social media posts, some like audio-only content (e.g., podcasts and audiobooks) while many prefer videos.
If one sticks to only a single form of content, there is a risk of missing out on another variety of consumers. For instance, if one only publishes written content, video consumers will not be interested. By reformatting content, though, one can potentially reach different groups of people.
Not every type of content will make sense for your target audience. This is why it’s important to create buyer personas wherein there is a clear outlining of the types of content your audience may like to follow.
It allowed us to get the most out of our content
Lastly, content repurposing allows you to send the same idea in multiple forms and ways to your audience – deriving the maximum impressions you can expect from your creative output – kind of like re-targeting. It ensures that you receive the most return on investment when it comes to each content piece.
How to choose what content to repurpose?
There are a number of sources that can help you in repurposing content – all of them need not be your own. For instance, you may change a Quora FAQ into a social media post.
Broadly, there are two categories that you have to keep in mind while doing so.
Evergreen content remains relevant, regardless of time. It’s searched regularly and receives genuine interest from your audience.
Your primary focus while repurposing should be on this kind of content. This will save you from tweaking the content piece going ahead.
You may also use your top-performing post for repurposing. Ask yourself the following questions:
Which post of yours got the maximum shares on Facebook?
Which YouTube post of yours had the highest views?
Which blog post of yours had the highest traction?
And so on.
Narrow down your top-performing pieces and reconvert them into another form for sharing. With this, you are all set to start your content repurposing experimentation.