Reduce, reuse, recycle. We’ve all heard of “the three Rs” and how they can help protect and conserve the environment.
Buying secondhand, repairing broken items, and borrowing or sharing instead of buying new can reduce waste. Recycling can conserve precious natural resources, save energy, and prevent pollution.
We could go on about how you should care about the environment, because we at Uncanny Content are all about living responsibly and sustainably, but hang on a second. You’re probably wondering what the three Rs have to do with content.
Well, you can apply similar principles and repurpose your existing content.
The benefits of repurposing content
If you’re creating great content, then you’re probably researching topics your audience will like (and topics that will boost your SEO). You’re dedicating a significant amount of time and brain power into creating awesome blog posts or YouTube videos or whitepapers. You’re checking to see which pieces of content are successful so you can knock it out of the park with the next.
So…why would you only use content once and then banish it to your archives? Why not make the most out of your content investment and use it multiple times?
Keeping a blog or using social media may technically be free, but creating content for your brand is not. It takes time, either on your part or someone else’s, if you work with a team. And if you work with others, that costs money. Even if you’re not writing the content yourself, you’re likely still approving topics and editing and publishing. All that work = money spent.
Repurposing content is a budget-friendly practice that gets the most mileage out of the resources you pour into your content. You spend fewer man hours brainstorming and creating fresh pieces of content — which you should still do, of course — so you have more time to devote to other areas of your biz.
Give existing content a fresh makeover
Or as our favorite Fab Five call it on Queer Eye, a make-better.
That’s right, you can update your older content and republish or repost it. No, this isn’t lazy or boring — as long as you put a little effort into freshening it up.
If you’ve been in the biz for a while, you probably have loads of existing content you haven’t thought of in ages. Go back to the very first post on your blog. How many years ago was it published? Is the image you used outdated and massively pixelated? Is the info outdated, too?
Great! Breathe a little life into that old blog post by updating it. Remove irrelevant, outdated, or inappropriate content. Add new sources or facts. Check for dead URLs. Write a new CTA and a new title that makes sense for your SEO. Then republish it, and you’re done. That took way less time than writing something from scratch, right?
Repurpose content thoughtfully for each platform
Repurposing content is not just copying something you wrote on one platform, pasting it onto another, and hitting “Publish.” Don’t do that. That’s duplicating content, which won’t do you any favors. Especially if this piece of content didn’t perform so well on the first platform. It probably won’t be a hit on the second.
Instead, take your piece of content and think about how it can be used differently on multiple channels. Say you run a podcast and you’d like to start repurposing episodes on your blog, social media, and email newsletters. How would you do that?
Take the transcript of your episode (we hope you have a transcript because that’s part of making your site accessible) and draft it into a blog post. You don’t have to outline every single thing you say in the episode, just share the main points you make, if you like.
For your social media, choose one point you make in the episode and expand on it. Do the same for your email newsletters. Repeat with the other points. You can see that with this approach, you can draft multiple social media posts and email newsletters from a single podcast episode.
Make it a regular part of your content strategy
Like we said, repurposing works great in a pinch if you have writer’s block or you need a piece of emergency content to fall back on. But you should make this strategy a regular part of your editorial calendar, too.
Why? It keeps costs down, as we already discussed. We are all for budget-friendly business practices. Plus, if you repurpose your content well, we promise you won’t bore your audience. As long as you’re not duplicating your content, and you’re presenting it in a fresh format or different light, your audiences will enjoy it.
We’ll leave you with one last piece of advice: Try various approaches to repurposing content. Sometimes a piece of content just doesn’t perform well, even if it’s spruced up and packaged nicely or presented to a different segment of your audience. It may be the topic itself. It may be a factor that’s out of your control, like social media algorithms. Stick to your editorial calendar and keep going. You’ll learn what works and what doesn’t in time.