Perhaps the most amazing "secret" of content marketers is the way in which they repurpose content, whether they call it atomizing (Jay Baer) or reimagining content (Ann Handley). For example, a blog post from two years ago can keep paying dividends in remarkable ways.
The trick is to see each piece of content as made of easily transferable puzzle pieces. And make no mistake, repurposing content is essential for content marketing success. It helps generate a steady stream of material, and puts a major dent in the time and effort required to create original content.
Searching for Seeds in Blog Posts
A humble and unassuming blog post can be turned into so much more. For instance, take a post on the daily routines of successful people. Repurposing that content might include:
- A new chapter in an ebook or a section in a whitepaper
- An infographic
- A photo slideshow
- A video (for posting on Facebook, YouTube and other sites)
- Several social media/LinkedIn posts
- A podcast
- A decision map
- A quiz
It is fun to go through blog posts and envision how to reuse them. List-based topics prove especially fertile ground. For instance, take a blog post on five issues parents should consider when interviewing babysitters. When the core blog post is written, a content marketer could build an infographic and branch out, expanding each of the five considerations into its own blog post. In addition, content marketers could find one picture per consideration, and make a social media post every day for each. They can add to the fun and to the repurposing by making a slideshow, podcast, video and more.
You can always rewrite content from a different angle or change up the focus for a new audience. For instance, a piece on the best Chrome extensions for everyday users could become one on the best Chrome extensions for photographers. The aim should be to do some research to introduce fresh content but not as much research as would be needed for a brand-new post.
Rinse and Recycle
A business could republish content such a blog post exactly as it is. For instance, if a blog has a high-performing post that is a few years old, reposting it enhances its visibility. Posting in multiple venues is also possible; for example, putting a video on YouTube, Facebook and a business website. It's best to approach this option with caution, however, to avoid search penalties such as getting less referral traffic. One way to not get a penalty is to use a rel=canonical in the URL source code; this helps Google understand how to handle the duplicate post.
Another version of a rinse and recycle is to add some shine. In other words, update a blog post or other piece of content. Look for your most relevant and top-performing posts (or videos, podcasts and so on). When you decide to update, the title of the content should stay the same, and so should its URL; changing that information removes some of the value of the link. A note at the bottom of the post should also clarify that it has been updated; doing so avoids confusion when readers see comments from years ago on a post made just yesterday.
Reasons to update include to add more recent statistics, to change resources or links and to change best practices. For instance, a piece published three years ago on practices for hiring Millennial workers or on reaching job seekers through mobile technology is in prime shape for an update.
Repurposing content is an essential to greasing the content marketing gears and keep the leads cranking in. It widens potential audience reach by making content accessible through channels such as blog posts, infographics and video. It also solves one of the most vexing problems that businesses have: how to continually come up with fresh material.