You don’t need to forgo a night’s worth of sleep to create quality content. Nor do you need extra caffeine or superpowers.
The secret to creating a ton of quality content in a short amount of time is to repurpose existing, successful content. This saves you time and effort, allows you to reach new audiences, and makes your content stretch even further.
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Repurposing is about taking a published blog post and breaking it up into smaller pieces of content in new formats. In order for your repurposing efforts to be successful, we recommend that you have a blog that’s at least six months old and access to Google Analytics (or another analytics platform), so you have a good data set to analyze traffic, social shares, etc.
Brands often overlook the content they have already published. Don’t let this goldmine go under-utilized! Not only should you share your content repeatedly, over time, but you should also share it in different formats.
Think of the various social platforms that exist now, from Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, to LinkedIn, YouTube, and Snapchat. One blog post can easily be broken up, modified, and shared in these new formats. Best of all, it does not take a long time to do this. The key is to have a plan and system.
Here’s How to Repurpose Existing Content
Step 1: Identify Pieces of Content Worth Repurposing
The best indicator of future success is past success (profound, right?). What I mean is this: if you repurpose a blog post that’s already generated a lot of traffic and engagement, chances are that your repurposed content will perform similarly. It means that you’ve found a topic that resonates with your audience and presenting it in different formats will attract even more viewers.
So, go to your analytics platform and look at the traffic for your blog. Jot down the top 10-20 blog posts that generated the most page views over time and make sure to consider where this traffic came from. Traffic coming from paid sources (like Facebook or Twitter ads) is not a good indication of success. You want to look at social media traffic, direct traffic (like from a newsletter), or organic traffic. You can also add blog posts that have the most social media shares or the most comments to your list.
Step 2: Narrow Down Your List and Look For Meaty, Evergreen Posts
Once you have all your top-performing blog posts, you need to whittle down the list based on depth of content and how evergreen the topic is. Cross off any blog posts that are self-promotional or that you think are too thin to split apart in different formats. Ideally, you want an in-depth, meaty piece of content.
Then, circle the blog posts that are evergreen, aka content that would continue to be valuable and relevant over months or years (a Valentine’s Day or Thanksgiving-themed post are not evergreen).
At this point, if you have more than one piece of content that meets all the criteria, simply pick the topic you’re most excited about repurposing!
Step 3: Repurpose, Repurpose, Repurpose!
Here are eight simple ideas
- Video: A video doesn’t need to be a giant production with a professional videographer. You could record the video on your computer or with your smartphone, and spend 30 seconds to two minutes talking about the subject of your blog post (a talking head video). Or, let’s say your blog post is about copywriting tips, you could go around and ask your colleagues for their top copywriting tip and record their answers. Or, explore apps like Crowdfire. Currently, all the popular social media platforms favor video content.
- Pinterest Board: Curate a Pinterest board based on the topic of your blog post (and include your post on the board of course). If we’re using the same blog post example of copywriting tips, create a board called, “Top Copywriting Tips from Around the Web” and pin similar blog posts and resources.
- Inforgraphic: Turn your blog post into a stunning visual. If you have a lot of data in your post, an infographic is a great way to display the statistics in an easy-to-digest way. List posts (ex: “10 Ways to do X”) also work well for infographics. Piktochart.com or Canva have dozens of pre-made infographic templates and you just need to input your information.
- Social Media Campaign: Create new images and break up your content into dozens of tweets and Facebook posts. This is a great example of why you have to choose a piece of evergreen content, so you can keep sharing it on social media regardless of the time of the year. Finally, there are a few tools I recommend for generating fresh social media content. Missinglettr is great for automatically generating social-friendly posts based on your content and CoSchedule‘s social tokens are extremely powerful for repurposing content in a set-it-and-forget-it way.
- Email Series: If your content is especially in-depth, you can break it up into bite-sized chunks and turn them into a daily or weekly email series. With our blog post example of copywriting tips, you could create an email series where you send one copywriting tip per week over the course of a couple months.
- SlideShare: Create a quick and dirty version of your blog post with SlideShare. Extract the key points from your blog post and visualize them on a slide. Readers want to quickly click through a SlideShare, so make sure to keep the copy to a minimum. And, as a bonus, you can reuse this SlideShare presentation if you ever want to do a webinar! This is especially powerful if your ideal customer is on LinkedIn. While Slideshare is not as prolific as it once was, it is owned by LinkedIn (which is owned by Microsoft), we may see a resurgence of this dormant platform soon.
- Guest post: Pitch your idea to other blogs or publications in your industry as a guest post. This one requires a bit more work because you can’t really repurpose the content, you really do need to write a whole new blog post. You can repurpose the idea and add a new spin to it, but the majority of guest post opportunities require that the piece be original. Note: make sure to link back to your original post in the guest post when possible! Some marketing “gurus” will downplay guest blogging, generally they are thinking about it in terms of search engine optimization or link building tactics; guest blogs have been utterly abused for gaining links back to your site, BUT – humans will still read your content and be exposed to your brand. That counts for something, right? 🙂
- e-Book: An e-book is the most time-intensive way to repurpose content, but it can also be the most beneficial for lead generation (since you can gate the content and require that users give you their email address to download it). But, in order for your e-book to be valuable, you’ll have to add a lot of new content. You can definitely include your blog post in it, but you should expand on each point made, add influencer quotes or interviews, and more data.
Creating new content doesn’t need to be an uphill battle. If you find yourself staring at your computer screen and wondering what on earth to write about, take some inspiration from yourself! Look through your successful posts and turn a list post into a “why” post, or transform an existing post into an infographic. You don’t always need to start from scratch.