Work With What You Got: 5 Tips for Repurposing Existing Content

What does the idiom “one’s man trash is another man’s treasure” have to do with content marketing?

A lot, as it turns out.

While creating timely, reactive content is valuable in its own right, incorporating repurposed content into your overall strategy is an often overlooked, but valuable, strategy.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, more than half of B2B marketers are concerned with finding better ways to repurpose content, while simultaneously reporting lack of time to create content as a top concern.

With a little dusting off, your strongest pieces of content can continue to have impactful results on your audience, and content that may not have reached your performance expectations can exceed them if published on a different site, in a different format or even at a different time.

Before you begin the repurposing process, check out these quick tips on the basics.

1. Dig through your archives. For the purposes of repurposing, content falls into three categories. The first and most intuitive of the two is your evergreen content. As the name suggests, evergreen content is timeless, sustainable and continually relevant to your readers. Think stories like: “what your financial adviser isn’t telling you,” “top concerns for early retirees” or “tips for getting through an uncomfortable financial conversation.”

On the other end of the spectrum, look for timely, event-hooked content you can speak to further. Perhaps you’ve learned more as an expert on a topic or something has changed in the news since your original post was published. Find content that warrants a conversation and continue it.

Finally, look for your underperformed, lackluster or out-of-date content and brainstorm ways to refresh it. Using these as a starting point saves you both time and resources. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

2. Give your content an SEO makeover. Comb through your selected post, adding targeted keywords and inbound links wherever they fit naturally. It’s not always about getting visitors to your site, but about getting the right kind of visitors. And if you choose to republish your work on other sites, you are positioning yourself to receive quality link backs to you site while controlling the anchor text.

New to SEO? Moz’s Beginners Guide to SEO includes a super detailed guide to keyword research that explains how to conduct an audit of the most strategic keywords for your audience.

3. Change up your audience. Identify websites that accept contributed posts where your content is relevant and tailor it to this new audience. Publishing content on the same topic in multiple places is a way to gain authority in your space, raising your profile as an expert in your field and an active participant in the larger industry conversation – in addition to the obvious traffic benefits of having more content in more places.

Once you’ve identified a target, set a realistic goal of how many posts you would like to see publish in a certain timeframe and attempt to establish a regular cadence of posts by creating an editorial calendar to guide the narrative of your content. Once you’ve had success with your initial posts, consider reaching out to the editor to explore regular guest author opportunities.

4. Play with presentation. Depending on the subject matter, there are a plethora of ways to repurpose your content, including infographics, videos, slideshows, webinars, email series and podcasts, among others. Evaluate the copy and make a targeted, informed decision on the best mode of presentation for what you’re working with. Consider what formats have performed better than others. Is your audience visual, or are they readers? Can your content be condensed into a skimmable overview, or would it be most impactful in a long-form summary?

5. Strategically repost. While some content marketers consider reposting the same content to the same audience taboo, it can actually be a very effective way to further extend the life of your work.

One quick tip: content shared on Thursdays has the highest number of readers clicking on the link days later, according to Social Media Today. Due to the ephemeral nature of digital content, reposting to reach people in different time zones or at different times of the day can increase engagement without necessarily over-saturating your audience.

The value of incorporating repurposed content into your marketing plan is twofold – it drives traffic and saves time and resources, all without sacrificing value. Naturally, a steady flow of content raises your profile by increasing engagement with your audience and traffic to your site.

You’ve spent time and resources on creating your original content assets. Don’t let them expire.

How does repurposed content fit into your marketing strategy? We’d love to hear your insight and what you’ve experienced.

Photo Credit: opportplanet, Flickr

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