“Why Should You Repurpose Content? Repurposing content (aka finding new ways to recycle your existing content) has a number of benefits, such as: reaching out a new audience, dusting off forgotten tales or making the most of your efforts.”
Repurposing is a key strategy of the lean content marketing methodology. Megan Marrs has 11 interesting best practices and ideas on how to repurpose content efficiently in this great post which made me want to elaborate on this topic.
So here’s the take of several other content marketing experts on the value of repurposing content, a cheat sheet that summarizes key ideas to repurpose content (Megan’s 11 plus 4 others I added) as well as the ROI analysis of two of our own experiment with content repurposing.
What top marketing experts say about repurposing content
Social Media Author & Consultant, Mark Schaefer (@markwschaefer) practices content repurposing himself and highlighted key benefits from the point of view of SMBs in our latest our lean content marketing handbook for SMBs:
“In my small business, I have many old blog posts that still have valuable ideas. I can “re-use” this basic content a number of ways, including:
- Assembling several posts into a free eBook or whitepaper
- Using the base content as a guest post on another site
- Designing a Slideshare presentation based on the content
- Narrating those slides, recording it, and posting it as a YouTube video
- After a year or so, re-writing the original ideas into a new post
- Using the posts as chapter in a book or customer guide
Re-purposing content can give you a powerful return on your original investment.”
Altimeter’s analyst Rebecca Lieb (@lieblink) uses the now famous Thanksgiving turkey analogy to get you thinking about content repurposing.
“You cook up this giant bird to serve up on one glorious occasion and then proceed to slice and dice this thing for weeks on end. If you are like most families you are going to be repurposing this bird as leftovers for quite some time creating everything from sandwiches, to soups, and more. Your content marketing strategy can be thought of in the same way.”
The CEO of TopRank Online Marketing, Lee Odden (@leeodden), is a big advocate of repurposing content. He not only recommends to do it but to design your content in a modular way in order to facilitate the repurposing process.
“With normal content repurposing, you go from a collection of ideas in a larger content object and then break that collection down into smaller ideas, remix and reimagine them to create other smaller content objects. What I’m suggesting is that you try the reverse.
Curation of micro-content is easy, provides useful information to your target audience and can fit within a social content workflow designed to roll up to a larger content project.”
LinkedIn’s Content Marketing rock star Jason Miller (@jasonmillerca) applies content repurposing to his “big rock” concept that he defines as:
“[Repurposing] can be taken a step further and applied to what I refer to as “Big Rock” pieces of content, or a content “Stake in the Ground.” The current trend in content marketing is to develop an all-encompassing guide incorporating your top keywords or topics and written strategically instead of instructionally.”
“Imagine the pieces and parts you can pull out of a “Big Rock” piece of content such as this and remember that this is the foundation that is going to fuel your campaigns for quite some time.“, he adds citing the example of ebooks he created while at Marketo that were repurposed into 15 blogs, two infographics, two webinars, two videos, two slideshares, etc…
Erika Heald (@SFerika), the head of social media and content marketing at Anaplan, doesn’t want your content to be lazy:
“Make all your content work double or triple duty. That great content you shared on social can be aggregated with other snippets on the same topic to create a round-up blog post, a SlideShare, or even build out side bars in your longer-form content.”
15 Efficient Ideas To Repurpose Content for Marketing ROI
I like to summarize things visually so here’s what I drafted as a cheat sheet for my own use that you hopefully will find useful to:
Does repurposed content perform equally well?
One of the best things I found about repurposing is it’s easy to experiment with. On our end, we’ve been repurposing a lot of content so we’ve collected many data points on how efficient this can be. Let me go into a couple of examples and lessons learned.
Repurposing blog content to SlideShare
In this post last year, we shared a number of lessons we learned on using SlideShare as a sort of visual blog. Among the many things we tried, we repurposed blog content in the form of a visual presentation and measured how it performed compared to original slideshares. Here’s what we found:
That’s right: our repurposed content performed equally well as original SlideShares that took much much longer to create (about 5 to 10x longer).
Repurposing blog content into an ebook
This is one of the most common repurposing technique and we’ve tried too, like many other content marketers for our latest guide: ROI or RIP: The Lean Content Marketing Handbook for SMBs.
Is it meta to use content repurposing to create a guide recommending lean content marketing techniques that include content repurposing?
But we’re shameless about it and more importantly, it worked:
Of course, this 88 page ebook contains a lot of original content:
- new content we created specifically for it;
- new content 15 of the world’s top influencers kindly contributed to (we’re also big believers in participation marketing);
But we also repurposed a number of our most successful blog posts as we felt they belonged there and not everybody had seen them – in particular not in the context of a guide that takes marketers from A to Z on the topic of lean content marketing.
Overall, we were able to produce a much longer ebook than the previous one – a “big rock” as Jason would say or a turkey as Rebecca does – for about the same time investment as the previous ones we had published. And as of today, it’s already performing better.
So over to you now: have you practiced content repurposing? Have you measured comparable results? What would be your best practices when repurposing content?
If you want to get 30 effective techniques to master content marketing along with valuable insights from 10+ influencers like Mark Schaefer, Rebecca Lieb, Lee Odden, Jason Miller or Ian Cleary, download our free eBook now!