Is it ever OK to repurpose your content?

Is it ever OK to repurpose your content_

We all know someone who tells the same stories, over and over again. Repetition is boring. And so we would never encourage you to repeatedly share the same content ad infinitum – that would be plain lazy and counter-productive to our goals to get you seen and heard.

Repurposing content, on the other hand, could prove to be a very lucrative part of a wider content strategy – if you do it in the right way.

Content creation takes time and, if you get someone else to do it, money. So if you’ve already invested in a bank of helpful blog articles that have been posted a handful of times and sat in your archive ever since, repurposing some of it could be a good option.

Repurposing doesn’t mean reusing as is. True repurposing is about adding something valuable and new to the original so that it has fresh appeal to a new audience.

So when is repurposing ok?

When you’ve got something new to say

If you’ve written an article of top tips or a listicle, you could break it into a new series of blog posts that go into each tip or item in more depth. So, if we take our recent post ‘So you want to be famous? Get these things right first’, we could, if we wanted to, break it out into three new blog posts as follows:

  1. How do you measure PR success?
  2. Which PR objectives should you set and why?
  3. How to understand your audience before commencing a PR plan

We could also do it the other way around and merge a series of related posts into one overall summary. For example, we could take key points from the following three articles and write one on ‘Top tips for your PR strategy’:

Another time it’s ok to repurpose your content is where new information has come to light – perhaps a study has released some new statistics that you can use to update your initial article. By looking for ways to improve pieces you’ve done before, you will be seen as more relevant and attract renewed interest.

When you’re trying to reach new audiences

If Moz’s figures are right in that

the average lifespan of a tweet is 18 minutes,

then the chances are you miss a significant proportion of your audience when you first post a piece of content.

So although, as we said above, repetition is boring, some repetition can actually be a good thing. The marketing rule of seven states that people need to hear your message 7 times before they do business with you.

Research by Tom Tunguz showed that

reposting can bring in 75 percent of the engagement of the original share,

so occasional reposts are worthwhile.

Where possible though, try to focus on originality – for example, you could take statistics or quotes and accompanying images from blog posts and turn them into a series of tweets. Or you could take snippets from some of your blog posts and send them out to prospective clients in e-newsletters.

Another way of acceptably repurposing content is to guest blog on the same topic as an existing piece of content. By appearing in different places talking about the same topic, you’ll raise your own profile and position yourself as an authority on the topic. Plus, the links on the website will direct readers back to your site and vice versa.

You might also consider repurposing your blog posts on LinkedIn Pulse by editing the introduction so it’s more personally related to you.

When there’s a better way to present it

Different content formats resonate with different people, and many prefer a visual format. So you could experiment with repurposing written content into infographics or Slideshare presentations.

According to research cited by Hubspot, infographics are ‘liked’ and shared on social media 3X more than other any other type of content. Podcasts and videos present great new ways to connect with audiences and, as we highlighted in our recent post, podcast consumption is growing exponentially.

You could also turn existing articles in downloadable resources such as checklists and how to guides – or undertake a bit more research and create an ebook from a series of posts. This sort of repurposing may be a tad more time consuming but provides opportunity for valuable data capture and even income generation.

 

Repurposing content can be much more time efficient than producing it brand new. As an added bonus, producing additional articles on the same topics that target similar keywords will also enhance your SEO efforts.

Repurposing can be a strategic way to increase your reach and connect with new audiences, but being lazy about it could damage your reputation. Make sure you focus on adding something of value to your original work and be sure to balance out any repurposing efforts with regular, fresh content­.