Repurposing Your Existing Content to Give it New Life
by Sarah Al-Daghreer, on August 6, 2019
Here it is, the eighth wonder of the world – repurposing your existing, best performing content! Content marketers spend so much time writing, designing, and publishing original, unique content for their business that there’s no use in letting wildly successful pieces fall through the cracks to be forgotten about – you put it out there for a reason, and there’s no point in wasting your efforts.
However, just because you have lots of unique content, doesn’t mean it all deserves to be given a second chance at life. So, what content does deserve it, and how do you tell the difference?
The best and the brightest is what you want to focus on when you’re considering repurposing. There’s a common misconception in marketing that content has a lifespan, and once that span has come to an end, it’s out with the old, and in with the new.
When it comes to maintaining your SEO, this is not the case. If you’re deleting old blogs from your website that you feel have served their purpose, you might want to think about how this will impact your other blogs that aren’t on their way out yet, so to speak – deleting blogs can harm your SEO, even if that wasn’t your intention. Your piece of content could have existing links that link back to other pieces of content you’ve created, and vice versa; this creates broken links, which is notorious for harming your SEO. Deleting content also decreases the amount of information on your website, and could negatively impact your ranking in the search results.
There’s no reason to delete your content – but you don’t want a plethora of old, slightly outdated information hanging out in your blog page, either. So how can you tell if this content is worth the trouble of re-distributing to your audience, especially if it was some of your best?
- Is the content relevant today?
- Will it require minimal editing and/or rewriting to make it fit for republication?
- Does it contain existing links?
- Does it have traffic?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, there’s a good chance your piece is a good candidate for a content makeover. While the above points are to be heavily taken into consideration, there is one more item on your checklist that is the ultimate deciding factor in the decision to repurpose; did the content perform well?
If the piece was popular with your audience and received an appropriate amount of engagement, it’s extremely likely that it will perform well again. If you’re monitoring the progress of your content, which you should be as a content marketer, you should be able to easily see which pieces were most popular with your target, and which didn’t hit as hard as you were originally hoping for. It’s okay – these things happen. They just shouldn’t happen twice in a row.
Content that Shouldn’t Be Revived
Second chances are good to give out, but not always in the world of content marketing. If a piece didn’t perform well with your audience, there’s really no point in trying to make it work again – supplying it with a new title, meta description and writing tweaks most likely won’t get it to where it needs to be for the desired online success.
If a topic hasn’t seen extreme advancements or new developments within the industry that you can make known with attractive infographics or fresh written content, it isn’t worth the time or resources to liven it up once more. Other factors that make it irrelevant to the repurposing process include:
- Irrelevant, outdated topics and/or references
- References to products, services, or companies that no longer exist
- Broken links
Some pieces just don’t work as well as you’d hoped they would, and that’s okay – this leaves more time and resources for you to focus on your best and brightest.
- The Fear of Duplicating Content
Before we get started with how to properly repurpose your popular content, I wanted to address the extremely common perception that duplicate content is grounds for having your website penalized by Google, with the result of duplication being your pages competing with one another, and hurting your website. Google has stated many times that this is false, but many content marketers still fear it; this is because marketers often mistake what Google does with duplicated content as a penalty, simply due to the way it’s handled by the search engine.
When Google encounters duplicated content that hasn’t been created with the sole intention of manipulating the search engine and its’ results, Google tries to index and show the pages with distinct information. When they find the two identical pieces, Google filters the results to continue to provide users with the diverse, relevant content they expect from the search engine. Essentially, the worst thing that happens when the two pieces of content are indexed is the less desired page will be shown.
This is not a penalty – simply Google’s way of providing a positive user experience. They do try to determine the original source of the content and display that one when faced with duplication, but it doesn’t always work out that way. The only way to be truly penalized for duplicating the same piece of content is if you did so to intentionally manipulate the search engine, which is an obvious no-no for SEO.
*To avoid having duplicate content, regularly run a website audit to ensure you aren’t guilty of it, and make the necessary adjustments if you find that you are.
- How to Repurpose
So, you’ve chosen the blogs or other pieces of content you believe had the best performances online, and you’re ready to give them new life. The way you repurpose your content is up to you and what you think will work best for each piece on a case by case basis, but there are a few key forms that will yield the best results for those pieces of content that are just too good to let go.
- Enhance the Original Post
No, you shouldn’t re-publish without touching the piece at all – this will simply duplicate the content like we mentioned before, and won’t do anything positive for your SEO. If you’re going to recycle your content you must do so creatively, and with a higher purpose – to do this, add something valuable to the original post.
You can research the topic of the post once more, and include new developments and research in the industry that have come about since you initially published it. Have there been new studies, new trends in the industry? Make sure that if you’re going to add something to the post, your addition is relevant, interesting, and will bring traffic to the post once more.
To avoid your audience mistaking it for the same blog, make sure you add “Updated on _____” so your target knows the content is fresh; otherwise, it may look like you’re simply recycling the same article, and won’t increase user engagement, or generate interest.
- Promote Your Original Content
Many marketing experts agree it’s better to promote more, and write less. Once you’ve done all the work of creating content, publishing it and pushing it out to all of your social media followers, letting it be lost in a sea of other pieces is almost a waste of your efforts. What’s the point of creating content specifically for your audience, and having it never reach them? If you have pieces of content that performed well, there’s no harm in promoting it to your following to increase its’ visibility – and maybe even to attract new visitors.
- Promote Your Content on Social Media
Publishing your content once on your social media is an effective way to have it reach a bigger audience, but is not the most efficient method of promotion, especially if you have a minor to medium following, and aren’t a big corporation with a heavy influence in the social media marketing world.
Some marketers are hesitant to post their content more than once on any given platform – this makes sense, in theory. You always want to avoid potentially irritating your audience, or coming across as repetitive.
With Facebook’s algorithm, the amount of your audience that you can reach is actually limited, meaning that not everyone will see your initial post when you do publish it. This gives you a bit of wiggle room to repost content without annoying your audience – it will take a few tries to actually reach everybody, and is an effective way to properly expose the content you worked so hard on.
In addition to working with Facebook, you should be publishing to all platforms that your company is active on in order to accurately reach your entire following. You have different types of users on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Facebook, and should be reworking the way you post your content in a way that meets the specific needs and style of each platform.
- Use Infographics
Infographics haven’t gone out of style yet, and probably never will. A good way to refresh and repurpose a successful blog is to take the relevant, interesting information from the contents of it, and transform it into a visually appealing infographic that will capture reader’s interest. Here are some statistics that show the effective nature of infographics, and why they’re a great course of action for content marketers.
- 40% of people respond better to visual info than they do to plain text
- Infographics are liked and shared on social media 3x more than any other type of content
- From 2015 to 2016, the use of visual content by marketers increased by 130%
- Facebook posts from brands that included images earned 87% of all engagements
- Infographics have the potential to increase web traffic by 12%
Creating an infographic ensures that you can effectively recycle existing content, while still giving it new, visually stunning life – it’ll almost seem like a new idea altogether!
- Break it Down, and Build it Up
Like I said earlier - there are so many ways to give your content a second chance to thrive! If you have a blog with ten different points that all detail elements of a single topic, consider taking each point individually, and expanding on them to create one thorough blog for each that goes over every possible subtopic.
This leaves you with ten brand-new pieces of content that give your following helpful, specific information, and can be effectively promoted across all channels! Get as specific as you can with them – in order to make the piece both relevant and new, you’ll want to include anything that could possibly relate, while maintaining the original idea to get the most out of your initial piece.
Alternatively, if you have several blogs that detail individual topics that can seamlessly be related to one another, consider turning the blog content into one large piece that gives an overview of all topics. This piece of content can then be turned into a guide or eBook that you can give website visitors in exchange for their information, allowing you to repurpose, strengthen your SEO, and improve your lead generation all at once!
- Explore Audio and Video
We know that consumers love interacting with visual content, and we know how huge podcasts are right now. So, why not give the people what they want? 85% of the US internet audience watches videos online – in addition to this staggering number, social video generates 12,000% more shares than text and images do, combined.
You can break down the content of existing blogs into a conversational podcast, a free webinar your prospects can download and keep for reference, or a how-to video that makes for easy listening, and easy learning. People listen to podcasts when they’re driving, doing chores, even during work – you may even reach content marketers during their creation process, and inspire them to check out more of your content.Video also keeps your web visitors attention for longer, and encourages more engagement – strangely enough, people are more likely to remember information that they’ve seen, vs information they’ve read. When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only about 10% of what they heard after three days. However, if you couple the message with striking, relevant imagery, people are likely to remember roughly 65% of what they heard three days later.