Content repurposing explained
I’m very excited about this post. Ever since I first “met” Lizzi in early 2020, content repurposing and what a powerful tool it can be has come up in many a discussion. So having a post by the content repurposing queen herself on my blog is an honour. Over to you, Lizzi!
Note from Katie…wait, why the lack of pictures? In an effort to reduce the carbon footprint of my web presence, I am only using images at the very top of my posts, as well as where they serve a true purpose, such as headshots or infographics. That’s why you won’t find any purely decorative photos here anymore.
What is content repurposing?
If I were to put it in the simplest terms, content repurposing is when you take a piece of content and you turn it into something new.
However, I still prefer the way my dearest husband came to understand content repurposing. My husband is a little dreamy. He likes to help me wherever he can and most weeks you’ll find him reviewing my content before I hit publish. He tells me if what I’m saying makes sense and asks plenty of questions.
So, middle of last year, after reading one of my blogs, I see him sitting and (for lack of a better word) contemplating. He turns to me and says:
“So, content repurposing is like upcycling furniture?”
He is right. You’re looking to upcycle your content to bring your message to a new audience.
Content repurposing is taking a piece of content, like a blog, and turning it into:
- A podcast
- A YouTube video
- A social media post
- A worksheet or checklist
- The list goes on!
Repurposing content vs reusing
There is a common misunderstanding that repurposing and reusing content are the same thing.
I can tell you; they are not.
Content repurposing is taking an existing piece of content and making changes to it. They are usually significant and can include format changes (eg. from text to audio). However, reusing content is taking that original piece of content and using it again, unchanged.
If you consider one tip I was given when I first started my business (before repurposing was a twinkle in my eye!): If you’ve taken the time to write a blog, don’t go wasting it. Re-post it on any platform that you can. Publish on your blog, then 3 days later post an article on LinkedIn and then 3 days after that post it on Medium.
That is reusing content. Copying and pasting. Understanding the difference is important as we begin to consider some of the benefits of repurposing content.
Why you should repurpose your content?
This is where I hope your passion for repurposing blossoms. There are some truly great reasons to get repurposing content into your content creation processes. You’ve spent a good amount of time creating your content be it a blog, social media posts, a podcast, video tutorial or webinar, surely you want to make the most of it?
So, why should you repurpose your content?
Create new content – FASTER!
Consider how long you spent creating your last piece of original content. I’m guessing anywhere from 20 minutes to 6 hours? When it comes to repurposing that piece of content, you’re not having to start from the beginning. You’ve already got the base content, the idea, and your research. All you’re looking to do is adapt it to suit a new platform or format.
You’ll be able to create multiple pieces of content in one go, much faster than if you were creating each of them from scratch.
Reach a different audience
Look, believe it or not, I am an introvert! I don’t like to talk about myself, but I am a great example in this specific area. Hopefully, you already know who your target audience is but for this let’s assume they are 30-40-year-old women, running small businesses. You also know how they prefer to consume content and where they ‘hang’ out. Of the many polls I’ve seen on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc, the results are the same every time. Women in my age group tend to favour podcasts as they can consume while driving the kids around, working, doing housework, relaxing or out exercising.
So that’s great. You know you should at least consider podcasting but what about your outliers? Those who don’t conform to your average audience member statistics? This is where I come in. The only time I will consider listening to a podcast is if I’ve been enticed by a well-written email, blog or social media post. I much prefer text content as podcasts tend to make me tired and I lose interest very quickly. By considering your outliers, you can find ways to repurpose your original piece of content for a platform and in a format that they prefer, opening up your reach.
The best way to find your outliers is to poll your audience. Give it a go and see what they say.
Had a content flop?
You know what I’m talking about! The piece of content you spent forever working on, the one you were really pumped about and proud of. The one that may not have done as well as you thought it would? It’s not a fun feeling and while we try not to take it personally, we sure do sometimes. Stop questioning yourself!
Take some time to consider the content and think about whether it’s the content (do you need the same topic but from a different angle?) or was it the right content shared in the wrong way? Did you have a social media post so long it exceeded character limits and resulted in heavy editing? Why don’t you consider writing a blog? What about a blog post that was so long it could have been an eBook?
Either way, you’ve still got your base ideas there to work with. You just need to consider the alternative options and approaches to mix it up a bit.
Struggling with consistency?
Hands up if you struggle to stay consistent in your social media posting? It’s difficult, I understand but what if there was a way to ensure consistency without having to dig deep on content creation all the time?
Using social media to promote your original piece of content is a great option because you can repurpose parts of it to whet the whistle and then direct your audience to the original. I do this up to 3 times for each blog and schedule the posts over 30 days.
Hint: You can also do this with your archived content. My Saturday posts on Instagram are all repurposed from one of my most popular blogs of 2020.
Repetition gets your message across
Given that it is common knowledge it takes 6-7 times for someone to easily recall a piece of information they have been exposed to, repetition, when used in the right way, is a good thing. Consider repurposing one piece of content, multiple times, like a new blog you’d like to promote on social media.
I call them social media ‘promo’ posts because you’re promoting the blog on your socials. (Social Media peeps, want to tell me the techie term?!)
You could write:
- a summary post that contains your blog’s key points
- a quote image post with accompanying text
- a benefit post – what will your audience gain by reading this blog
- a humourous post – I once promoted a blog by asking my audience if they had fingerrhea (it’s verbal diarrhoea but of the fingers!)
Once you’ve got your promo posts, all you need is another 1-2 posts and you’re hitting that 6/7 mark.
My favourite ways to repurpose content
There are so many ways to repurpose content. It’s fun, and in case you can’t tell, it’s my passion!
Quick disclaimer, while I’ve not tried all of these ways (yet), I can see how they would work and think the ideas are amazing!
- Take a blog post and turn it into a series of social media posts. This works particularly well with list-style blogs as you can create a social media post for each item on the list.
- Convert your podcast into a YouTube video and accompany it with a slide deck. This helps those in your audience who favour the visual aspect of the content.
- Take a how-to blog or social media post series and turn it into a YouTube playlist. Bite-sized instructional videos are very helpful to your audience for quick reference and are much easier to plan into their day.
- Take your themed social media posts and turn them into an ‘ultimate’ blog post for a complete guide to your specialist topic.
- Take ideas from the copy on your website and create social media posts. I like considering FAQ pages (answering commonly asked questions), using your about me page to introduce yourself to your audience, talk through your audience’s pain points and how you can help, or do feature posts on your products or services (introduce them to your audience).
- Take a blog post and repurpose the key points into reels or stories for Instagram. This is great for those quick and easy pieces of info.
- Create quote images. Finding an inspirational, caring or funny quote in any piece of content is very exciting and there seems to be a certain sense of pride in being able to quote yourself.
- Create a reading list for your audience by summarising your recent blog content into one quick reference guide. Most commonly known as a ‘best of’ blog
Some content or topics will only lend themselves to a few ways of repurposing but, overall, any of the below can be turned into any of the below!
- Blog post
- Educational webinar
- Facebook/Instagram live
- Social media post/series
- Slide deck
- Email sequence
- Website copy
So, there you have it. Content repurposing in a nutshell.
When you understand what content repurposing is and you can see the benefits of doing it, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump before you’re a convert and wonder what you did without it!
About the author
Lizzi Williams, based in Perth, Western Australia, is a Digital Content Manager who specialises in helping small business owners avoid content overwhelm through podcast production and her biggest passion, content repurposing.