Reusing good quality content is something most successful businesses do. In digital marketing, the pace is relentless and much of the content that gets produced is time sensitive and specific to particular trends or subjects. This means a lot of content can be forgotten about, especially if you’re dealing with high volume. One of the most effective ways to generate good quality content is to analyse what you already have with a view to repurposing or reusing the elements that feel relevant to any of your current projects. Here’s Probella’s guide to repurposing existing content for digital marketing.
Identify Evergreen Elements in Existing Pieces
Evergreen content is essentially anything that doesn’t expire or become irrelevant because of trends or seasonal changes. This isn’t as complex as it sounds. A blog that discusses the origins and aims of your business would be considered evergreen content whereas as an article based on a particular news development from your industry would not. When you’re looking through your existing content, try to cherry pick the evergreen elements so that you can include them in further pieces in the future. How to guides, top tens and case studies can all be reused several times for different audiences, if you know how to make the right kind of adjustments. Most social media-based news and content-based companies do this regularly, the most notable being Vice magazine, who will often repost the same article up to six times per year. Though they are sometimes criticised for this, the reach they enjoy is something most companies could only dream of.
Check for inaccuracies and outdated information
As industries adapt and grow, things can change quite radically. For example, before GDPR was enforced, the way in which online businesses processed and stored information was never scrutinised as much as it is today. Similarly, certain methods of communication that were considered standard practice are now largely defunct. (Fax, physical letters etc) Some older articles can still contain goldmines of relevant information, but they may seem dated by some of the references that are included. If this is the case, simply rewrite the article, keeping the main points and retaining elements you think are still relevant such as tone and style. Simple edits can also work if the article is still largely accurate but requires a few more recent references or links.
Optimise content for multiple platforms
Any content you share needs to be viewable on multiple platforms. Thousands of articles go unread because they don’t look right on sites such as LinkedIn or reddit. Make sure any images you use are sized correctly and that headings aren’t obscured by things like using the wrong aspect ratio in the preview. It also makes sense to have several different versions of the same article, specifically tailored to each platform you intend to use. Writing in this way should be easy for anybody with an English degree or a professional qualification in content writing. It involves rewriting the same main points in various different styles so that your overall message can be understood clearly whether people are scanning a few bullet points in a twitter post or reading in more detail in a full-length blog. Remember that new technology and applications get revealed every year, so make sure that your best content is present on every platform you use. Even if it means reposting “old” content.
Pay attention to structure
Structure is important, especially when it comes to content that is designed to sell or inform. Long winded pieces can be great when you’re discussing a complex, industry specific issue or when you’re trying to reach out to other professionals in your sector. Shorter, snappier pieces with clear and easy to read call to actions are generally preferable in sales copy or business to customer communications. When repurposing content, consider summarising or condensing some of your longer articles in to quicker, easier to read pieces that can be used on social media or in email content. Think about how the average person reads information when they’re scanning their feed or their inbox. The process is quite different to reading a novel or an in-depth newspaper article. This means your structure should be simple, easy to follow and most importantly, clear. Numbers and bullet points can help to keep the reader engaged, as can subheadings, titles and summaries.
Variations on a theme
Some topics provide you with a lot of scope for expansion. Versatile, rich content like this can be repurposed and rewritten several times before it becomes impractical. If articles on the top industry products in 2019 performed well for you, never be afraid to use exactly the same format 12 months later for a whole new selection of items. Capitalising on what works is just common sense. If your customers engaged with a humorous piece of writing that was created from by a staff member, consider establishing a regular feature based on similar content. If your socials light up when you post polls and quizzes after blog posts, incorporate this into your strategy for the foreseeable future. Originality is important, but it’s also essential to take notice of formulas and approaches that work for you. You don’t need to everything you put out to be cutting edge and challenging. If your customers enjoy top tens and user generated review articles, keep using them. Just remember to keep things interesting by including enough variation in your content to avoid too much repetition.
Original content doesn’t have to be brand new. It simply needs to be presented in a way that appears unique and engaging. Always celebrate your most successful content by using it in as many different ways as you can and on as many different platforms as you can. Reposting old articles that are relevant to certain news stories is also perfectly acceptable and making a few little tweaks to existing posts can be enough to breathe new life into them.