Illustration of repurposing content

Repurposing content is a great idea. Ask anyone if they want to get more bang for their buck and they’ll say ‘Yes, of course!’, so being able to deliver on that can be extremely valuable.

But repurposing content takes more than just copy and paste. To do it properly, you need to intelligently adapt content instead of just reusing it exactly as it was. Let’s look at why and how you can do that.

The fundamentals of repurposing content

We should start by unpacking what repurposing content means. Simply put, it means taking something that already exists, adapting it and putting it to a new use where it can achieve more than it did originally.

It offers a brilliant opportunity to maximise impact. Just posting the same thing again in the same channel at the right moment can be effective, yes, but you’re still talking to the same audience the same way. Full repurposing involves a change in format, channel or both, and this can open up new opportunities with new audiences that the original could not by itself.

To look at that in practice, let’s suppose that an article on your website can be edited down to provide the basis for a Twitter thread and a series of LinkedIn posts. This way, the same statistics, quotes and so on can reach new audiences and be shared more easily with people who may not have otherwise ever found them. Perhaps it could even be adapted as the basis for a podcast and reach another audience entirely? Better yet, you’ve lost nothing and you still have the original article handy whenever it offers the right tool for the job too.

Why you should repurpose content

The efficiency benefits of repurposing content in money, time and effort are obvious. You’ve got a foundation of research and thought that’s already been done, relationships that have already been built, assets already acquired, technical steps like image editing already taken care of, analytics data about what got the most clicks and so on. For a little extra work, you can get even more return on much the same investment and you can avoid having to start from scratch.

But repurposing content also responds to differing audience format needs by meeting demand with supply. Some may prefer video or the spoken word, some may find short-form more convenient than long-form, some may favour Instagram as a platform over Twitter and so on, while some may need specific platforms as we explain in our accessibility requirements article. In light of this, repurposing content helps you meet those needs with what you already have to hand.

Some judgment is needed, of course. Just because a given subject does well in LinkedIn’s professional atmosphere doesn’t automatically mean it will be just as well received in TikTok’s more light-hearted one or vice versa. But, while some things really are impossible, the combination of intelligence, creativity and flexibility can still solve many problems. Since this is 2024, you can even turn to AI for help as Elna Cain explains in her Wordtune article.

In short, repurposing content isn’t about being lazy and retreading old ground. It’s about being smart and taking your content somewhere completely new.

How you can repurpose content

…is impossible to answer fully here because there are simply too many possible combinations to ever list them all. In this context, that’s great news.

Opportunities quickly spring to mind whenever you turn your attention to a specific case. For example, taking an existing B2C article and converting it to B2B marketing material may be a worthwhile option and the exact reverse may be viable too. Similarly, a formal white paper may provide the foundation of a series of more relaxed articles, marketing material and blog entries. In all of these cases, the activity can be very helpful indeed for SEO.

And that’s just text-based options. Thanks to its inherent flexibility, social media offers a splendid range of ways to repurpose content and a little creativity and imagination can go a long way. Articles, blogs and white papers can be edited down and used as the basis for much shorter posts or threads, while photography, artwork and infographics can all be put to use to catch the attention of those scrolling past in Instagram, X and Facebook. Naturally, YouTube is the obvious home for long-form video solutions.

But TikTok deserves special focus on its own. Repurposing content for TikTok can be surprisingly straightforward and its limitations in terms of time do not need to be a major obstacle. Editing down long-form video content, turning information, infographics and diagrams into animations or GIFs, a short piece to camera by a writer, subject or contributor and even photographic collages are all viable options for catching attention and facilitating sharing.

User-generated content in particular lends itself well to repurposing. It often takes the form of the most readily created material (photos, videos and the like) and automatically has a powerful impact in brand communities – which Dialogue explored in our Power of Brand Communities Report. By collating and curating the best, the worst (in the spirit of fun, of course!), the most interesting, the most useful, the most beautiful or any other criteria that seem relevant, the same audience that created it in the first place can see everything again in a new light as it reaches new people at the same time.

Repurposing content in practice

Let’s look at a practical example of repurposing content using material we create for Porsche Club Great Britain. ‘Club Life’ interviews with PCGB’s members are published in their print/digital magazine, Porsche Post (which also won bronze for Best Use of Monetised Content at 2023 International Content Marketing Awards, incidentally!), and then repurposed for the PCGB website, then highlighted on their social media channels too.

All it takes is a modest amount of editing the copy for web, the same photographs from the original feature and a few minutes – that’s it. The amount of time and effort required to repurpose the content once the initial feature has been created is minimal, so the return on investment is fantastic. This simple process allows the content to reach beyond PCGB’s members and out into the wider world, often becoming a topic of conversation in the replies once it reaches social media too, and there are plenty of extra likes and views to prove it.

Why repurposing content matters

We all know the line about a picture being worth a thousand words, but why settle for having just the one or the other when you can have both? At its most basic level, that’s what repurposing content is all about – taking a fresh look at what you’ve already got and expanding on it to get you to where a whole new audience can be found.

The beauty of it is that the hardest part has usually already happened by the time you start. Ideally, you should build the option for repurposing content into your work in advance rather than try to retrofit later, so plan with multiple purposes in mind from the word go – it’ll make things faster, easier and more coherent. However, it can still be done after the fact and it can help evergreen content go much, much further than it ever did before.

It takes judgment, skill and effort to get from A to B, of course, but we can help with that. If you would like your content go the extra mile or perhaps even further into places you never thought it could go, contact Dialogue today see how we can get you more bang for your buck.

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