Stagnant organic traffic is the last thing you want to see when reviewing metrics, but it’s an issue that every marketer deals with at some point.
Those dips and plateaus in traffic can come from industry changes, how your audience digests content, the amount (and quality) of new content you’re producing, or how relevant your older content is.
Sometimes, all your content needs is a little refreshing and repurposing to keep your audience interested. So to inspire your repurposing efforts, I put together some benefits and examples below. Check 'em out.
Why You Should Repurpose Content
One of my favorite tidbits of advice about content marketing comes from Social Triggers founder Derek Halpern, in a post on why bloggers fail.
“You don’t have to create content day in and day out. You just have to work on getting the content you already have in the hands of more people,” Halpern explains.
And that’s the main idea behind repurposing content: Take something you’ve created, put a new spin on it, and give it new life.
Aside from the fact that the hard work is already done, here are a few other benefits for repurposing content:
Reaching New Audiences
When you first publish a piece of content, the performance might be average. However, over time, it gains traction and does a little better. When you repurpose that content in a new format and/or update it, you can reach new audience segments that otherwise may have never found it.
Reinforcing Your Message
When discussing the merits of repurposing content, Kevan Lee of Buffer points out that repetition is important with marketing. Marketing’s Rule of Seven states that buyers need to hear your message approximately seven times before they will close the deal.
Rather than covering a topic once and letting it disappear into the archives, repurpose your articles to consistently deliver your message to your audience. This works great if you’re starting with high-value, authoritative content. It makes it easier to find unique ways to reinforce your message.
Improved Organic Visibility
Organic search still provides the majority of site traffic. One study from BrightEdge found that organic search holds a 51% share among traffic sources. If that’s accurate, then repurposing optimized content in various formats can give you a significant lift in organic visibility and traffic.
Publishing a variety of content gives you more access to search real estate for targeted queries. If you publish your content on other sites, then you’ll also (sometimes) have the benefit of backlinks.
How to Choose Content for Repurposing
When choosing content for repurposing, look at your metrics. Note what has performed well, and think about what can be done to deliver a fresh experience. Dig into your archives to find content that would benefit from being updated.
Previous successes and relevant topics are two indicators that if the content were repurposed, it would be valuable. If you're stuck on ideas how, we have listed a few below:
List snippet for How to Repurpose Content
How to Repurpose Content
- Turn blog posts into podcasts
- Turn internal data into case studies
- Use blog content for video content
- Gather content for an ebook
- Make a slide deck for SlideShare
- Use testimonials for social media content
- Update old blog posts with new information
- Use statistics for social media content
- Refer to blog content for online courses
- Offer guest contributions for topics you've already covered
Once you've chosen your content for repurposing, the next step is to figure out how to do so and distribute it. Let's talk about some ideas how.
1. Turn blog posts into podcasts.
If you come across a blog post with the content you'd like to expand on, turn it into a podcast episode. Podcasts can be a platform to deliver "dry" or "difficult" content in a digestible way. An ultimate guide you've written with a lot of sections could be a contender for a podcast episode.
Podcasts are also more accessible. Listeners would be able to access the information on the go, rather than reading a blog post on a desktop. This could also expand the reach of your content.
A podcast episode, or a series of podcast episodes, allows you to expand on the information and provide examples you've pulled from the post in a conversational way. You can also provide updated facts you've found. For distribution, put the podcast at the top of the existing blog post and promote it through social media and email list content strategies.
2. Turn internal data into case studies
What types of data do you collect, and how do you interpret them? If you gather social media metrics, collect SEO data, or analyze traffic performance, there's room to use that data to make a case study. You can draw inferences from the data you've collected in the past and try to learn something new.
One benefit of turning collected data into a case study is that it shows your readership that you are effective at interpreting data. It makes your blog look more credible. Another is that by doing the study, you'll have the chance to figure out the cause and effect of important decisions you've made for your business.
For distribution, you can turn the case study into a blog post, but you can also make it a content offer to potentially boost conversion. It can also be a special download offer for email subscribers.
3. Use webpage content for video content.
85% of internet users enjoy video content. Blog posts already contain a lot of valuable information, and an alternative to producing a podcast to deliver information is by making a short video.
Videos are engaging and entertaining. Personally, I enjoy watching video versions of blog posts because I am a visual learner, even if it's just someone talking. A video that has a couple of interesting graphics could really pull the viewer in.
If you have a YouTube content strategy, producing a video with blog post information could fit into that strategy like a glove. This tactic makes your content available across more than one platform.
Another distribution idea for video content is to add it to your blog post. You can add "Video" to the title, keep the introduction, and use the video for the body. A shorter post entices skimmers who want to digest information quickly and concisely.
4. Gather content for an ebook.
If one of your business goals is to increase the amount of content offers you have, consider collecting a series of content, such as templates you've created, analyzation processes for data, or interview content into an ebook.
ebooks boost your business's credibility and work well as content offers. There's so many subjects you can cover with an ebook — for example, HubSpot offers free ebooks about SEO, channel growth, marketing psychology, customer support, and expert advice, just to name a few.
Publishing an ebook of information you already have lessens the work for you, because the majority of it is already written. All that would be left is organizing the content, publishing it (Amazon publishes ebooks for free), and distribution.
Other than making the ebook a conversion opportunity, you can also add promoting the eBook into a LinkedIn content strategy. Because LinkedIn is a platform for professional networking, announcing an ebook to your industry connections draws in a related audience.
5. Make a slide deck for SlideShare.
Let's say you have a data report that you want to repurpose. For this, you can make a slide deck with the data report's information and upload it to SlideShare. SlideShare is a platform on LinkedIn that, in a nutshell, lets you upload public, shareable slide decks.
If you've found that the data you want to turn into a SlideShare is expansive, you can turn the roll out of data into a series of slide decks, separated by topic or section. That way, skimmers can jump to the appropriate deck to find the information they need quickly.
A data report on SlideShare expands your LinkedIn content and makes your business stand out on LinkedIn. Not every business uses SlideShare, so you have the chance to attract connections on your feed that are interested in data and want an accessible way to read it.
6. Use testimonials for social media content or product pages.
Have you received some stunning testimonials about your product? You can use this content to beef up your product page or include in your social media strategy.
Adding testimonials in visible places draws in customers who don't consider purchasing from a business without reading a testimonial. It also lets customers know that your business is already trusted by audience members.
Testimonials can also improve customer relationships. Putting reviews or testimonials in the spotlight sends a message to customers that their voice is being heard and matters.
7. Update old blog posts with new information.
If you run a blog, updating blog posts should be a part of your content strategy. A large number of posts that contain good information don't have to stay lost in the past. As you're combing through your blog archive, pick out posts that can still be valuable with a few tweaks.
Updating blog posts is also a great time saver. You don't have to write a completely new post, and most of the content is already publish-ready. All you have to do is make the information current.
When it comes to distribution, you can notate in the title that the post has been updated with new information. It draws in readers looking for the latest data and readers who previously enjoyed the post will have a nice refresher. If you don't have a current update strategy, take a look at our complete guide to learn how to choose the right posts for updating.
8. Use statistics for social media content.
Here's a great use for collected data — turn it into a graphic and use it to diversify social media content. For instance, if you've got a statistic about millennial blog readers, you can turn that into a visual experience.
Statistics on a social media page, such as Instagram or LinkedIn, makes your page as a whole look credible. It shows the public that your business cares about industry data as part of your brand.
If a statistic on the main feed doesn't fit in with your current strategy, try using other platform features for distribution. For instance, you can create an Instagram Story highlight for stats and upload them there. That way, you can turn statistics into a part of your content strategy in a way that doesn't interrupt it.
9. Refer to blog content for online courses.
Let's say one of your current marketing goals is to really crack down on producing video content. You already have a backlog of content to refer to for ideas. Consider turning blog posts into an online course.
If your blog is sorted by different topic clusters, for example, "local advertising" and "ultimate guides," you can create a course based on the content you've written for the topic cluster. Or, if your business has a team or department based on certain topics, you can work with them to structure a course.
Online courses are effective in showing your business's expert opinion on topics, so for distribution, include segmented email subscribers. Email subscribers have already communicated that they value extra content from your business, and are likely to check out your online course.
10. Offer guest contributions for topics you've already covered.
Repurposing content can also build industry relationships. Let's say there's a topic you feel like an expert in, but you've already written a blog post about it. Have you reached out to similar businesses in the industry for an interview about the topic?
The interview can be about the content you've covered in the blog post and why it's valuable information. Or, a guest post could use the information you've put in the initial blog.
This tactic for repurposing content builds a relationship with a business in your industry that can be useful in future endeavors. Additionally, the exposure brings the audience of that business to yours.
12 Examples of Strategic Content Repurposing
1. Joe Pulizzi’s Epic Content Marketing Book
In 2013, Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi had committed to publishing another book, Epic Content Marketing, but he struggled to find time to write it.
He needed 25 chapters at about 2,000 words each to complete his book. Every week, he produced content that was relevant to the chapters of his book for LinkedIn and the blog at Content Marketing Institute. As the deadline for the book neared, Joe was able to utilize those blog posts to fulfill all of his content obligations-- including the new book.
2. Jay Baer: Short Videos into Multiple Content Pieces
Jay Baer, founder of Convince and Convert, creates three-minute informational videos on a variety of topics -- from business to social media. To maximize the reach of this content, his team repurposes his video content into a variety of formats and content pieces to publish on his site. These include:
- iTunes audio podcasts
- Blog content for the Convince and Convert website
- Blog content for the Jay Today website
- LinkedIn Pulse posts
- Posts on Medium
- Promotions through various social channels
3. Copyblogger: Leveraging Slide Decks
Copyblogger’s teams are well-known for the high-quality content they produce on the subjects of copywriting, content marketing, and engaging audiences through the power of words. They’re also no stranger to the power of repurposing content. They took one blog post, The 3-Step Journey of a Remarkable Piece of Content and transformed it into a SlideShare.
That SlideShare presentation has earned 38K+ views to date.
4. Ben Hardy/Goinswriter: Expanding to New Platforms
Ben started blogging in May of 2015 with the goal of growing his audience. He knew having a large readership would help him connect with a traditional publisher, so he began posting on his own blog and repurposed that content on Medium.
Some of his content went viral on Medium, generating a massive surge in traffic back to his site. He added a call-to-action to his Medium articles to opt-in and subscribe to his blog, and within 6 months, he grew his subscriber list from 0 to 20,000.
5. Videofruit: Repurposing Content to Drive a New Product
Launching a new product can be a challenge, and creating an entirely new product is even more difficult. But Bryan Harris simplified the launch of new products with content marketing.
Pulling from his most popular posts, he compiled data that revealed the needs and interests of his followers in order to develop a new product they would be most likely to purchase. The result: He banked $10,000 within 24 hours of launch.
6. Internet Business Mastery: Creating Audio Blogs to Boost Downloads
Jeremy and Jason host the Internet Business Mastery podcast, but they also have individual blogs to maintain. They decided to run an experiment where they read and recorded their more popular blogs and then uploaded them to their podcast. Those audio blogs saw 60-100% more downloads than their featured podcasts.
7. ProBlogger: From Blog to Ebook
Darren Rowse, founder of ProBlogger, received a lot of positive feedback on his series, “31 Days to Build a Better Blog.” To streamline the content and monetize it, Rowsepackaged the series into an ebook and started selling it for $29.99. Even years after the initial launch, the book is still available, and it’s even bought and used as material in online courses.
8. Matthew Woodward: Driving Subscribers with LinkedIn
In 2015, SEO professional Matthew Woodward started using LinkedIn as a publishing platform to expand his audience reach. His strategy included repurposing previous content that had been featured and creating follow-up articles to his popular content. By recycling just a few of his popular posts, he quickly snagged over 300 new subscribers at a 76.15% conversion rate.
9. Matthew Barby: To the Frontpage of BuzzFeed
Matthew Barby, head of growth at HubSpot, managed to make it to the frontpage of BuzzFeed not once, but twice. Rather than creating brand-new content, he repurposed content into a listicle featuring high protein vegetarian recipes. With a little paid social boost, he got the attention of editors and scored over 140,000 views.
10. Backlinko: Boosting Organic Traffic
Brian Dean of Backlinko received a great case study from a user, but instead of promoting it on its own, he added it to an older post and promoted that updated content to his social followers and subscribers. With a simple update and a quick promotion, that old post saw a 111.37% increase in organic traffic.
11. Moz: Whiteboard Fridays
The team over at Moz consistently creates Whiteboard Friday videos to provide visual demonstration and engagement to their audience. Those videos are distributed individually, but they’re also turned into blog posts with video transcriptions. That’s a perfect recipe for optimization and organic traffic.
12) Buffer: The “No New Content” Challenge
The Buffer team rolled out a brief experiment in 2015 to see what would happen if they stopped producing new content and only repurposed/refreshed their existing content. This strategy involved repurposing two to three new pieces each week for one month. At the end of the experiment, organic search traffic grew over 4%. New SlideShare presentations nabbed almost 200,000 views, and one Medium post captured 2,888 views and made it into the Top 20 for a day.
There are tremendous benefits to repurposing content, and it’s an easy way to fill the gaps of your content schedule because most of the work has already been done.
Go back through your data, find your best-performing content, and transform it into something new that will lift your organic traffic and leads. Take a cue from all the successful examples I’ve listed here -- it’s a lot easier than you think.