You can repurpose pretty much anything these days. With a little creativity and our friend Pinterest, you can turn your old TV into an aquarium, your bowler hat into a lampshade, or your old CD case into a bagel bag.
Yet, just because you can repurpose something doesn’t mean you should. Much like evaluating your closet for items that can be restyled, identifying content that can be upcycled requires a discerning eye.
Our D Custom marketing team is currently performing a content audit — going through our content closet, if you will — and we’re seeing new potential in many of the blogs we’ve resurrected. Here’s a look at how we approach repurposing our content.
Where Do You Start When Repurposing Content?
Companies often revisit old work when embarking on a rebrand, designing a new website or launching a new channel. Think of it like cleaning out the closet and deciding which items to keep, donate, or toss — but in this case, you’re deciding which content to optimize, update, rework entirely, or delete.
Consider the myriad opportunities to repurpose your content:
- Republish a white paper as a series of articles or blogs for your website. Alternatively, you can compile a series of related blog posts and publish them as a downloadable white paper.
- Turn a data-heavy article or white paper into an infographic that can be posted across channels.
- Optimize and promote high-performing content to drive traffic to your site.
- Update old blog posts with new relevant information.
Our Process for Repurposing Content
First, you’ll want to perform a content audit and take inventory of all your content to ensure the pieces you reuse are your best.
When it comes to content, you can rely on hard data to determine the pieces that performed well. In our current content audit, we are using analytics as one of the determining factors when deciding whether a piece is worth repurposing.
We are also taking a strategic approach to our editorial retouching by incorporating new messaging dictated by brand, voice, and tone changes as well as revised audience personas.
Chances are your corporate voice has evolved since that 2005 white paper was published (you know the one). All repurposed content should be revised to reflect these updates.
We also recommend reoptimizing your content against current standards in online marketing. This means altering the entire document to reflect your current SEO approach and incorporating what you’ve learned about SEO strategy.
Things to Consider When Repurposing Content
As we review the blog posts we plan to refresh, we’ve noticed some inconsistencies that need to be remedied. Look out for:
- Casing in headlines: Is it consistent?
- Use of key style points: Does it align with your current style guide?
- Imagery: Is it high-quality and reflective of your current brand standards?
- Links: Do they all still work? Are there newer pages you can link to?
- Facts and figures: Are they current?
- References: Are they still relevant (and appropriate)?
Separating Trash from Treasure
It’s hard to let go of something you’ve put time, effort and love into, but sometimes it’s for the best. The key to success is understanding that reworking a story can sometimes take more time or money than writing one from scratch. Some pieces require too much work — the voice or style is off, or the topic is no longer relevant— and those should probably be tossed.
The same goes for content focused on current events or data-intensive copy — if it’s not from roughly the same calendar year, there’s a good chance you’ll have to get rid of it or replace it.
In our content-repurposing audit, we’re dipping into the archives to fill out our content calendar while we try some new content-optimization techniques. The effort should save us time and money and give us a little breathing room as we try a fresh approach to our content (stay tuned). Our editors are reviewing posts for voice, style, and timeliness, and we’re keeping the stories that are still relevant and won’t require wholesale rewriting, like — brace yourself — the one you’re currently reading.