Repurposing content sounds like a complete cop out. Take existing content, rewrite it a bit, add in some up-to-date stats and facts, and give it a new visual. Sorted. Job's a good 'un.
Except that that’s not what it means to repurpose content – that’s more revamping content. The two are not the same, even if a social media agency insist they are (FYI: they’re trying to pull the wool over your eyes to make life easier for themselves).
Repurposing content is more than just a quick face lift. It’s all-over cosmetic surgery – to continue that ghastly analogy – to get to a point where the new content is unrecognisable from what came before.
Hubspot define repurposed content in a more graceful way: “When you repurpose a piece of content […] you’re doing one of two things (or both): changing the format of the content, and/or changing the target audience for the content.”
To make it even clearer, here is a list of what isn't repurposed content:
Taking a news article and spinning it for your brand/industry (that’s newsjacking)
Taking multiple news articles and turning them into a blog (that’s still newsjacking)
Taking an e-book and simply changing all the ‘SMB’ references to ‘start-up’ (that won’t work)
Taking a Facebook post and pushing it out on Snapchat (that’s cross promoting)
Re-sharing an old piece of content on social media with a new description (that’s lazy)
Here's a list of what is repurposed content:
Taking an existing blog article and applying it to a different buyer persona in light of recent news (new target audience)
Taking a piece of newsjacking content and turning the facts and stats into an infographic (new format)
Taking an e-book aimed at SMBs and restructuring/rewording it to apply to start-ups (new target audience)
Taking a Facebook post and recreating it specifically for Snapchat (new format)
Taking an old piece of content and drawing out soundbites that are still relevant to share on social media (new format)
Got the picture? Cracking. Clever you. For an in-depth guide on how to repurpose blog content for social media, we’ve got a five-step method for you to follow over here.
Why bother to repurpose content?
1. It saves time
Most businesses simply don’t have the time to produce new and engaging content each and every day – hell, you might even be struggling to get one piece of content out the door a week! But you can give your audience the impression that you do by making the most of the content that already exists on your website and adapting it to suit a new format or audience.
Top tip: Summarise last week’s blog in a video and upload it to social media.
2. Your old content still holds value
You’re probably proud of the content you’ve created over the time you’ve been in business, and it’s a shame to see all that quality content fester because nobody is coming to see it. Repurposing the content that still holds value and relevance for your audience can give it a new lease of life.
Top tip: Draw attention to an old e-book by summarising it in an easy-to-digest blog post.
3. It can tease people into visiting your website
A primary objective of social media marketing is to get people to click-through to your website, but it can prove difficult to do that, which might lead you into being overly promotional with your social media posts – not a good idea. With repurposed content, you can tease people into visiting your website by showing them a snippet of what they expect to see.
Top tip: Pull out a few key snippets of advice from a blog and share them on social media.
4. Good for SEO
The larger your online presence, the more visible you are to Google. The general advice is to concentrate on the one or two social media networks your audience is most active on. However, if there are three or more (it’s quite feasible they’ll be active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), then you risk stretching yourself thin. Repurposed content enables you to be in two or three places at once – you’re saving time, don’t forget – with platform-specific content.
Top tip: Turn your blog post into a piece of Instagram content by visualising its title, with a rundown of what the blog’s about in the description.
5. Good for nostalgia
As a species, human beings are suckers for a bit of nostalgia. Repurposed content allows you to play up to people’s wistful affections for a period in the past by giving you license to extract an old quote from your blog and turn it into a social post with an explanatory caption.
Top tip: Extract a quote from when your firm first went into business with a caption on social media like: “Oh how times have changed!”
There are no rules for how you repurpose content, as long as you change either the target audience or the format. Ok, there is one rule: make sure it ends up saving you time. If you’re spending as long repurposing content as you are creating new content, then you're doing something wrong!
Need a few more tips on saving time with your social media? Well, since you asked so nicely...!