The Art of Repurposing: 3 Strategies for Getting More Mileage from Your Existing Content

At the end of March, a little over a week after the UK government officially issued stay-at-home orders, 86% of marketers in the country said they needed to delay or at least review their planned campaigns. A similar thing was happening in companies around the world. And with some content no longer applicable or appropriate in light of COVID-19, many were faced with a choice: quickly create something new, or go dark. 

Unfortunately, creating something new isn’t always possible. Companies without marketers on staff often find themselves too busy putting out fires elsewhere to spend time on content production. Even those with a dedicated team may be dealing with limited resources.

The good news is, keeping your marketing channels active doesn’t have to take a lot of time or put unnecessary strain on your employees. There are a number of quick, effective steps you can take to keep audience engagement with your company high until you’re able to build new content. Here are a few to consider.

1. Refresh and repurpose existing content

Unless your company was born only months ago, chances are you have a library full of content already—from blog posts to ebooks to webinars. And whether you realize it or not, some of these pieces are probably ripe for a repost right now. 

For example, if your company offers a service that relates to mental health, remote work, e-commerce, fitness, hygiene, business continuity planning, or any number of other topics that have been on people’s minds recently, you may have previously shared tips and advice that are relevant to your audience’s current needs. But unless this content ranks high in Google’s organic search results (or a prospective client is casually scrolling through your blog), the chances that people will stumble across it are relatively low—unless you bring it back to the top of their feeds.

Take a look through your archives and identify any content that might be worth reposting. It doesn’t have to have a direct tie-in to what’s going on in the world—even a light, humorous blog post might provide a much-needed break for your audience. 

As you’re reviewing these older pieces, be mindful of the way attitudes have shifted in light of the pandemic. Ask yourself, are there any phrases or jokes that need to be removed because they now seem insensitive or out of touch? Are there images you’ll need to swap out because they don’t reflect the new normal, like pictures of large crowds? And is there anything you could add to make the content stronger, even if it’s just a new line or two at the very beginning that acknowledges what your audience is going through?

This strategy takes a little work, but it’s significantly faster than building new content from scratch. And as an added bonus, you’ll get more eyes on your existing content, getting even more value from it.

2. Repackage short blog posts as a longer ebook

Another way to make your existing content go further is to compile several smaller pieces into a longer ebook. 

An obvious candidate for this tactic is a multi-part blog post. Let’s say that a year ago, you published a series of four articles about financial wellness, a subject that is just as—if not more—relevant today. These four articles could easily form the chapters of an ebook. You could also pull together some previously unconnected blog posts that fall under the same umbrella. As with the previous strategy, just remember to give this older content a quick glance over and refresh where necessary. 

Once you have the “meat,” all you need to add is a cover page and, if you choose, a table of contents, introductory paragraph, and other finishing touches. You don’t need in-house designers or impressive Photoshop skills to do this. Using a free graphic design tool like Canva and free-to-use stock photography sites such as Unsplash or Pexels, you can rapidly build out an attractive ebook in the form of a downloadable PDF. Then, all you need to do is post and share it.

Create a resources roundup 

If you don’t think you have content that will fit neatly into an ebook or you’re put off by the graphic design element, there’s another easy way to compile and repackage older content. Simply pull together a list of links and turn them into a roundup post. 

Say your business offers cybersecurity services and you have an archive full of content that covers best practices, tips, and software recommendations. Pick a few of the posts that you consider most helpful or timely, write a short introduction and maybe a line or two about each of the articles you’re pointing people to, and title your new post something like “5 Essential Cybersecurity Articles for 2020.” 

You don’t even need to use your own content for this kind of post. Compiling external resources that might be useful to your audience shows them you’re committed to supporting them. Even if they’re not in a position to convert right away, they’re likely to remember you later.

Lighten your team’s load

Your employees likely have a lot on their minds right now. And with marketing and communications professionals hit especially hard by burnout during the pandemic, it’s important not to stretch your team too thin. 

Taking steps like these can help you keep your marketing channels active until you’re ready to get back to regular posting. It’s okay if you post less frequently than usual, but going completely silent can erode confidence in your business and make it harder to pick back up later.

If you do need a little extra help, we’re here. Reach out to talk about your content needs.

Having worked as a ghost tour guide for five years, Samantha knows how to get a reaction using only words. Hailing from bonny Scotland, she spent years gathering weird, eclectic experience (from laboratory assistant to radio DJ to Sunday school teacher) before finding her true calling–writing. She came to New York to see what MarketSmiths could teach her, and never left. Copywriter by day, amateur horror writer by night, she has a passion for words and is drawn to the strange and unusual.

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