The secret to repurposing content

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“When taking a content-first approach, our job as marketers is not to create more content … it’s to create the minimum amount of content with the maximum amount of results,” says Robert Rose, the Content Marketing Institute’s chief strategy officer.

It’s a common misconception that as content marketers, we need to be churning out tons of new content all the time. And while it’s true that new content is essential, we don’t have to fret about generating it constantly. It’s okay—and beneficial—to repurpose old, well-performing content in new ways.

What to repurpose

You repurpose content when you take a piece of your original work, for example, a blog post, and reuse it in a different way, or in a different place. You could repurpose a blog post by turning the content into an infographic and promoting that on your channels, or you could repurpose it by posting that same blog post on an industry blog.

Why repurpose content

Why should you be repurposing content? Repurposing your best-performing content not only lightens your load as a content marketer but also increases your reach. Properly re-posting your original content:
  • broadens the user base that will see your content,
  • strengthens your position as a subject matter expert, and
  • can bring more organic traffic to your site.
Content marketing is all about attracting an audience that wants to see your material and giving them content that is helpful. Repurposing your best content is an easy way to reach new potential customers, with less time spent generating new ideas and creating new content. Potential buyers won’t instantly trust what you have to say the first time they encounter it, so presenting information in a new ways helps establish you as a source of knowledge that can be trusted. Republishing also gives you the opportunity to use the same idea in different ways to reach multiple stages of the buyer journey and various personas.
Repurposing content is different than revamping it. While revamping means updating popular posts with current information and changes, and is something a good content marketing team should regularly do, repurposing content involves adjusting the target audience or format.

Where to repurpose content

You can either repurpose content on your channels or someone else’s. Repurposing on both avenues can bring significant benefits, and a good strategy will leverage both where appropriate.

If you repurpose content on your channels, your primary task will be adjusting the format of the content. You should not repurpose a blog post by merely re-posting it on your blog. It doesn’t represent the information in a new way or reach new audiences. And, it hurts your SEO value because your site gets penalized for duplicate content. Instead, alter the way that information is presented, or change the audience. A well-performing blog post could be given new life on your channels through:
If you repurpose content on other channels—think, a partner or industry blog—it’s okay to share your blog post on their blog as-is, but there are a few best practices to follow.

How to repurpose content

To reap the benefits of repurposing content and not get dinged for duplicate web content, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Remember: Google’s algorithms regularly change, so it’s always a good idea to stay informed on the latest updates and how they affect your strategy, but for now, following these tips will help your content get boosted through repurposing, and not hurt your ranking.
Wait at least two weeks. Waiting allows Google to index your original piece of content and establish it as the source. It also gives you time to determine if the content is well-performing. Remember, you don’t want to reuse a post for no reason. It should be one of your best, that has potential to generate a lot of engagement.

Use canonical tags. There is some debate as to whether or not repurposing content is worth the risk of being flagged for duplicate content by Google. Google doesn’t like duplicate content. But using the rel=canonical link tells Google which website is the original location that should be crawled more frequently, and which is the repurposed location.

Tweak the format and audience. We shared some alternative format ideas above, and you can also take your piece of content and adjust it for a different audience. The people you interact with on LinkedIn might be different than a partner’s blog, for example. Or, you could rewrite the content for a different stage of the buyer journey, or a different buyer persona entirely.

Change the title. Changing the title and the meta description helps users differentiate between the two versions if they appear near each other in search results. It also helps search engines identify that it is not an exact duplicate of the content on your site.

Consider sharing only the first paragraph. If you’re still worried about having your content flagged as a copy, an alternative way to reuse content is just sharing the first paragraph and then linking to the original piece. Sharing the first paragraph on an external website can be enough to pique readers’ interest, and get them clicking over to your site.

Repurposing content is a key element of any great content marketing strategy. It’s not just efficient. It can also attract new audiences through variation in platform and presentation.
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