There’s no point in reinventing the wheel. In fact, we’d even go so far as to suggest that there’s no point in looking for ways to perfect the wheel either. It’s pretty much as good as it’s going to get. For 99% of us, the gains are too marginal to warrant the effort and investment. However, finding alternative uses for the wheel could be an avenue worth exploring. Now, replace the word ‘wheel’ with ‘content’. Effective content marketing isn’t about creating new material all the time. It’s about thinking of alternative ways to use the work that already exists. Essentially, it’s about knowing how to repurpose content effectively.

Think of it this way. What channels do your prospects and customers frequent? Is it just the one? Or is your target audience split across multiple channels?

Your answer should be the latter. Because the modern audience is heavily fragmented. And that’s why brands need an omnichannel marketing strategy. But this doesn’t mean you have to create entirely new marketing communications for every channel. Which is why it’s important to know how to repurpose content effectively.

How to Repurpose Content Effectively From a Canoe

At Social INK we like to practise what we preach. If we haven’t tried and tested an idea or approach first ourselves, how can we suggest it to our clients? So, we tend to experiment a lot. In fact, we’re not shy of a challenge, just to prove a point (check out the results from our 30 Days of Live Streaming).

One thing is to try things out and share the results. Another is to demonstrate it in practice as an illustrated example. Here’s where we go a bit meta. This blog itself is actually a piece of repurposed content. It demonstrates how to repurpose content effectively into a different format, for a different audience, using a different channel.

During our #30DaysOfLive challenge I did a live video broadcast from a canoe. Why? Because I could. Also because I wanted to prove that:

  1. Video Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.
  2. You can do a live broadcast from anywhere, at any time.
  3. It’s important to show the human side of your business.
  4. Marketing communications can be fun.

In that live video, I talked about the importance of repurposing content.

Now, I’d like to expand on this a little further.

The Arguments For Repurposing Content

Regardless of your industry or whether you’re B2B or B2C, you should be actively engaged in content marketing. As part of your brand’s omnichannel marketing strategy, content marketing is effectively your digital arm. With a purely online focus, there are many ways content marketing positively impacts business.

However, with so many online channels to feed, it can be overwhelming, which is why many businesses choose to outsource content marketing to a specialist agency. Because ‘content’ is such an umbrella term, covering a whole host of online marketing communications, it’s important to have a strategic approach to content creation. In the first place, you need to work smart.

Finding and making efficiency savings is the name of the game here. This is the primary reason why you should repurpose content.

As mentioned above, the audience is becoming increasingly fragmented. Their attention is being pulled in multiple directions. Heads are being turned constantly. People move seamlessly from one channel and one platform to the next automatically and without hesitation. In short, our attention spans have decreased significantly and the amount of information we’re being asked to process has grown exponentially.

For this reason alone, it’s important for your business to be everywhere. At least, everywhere your prospects and customers are. The more touch points you provide, the greater the chance of recall at the point of maximum buyer intent.

With your audience is spread across multiple channels you need to ensure they get your message in a suitable format.

So, writing blog articles is not good enough. Uploading video tutorials in isolation won’t cut it. The same with hosting a podcast or running email campaigns. They’re all effective marketing communications but creating original content for each is a mammoth exercise. However, if you can transform one piece of content into another, not only are you saving time and effort, but you’re also ensuring the same message is always available to your audience, regardless of the channels they frequent.

More importantly, when you repurpose content you gain an opportunity to cross-promote your various channels, redirecting visitors to other versions/formats they may find interesting. Therefore, keeping them with you for longer.

That said, we’re not advocating a direct copy/paste approach. Instead, it’s about adopting a broader mindset, exploring the bigger picture, tweaking and tailoring your content to each channel, and ultimately offering something a little bit different in each iteration so the consumer sees value in moving from one channel to the next. But more on this later.

Before you even consider how to repurpose content effectively, it’s important to understand what repurposing content means and what it entails.

Different Types of Content to Repurpose

As previously mentioned, content marketing encompasses a multitude of communications methods. Here are some of the most common approaches:

  • Blogs
  • FAQs
  • Videos
  • Resources
  • Email

Each of these content marketing methods can be further broken down into more specific elements. For example, videos could include webinars, live broadcasts, AMAs, tutorials, behind-the-scenes features, social media snippets, etc.

Consequently, a single video can become all of the above.

For instance, a subscription-only webinar could be edited into promotional social media snippets. Or an archive of premium downloadable tutorials. For example, questions that came through during the webinar could become a live broadcast where you go into greater detail. During the live, you can push viewers to subscribe to the webinar replay for more insight.

And this is just video.

Using this webinar example, you can use the material generated from your presentation and discussion to develop any number of the following types of content:

  • Transcripts
  • Image stills with quotes
  • Blogs about the video
  • FAQs
  • Slideshares
  • Email newsletter content
  • Lead magnets

This is how to repurpose content effectively. How many different pieces of content can you create from a single idea? How many channels can you adapt and modify your content for? Content marketing approached in this way becomes efficient and effective.

Shift Your Approach to Content Marketing

Ultimately, once you know how to repurpose content effectively, your thinking and approach to content marketing should shift. It’s no longer about generating content in isolation, but actually having a strategy for an omnichannel approach.

In short, repurposing content allows you to target the maximum number of people across a range of channels, using different methods and media, with just a single idea. Now isn’t that appealing?

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Gareth Alvarez
Gareth Alvarez

Gareth, Social INK’s Head of Content (sometimes playfully referred to as ‘spellcheck’), just adores words. He’s written copy for ads, websites, and blogged extensively. Content marketing is his bag. He loves getting creative with his writing.