How to reuse old content
I’m all about time saving…making life easier…and making productive use of precious resources when it comes to content marketing.
With “sustainability” (!) in mind, I want to introduce to you the importance of ‘recycling’ and ‘reusing’ content as a great way to help you keep up with the ‘content treadmill’ and have a continuous stream of good quality marketing that works hard for your business.
What reusing old content means
Let’s start with the basics. So, what do I mean by ‘reusing old content’? I actually more often refer to it as ‘repurposing’. Why? Because there are only certain types of marketing content that you can just republish again and again, exactly as is. Using my ‘eco-messaging’ again, this is why it’s about recycling content and taking it from having one purpose or from one platform and transforming it, just a little, to suit another.
Why to repurpose or reuse old content
As I said at the start, the main reason I suggest you reuse content is to save you time! You can’t possibly create something new all of the time, every day.
“Work smarter…not harder”…as the saying goes
Creating content is hard work. At the very least, it takes your time and energy, so repurposing content ensures that you get the most out of it…yep…out of every. single. piece.
Another great reason to reuse content is the potential to reach a new audience. If you are simply reusing a social media post, there is every chance someone new will see it, that didn’t see it the last time.
As another example, if you are repurposing an email in to blog post, then you are giving your content a wider visibility, among a different audience (as some blog readers won’t be subscribers…or even if they are, perhaps they are the inactive, non-email opening kind!).
When to reuse old content
I recommend that reusing old content should be a regular part of your strategy. For most businesses, their core messages, values, approaches, services and, even, products, don’t change that regularly, so there is often a lot of ‘evergreen’ content that is perfect for reusing. …even most awareness days happen every year!
If you are super busy or feeling overwhelmed, it’s a great time to reuse old content. Take the pressure off. Find what has worked before and reap the benefits of the hard work you put in the first time around.
Reusing old content is also great when you need inspiration – sometimes I struggle to come up with my monthly topic (which I plan my content around) and looking through old blog posts and social media posts can be really inspirational – whilst I’m there I can also select what is relevant to reuse.
Which content to reuse
As mentioned above, most businesses create ‘evergreen content’. This means content that doesn’t easily date and remains relevant and accurate. This is the best content to reuse because no matter the format the essence of it can stay the same.
“If it’s worked once…why won’t it work again?” …this is something I often ask my clients. So many put together amazing campaigns and get great results, only to instantly drop it, forget about it..and move on to the next ‘new and shiny’ thing to create. All whilst being exhausted and crazy busy, may I add! Your most popular content is also ideal for reusing because it obviously resonates with your ideal clients….and, therefore, will resonate with new and potential clients too.
Whilst evergreen content is the ‘top pick’, out of date content that can be easily updated is also a good source of content to reuse. As an example, perhaps, you created a Christmas blog last year, a list of ‘best sellers’ or ‘top recommendations’, however a few (or the majority) of your products are different this year – that’s ok! Keep the structure and simply update with your current product range. From an SEO perspective, this is very powerful as the URL has 12 months of authority…so it’s just the content that needs to be up-to-date. It’ll also help bounce rates and reduce website visitors trying to visit product pages that aren’t available (or now are broken links all together).
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My final recommendation is for you to seek out content that your teacher would mark as “could do better!” …you know the type I mean…that blog post that you rushed, that webpage that you threw together and promised you’d go back to, that ‘ok’ social media post with the rubbish imagery. Identify them and make them better – just small tweaks can make a big difference.
How to reuse old content
So, I’ve convinced you that you want to reuse old content…but exactly how do you do it. Here are 5 ways to reuse content.
So as mentioned above, one way to reuse old content is to update content which is no longer accurate and republish it.
Another good way to reuse content is to take what you have and expand it a little. Perhaps you can turn a 5 top tips post in to an 8 top tips, this time around. Perhaps, you can offer a different call to action or opening sentence/headline on a social media post – give it more impact.
For some pieces of content, perhaps the original was a bit ‘waffley’, can you edit and refine the message or the key points?
There is nothing wrong with reusing some content exactly the same as the original, especially for social media posts that have such a short ‘shelf life’ and are seen by such a small proportion of your audience.
Adapt for a different platform
Finally, one of the most effective ways to reuse old content but to give it a fresh feel and, potentially, to reach a new audience is to adapt one piece of content that you created for one particular digital marketing platform (such as a blog post) and turn it in to something suitable for another (i.e. a email). Below, you’ll find 5 suggestions using this technique.
5 ‘reuse’ suggestions
Blog post < > Email
Do you have an old blog post full of useful tips or a guide? Whilst I highly recommend businesses ‘re-advertise’ useful old blog posts, you can also take the content and reformat it to suit your next mailing.
Equally, perhaps you have written quite a long email to someone explaining in detail a particular service, experience o to offer advice. Take this and turn it in to a blog post!
Video < > Blog post
Have you recently recorded a video? Perhaps, you have done a ‘live’? If it is more than 5 minutes, consider listening back to it and transcribing it. Then, refine it so that it reads clearly and add headings where necessary to help with flow…and voila…you have a blog post. Don’t forget links and a ‘call to action’ too, if you didn’t mention any in the original video.
Blog posts also make a great starting point for a video. Use an old blog post as the basis for a video script…or, even, a whole series of blog *note to self…create Hurdles to Blogging video series!
If you are interested in creating short, informative videos and promotional videos for your business, I highly recommend Jade at Ribbons Media. Contact me if you want more information.
Social media posts < > FAQ page
How often have you answered an important question or explained key information in a social media post? If you collected these together, you’d have an great basis for a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page or section on your website (or for an email/blog).
Equally, if you have put together a FAQ page, why not take the content and turn each question and answer in to a series of individual social media posts?
Testimonials < > Case studies
Do you collect testimonials and reviews? Do you have statistics or data about those clients who left those great endorsements? If so, this information collected together can make an excellent basis for a case study. Perhaps, you have a range of testimonials for one particular service, a blog post or case study including these at the relevant point as you describe the a service and the process (or a product and its use) can be really powerful content – without much effort.
If you have gone to the effort of writing case studies in the past and gathered quotes from your clients, then make sure you are also using these as testimonials, on your website and in social media posts.
Presentation slides > Lead magnet
Do you remember that presentation you did? Do you remember the time and effort you put in to gathering the information and creating the visuals? How about turning it in to a booklet (using something like Canva*), an online presentation (using something like Google Slides) or simply making it a PDF, and then use it as a lead magnet for your mailing list or free download to entice some other form of engagement or sign up?
Print brochure > Web page
Who remembers print marketing?! In all seriousness, I know many business who have comprehensive brochures, leaflets and pamphlets. Many contain some great content – descriptions of services, FAQs, detailed process information, etc. Whatever it may, could this content be written up for a new page on your website or used to help refresh a certain page?
Timesaving tips and more
I love making content creation easier for people. I love making people enjoy creating content again.
There are two main ways you too can benefit from my services to help you be more strategic.
Firstly, you can join my new Content Club, which will be full of time saving tips, guide and more to help you to help your clients.
I also offer a Power Hour (free if you join The Content Club in October!). In 60 minutes, we can work through what element of content creation are taking up your precious time, and in particular, evaluate if it is worth it. Let’s identify what is not working hard and what could work even harder for your business:
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