Ask an Expert: How Can I Repurpose Content to Reach A Wider Audience & Increase Shares?

To repurpose content basically means to take something that you have created and convert it for use in another format. This content creation and marketing strategy offers a variety of benefits for busy marketers seeking to enhance their online efforts, including saving time and money while extending the life of content and giving you a new excuse to highlight your most successful posts. It also presents the opportunity to appeal to the different content consumption preferences of online customers – while many like to read, some want to see images while others are attracted to video, and if you don’t have the content they want, they may click away.

I’ve noticed that when marketers offer their best ways for repurposing content, it seems to mean different things to different people. Some are content to call their content repurposed if it has been syndicated, while others are not satisfied until it is almost unrecognizable from the original.  “Syndicated” and “repurposed” are not the same, however – one is a method of distributing a piece over multiple channels, while the other is the practice of creating something entirely new out of existing content. And if you spend as much time repurposing a piece as you put into creating it in the first place, you’re losing out on the time savings aspect of this method.

In this post, I will discuss repurposing content in the most traditional sense of the word. Though there are ultimately many ways to repurpose content, most can be boiled down three basic techniques that can be applied many ways.

Update old information
One of the most obvious ways of repurposing old content is to create an update on a topic which you have covered previously. For instance, many bloggers that had written a blog post about Google’s Panda update last year had content ready to use as a reference and contrast for the changes that Penguin brought this year. New developments could happen with nearly any topic, so no matter what your industry, you will likely have plenty of opportunities to repurpose old content with new when updates to products, services and more take place.

Create new content out of a compilation of old content
Another popular methods for repurposing content is via a compilation or list post. Compilations are created by repurposing and combining several related pieces into one that connects them all. For example, every December and January bloggers around the world try to get more life from their content by creating “Top 10 Posts of the Year” lists that link back to their most popular pieces. Compilations can be created out of similar content, like a blog post that compiles information from other blog posts, or dissimilar content, like an article that combines related text, photos and videos into one comprehensive piece.

Transform content from one medium to another
This means to actually take the information from content that you have already created and present it in an entirely new way. It can be as simple as rewriting a blog post into an article for distribution or as complicated as compiling a video montage out of still photos. One of the hottest ways to do this is to create an infographic that takes data, like numerical statistics from a survey, and conveys it in a compelling, visually graphic form. Other ways to transform existing content from one medium to another is to create a text summary of an image, transcribe a podcast, make a video of your slideshow or expand an article into a white paper.

Though there are many ways to repurpose content, most methods can be boiled down to the techniques listed above. Even more repurposing power can be had by combining some of even all of these techniques. Take the information above and apply it to your content marketing efforts to see your reach expand and your audience increase.