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How to Repurpose Content to Work Smarter, Not Harder

5 minute read

Content creation takes time, money, and talent. Every blog post, e-book, or infographic requires ideation, research, writing, editing, and design. The process for putting together a great piece of content is long and arduous. If you’ve created content, you know this.

But do you also know that there is a way to simplify this practice – that with just a bit more strategy and effort, you can get a larger yield from your content creation?

When you know how to repurpose content, you can stretch your production, get more from your efforts, and work smarter, not harder.

What Is Repurposing Content?

Repurposing content means that you take one content asset and alter it to create other pieces of content. You take an original idea, piece of research, or content product and rework it to create something new and unique.

When you repurpose content, you find a new application for it. You recycle it and give it new life. There are obvious upsides to this strategy. The benefits of repurposing content allow you to:

When you don’t shelf and forget about assets once they’re complete, you can find a plethora of resources to simplify and support new content creation efforts.

The Difference Between Repurposed Content and Duplicate Content

Before we go into the details of how to repurpose content, there is an important clarification to make.

Repurposed content is not the same as duplicate content.

Duplicate content is created when a brand posts the exact same content on multiple pages of its website. It’s also created when a brand posts content on its website that is exactly the same as content posted on another brand’s website.

Unlike repurposed content, duplicate content has not been altered in any way or has only been very slightly altered. It is the same content posted multiple times.

Also unlike repurposed content, duplicate content can create SEO problems. Search engines do not like to see the same content published on multiple sites or webpages, and they may penalize sites if they don’t follow SEO content best practices for publishing duplicate content.

So as you begin plans to repurpose content, keep in mind that you must make substantial changes to your content to avoid it being considered duplicate content. If you aren’t sure if you have duplicate content issues, you can use Alexa’s SEO Audit Tool to identify potential problems on your site.

How to Repurpose Content

Now, let’s dig in and look at the actions you can take to repurpose your content and start working smarter, not harder. The following list includes content writing tips for how to turn your existing content assets into something new and valuable.

Turn one content format into another content format. Content comes in a variety of formats from copy, graphics, and audio to slideshows and videos. Use this variety of content mediums to your benefit. If you create a piece of content as one content format, repurpose it by turning it into another content format. For example, at Fractl, we record and release audio content marketing podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. We then turn those podcasts into posts that are published on our blog.

repurpose content example podcast

Turn one asset into multiple assets. When you put a lot of time and energy into creating a long-form or lengthy content asset, make sure you get the most out of your efforts. Cut up the single version of the long asset, and turn it into multiple pieces of content. For example, if you create an infographic with a series of graphics, pull out each graphic and turn them into single images that are shareable on social media.

Turn multiple assets into one asset. On the flip side, you can also repurpose content by curating a bunch of smaller content assets and combining them to create a larger asset. Keep track of all the mini or shallow content assets you create, and regularly review them to look for themes. Combine small content pieces about similar topics to create a more thorough resource. For example, repurpose blog posts that are short or have little value to create a downloadable PDF guide.

Present one idea from different angles. It’s not just tangible content assets that you can repurpose. You can also reformat ideas to get more use out of them. If you construct concepts or information in one content asset, you can restructure your idea in a new way. You can reorganize the concepts to create something new, or you can reposition your ideas to reach a different audience. Both strategies allow you to get more out of a single idea. For example, at Fractl, we wrote about travel hygiene. We then shifted the way we spoke about the topic to focus on the cleanliness of hotel rooms for one article and the cleanliness of the New York subway for another.

repurpose content blog post

Share research in multiple ways. Like ideas, pieces of research can be reused in multiple ways. If you’ve done a large research project or completed a lengthy survey or study, don’t publish all of your findings in just one place. Spread out the insights by publishing them in multiple articles and content formats. For example, if you found 50 interesting stats in a survey, publish it all in one white paper on your site. But also share insights with other publications that would be interested in writing about your findings.

Which Content Should Your Repurpose?

Once you know how to repurpose content, it will be easier to look at your current content assets and envision how you can reuse them.

But depending on the amount of content you have, it may still be overwhelming to sort through your work. So as you begin your strategy, start by doing a content audit to identify the pieces that work best for repurposing, which include the following types of content.

Evergreen Content: Evergreen content covers a topic that has long-lasting value. It’s not time-sensitive or trendy. This type of content is a good candidate for repurposing because it will maintain its significance in the long run. By repurposing this type of content, you get even more longevity and use out of your work because it offers value for years to come.

Popular Content: If you find that audiences are responding well to a piece of content you created, that is another positive signal for repurposing. Stretch the attention and popularity of a topic by reusing or reformatting it in a new way. If the original idea connected with audiences, it’s likely that the reincarnation of the idea will too.

Extremely Deep Content: Don’t spend a lot of time and resources on creating a large content asset and then put it on the shelf and forget about it. Consider all of your long-form, in-depth resources as an opportunity to pull out information and create new, shorter assets.

Extremely Shallow Content: Also look for pieces of content that were created in a rush or for small content platforms like social media. While those assets may not be achieving much in their shallow state, you could combine them to create a strong piece of cornerstone content.

Stop Working Harder; Start Working Smarter

There are a lot of steps that go into creating content assets that support a strong digital marketing strategy. So if there are shortcuts like repurposing content that stretch your resources and creative output, don’t overlook them. Embrace strategies like this that help you work smarter, not harder.

To see more examples of how you can repurpose content to turn one piece of content into multiple assets, check out Fractl’s guide on How to Repurpose Your Most Successful Content. It includes an example of how to turn one asset into 10 other useable pieces of content.

Find the Right Keywords for Your Repurposed Content

Use Alexa’s suite of SEO tools to help you avoid duplicate content and follow SEO best practices. You’ll get the Competitor Keyword Matrix for discovering the best keywords, and the On-Page SEO Checker to make sure your content is optimized for search. Sign up for a free 7 day trial of the Advanced plan today.

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How to Repurpose Content to Work Smarter, Not Harder