Let’s face it, creating great content consistently costs money, time, and resources.
Creating reusable content to scale up your content efforts and reach broader audiences with limited resources.
What is Content Reuse?
Content reuse is the process of using existing content in a new way. Content reuse may refer to content redistribution, topic reuse, or reuse of the content in another format or medium.
Examples of Reusing Content
Let’s break down content reuse with three simple examples:
Redistribution: Reusing a blog post
Company A has written a very insightful blog post about their industry with research insights, statistics, and expert quotes. Their email list and organic traffic are pretty small, but they have decided to reuse the blog post and distribute it across media to reach more people.
Here is how they are distributing the same blog post:
- Sent an email to their email list.
- Shared on social media (owned & non-owned).
- Promoted it with ads.
- Paid influencers to share it with their audience (email lists & social).
- Republished it on other platforms e.g. Medium, niche communities.
- Used it in a press release.
Topic & Structure: Reusing a book
Miranda is an executive coach and has recently published a book on coaching. Now, she is looking for ways to promote the book and herself by reusing the content she already has. She can reuse the full book (topic reuse) or break it down and use parts of it (structure reuse).
After reviewing her content marketing strategy, she decided that a book works better by breaking the chapters into smaller chunks, thus going with a structure reuse strategy:
- Rewriting parts of the book into blog posts.
- Sharing short takeaways of chapters as emails.
- Offering the first chapter as a free lead capture.
- Posting excerpts (snippets) of the book on her social media.
- Recreating it as a white paper.
Different Formats: Reusing a guide
Jonathan owns a financial consulting firm and has written a guide to financial freedom. They only share it with their customers, but he is looking to grow his content strategy to attract more customers. Time is an issue, so he decides to reuse the guide instead of creating more content.
Here is Jonathan’s content strategy:
- Collaborating with a YouTube content creator to make videos based on his guide.
- Creating an infographic.
- Starting a podcast based on the guide’s process.
- Building a financial freedom quiz on his website.
- Rewriting parts of the guide as self-help blog posts.
- Rewriting a chapter as a downloadable checklist.
Benefits of Reusing Content
Creating good content requires a lot of effort and costs. However, with good content management and planning, you can create an evergreen workflow to reuse content and reach a broader audience with less work.
Here are the biggest benefits of content reuse:
Save Money: Creating content takes time from other money-making activities or costs a lot to hire and pay writers (even with the rise of AI content).
Save Time: Creating new content can be time-consuming. By repurposing old content, you can save yourself hours (or even days) of work.
Save Effort: It takes a lot of time to create original and worthy content. By reusing your best content, you can get more out of the effort you’ve already put in.
Brand Consistency: Reusing content across different mediums and channels keeps your message consistent and helps your content marketing strategy.
Content Production Consistency: Producing consistent content is a great habit, keeping your audience engaged and search engines (SEO) happy. By reusing content across channels you can more easily produce content with consistency.
Reach New Audiences: By reusing content across channels and in different formats, you can reach a wider audience than using the content once.
How to Build a Content Reuse Strategy
Repurposing content also requires effort and time and should be approached strategically. Still, it is much easier and faster to build upon the source than creating an entirely new piece of content.
The best strategy is to build up a process around content creation to scale production and reuse. This process will differ if you are a part of a bigger team, a solo content creator, or can outsource the work.
Here, I will focus more on the corporate content marketing strategy and assume that you are part of a bigger team or can outsource part of the process.
Consider your content production line as a factory. The difference here is that you are not looking for simple automation, but high-quality content that will drive your business forward.
The first part of the process is the strategic approach, where you create a plan and identify opportunities. A plan will help you move forward faster, good research early on will avoid any future blocks and help you plan for the resources you will need.
The second part is how to build a well-oiled machine of content authors that will produce high-quality content.
Content production matrix
Identify your main content channel and your secondary needs. Content starts with the written word, whether it’s a video script or an infographic, there will be word docs behind it.
By identifying your team’s strengths, it will be easier to build the process around them.
You will need to do some research and create a content calendar for primary content production. Let’s assume those are blog posts, and you will be writing 1-2 blogs per week.
For each blog post, you will need to create a reuse matrix. Evaluate the company’s needs and opportunities based on the effort vs value you are getting from the content.
Evaluation of needs & opportunities
A good example is social media reuse. Most companies reuse their blog posts for social media posts. This is your secondary channel, as the blog is produced for your website but also shared on social. It is also a company’s need to maintain its social media channel.
An opportunity is where the content will fit more the audience, the medium, and the format. For example, would that blog post be a good YouTube video or a Podcast episode? Will it make a great press release?
Then, you need to evaluate the effort. Video and audio are high-effort while recreating the blog post into a pdf lead magnet is less.
What will produce the highest results for the lowest effort?
A well-oiled machine
The responsibility of a content manager does not stop with planning. To run a productive team, you need to have nailed the process down where your writers can produce high-quality content even if they are juniors.
To do that, you need to prepare:
- Content outlines,
- Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs),
- Training material, and
- Project management software.
The most productive companies have very good processes that help them avoid blocks and run smoothly.
A good process can be delegated or outsourced, leading to content scaling. Build the process first and improve along the way based on your evolving needs!
Types of Content Reuse
I have already touched on a few types of content reuse, but, here I will delve deeper into the different types of content reuse and what each means:
Topic Reuse: A topic might be a single article, book, or video you have already published. Reusing a whole topic might mean slightly changing the content before reusing it to another medium like video, audio, or infographic.
Structure Reuse: In structure reuse, you are using a full or partial part of the structure to reuse. You might be using a specific or a collection of chapters (sub-topics) from an ebook guide to building technical documentation or a white paper.
Publication Reuse: Reusing the same piece of content into a different channel in its entirety. You might republish an article on LinkedIn, in a magazine, on another forum, etc.
Text Fragment Reuse: This is where you use content components or pieces of text. In this case, you might reuse a piece from a landing page to other pages, reuse part of a support article in a blog post, etc.
Variation Reuse: You might target a lot of niches that consume the same content with different jargon. In this case, content variant reuse is the best way to go. You might change a few words in the text to make it relevant to different industries while keeping it mostly the same. This happens a lot in companies that build many landing pages, programmatic SEO, and user guides.
New Formats: Reusing content in new formats is the ultimate way to reach new audiences. Reusing your most visited article or best organic pages as videos, social posts, and more gives them new life and broader reach!
A Complete List of Types of Content
Before we go, here is a list of content types you can use. The only thing to have in mind is that not all topics work on all channels & mediums.
Knowing what content and formats your audience consume in each channel is a very important part of the content strategy. Try to find a content-audience fit before recreating and reusing your content!
|Website / Blog||Blog post|
Series / How to
Content Reuse & SEO
Let’s open up a short parenthesis to talk over a few SEO-related worries and advice when reusing content.
Will my reused content hurt my SEO efforts?
It depends, but probably no!
When you hear that Google loves unique content, it means that you should avoid having more than one page with exactly the same content.
For example, it is natural for industry pages in a SaaS to have similarities but different jargon. It is also natural for blog posts to address different audiences with similar topics.
You can’t avoid having similar or duplicate content on a big website. Also, republishing an article in its entirety on another website will not hurt your rankings if done correctly, and has the potential to boost your original blog post.
If you are worried about duplicate content, consult an SEO expert or agency. They will advise you on how much you should change or rewrite the content and best practices when sharing content with other websites or by press releases.
Content uniqueness in formats
Repurposing an article into a YouTube video with the same content will not hurt your efforts. If you manage to rank your blog at the top of the results, you may have one more chance to have a second result through the video.
Also, by embedding the video on the top of your article, you boost both article & video at the same time by giving a strong signal that you are solving a problem with multimedia and allowing visitors to have the option to read the article or view the video.
Another option might be giving an ebook as downloadable inside an article. By offering an ebook as downloadable, that might be the reused version of the blog, you are offering a new format and a great lead capture to your audience.
A new format for them to enjoy is also an advantage and should not be viewed as a disadvantage or duplicate content.
Internal linking of similar content
Internal links are an important part of your SEO efforts, even if you are linking to similar content. A good example is reused content from a help center.
Your blog might be a better place for SEO content, and you have used a few snippets of content from your support articles, then linked back to it for more. You are helping users find information that enhances the same query and keep them interacting with your brand.
Similarly, if you have a series of blogs or pages on similar topics with partially reused content, by cross-linking to them you enhance your topical authority.
Repurposed Content is an Evergreen Strategy
In a world of too much information and misinformation, quality content reigns supreme. Your content strategy should include content repurposing. This is how you reach new audiences with the minimum effort!
Also, don’t be afraid to share content in non-owned media. The Dark Funnel is a growing challenge for marketers around the globe, it is also an opportunity to grow.
Be sure to first do your research, understand your audience, and build a process to scale. This is how you win in content marketing!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is content reuse?
Content reuse is the practice of repurposing content for different uses. For example, a blog post can be repurposed as a social media update, or an article can be used as the basis for a white Paper. Reusing content helps maximize its value, and ensures that your audience sees it in a format that suits their needs.
Why do we reuse content?
Reusing content allows us to scale content marketing strategy, reach a wider audience, and produce content faster with less effort across more channels.
How do you recycle content?
You can reformat the content and send it out again through email, take the content and post it on your website or blog. Finally, you can share the content on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
How do you repurpose marketing materials?
You need to consider the medium you are going to reuse. You can reuse your best material in a new ad campaign, reuse event pictures into a blog post, turn a flier into a template, etc.
How do you repurpose content on social media?
You can either post an excerpt, or a catchy summary or repurpose parts of the content as other formats e.g. infographics, images, short videos, lives, etc.
Nick Malekos is a rounded digital marketing who fell in love with content marketing & SEO. As a senior marketer in LearnWorlds, he has implemented multiple projects ranging from PPC to Lead Generation and created both live and self-paced workshops for a wide audience.
Nick loves to create practical processes and great reporting, as is the foundation of a results-based marketer and can scale operations.