Guest post by Brittany Berger
So, unfortunately, the content creation process is pretty broken for most entrepreneurs.
They’re stuck in an endless cycle of “one and done,” constantly churning out new content, coming up with new ideas, and doing new work. And once a piece is published, they simply throw it into MeetEdgar or SmarterQueue and totally forget about it.
Does this sound like you? Even a little bit?
If you’re constantly creating brand new content, you’re not making the most of what you’ve got, you’re not serving your audience as well as you could be, and you’re not being efficient with your content marketing.
Womp, womp, womppppp.
You need to get with the repurposing program.
Repurposing content is one of those things that everyone seems to love the idea of, but never actually do much with. But the key to really making the most of your content, each and every piece, is repurposing consistently and making it part of your regular content creation process.
I have an introduction to repurposing that you can watch below, but today we’re going to focus on repurposing one type of content: your greatest hits. (And I even have a free worksheet for you to plan out your ideas!)
First: A Repurposing Primer
Most business owners creating content are a little familiar with repurposing content, but let’s talk about it anyway. You may not be as experienced as you think.
So, repurposing content means reusing older content *in any way.*
That could mean pulling out one paragraph or idea from a video and turning it into its own video, reformatting a video into a slide deck or webinar, or spin-off one blog post into a closely related topic using a lot of the same information.
It’s soooo much more than posting your blog intro as an Insta caption or creating a blog post from a video transcript.
That republishing content from one place in another is usually all people do when it comes to repurposing, but it’s just one way. And frankly, it’s one of the less effective ways, but it’s great for dipping your toes into the repurposing water before wading deeper.
The bigger picture of repurposing content is just making the most of everything you create. That means recognizing which specific parts of content resonate with your readers and why, and which parts don’t. Then, you create related content maximizing the strengths and fixing the weaknesses.
Why Repurpose Your Greatest Hits?
Now, you don’t just need to repurpose your awesome content. Any content can be a candidate for some recycling, but focusing on your greatest hits is gonna make things quick, easy, and fun, like Pop Secret but less buttery.
It’s Low-Hanging Fruit
Yes, yes, ew gross at this jargon-y phrase. But it’s just fact that repurposing your best content is simple and within reach for anyone. You don’t need to do as deep an analysis of the content before creating something new from it, you probably won’t need to make as many changes, and it takes less time to create new pieces.
The Topics Are Already Validated
If you’re creating content based on your popular stuff in the past, there aren’t as many parts of the content that you need to head back to the drawing board with.
Readers have loved the topic before, so that’s already been validated, which is often the hardest part of creating content: figuring out what your audience wants from you. Since in this case, that’s already done, you’re focusing more on smaller details like how to re-frame or shift or reformat it.
Drill Into New Audiences
Each piece of repurposed content around the same idea will still be slightly different, enough to appeal to different people. Because you’re talking to a slightly different audience each time you create something from the original, you’re expanding your potential audience each time you repurpose.
For example, I’ve written a list of my favorite Zapier automations for about half a dozen niches in the creative biz industry – designers, writers, VAs, etc. These were all repurposed from one big guide, but talking to a new audience and shifting the messaging each time has let me use the big guide’s content to reach new people.
5 Ways to Repurpose a Hit Piece of Content
If you’re ready to take your business’s greatest hits on tour, the first step is to pick out your best content *based on your business* goals. That means you’re probably not looking at which stuff gets the most pageviews, but which pieces convert readers to subscribers or drive some other result.
Once you have a few great posts to repurpose, there are 5 main categories of repurposing that come in handy for greatest hits:
1. Expand It
The simplest thing to do is just give the people more of what they want within the same piece of content. Since you know it’s popular and gets seen by the right people, it’s worth investing more time, effort, or even budget into improving and expanding the original piece.
As long as you’re not adding fluff, but actual answers and information in line with the original content, going into more depth will likely yield more results.
2. Update and Republish It
So, if you expand a post, you should definitely update and republish it as well. But this can also be done without adding tons of new stuff to the content. In fact, this helped the startup Process Street increase a post’s pageviews by 468%.
If you update a post to meet new best practices, expand it like in #1, or anything else, make sure you republish it. In WordPress, this is as simple as updating the post’s publish date and adding a note that the content’s been updated since the original publication. This signals to search engines, social networks, and actual readers alike that the content’s new, even if not all of it is.
3. Break It Up
The third thing you can do is break the content up into smaller pieces. This can then either be used on other channels that favor shorter content, or be used as different pieces on the same channel.
For example, you can separate out all of the main talking points from a longer blog post and use them as individual social media posts or emails. Or you can then use those points as the main focus for new individual blog posts, where you go into more detail about each when it’s the main focus.
4. Reformat It
You know what they do when a Broadway musical is doing well? They make it an album, and a movie, and a touring show. And in the case of Hamilton, a documentary, and a book, and a mixtape, and a friggin mobile app! Aka turning what people love into other formats to reach new audiences.
Reformatting a successful piece of content for new channels lets you expand your reach as well as add new media types to your content strategy. When something’s going well, always think of new places you can “place” it, whether that’s turning it into a YouTube video, a Medium article, a podcast interview, etc.
5. Spin It Off
While we can learn a lot about reformatting from Broadway, we can learn tons of spin-off lessons from TV. If you can identify what makes people love a piece of content, you can take just that piece and use it to create other things
For example, what people loved about Friends was seeing the gang together – so a spin-off where they just spun off one character didn’t work well (but of course I watched Joey anyway). But in the case of Private Practice and Grey’s Anatomy, what people loved was the drama, so moving one character into a spin-off worked well enough to last 6 seasons.
So while repurposing your greatest hits still requires understanding your content and audience, it involves less new research and new content than other kinds of repurposing.
Have you taken your greatest hits on tour yet? What kind of content did you turn them into?
Brittany Berger is the chief content unicorn behind BrittanyBerger.com. She helps B2B online business owners create productive, personality-filled content marketing strategies that entertain as well as the convert. Send her a funny gif or video on any social network at @ThatBberg, or download her free content repurposing planner here.