“The pen is mightier than the sword”, or so the old saying goes. This is also true for the world of modern e-marketing where content is the undisputed king. With recent studies showing inbound marketing (where companies leverage different methods to bring customers in) outdoing outbound marketing by 54%, it is easy to see why large B2B companies spend 55% of their budgets on content production and creation. Shifts in consumer attitudes toward marketing and increased reliance on quality content have ignited an arms race among companies to produce the highest quality consumable materials possible.

As with all businesses, many marketing departments suffer from lack of efficiency and overspending. Thankfully there is a great way to remedy the situation by saving money, time, and stress while at the same time expanding your reach and increasing efficiency. Welcome to the world of recycling old material. Here are some of the best ways to repurpose your old content.

7 Ways to Repurpose Old Content

Why would I ever reuse my old stuff?

At first the notion might take many in the online marketing world aback, but if we take a closer look we will see just exactly why so many businesses are doing it these days. Think of your business as a country and your content as plastic. Your operation uses plastic for everything. Not only do you put liquids in it, package things in its malleable walls, and even use it for your cars, you even utilize it in the aerospace industry. It would be a shame to just throw it away, wouldn’t it? That’s why governments have implemented recycling programs. Back to your company – your content brings in leads, educates customers, helps recruit new team members, and helps convert users. Wouldn’t it be a shame to let it sit there in your archives never to reach its full potential?

Repurposing your old stuff will:

  • Increase your efficiency- recycling old stuff not only saves you time and money, it helps gets the most out of your posts. Using it more than once gets more bang for your buck.
  • Increased your reach- This excellent study done by a Twitter user shows why it works. More views, more retweets, and more time zones hit.
  • Expand your name into new domains- Not everyone is great with words. Repurposing old material into new formats will help you reach a broader spectrum.
  • Help you create fresh, quality materials- creating a great new piece of work sometimes takes a little help. Going through an excellent old piece can give inspiration. Reworking something that was loved by many will help it reach new heights.

Sounds great….now how do I do it?

There is no single way to do it. Your goal in this endeavour should be to find the right balance. Sometimes you should rework and old piece with updated information, or transform it into a new format. Do what works. The best ways to repurpose old content are without a doubt:

1. Refreshing old posts

Things change. It’s just how it goes. Something you wrote last year might not be as relevant today as it was then. New rules, regulations, changes to search engine algorithms or consumer trends might dominate today’s market. Going back to a good article and updating what you wrote with a few tweaks here and there is a good way to get a high quality article hot off the presses in a timely manner. The better the post was in the first place, the more you should be trying to get it back into circulation. Take for example, the ever-so-common “ten things” list. People just can’t get enough.

10 SEO Mistakes That You Have to Avoid can now become 10 SEO Mistakes That You Have to Avoid in 2015!

We are sure that many things change about the SEO landscape year to year, so why not refresh this?

2. Turning posts into videos

If content is king of the online world, then video is his gold-encrusted royal carriage. Nothing moves people to move, share, like, and engage quite like a crisp, informative moving picture. Not only were users 64% more likely to buy a product after viewing one, video is also the form of content that marketers most want to explore and learn about as of this year. Take a quality post and make a short, easily-digestible video explaining the ins and outs of it.

Tip: If you are worried about budget constraints, then try a whiteboard video. Online SEO guru Moz has worked it to perfection. Making one is cheap, quick, easy on the eyes, and highly effective.

3. Creating infographics

Consumers love content with statistics. We are very visual creatures at heart. Something about the interactive feeling of visualizing patterns using numbers makes us go wild and click the share button. In recent years there has been an 800% increase in search volumes for them. People like to make sense of things, and since the world is so complex at times, perhaps it’s seeing something expressed simply, succinctly, and fluidly via a chart, graph or % that we like so much.

Go through your best-performing posts and take the ones that contain the most stats. Those can be turned into an infographic and shared.

4. Making a series

Ever wonder why Hollywood always seems to come out with a sequel to a good movie? It’s because it works (most of the time). It’s efficient (the idea is already formed so time is saved), it’s less risky (audiences loved the first one, right?), and it’s interesting(people want to see what happens next). If you have informative content from over the years, then why not repurpose it into a series of posts? You can even email it to subscribers week after week. If you have educational articles about e-marketing basics, then put them together into a series entitled “the basics of e-marketing”, and put them out in parts. Voila!

5. Focusing on one aspect from a list

There simply is no way to over-exaggerate the usefulness of list posts. They come in a close second to infographics when it comes the most-shared posts on Facebook. That means that you should have plenty of them in your archives from over the years. Not only are they good for getting likes and shares, they can also serve as a bit of inspiration. If you have a post titled “the top 5 strategies for driving traffic”, then you have 5 great individual content posts just ready to be made. Focus in on writing quality content, better keyword research, or guest posting. Each one has a lot of potential.

6. Revisit

Although it might seem like this is the same as updating and sharing, there is a key difference. With revisiting, you are simply going back to an old piece of content that you posted, and seeing what you got right or wrong. There are plenty of posts out there to the tune of “What Obama got right about the 2008 crisis” so why can’t you do the same? If you posted an article in 2014 called “ 3 marketing trends to look out for in 2015” and people loved it, then posting “what I got right about marketing trends last year” is certain to generate buzz. It gives a chance to pat yourself on the back and earn a little clout in the industry, too.

7. Re-share on social media

It might seem a bit wrong or taboo to continually share the same thing on social media, but as long as you do it right there won’t be any issues. A great Twitter study showed the power that re-sharing has when harnessed properly. By focusing in on the right times of day and the right posts, this user achieved:

  • 75% as many retweets with each subsequent post
  • The same amount of clickthroughs
  • Engagement across multiple time zones

Not too shabby for simply re-sharing something. The chances of reaching someone new who missed out the first time are also are high, as well.

The web is a world that is over-saturated, brimming with content, and full of competition. In order to come out on top, you need to find new, creative, and efficient ways to beat out your competition. This is why more and more companies are copying Marvel Comics and squeezing every last bit of juice out of the orange as possible.

Reusing materials in different ways is fast, efficient, and cost-effective, but most of all it flat out works. These 7 ways to repurpose old content can give you the edge you need to trounce your competitors.

Image: Photospin

Author Bio:

Paul Manwaring is part of Outsprung, a multi-disciplinary design and marketing agency based in London. Their aim is simple; to help small businesses and bloggers grow. Follow on Twitter – @outsprung