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A blog about branding, marketing, and design, mostly through the lens of practical psychology, intended to be a resource to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Unless otherwise noted, all articles are written by Nyla Smith, owner of n-Vision Designs. {Subscribe to the RSS feed here: RSS}

Content with a (Re-) Purpose

Nyla Smith | Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A common tactic for businesses is to repurpose content. This gives the creator the opportunity to breathe new life into something old. Repurposing content is a smart practice, and I highly encourage it.

Content Will Always Be King!

The best way to grow your business and fan base is by focusing on providing quality content for your customers. This is absolutely the best and biggest factor in SEO. The more quality content that you generate, the more it will stand out to the ever-changing search engine algorithms. Companies who are serious about their online presence spend a lot of time on "content creation." This process can involve writing blog posts, articles, white papers; and creating videos and podcasts, to name just a few. There are several possibilities.

Repurposing Content: What is It?

For some clients I've worked with, "repurposing content" simply meant they'd copy the 'about us' paragraph from their company brochure and publish it on their website because they needed to put something on the 'About' page. That is not the type of repurposing I will be addressing in this blog post. This concept goes much deeper than that.

Before I move on, however, let me just say — depending on the communication medium you are using, consider how to adjust your content to best fit each situation. For example, your website is an opportunity to expand upon ideas that may be limited in print. You can always find a way to take advantage of different mediums and their natural strengths. In this case, maybe you want to make your 'About' page interactive, including an informational video, perhaps, that you wouldn't have the capability for on a print piece.

Repurposing content, for the sake of this post, is a strategic component of content creation with the explicit goal of growing your business. It is, in a nutshell, finding ways to re-use your existing content. When I was growing up, the mantra of "reduce, reuse, recycle" was taught to grade school children to help them better understand recycling and conservation practices. Well, the same principle applies here. You should use your content until there is no life left in it. Repurposing, just like recycling plastic bottles, is smart because it 'reduces' waste. Waste, in this context, would be time, energy and money that is thrown away in order to create new content. When you use something that you already have, your day-to-day marketing efforts become easier and more efficient.

Repurposing content allows you to increase the potential reach you have for your target audience. If one of your customers is only on Facebook and another only checks their email, finding a way to use a single piece of content across different platforms can help. In other words, consistency across your marketing materials is key, but you must also make adjustments to the content to fit each medium. Also, keep in mind: a customer you just acquired today would not have been a customer a year ago, so "old" content will be fresh and new to them!

Repurposing with Purpose

Don't just repurpose your content for the heck of it. Be purposeful in how you repurpose, to make sure it doesn't lose any impact. Here are a few tips to remember when repurposing content:

  1. Keep it timely:
    If a piece of content is no longer relevant, it doesn't make sense to use it again. Let it rest in peace to avoid misleading people with outdated or irrelevant information. The term that describes content that is continually relevent is "evergreen" content.
  2. Keep it appropriate:
    Does it make sense to repurpose every podcast into an e-book? The answer is most likely, no. Some content is better suited for particular media. Don't force it. Repurpose content only as it is appropriate to the platform you are representing yourself on or audience that you are serving it to.
  3. Make it more interesting:
    Can you turn a boring financial table from your annual report into an interesting visual infographic? In general, when you repurpose, you will need to tweak something here or there. When this need arises, constantly strive to tweak for the better.

Practical Ways to Repurpose

Take a look back at your blog, newsletter, or whitepaper archives. Dust off something that you wrote last year, and see if there is a new perspective you can add to it. Repost it with a 'refreshing' outlook and make sure it's adding value to the original piece.

Examples of Repurposing:

  • Turn a blog into an email newsletter or a podcast.
  • Turn an instructional article into an infographic, video, flow chart, or slide deck.
  • Turn a case study into a whitepaper.
  • Resubmit blog posts across social media and submit them to syndicated article directories or use as a guest post on another blog if possible.
  • Turn a series of blog posts into an e-book, slideshow or webinar.
  • Turn a website announcement or Facebook post sharing exciting news about your business into a press release.

Repurposing is Powerful

Repurposing content is a way to turn something that seems old into a revived and renewed piece of knowledge. Content takes many forms; reusing it can have powerful and potentially profitable results.

Nyla Smith is a Graphic Designer, Web Designer, Front-End Web Developer and Consultant with over 12 years of experience. She is the owner of n-Vision Designs, LLC in Hampton, Virginia, which exists to provide marketing support and brand consulting to small- and medium-sized businesses needing creative solutions. Contact Nyla if you'd like to discuss your next creative project. She can usually be bribed to a meeting with a cup of green tea and an oatmeal cookie.
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