Stagnant organic traffic is the last thing you want to see when reviewing metrics, but it’s an issue that every marketer deals with at some point.
Those dips and plateaus in traffic can come from industry changes, how your audience digests content, the amount (and quality) of new content you’re producing, or how relevant your older content is.
Sometimes, all your content needs is a little refreshing and repurposing to keep your audience interested. So to inspire your repurposing efforts, I put together some benefits and examples below. Check 'em out.
Why You Should Repurpose Content
One of my favorite tidbits of advice about content marketing comes from Social Triggers founder Derek Halpern, in a post on why bloggers fail.
“You don’t have to create content day in and day out. You just have to work on getting the content you already have in the hands of more people,” Halpern explains.
And that’s the main idea behind repurposing content: Take something you’ve created, put a new spin on it, and give it new life.
Aside from the fact that the hard work is already done, here are a few other benefits for repurposing content:
Reaching New Audiences
When you first publish a piece of content, the performance might be average. However, over time, it gains traction and does a little better. When you repurpose that content in a new format and/or update it, you can reach new audience segments that otherwise may have never found it.
Reinforcing Your Message
When discussing the merits of repurposing content, Kevan Lee of Buffer points out that repetition is important with marketing. Marketing’s Rule of Seven states that buyers need to hear your message approximately seven times before they will close the deal.
Rather than covering a topic once and letting it disappear into the archives, repurpose your articles to consistently deliver your message to your audience. This works great if you’re starting with high-value, authoritative content. It makes it easier to find unique ways to reinforce your message.
Improved Organic Visibility
Organic search still provides the majority of site traffic. One study from BrightEdge found that organic search holds a 51% share among traffic sources. If that’s accurate, then repurposing optimized content in various formats can give you a significant lift in organic visibility and traffic.
Publishing a variety of content gives you more access to search real estate for targeted queries. If you publish your content on other sites, then you’ll also (sometimes) have the benefit of backlinks.
How to Choose Content for Repurposing
Chances are, you already have extensive archives of content on your blog. You might even have a lot of off-site content like guest posts that you can leverage.
Instead of getting bogged down with sorting through content individually to find the popular stuff, just go to your analytics. Look at specific metrics to easily sort and rank your content to find the top posts. I recommend paying attention to views, time on site, and social engagement, but you can also simplify the process by ranking content based on the total number of views and how it has declined over time.
For ranking both internal and external content, I also try to include factors such as the amount of post engagement and the quantity of shares.
Something to keep in mind while sorting: Don’t just base it on popularity. A post may have less engagement or traffic than your #1 piece of content, but if it can be updated with valuable data or leveraged around new trends to improve visibility, then it still might be a winner.
12 Examples of Strategic Content Repurposing
1) Joe Pulizzi’s Epic Content Marketing Book
In 2013, Content Marketing Institute founder Joe Pulizzi had committed to publishing another book, Epic Content Marketing, but he struggled to find time to write it.
He needed 25 chapters at about 2,000 words each to complete his book. Every week, he produced content that was relevant to the chapters of his book for LinkedIn and the blog at Content Marketing Institute. As the deadline for the book neared, Joe was able to utilize those blog posts to fulfill all of his content obligations -- including the new book.
2) Jay Baer: Short Videos into Multiple Content Pieces
Jay Baer, founder of Convince and Convert, creates three-minute informational videos on a variety of topics -- from business to social media. To maximize the reach of this content, his team repurposes his video content into a variety of formats and content pieces to publish on his site. These include:
- iTunes audio podcasts
- Blog content for the Convince and Convert website
- Blog content for the Jay Today website
- LinkedIn Pulse posts
- Posts on Medium
- Promotions through various social channels
3) Copyblogger: Leveraging Slide Decks
Copyblogger’s teams are well-known for the high-quality content they produce on the subjects of copywriting, content marketing, and engaging audiences through the power of words. They’re also no stranger to the power of repurposing content. They took one blog post, The 3-Step Journey of a Remarkable Piece of Content and transformed it into a SlideShare.
That SlideShare presentation has earned 38K+ views to date.
4) Ben Hardy/Goinswriter: Expanding to New Platforms
Ben started blogging in May of 2015 with the goal of growing his audience. He knew having a large readership would help him connect with a traditional publisher, so he began posting on his own blog and repurposed that content on Medium.
Some of his content went viral on Medium, generating a massive surge in traffic back to his site. He added a call-to-action to his Medium articles to opt-in and subscribe to his blog, and within 6 months, he grew his subscriber list from 0 to 20,000.
5) Videofruit: Repurposing Content to Drive a New Product
Launching a new product can be a challenge, and creating an entirely new product is even more difficult. But Bryan Harris simplified the launch of new products with content marketing.
Pulling from his most popular posts, he compiled data that revealed the needs and interests of his followers in order to develop a new product they would be most likely to purchase. The result: He banked $10,000 within 24 hours of launch.
6) Internet Business Mastery: Creating Audio Blogs to Boost Downloads
Jeremy and Jason host the Internet Business Mastery podcast, but they also have individual blogs to maintain. They decided to run an experiment where they read and recorded their more popular blogs and then uploaded them to their podcast. Those audio blogs saw 60-100% more downloads than their featured podcasts.
7) ProBlogger: From Blog to Ebook
Darren Rowse, founder of ProBlogger, received a lot of positive feedback on his series, “31 Days to Build a Better Blog.” To streamline the content and monetize it, Rowse packaged the series into an ebook and started selling it for $29.99. Even years after the initial launch, the book is still available, and it’s even bought and used as material in online courses.
8) Matthew Woodward: Driving Subscribers with LinkedIn
In 2015, SEO professional Matthew Woodward started using LinkedIn as a publishing platform to expand his audience reach. His strategy included repurposing previous content that had been featured and creating follow-up articles to his popular content. By recycling just a few of his popular posts, he quickly snagged over 300 new subscribers at a 76.15% conversion rate.
9) Matthew Barby: To the Frontpage of BuzzFeed
Matthew Barby, head of growth at HubSpot, managed to make it to the frontpage of BuzzFeed not once, but twice. Rather than creating brand-new content, he repurposed content into a listicle featuring high protein vegetarian recipes. With a little paid social boost, he got the attention of editors and scored over 140,000 views.
10) Backlinko: Boosting Organic Traffic
Brian Dean of Backlinko received a great case study from a user, but instead of promoting it on its own, he added it to an older post and promoted that updated content to his social followers and subscribers. With a simple update and a quick promotion, that old post saw a 111.37% increase in organic traffic.
11) Moz: Whiteboard Fridays
The team over at Moz consistently creates Whiteboard Friday videos to provide visual demonstration and engagement to their audience. Those videos are distributed individually, but they’re also turned into blog posts with video transcriptions. That’s a perfect recipe for optimization and organic traffic.
12) Buffer: The “No New Content” Challenge
The Buffer team rolled out a brief experiment in 2015 to see what would happen if they stopped producing new content and only repurposed/refreshed their existing content. This strategy involved repurposing two to three new pieces each week for one month. At the end of the experiment, organic search traffic grew over 4%. New SlideShare presentations nabbed almost 200,000 views, and one Medium post captured 2,888 views and made it into the Top 20 for a day.
Write Less, Promote More
There are tremendous benefits to repurposing content, and it’s an easy way to fill the gaps of your content schedule because most of the work has already been done.
Go back through your data, find your best-performing content, and transform it into something new that will lift your organic traffic and leads. Take a cue from all the successful examples I’ve listed here -- it’s a lot easier than you think.
How have you repurposed content before? What kind of results did you see from your efforts? Share your story with me in the comments below.