Repurpose, Recycle, Reuse: How to Extend the Life of Your Content

December 20th, 2017 by Matthew Bains

Just as nothing on the internet ever truly dies, how a tweet can survive long past its creation and subsequent deletion, or how a web domain created twenty years ago can still exist, albeit in an updated version of its once pixelated visage, your content should never fade into obscurity.

Sure, you could let your content sit for months or years unchanged, be it a blog or testimonials page on your main site, but you would be missing out on opportunities to take advantage of the dynamic nature of the internet. The internet is not a rigid landscape—far from it. It’s malleable, adjustable, and constantly changing. Your content should align with this adaptability, too. But, how exactly can you do that? By recycling and repurposing your content, that’s how.

Image Recycling Paper Bin - Search Influence

What Is Repurposed Content?

Once you’ve finished that final line of copy and then published your content to your site or blog, there are many different ways that you can keep going from there. Repurposing content is a way in which you can take existing content that you’ve previously published, and transform it into a different type of format.

For instance, if you notice that an eBook or long form blog post is either receiving a high number of downloads or page views, then an option exists for repurposing that piece of content into any of the following options:

  • SlideShare
  • Podcast
  • Infographic
  • Webinar
  • How to Guide
  • Q&A
  • White Paper

The choices are nearly limitless since everyone consumes content in so many different ways. Where someone may love to sit down with a 90-page eBook, others may prefer that information read aloud to them through a video webinar. Stagnant organic traffic is a stat that no marketer likes to see. But sometimes, all your content needs is a little refreshing through the lens of another format, a new spin, or a different light.

Girl Walking Upside Down - Search Influence

Chances are you already have some well-performing content on your site. Instead of going through the painstaking process of looking at each one and trying to determine if it merits repurposing, look at your specific metrics. Aaron Agius from LouderOnline recommends page views, time on site, and social engagement. One of the nice things about repurposing your content is that it shouldn’t take you an enormous amount of time to achieve. Blogs can be quickly turned into eBooks or white papers, with minimal re-writing, giving you an entirely new form of content that can draw more views. And as we should all know, by the rule of seven, it can take some time before a buyer is willing to make a firm commitment.

What Are Some Examples of Repurposed Content?

Blog → SlideShare
The team at Copyblogger is known for producing quality content that focuses on writing marketing copy for small and large business alike. They took one blog post by Pamela Wilson, “The 3-Step Journey of a Remarkable Piece of Content,” and transformed it into a SlideShare. As of today, that SlideShare has garnered 42k views. While the original blog post is around 750 words, the SlideShare takes about 30 seconds to consume. It pulls the most pertinent information from that blog and gives it to us in an easy-to-digest format.

Video → Blog
The team at Moz is well known for their Whiteboard Friday videos spearheaded by Rand Fishkin. Not only do these videos dive into often-complex SEO strategies in a more easily digestible format, but they’re also distributed as blog posts with transcriptions.

Repurposing your content can also help to alleviate some of your content scheduling stresses, because most of the work has already been done!

Recycling Boxes Hanging - Search Influence

Everybody Loves Recycling

Recycling content is a great way to make sure your content reaches its fullest potential and greatest audience. Not everyone may have seen that blog you shared a few months ago. If you noticed a large spike in organic traffic after the initial posting and are frustrated with a subsequent drop-off then recycle it. Whereas repurposing involved changing your content into a new format, recycling is fairly straightforward.

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It
One way to recycle your content may just be the simplest—share it again through your social channels. This is especially true for evergreen content that will always be useful for your viewership. That being said, it’s not quite that simple. You should never be sharing the exact same social post about a blog as you did a few months ago. Ideally, you’ve made an update or change to the blog, as well as the social post itself. Otherwise, you run the risk of looking like you’re trying to package your old post as something new. When posting, consider including an “in case you missed it” (ICYMI) notifier.

Update Your Content With New Information

An example of an updated post that was recycled comes from Search Influence Internet Marketing Team Lead Michelle Neuhoff Boyd. Her blog, “What Happened to Facebook’s 20% Grid Tool?” received an update about three months later with new information.

Say Goodbye To The Grid Update - Search Influence

This is a great example of a chance to remind your readers of the value of your content. A week before this update went live, the blog received 74 unique page views. The week following the update, it received 139 page views. Throughout the month of the update, it received 366 page views.

It also capitalized an important aspect of choosing when to recycle content—trending topics. When this is the case, don’t worry about waiting too long to get your content out there. This ensures that it reaches your viewership when they’re most actively talking about a current trend.

How’s the Traffic Looking?

Another way to determine what content you should recycle is by looking at what pages are getting traffic. For example, if you have an old blog that is continuing to get a ton of traffic, consider taking a look at it again to see if it can be updated with relevant industry news or updates. This can take an already well-performing piece of content and extend its life even further.

These are just a few of the many ways that you can repurpose and recycle your content. With so many different formats for content these days, there are scores of opportunities abound. By paying close attention to the metrics of your content and recycling those that once performed well or repurposing them in fresh, novel ways, you can keep your brand’s voice relevant in the ongoing but ephemeral dialogue that is the internet. Have you experimented with repurposing or recycling your content? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below. We’re also happy to give guidance on directing your content so that it reaches more eyes.


Image Source:

Recycling Container

Girl Upside Down – Photo by Tanja Heffner on Unsplash

Recyclable Paper Boxes – Photo by Jon Moore on Unsplash