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How to Extend the Life of Your Content

Communications

Over the past several weeks we have explored strategies for creating engaging and creative content in a variety of formats. From podcasting to videography, our Storytelling for Nonprofits series has taken a look at the many avenues available to nonprofits to tell and share their unique stories. Today, we are going to focus on a valuable strategy for making the most of content that has already been published with a look at content repurposing.

What is Content Repurposing?

As the name suggests, this is a strategy for extending the life of your content by presenting it into a variety of (new) formats best suited to different audiences and platforms. ‘Recycling’ content in this way works especially well for so-called ‘evergreen content’, the type of resources that continue to be relevant months (sometimes even years!) after being published. Engaging with content repurposing may be a welcome reprieve for those feeling the pressure of constantly producing new resources and posts for their organization’s channels. As Hubspot reminds us, “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.” Recycling content is one way to do precisely that! There are many benefits to giving your previously published content new life. Here are some of them:

Reaching a new audience: breaking down the key takeaways and data from your original post and making it accessible in a variety of formats is a great way to reach people beyond your traditional audience––especially when producing easily shareable and embeddable new content such as video clips and infographics that can travel outside of your own channels!

Reinforcing your message: expanding the reach of your content is a great way to improve your SEO results, generate traction on target keywords, and establish your expertise on any given topic. It is also a great way to support internal goals, organizational campaigns, and other outreach efforts by ensuring that your message reaches the greatest number of people.

Improved visibility: This, in turn, will make your organization more visible and memorable, potentially leading to an increase in followers, subscribers, members, and so forth. And with increased visibility come opportunities for exciting collaborations and content-sharing with and for other organizations, too!

How to Craft a Repurposing Plan

If you are curious about how to start repurposing some of your own evergreen content but don’t know where to start, the Digital Marketing Institute has put together a guide with some helpful prompts. Here is an excerpt from their article:

Step One––Define your objectives:

“Setting clear, explicit objectives will provide structure to any strategy and help you to make efficient use of your time and resources. You can also align those objectives to metrics that will enable you to measure the effectiveness of your repurposing plan!”

Pro Tip: Check out our post on how to craft an editorial calendar for more tips on how to plan the development and launch of your content year-round. (You can schedule it, too!)

Step Two––Develop audience personas:

“A necessary step that’s often overlooked, developing well-defined target audience personas will equip you with an insight into the content topics and types that your audience most engage with, which in turn can influence not only how you create new content, but how you can revive and repackage it too.”

Pro Tip: Our Spotlight on Social Media series offers guidance on how to understand social media analytics, which is a great first step in identifying your most popular types of content. Or consider a social media audit!

Step Three––Choose your topic:

“The best way to guarantee that your content will really resonate with your target audience is to listen to what they want. Using a tool like BuzzSumo will allow you to analyze the top performing pieces of content for your own website, and your competitors’, as well as identify trending content across a variety of categories. Topsy is great for aggregating top Tweets, links, photos and videos based on certain search terms so you can determine the topics that instigate the most conversation and appeal to your target audience.”

Step Four––Choose your content formats:

“This is where you can get creative with your repackaging! A piece of content that began its life as a 1000 word blog post can be adapted and transformed beyond recognition; all you need to do is consider the different formats available to you.” See our section below for ideas to get started!

Content Repurposing in Action

Most nonprofits rely on blog articles to share their updates, expertise and information with an audience. This format is a popular one because of its convenience: blogs are easy to publish, they can be shared as a link on social media, and they have the potential to easily become evergreen content. With blogs as the primary example, here are some ways that you can break down your message, put a spin on it, and give it new life:

  • Turning a blog article into a podcast episode, or a blog series into a series of themed podcast conversations and interviews;
  • Translating internal data into case studies, downloadable reports, and infographics;
  • Adapting blog content to video––either as a standalone piece or a series of short video instalments or video tutorials;
  • Round-up thematic blog posts and turn them into an e-book or toolkit;
  • Transform your content into a presentation, an e-course, or a slide deck that can circulate independently through platforms like SlideShare or Prezi;
  • Use your blog article to open up a conversation among industry peers on sites such as LinkedIn and Quora, for example;
  • Use a rotation of pull-quotes and excerpts from your blogs to promote their link on social media;
  • Consider extending the life of your blog posts by inviting guest bloggers to add their take, by asking other platforms to re-publish your work as a guest blog, by posting updates on old posts when you have them, and/or by turning your blog into a story for platforms like Medium;
  • If your content lends itself well to bite-sized chunks, you could also consider turning it into a newsletter series that you release at a regular interval of your choice.

Want to get creative? That’s the fun part about repurposing content! Our Design for Non-Designers Series features handy posts on Adobe, Creative Commons, and Canva that can help you find the right tools for producing new content. And don’t forget the posts in this series, how to start a podcast and using video to tell your story!