With every passing year, content marketing becomes a more punishing discipline. Fresh channels pop up, bringing new format requirements, and the SEO industry shifts significantly, sending old best practices into obsolescence and requiring everyone to revise their methods.
And while automation has brought a lot to the digital marketer’s playbook, we’re some way off machine-learning algorithms being able to spool out quality long-form content. It still needs to be produced the old-fashioned way: through slow and painstaking manual effort.
Unfortunately, many businesses lack the budget to invest as enthusiastically in content production as they’d like to, leaving them struggling to compete for attention. What’s such a business to do? It’s simple: get more out of the content it can produce by repurposing content.
To a great extent, this demands raising the level of quality, ensuring that every piece of content produced paints the brand in a flattering light — but that’s not all. What many companies don’t realize is that digital content can be repurposed and reworked to achieve greater results without having to commit much time, effort or money to the cause.
What Does Repurposing Content Mean?
Repurposing content is the process of taking one piece of content, like a blog article for example and then using the core ideas of that piece to produce a different piece of media like a video, podcast or infographic.
It can work the other way around though, you could start with a video and repurpose it as a written guide on your website or as a PDF.
If you’d like to give this a try, you’re in the right place. Let’s take a look at some clever ways in which you can repurpose your content to efficiently earn more traffic:
Collate related pieces into topic hubs
Despite seeming fairly obvious in principle, topic hubs are actually relatively new to the digital marketing world. For a long time, companies were content to produce disconnected pieces of content (forgetting about cohesive scheduling) in accordance with their whims, their areas of expertise, and the current trends. What they now realize is that there’s tremendous SEO value in building up lasting topic hubs: pages that cover the basics of particular subjects and link to more specific pages.
Through a topic hub (such as the one above), you can link to valuable third-party sites (important for making the content better, if not for earning ranking juice) and your own pages — and linking all of these things together not only brings new life to the featured pages (like old books being included in new recommendation lists) but also increases SEO value across the board. If Google’s crawler can see that your topic hub page also links out to other relevant pages, it will see each of those individual pages as more valuable.
Think about the main topics you discuss as a business, and which hub pages you could do well. For instance, you could create a page on social media, and include sections for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc., with each section linking to dedicated guides. The main page would then stand a great chance of ranking for social media terms.
Work your content into ebook guides
Offering long-form guides is a great way to establish brand expertise, and the more content you’ve already produced and distributed, the more easily you can move in that direction. You can think about each existing post as an early teaser of the full version to be included in one of your guides (like a book excerpt).
Look for an overall narrative you can construct, ideally built around a particular matter: for instance, continuing the social media theme, you could write an ebook called “Social Media Mastery: How to Create the Perfect Social Strategy” and fill it with expanded versions of posts you’ve already released. Once you combine existing parts to get a new construction, you’ve completely recontextualized them and made them fresh again.
For the actual production part, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a suitable tool. For example, Visme (see below) is a freeware ebook creator that may well meet your needs.
If you’re a little uncertain about how to turn your piecemeal posts into engaging ebook material, it might be worth priming your writing skills first. Read popular business ebooks, think carefully about what your audience might like to read (reach out to them if possible), and remember that the internet is a powerful educational tool: among Jericho Writers actually offers a creative non-fiction course that could be of interest.
Refresh old and outdated posts
Suppose that you released a post several years ago about character limits on Twitter: by now, it’s completely out of date, but the broader points of it still hold some value, and the URL remains useful for SEO. Why not update that post to make it viable for use in 2019?
This is simply a matter of returning to the piece and making some judicious edits, ideally leaving notes as you go to explain that the original article has been updated for accuracy. Once you’re done, you can treat it as a new piece of content, even retitling it as required (e.g. “The 2019 Guide to Twitter Character Limits”).
Additionally, the more frequently you update your content, the more likely you are to receive regular crawls, helping you to rank well. After all, even Google’s immense resources can’t have spiders everywhere at all times: the internet is vast, and to keep up with demand, it’s necessary for the crawling to cut down on time spent visiting sites that rarely change.
It’s unclear whether Google gives ranking preference to fresh content (John Mueller denies it, but we can’t be sure), but considering that features such as structured data change over time, there’s value in regular crawling regardless.
Every time there’s a major industry shift, you can update your old content and release it as new, earning new links and bringing in easy traffic. If you’re not already doing this, you’re missing out on a huge amount of value, so add it to your regular rotation as a top priority.
Convert lengthy articles into podcasts or infographics
Sometimes mixing up formats is the easiest way to breathe new life into old content, particularly because content feels different depending on whether it’s presented as text, imagery, or audio. You might have a post that never performed very well despite containing some valuable information — if you turned it into a podcast (doing little more than reading it out and making the occasional edit for brevity’s sake), it might find a much larger audience.
And infographics tend to go down extremely well because they’re so rapidly digestible and can suit almost any situation. They’re also great for sharing with other blogs — make a great infographic and you’ll find that plenty of websites in your industry will be more than happy to repost it for some easy value.
It’s a saturated market with plenty of options (Canva is a popular choice), but if you’re looking for a place to start, give Piktochart a try (see below).
If you’re used to infographics and looking for something fresh, why not try the gifographic route? Gifographics are simply animated infographics (read up on them here along with other visual content creation tips), and can really stand out from the crowd when executed well. The key is using the animation tastefully: just a few pieces of subtle movement can increase the potency of an infographic without making it an eyesore or inflating the file size to a worrying level.
Of course, you don’t need to go for podcasts or infographics if you don’t want to. You could, for instance, break up a long piece into several smaller pieces, then turn them into a numbered series — a series that could easily be turned into a set of YouTube videos to go on your company channel and neatly fill a strong playlist. Put simply, if a piece of content hasn’t hit the mark, try mixing up the format: you might find that text-based trash becomes podcast perfection.
Spread your efforts across all viable platforms
There are far too many potential traffic sources out there to stick to the same old handful. There are various social media platforms, of course, and standard SERPs, but there are also sites like Reddit, YouTube, LinkedIn Learning, and Quora, not to mention countless industry publications (digital or otherwise). Why not take advantage of all of them?
Ideally, when creating content, you should envision various possible distribution channels, and allow enough leeway that you could easily make some tweaks for a fresh avenue. For instance, Quora is all about answering popular questions: if you have a piece of content that can answer a notable query, make some slight alterations and submit the answer. It might not build you a huge amount of traffic from your direct link, but it will bolster your company’s reputation.
And if you can use sites like LinkedIn Learning to establish your business as a trustworthy source of industry information and training, it will inevitably have powerful secondary effects on how your business is perceived — both by industry competitors and prospective clients.
Imagine the efficiency of creating just one piece of source content, then turning it into a guide, a podcast, an infographic, a video course, a Quora answer, and a Reddit post, all before sharing every suitable version across every relevant social media platform (using suitable social management tools) to reach a huge audience. That’s how a small business with a limited budget can compete with industry juggernauts.
Wrapping up our guide on how to repurpose content to increase website traffic
As we’ve seen throughout this piece, there are plenty of strong options when it comes to repurposing digital marketing content. Since working efficiently is of critical importance given the relentless pace of the digital world, there’s no time to waste — start working these tactics into your content production process and adapt them to suit your needs.
Note from the editor:
This guide content repurposing should give you lots of ideas on how you can increase the milage of the articles and content you have already produced. To put it simply you MUST be doing content repurposing if you want to improve your efficiency and generate swathes of new visitors to your website.
When you have finished repurposing a piece of content consider whether it would be worth doing some outreach to re-promote the content. One example would be doing some cold email outreach, you can learn how to do that here.
Kayleigh has broken down all of the best ways you can turn one piece of content published in one place into a handful of different resources you can share on various platforms to open up new traffic sources you aren’t currently tapping into.
For other web traffic, ideas check out our free website traffic guide.