Stop Reinventing the Wheel: Repurposing Existing Content
Maria Bonello
Maria Bonello

Stop Reinventing the Wheel: Repurposing Existing Content

Maria Bonello, Growth Manager


Like Sisyphus and his stone, most marketers are stuck in a constant loop of creating new content. There never seems to be enough, and if a campaign does well, there’s not much time to enjoy it because the next deadline is closing in. It can feel like you’ll never get ahead — like it’s not even possible.

In a time when content is seemingly everywhere (blogs, social media, videos), brands are in constant competition for their customers’ attention. Everyone is consuming content at record speeds and usually much quicker than marketers have time to develop and execute.

And this appetite for content isn’t going anywhere. According to Pew Research, 26% of US adults are almost always online — they’re part of the 77% of US adults who go online daily. And thanks to ad overload, most consumers have tuned out overt advertisements and are connecting with brands through their content instead. In response, most companies are ramping up their content budgets, devoting a huge amount of time and energy to staying on top of rising quotas, turning marketing teams into non-stop content factories. (I’m exhausted just thinking about it.)

There’s a better way

You can regain a little sanity and a lot more control by integrating existing content into your calendar. Before you freak out, this isn’t just recycling old content, willy-nilly. It’s taking proven, relevant content that performed well and introducing it to segments of your audience who may have missed it the first time, or highlighting its relevance in a new way. We’ve seen huge success with this at Prolific when building out messaging strategies for partners.

Stick with me. This is a game-changer.

Let’s start at the beginning. What makes content marketing valuable?

Content marketing’s biggest selling point is its ability to attract and retain a targeted audience. It’s a strategic venture, and when that strategy is executed well, content marketing can become a major lead magnet for your business.

The quality of the content is key here. Creating content for the sake of creating content is the fastest way to waste everyone’s time. People aren’t going to subscribe, follow, or repost subpar content — it’ll never move the needle for your business. The content you’re producing should be organic (rooted in your business’ values and ideals), as high-quality as you can manage, and provide value to your audience. Ultimately, you want your readers to see your content and have an “aha” moment. It should answer their persistent questions, provide solutions to their pain points, or just offer a fresh perspective.

Effective content funnels traffic to your site or app and strengthens your brand’s reputation and credibility. Once you build strong brand awareness, you start to build loyalty with your customers — ultimately leading to reposts and other word-of-mouth marketing methods. People like to share good things.

But how do you get to a place where you’re not only producing great, relevant content, but doing it as quickly as your audience demands? The answer is already on your blog or Instagram feed.

How it works

Like any business strategy, repurposing content needs a set process to succeed. In addition to having a forward-looking content calendar, keep a record of the performance results for each campaign. This allows you to see what’s working (and what isn’t) and will give you valuable insight into what would make a great repeat performance. When you see that something is performing well, or for some reason didn’t get as much traction as you’d hope, you can note that as something that can create further value down the road.

There are a few ways you can do this:

1. New Year, New(ish) Content

Seasonality is a big deal, but don’t get tied to running the same kinds of campaigns year after year. If you ran a successful Christmas campaign last year, why not repurpose that content for a Christmas in July campaign? Or if that feels a little weird, don’t be afraid to use some of your best stuff from previous holiday seasons this year.

Your audience grows over time, so not everyone within your brand’s ecosystem has seen the content already. Beyond saving yourself the time and stress of developing new content, when you repurpose content you open up the potential of reaching a bigger audience and generating new leads.

2. Break it Up

Have you ever spent a lot of time and effort creating a beautiful piece of content and then it never really takes off? Make the most of your hard work. Repurpose that content into other forms so it works longer and harder for your business. Take long-form videos or an e-book and cut it into multiple small content pieces. Turn it into a mini web series, blog series, infographic, one-pager, social posts, a series of emails, anything you’re into.

3. Show Your Guts

As a business, you probably already have a lot of existing internal content that would be great to leverage as marketing materials. The point of content marketing is to demonstrate your expertise and value, and what does that better than the data and information you’ve already collected?

Think of all the presentations, slideshows, checklists, reports, guides and videos you probably send around on a regular basis (or are sitting in an archived folder somewhere). These can all be transformed into amazing pieces of content. Presentations into blogs, slideshows into infographics, data reports into case studies, checklists and guides into one-pagers… The possibilities are endless.

Don’t forget to zhuzh it up

No matter what you’re repurposing, it’s important to remember to tune it up a little bit before releasing it again. Update the images with new ones, remove any out-of-date references or broken links, and add new relevant information. This freshening-up contributes to the content feeling new and lengthens its shelf life.

You don’t have to churn out brand new content forever. It’s unrealistic for almost any team to create high-quality, original, useful content as quickly as consumers want it. Save your resources and make things you love — that connect with your business and push the needle forward — and supplement your content calendar with repurposed content that has proven its ability to connect with users.

Want to know more? Let’s talk about your current growth strategy and how repurposing content can make it easier, effective, and more fun.