Marketing SE Optimization

How to Correctly Re-Purpose Content

SEO Targeting
Photo Credit: Augur Marketing via flickr

Have you ever thought about breathing new life into your old content? We bet you have. After all, you worked hard to craft that awesome article that was liked and shared by hundreds of people. You fell in love with every single paragraph and you meant every word of it, so you can’t just let your beloved article, eBook or blog post gather dust in your archive. And since “recycling” Web writing is a valid option, why not make the most of it?

Be careful though: the road to low-quality, daunting repurposed Web content is paved with good intentions.

The Key Difference between Repurposed and Revamped Web Content

First of all, you should understand the difference between repurposed and revamped content pieces.

  • Revamping Content: When you want to go back to your best ideas, give them a new meaning and re-introduce them in front of similarly targeted audiences, you are basically revamping content. In other words, a revamped content piece serves the same purpose, responds to the new needs and demands of the same audience, and has been updated to include more information, further details that were unknown when you initially wrote the article, a fresh perspective on a certain trending topic and so on. The key is to keep the piece relevant and extremely attractive in the eyes of your readers.
  • Repurposing content: Repurposed content is a different story. Just like revamped content, it displays a few upgrades in formatting and structure, but it is impacted by another kind of alteration. When you repurpose content, you use your written material to attract a new category of visitors. Whether you want to diversify your clientele or capture the attention of a different segment of public, repurposed content can do wonders for you.

For instance, you could change the format by extracting a few key points from a webinar and turning them into food for thought offered to your readers via an infographic. To change the audience, you can convert an eBook designed to help small business owners attain their goals into a valuable online resource created especially for bigger brands driven by much more ambitious objectives. Naturally, this process is much more complex and requires a great deal of restructuring and rewording to provide excellent results. But at the end of the day, your hard work is rewarded.

Why is Re-Purposing Content A Great Idea?

According to Search Engine Watch, repurposing content is a great strategy because:

  • It supports your SEO efforts;
  • It improves retention and enhances impact;
  • It allows you to reach different segments of the public in various mediums.

Repurposing Content to Influence the Buyers’ Journey

All marketers are fully aware of the fact that the buyer’s journey comprises three distinctive phases: awareness, consideration and decision. Every single phase is extremely important and should be treated with maximum care. Of course, every stage demands certain types of content that could compel the prospect to act in a certain manner.

For instance, people who are in the first phase often have no clue about what they really need and what’s available on the market; according to HubSpot,  this is why they are craving snackable content that enables them to explore their options.  In case you want to repurpose content for a different phase of the buyers’ journey, you have to opt for a different perspective and also different formatting. For example, let’s assume you are trying to repurpose an eBook created for the consideration phase and make it suitable for people who are still lingering in the awareness stage. In this case, you could convert the information-rich eBook into a fun, useful infographic comprising a number of details that are easy to scan, filter and assimilate.

Turning complex resources into lighter content shouldn’t be a challenge, especially for competent marketers who know where they want to be and how to get there. Which brings us to a very interesting question: are there any tips on how to repurpose content like a pro?

Foolproof Tips on How to Give a New Purpose to Your Old (Yet Never Boring) Content

1) Know Your Audience. Repurposing content is never a challenge, as long as you really know your audience and are always familiar with the real needs, possibilities, demands and expectations of your targeted audience. You have to craft and re-craft content with your readers in mind, after evaluating their intellectual capabilities, background and level of knowledge. Let’s assume that you are trying to write a SEO eBook. Would it be designed to help novices or would in represent an extra tool for experienced specialists who already speak SEO? This is a very important distinction that you should make before deciding to rewrite the first line of your piece.

2) Know Your Goals. Why do you want to repurpose content in the first place? You obviously can’t do it just for fun, so what’s the catch? Do you plan to target a new segment that may be interested in what you have to offer? Do you wish to influence a new category of buyers or want to capture the attention of the same targeted audience that is currently experiencing different phases of the buyers’ journey? Analyze your goals before moving to the next step.

3) Know (and Constantly Improve) Your Content Writing Skills. Now that you finally know why you need to repurpose content and who you want to impress by doing so, you can focus on your content writing skills, which represent an important piece of the puzzle. Do some research and find out what makes your readers tick. Try to determine what kind of info they are actually looking for and what kind of formatting model would help them consume it faster and in a much more effective manner. There are a few general rules that you may want to follow to master content repurposing.

a)  Identify and Explore One Core Idea That is Newsworthy

b) Determine a Number of Topics That You Can Expand on with Authority

c) Opt for the Most Suitable Form of Content That Can Carry Your Message (videos, podcasts, infographics, text correlated with videos and infographics and so on).

d) Rely on Great Tools and Cross-Promotion Strategies to Get the Job Done. Premium Web writing is almost as important as your content distribution strategies. Rely on cross-promotion to target a broader audience in different mediums. For instance, you could use Pinterest plugins to pin amazing content on your WordPress blog; you could create compelling offline and online info-rich presentations using tons of tools Zoho, SlideShare or PowerPoint. You can even utilize a wide range of tools, like Zinepal or Blog2Book to turn blog posts into well-structured eBooks.

After repurposing your content, remember to promote it on social media platforms. Social networking websites can and will amplify your messages and bring them in front of an audience who is more likely to respond to your calls to action.

About the author


Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy is a serial content marketer, entrepreneur, and bestselling author. She founded a multi-million dollar content agency, Express Writers, with nothing more than $75 at 19 years old. Today, her team has nearly 100 expert content creators on staff, and serves thousands of clients around the world. She's earned her way to the top 30 worldwide content marketers, and has a passion for sharing what she knows in her books and in her online course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia also hosts The Write Podcast on iTunes.