How to Recycle Content Effectively

DemandZEN - recycle content

DemandZEN - recycle content

You’ve posted, promoted, and republished your content. It’s great information that your prospects value, and it’s fulfilling its current purpose, such as brand awareness or lead generation. But you want to get your message to a wider audience without resharing your content one more time. So, just how do you recycle content effectively? This blog post will look at a few different ways you can transform your current content into something totally new.

Define your purpose

Before you begin expanding on or trimming down your content, make sure you have a clear purpose in mind. For turning content into gated assets, make sure they are valuable enough to be gated. For bite-sized content, make sure it makes sense without a ton of context. If the content is complicated and requires a lot of explanation, it won’t work as short-form content.

The new format of the content needs to make sense. After all, the medium is the message. Make sure you carefully consider what you hope to gain from transforming this content. Create a SMART goal around this piece so you have a measurable, achievable goal that is relevant to your business.

Social media campaigns

Recycling content into social media posts is a great idea if you’re looking to increase your social presence. I’m not talking about simply republishing your content, but actually creating unique social posts based on previous content.

Consider this blog post on Facebook Live in B2B marketing strategies. What if we decided to go meta with it? We can actually create a Facebook Live event where we talk through how we’re using Facebook live. We can answer some of the questions we asked in that original post like “Why are we planning to do a Facebook Live event?” and “When is our organization going live?” We can answer these questions through a comical skit where we pretend to do a terrible Facebook Live event as an example of how not to plan one. All of this content can be taken from that original blog post.

Alternately, let’s look at creating image macros and infographics. Both of these types of media are great content to share on social sites. Also consider that when a statement is paired with a relevant image a person remembers 65% of that statement three days later (compared to only 10% with no image). So create images so you stick in your audience’s minds!

Comb through our old white papers, videos, blog posts, and webinars to find the best information to share. Break it up into multiple images and share it over time. The final step of the campaign can even be linking back to that original post, no matter what type of asset it is. Now that you’ve shared it out and made your audience familiar, they’ll be more likely to interact.

Blog(s)

There are a variety of ways you can recycle content into a blog post. Here are just a few options.

If someone on your team presented a webinar, that’s a great opportunity to write a webinar recap and either link to the recording or embed the video in the blog. This way, you’re providing content in a new form while still driving traffic to the original media.

You can also turn longer form content into short-form blog content. Let’s say you have a white paper or guide you’d like to repurpose. You can break up the sections of that larger content and create a blog post series. Make sure you change the language where you need to, and remove some of the finer details. Remember, this isn’t about copy and pasting content into a new format. It’s about transforming it.

Finally, you can revisit your old blogs and turn them into new blogs. This is where having a “Best Marketing Tips of 2012” blog post is great news for you. Create an updated version for 2017, and make sure both blog posts link to one another. You can even do a comparison between 2012 and 2017 to discuss how far digital marketing has come in five years.

Have a “best practices” blog without a date attached? We recommend working to keep that blog up-to-date. Leave a note at the top of the blog post that says when the blog was last updated. This allows you to ensure older pages maintain relevancy since Google’s ranking system is partially based on how often content is updated. Updating regularly increases the likelihood that page stays ranked over time.

White papers

Just as you can take a white paper and break it into blog posts, you can take a series of blog posts and combine them into a white paper. But you have to make sure that it makes sense as a white paper. The language will have to change drastically as white papers are more formal. Consider calling it a “guide” if you choose to keep “you-facing” language.

You can also take a single blog post and expand on it. Are there sections you can add? Are there any counterpoints you omitted in your original blog? You can explore all of this in a longer document.

Website pages

If your goal is to increase your overall search engine rankings, it’s a good idea to create new web pages based on your best content. These can be blogs, white papers, videos—whatever your audience values most!

When using WordPress, choose the most relevant keyword as the focus keyword for this page, and optimize the page based on additional keywords that fit within that grouping. If you use another hosting site, you might be able to choose an entire set of keywords.

You can recycle content using buttons, graphics, and icons—things you’re used to seeing on a web page. Again, make sure to alter the language so as not to repeat yourself or run into duplicate content issues.

Finally, you can use these web pages as a teaser to your gated content. If you have an eBook or white paper, you can make each section its own web page (optimized for SEO). Provide the content for free, but include a popup with the option to download the content as a single asset. The benefit to the reader is that they no longer need to scroll through web pages, they can print it out, and they’re not interrupted by a popup on every page.

Videos

2017 will be the year that video content will make up 74% of internet traffic. Consequently, video must be an important part of your content strategy. Don’t neglect it in your content recycling strategy (or your content strategy period).

Just as we mentioned with Facebook Live, you can create video content based on existing written content. This allows you to get the same message across in a totally new way, with the possibility to reach a new audience. The same people who are reading your white papers might not be the same people on your Youtube channel. But you need to talk to both of these people.

Videos can also be hosted a variety of places, making them a great content vehicle to get your message across. House them on Youtube and Vimeo, embed them on your web pages or blog, and reshare on social media. 

Everyone has the ability to recycle content. But you need to make it a priority. Recycling content is absolutely vital to a successful digital marketing strategy. You can create some of your best, new content from your old content. Take stock of what you have, be creative, and start recycling!