7 Ways to Dissect and Repurpose Legacy Content in 2022

reuse marketing content

Too often, brands spend all of their content production energy, time, and resources on creating brand new content. No sooner is a fresh blog post published than it’s abandoned for a replacement. The content team looks more like an assembly line, churning out new content as they constantly worry about what’s “new and next.” Enough is enough. It’s time to consider reusing your marketing content.

Instead of always creating a brand new piece of content around a brand new idea, take a look back at the legacy content you’ve already created. We can almost guarantee that there are some quality content gems just begging for a bit of new polish. It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes the best way to bring something new to your content strategy is to repurpose content you’ve already created.  

To help guide your content repurposing efforts, we’ve laid out SEVEN of our favorite ways to dissect, repurpose, and reuse legacy content.

Why Repurpose Older Content?

How long does it take your team to produce a piece of quality content?

Counting all the time your team invests in its production, including topic brainstorming, project management, design support – even time spent loading the content on your website.

Spoiler: it’s not a small number.

Studies have found that it can take 3 to 5 hours to write a standard 1,000-word blog post, and that doesn’t include all of the support efforts. Add those in, and the total time investment is closer to 8 to 10 hours for a standard post (longer if it’s a piece of heavily designed content, an Ebook, or a video).

That’s a big investment to spend on a post that might only live on your social media feeds and email newsletter for a week (if you’re lucky). This expected content half-life is one of the main reasons top successful marketers include repurposing and reusing legacy content in their content strategy.

Think about all the research and prep that went into creating that initial piece of content. When you repurpose a piece of content, you’re able to leverage that research to create a new piece in less time. Instead of taking 10 hours to write a single new blog post, your team’s total investment to create a new blog post and a follow up separate infographic that uses the same supporting research at a net cost of 7 hours per content piece.

Lower production cost isn’t the only reason to repurpose legacy content. Repurposing content also allows you to:

  1. Re-communicate key brand messaging, points of market differentiation, and your key value propositions.
  2. Reach a new audience that might not have been exposed to the original content source.
  3. Drive more fan engagement by presenting your content in a different format.

Ready to get started?

Here Are 7 Ways to Dissect and Repurpose Marketing Content to Drive Increased Engagement

1) Conduct an Audit of your Evergreen Content

Before you can go all slice-and-dice on your legacy content, you first need to audit and dissect your content to determine what evergreen content you have available for repurposing. Investing time and resources into repurposing an outdated post on an outdated subject won’t do you any good, so leave that “10 Ways To Market Your Business on Vine” post behind.

Focus your audit on identifying content pieces that stand the test of time (i.e. “evergreen”). While tactics and specifics change as channels and systems evolve, true strategic advice and recommendations tend to stay relevant over the long-term. In addition, check the website analytics on legacy blog posts to see which got the most views and page visits with your audience. If it was popular once, chances are, with a few updates and tweaks, it can be just as popular again.

2) Mix Up the Format

One of the easiest ways to start repurposing your content is to simply communicate the same material in a new format. Not only does this require a minimal amount of time and effort (most of the work is already done), but it also helps drive new fan engagement.

Every person that engages with your brand has a different media consumption preference. Some in your audience only read blog posts, while others enjoy more visual mediums like infographics or videos. By mixing up your content format, you’re able to tap into a new audience every time.

Pro Tip: If you’re sitting on a mountain of blog posts, consider repurposing those written words into more visually appealing formats including:

  • Infographics
  • Slideshows
  • Checklists
  • Image Stats
  • Videos

3) Shake Up the Length

Mixing up the media format isn’t the only way to repurpose legacy content; you should also consider changing up the length of the content piece. Could you create a more valuable piece of content if you add in a new section or two? Conversely, could you take a longer piece of content and slice-and-dice it in order to turn it into several smaller (or more digestible) pieces of content.

Take a look at the Ebooks your content marketing team has created. Often times, you can create a brand new piece of content by pulling out a section of an Ebook and adding in an introduction or conclusion.

Not only is this a quick way to turn around a new piece of content, but it’s also a helpful tool for marketing the full Ebook. The new content piece acts as a teaser, providing the reader with a taste of what’s to come if they download the book.

4) Bundle Around A Topic

Speaking of Ebooks (and other long-form content pieces), a common tactic for repurposing content is to explore opportunities to bundle existing smaller content pieces together into a new piece of content.

As part of your evergreen content audit, identify the topics and ideas of each individual content piece. Look for similarities in topic or ideas to strategize larger pieces of content that can be created by stitching together these individual content pieces.  

A more advanced approach is to think of each piece of legacy content as its own component that can be plugged into different long-form pieces of content as needed. With a bit of polish and a small amount of rewriting, it’s possible to mix-and-match the same source content pieces into a near-endless supply of long-form content.

5) Update Existing Posts

If you’ve got a great piece of content that’s a few years old, there’s going to be a bit of rust on some of your posts. Not all references age well (RIP Foursquare).

Instead of investing time in a new post, consider updating an older post. Updating posts is less about reinventing the wheel and more about ensuring that content stays relevant over time.

Don’t feel like you have to hide this update either! Many brands and content marketers celebrate the updating process. Your industry is also evolving all the time, and by acknowledging these changes, it shows your readers you are staying on top of changes as a thought leader.

You often see this in the form of lists like, “The Top X of 2019.” Some aspects of the new lists will be consistent from the previous year, while a few new items are added to ensure it’s current to today’s audience needs.

6) Lean Into New Media – Shorts, Reels, TikToks,

Combining tips 2 and 3, if you haven’t already embraced the viewing-driving magic of newer content placements, now’s the time to shake up your content marketing stream and lean into Instagram Reels, TikToks, and YouTube Shorts.

What do we mean by that?

Take YouTube, for instance. Did you know you can cut and repurpose your existing YouTube videos into YouTube Shorts in less than 5 minutes?

  • Step 1: Head to your YouTube video on the YouTube mobile app.
  • Step 2: Hit the create button underneath the video.
  • Step 3: Select Create Short.
  • Step 4: Cut the longer YouTube video into a 60-second summary using the native editing software.
  • Step 5: Add music, hashtags, copy, voice-over, and other bells and whistles that create a quality short.
  • Step 6: Publish.

There you go! In just a few minutes, you’ve turned a legacy piece of content into a brand new goldmine of social media greatness – all without taking on the cost of creating a net-new piece.

7) Recreate Content For a New Audience

Sure, you might have primary and secondary audiences, but we’ll bet dollars-to-donuts that they share some similar nuances. In many instances, its possible to reframe your content simply by tweaking phrasing, vernacular, and a couple of different facts and figures to have a piece of content speak to a brand new audience.

Case in point, if you’re targeting established Moms and new Moms, you can share generalized points, then substitute the specific age of kids (toddlers vs. teenagers), to suddenly turn the content into a piece that can be related to both audiences.

Bonus Tip: Reshare Older Content

We included this tip as a bonus because, technically, it doesn’t involve repurposing any content. Chances are that while you were going through your audit, you found content that was perfect as-is. It was still timely, it was relevant to your audience needs, and it was true to your brand.

Re-share it.

Don’t worry about repurposing it, republishing it, or giving it a new title. If it’s been over a year since it was first published, it’s more than likely that your newest audience growth doesn’t even realize it’s there.

So, re-share it!

Post it to your social pages. Better yet, share it through your fan advocacy program to help further amplify its reach (without having to spend money on paid social ads, might we add).

Don’t get caught in the trap of assuming each of your fans has been exposed to every piece of content you have.

Earn More From Your Content

The more you are able to reuse or repurpose an existing piece of content, the more value you are able to earn from it. It all starts with having a strong content marketing plan.

Focus your initial content creation efforts on producing well-researched, evergreen content pieces. Then continue to reuse and repurpose those pieces as part of your long term content marketing efforts.

You’ve got the content, we’ve got the team. Let SocialToaster help you breathe new life into your legacy content. Learn more by emailing us atinfo@socialtoaster.com.

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