What was old can always be new, and that includes your content.
Here’s what you need to know about reusing content the right way.
Key points to remember
- Reuse is great for your bottom line and the visibility of your content.
- Penalties for reusing content are incredibly rare, so there is no need to worry about duplicate content.
- Focus on adding value and / or redesigning formats when reusing old content, and your audience won’t be bored.
Whoever said, « You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, » never reused their content. So, let’s talk about how content reuse is one of the best approaches to creating content that we can almost guarantee you aren’t doing enough of today.
The benefits of reusing content
Content reuse is an approach that takes existing and published content, refreshes it, remixes it, and gives it a whole new twist to create something totally new and wonderfully different. I’m a huge fan of content reuse for two main reasons:
1. Maximize your content investments.
Contrary to popular belief, the content is not free. In fact, it’s actually quite expensive to create. It takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money, and these are things that not every marketing department or brand has in excess of. Reusing content can absolutely help maximize the existing investments that we have already made.
2. Refresh the existing content.
Like most brands, you’ve probably created a mountain of content already. When we focus only on creating new content, we keep adding to this mountain. And that means the old content, even though it’s really good, isn’t seen by users because it’s buried under all that new content. Reusing content can really absorb a lot of that old, awesome content and give it a breath of fresh air (and much-needed visibility).
Dispelling myths about content reuse
When it comes to reusing content, there are a few myths to clear up. Just know that the big plus here is that reusing content is one of the best things you can do for your budget, your content schedule, and most importantly, your audience.
Rebuilding Myth # 1: You’re going to be penalized for having duplicate content.
Obviously, we don’t want to be penalized by search engines or even frustrate users by having duplicate content. But remember, reuse is not duplication, and it is definitely not a cut and paste approach. Instead, it’s a remix and refresh approach.
When you remix and refresh your content, you take a white paper and turn it into a blog post series or take a blog post and turn it into an infographic. You don’t copy and paste, you deliver something new and different. This means that search engines and users will not really see it as the same content.
In addition, you will have to reuse incredibly large amounts of content and also be seen as having malicious intent to duplicate that content. Again, that’s not what we’re doing here.
Rebuilding Myth # 2: You Can’t Reuse Other People’s Content.
This is simply not true. Sometimes the best content on a specific topic we want to write about will come from other people, and that’s okay. If someone has created a framework or posted a blog or has an infographic that you have comments on or can provide your own opinion, you should definitely use that content and give your take on it. But before you do that, you need to follow a few rules:
- Ask permission: If you’re repurposing other people’s work, like creating a blog post around their frame or using their photos in a white paper, you definitely want to ask permission and let them know what you’re going to do with their content before you do it. reuse. .
- Give credit where credit is due: Always, every time, without exception. Make sure you credit them in the final published work and link to the original source content. It’s the right thing to do, because paying homage is cool but stealing is not.
Reconstruction of Myth # 3: Your audience will be bored.
Again, reusing content isn’t about copy and paste. If you publish and post the same content, on every channel, over and over and over again, yes your audience will be bored. But, as we’ve talked about before, if you take an infographic and turn it into social teasers, or if you take a white paper and turn it into a series of blog posts, it’s going to be new and it’s going to be. different. And as long as you add value and provide a reason for readers to re-read this content, you’ll be fine. Focus on other channels as well. You don’t have to keep reposting on the same channel where the original content was posted.
How to reuse content
There are several approaches you can take to reuse content, which we have outlined below. But just know that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to reuse. It really depends on what that existing content looks like, what format it’s in, how outdated it is, and your goals for reuse. Once you figure this out, it will be much easier to reuse the content and see the impact it can have on your content, goals, and audience.
Start with the content planning steps: As Amy Woods, the founder of Content 10x, said on the Social Pros podcast, “Reusing content shouldn’t be an afterthought. Create content with reuse in mind. Trust us, planning ahead will make reuse on the road a lot easier.
Use the 1: 8 rule for atomizing content: At Convince & Convert, we love the atomization of content, which redefines content. We use the 1: 8 rule, which means for every big content we create we should be able to get at least 8 smaller. So, let’s use our 2019 Best Websites Among America’s Top Universities report. It’s huge content, which means we could create at least eight smaller pieces of content, such as:
- Webinar to review results and criteria
- Infographic in social format of the 3 best universities
- Instagram + Facebook Stories reveals the top 5
- Blog post recap of the criteria we used, plus a link to download
- Blog post on how to conduct a website audit like the one we did
- Social quote cards from key excerpts from the report
- Blog post summarizing results and highlights
- Downloadable graphs and report charts for others to reuse too
Update existing content: Maybe you have some content that still attracts traffic, but some links or examples are really out of date. In that case, you just need to refresh your content slightly and repost it. Oh, and be sure to add some new content updates while you’re at it as well, even if it’s just an additional preview, updated statistic, or additional examples. . This way you can bring back audiences who may have seen it before. This is actually exactly what we did with this article and what we do with a lot of C&C content, as references and links can go out of date quite quickly, depending on the topic.
Just like Doc Martens, vinyl records and acid-washed jeans, what was once old can still be new, and that includes our content.
Want some ideas on the different ways you can reuse your content? Check out Jay Baer’s list of ways and places to atomize your content. Or maybe you need some content inspiration? Next, you need our blog on 16 Techniques To Boost Your Content Creation.