Why You Should Recycle Your Content

January 26, 2017
By Milton Deya

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Content marketing is often mistakenly thought of as an overwhelming burden.

How do you keep up with so many popular and emerging digital platforms, continuously creating content while simultaneously managing day-to-day business operations?

Here’s the good news:

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Repurposing your existing content is a great way to grow your online presence, increase distribution, and reach more people without spending as much time on creating things from scratch.

You were likely told as a kid not to throw things away that could be used again. And, in our environmentally conscious climate, it behooves us as a species to recycle and reuse things to conserve our resources.

The same goes for your content. You don’t have to create new stuff as often when you are utilizing your content to its full potential, mining its riches to boost your brand.

Here are some tips that will help you squeeze every last drop out of your content and help you conserve your creative juices:

Adapt your content to live natively on each social media platform

It’s more important than ever before to respect the nuances and unique culture of each digital platform. A brand that wants to share its blog on social media should not simply post the same caption or image on Facebook as on Twitter and Instagram.

Learn the best practices for optimizing your posts on each platform and adapt your content from one medium to another. For example, when sharing a blog post on Twitter, shrink the link, tag influencers, and include relevant hashtags. When sharing that same blog post on LinkedIn, don’t be afraid to include longer text in your caption. Don’t make foolish mistakes like including links in posts on Instagram, which at this time still do not provide the ability to link out. On Pinterest, always include a link relevant to the image.

Next, you can take the substance and ideas of the blog post and convert the post into an infographic or video. On Instagram, you can post a high-quality image and include a call to action in the copy urging viewers to click the link in your bio to read the new blog post. Pull short and sweet quotes from the blog post and turn in them into memes for Facebook and Instagram and tweets for Twitter.

The possibilities are practically endless. With a little creativity, you can lengthen the lifespan of your content and convert it into many different posts for a variety of platforms.

Update old content to reflect current trends

In her recent book, Momentum, a guide that explains “how to propel your marketing and transform your brand in the digital age,” Shama Hyder advises periodically going through your old content such as old blog posts, whitepapers, and ebooks, and updating the information so it accurately reflects current trends. For example, if you have an ebook about Facebook marketing from 2014, go through it carefully. Many things may not have changed and can remain, but you will have to update it extensively so that it takes into account new features, updates, and algorithm changes that have taken place since then.

Brands should also go back and audit their owned media channels (e.g. website, blog etc.). Optimize them for current search engine standards to enhance their findability and find ways to improve the user experience.

Redistribute content for holidays and other annual events

Capitalize on holidays and other annual events, such as the Superbowl by preparing content in advance so it’s ready to be deployed during the appropriate time of  year. You can also take old holiday posts, update them if necessary, and share them again. If that meme you shared on Thanksgiving went viral on Facebook last year, share it again, perhaps with a slightly different caption.

Use software like Adobe Spark or Canva to create easy, motivational animations and graphics to share in your social networks for everything from Coffee Day to MLK Day. These apps allow you to easily create great images that are shareable on social media. Simply pick a background picture, a font, overlay it with a message, and send it off. Quotes from movies and famous people can always come in handy as well. Using famous quotes in images takes minimal effort and always sparks great engagement.

As you can now see, content marketing doesn’t require laboriously creating original content around the clock. Take stock of your current content inventory and find ways to extract added value from what you already have.

If you're interested to learn more ways to leverage your content, download our free eBook, "PR Essentials for Your Tech Company."

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Categories: Content, content marketing, Marketing