The Value Of Recycled Content

It’s important to take the time to explore the possibilities of content recycling. Much like recycling plastic, content recycling gives new life to something previously viewed as outdated and no longer needed.

The Value Of Recycled Content

As content creators, we pour everything into our work. We iterate, edit, gather feedback, start over, and iterate some more. By the time we finally publish the piece, we know it inside and out.

At this point, many of us opt to clean off our work spaces, grab new notebooks, and get started on our next content projects. It seems like the logical next step.

However, when we move on so quickly, we actually leave something very important in the wake of our creativity. Through recycling and repurposing, every piece of content we produce has the potential to provide additional value to our brand.

Why Recycle?

Much like recycling plastic, content recycling gives new life to something previously viewed as outdated and no longer needed. In practice, marketers who use content recycling rework their pre-existing material into different forms and promote it on alternate channels. For example, a blog post could be repurposed into individual tweets that all link back to the same page, offering the same content in bite-sized chunks that appeal to Twitter users.

Across the Web, audiences have wildly different preferences. Some prefer short and snappy tweets, while others prefer visually stimulating pins. Your job is to identify these desires and then slice, dice, and reimagine your material into formats that suit them.

The benefits of recrafting your content are threefold:

1. More eyes: Search engine optimization will see a boost as you optimize for the same keywords in multiple places. Creating links that lead back to the content and choosing the correct anchor text will boost your ranks for said keywords.

2. New eyes: Because not everyone will make it to your website, using alternate channels to find those readers or customers will grow your viewership and ultimately, your sales.

3. Retained eyes: Posting the same content in multiple forms validates your message. By catering to your audience’s differing preferences, your relationship will strengthen, leading to increased readership retention.

It’s difficult to slow down in the midst of marketing madness, but we must resist the urge to cast off content once it’s complete. We need to slow down and make sure we maximize the returns on our creation before moving on.

How To Give Your Content New Life

Here are some tips to help you maximize your content’s value through recycling and repurposing:

Use data to make educated decisions: You’re probably already tracking views, likes, clicks, conversions, and leads, so it should be easy to see which types of content resonate most with your audience. Buffer, for example, uses data from social and site analytics to review content—even pieces that are more than a year old—and identify information that continues to hit home with readers. Then, Buffer gives its pieces new life by repackaging them into presentations, blog posts, infographics, and more.

Think small (in size, not reach): One of the quickest ways to get started with content recycling is to take long-form content (articles, e-books, videos, etc.) and split them into pieces that can be spread out across time and channels. Take a cue from MarieTV. Every video she creates comes with a “tweetable” quote, giving her already fantastic content longer legs.

An infographic with 20 data points can be broken into 20 different visuals for Instagram and 20 different tweets for Twitter. A video interview can be transcribed into individual quote cards that can be posted into a Facebook photo album. The possibilities are endless when you think small.

Lean on your audience: Anything you’ve developed with customers—or that they’ve created themselves—is a great place to start. Customer-generated content is generally more evergreen and can strengthen ties with other customers in a way that traditional thought leadership articles can’t. Starbucks regularly uses this method and saw great success with its White Cup campaign.

Ask for help: Partners, employees, and customers are all great alternate distribution channels for content you’ve previously hosted on only your owned channels. Most people love third-party content and are happy to repost and share it, so don’t be afraid to ask for their help. If the content is useful, exciting, humorous, or unique, your friends, co-workers, and loyal customers will be more than happy to spread the good word.

Every piece of content your team creates holds hidden value: a second (or third or fourth) life waiting to be lived. It’s important to take the time to explore the possibilities of content recycling.

Slow down, take a deep breath, and have some fun reimagining your content.