Should You Repurpose Successful Content? YES!!

If you’ve blogged on your website for a while, you know that coming up with good ideas can be challenging. 

And, developing one good idea into a great piece of content takes a lot of time. 

You can scale this process by repurposing successful content: Get more value from one good idea, and spend less time overall doing it. 

This strategy works for two reasons. First, long-form content outperforms skimpy articles or short blogs. 

And, content you’ve refreshed — updated with new information or otherwise spruced up — gets more eyes than an article that stays the same. 

Let’s look at some stats from Hubspot:

In the marketing industry, the top-performing articles are over 5,700 words in length. (SEMrush, 2019) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics

AND

51% of companies say updating old content has proven the most efficient tactic implemented. (SEMrush, 2019) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)

In this article, we’ll talk about how and why to reuse your old content. And, the concept behind it might sound a little funny at first: You do it by stealing ideas.

Steal From Yourself By Refreshing Successful Content

When you get a good idea, you can create content that will pay you back multifold. You do it by creating something evergreen, that you can use again and again and again.

When we look for new content to write, we review what’s been popular in the past. And, especially, what has led to the most conversions in lead-nurturing campaigns.  

Then, we use this data to decide whether we should refresh and update old content, put a new spin on these topics, or look for ways to combine topics to create something new.  

It’s an idea that works great in and outside of the marketing world. 

Austin Kleon wrote a book a few years ago that still sticks with me today. It’s called “Steal Like an Artist- 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.” 

The premise is that we live in a world where one idea spawns another. While your take on something is original, it is based on knowledge and years of work by others. 

With that in mind, it’s okay — a good thing, even — to take the premise of someone else’s idea and change it up to make it your own. 

In fact, David Sedaris put together an entire book called “Theft by Finding.” He keeps notebooks and writes down ideas. Some turn into stories, and some do not. 

But, he managed to get an entirely new book out of these notes. They were ideas he had started and put aside, small anecdotes from his travels, and more.

So, how do these authors, and their ideas, apply to your website’s content?

We already know what holds our audience’s interest. We use that information to create more meaningful content that brings even more visitors to their site.

Build Organic Traffic Through Content Creation

How To Repurpose Great Content

Now that we’ve explained why repurposing content can make a significant impact on your traffic and engagement, we’ll tell you how to do it:

  • Use Your Data
  • Create Multi-Use Content
  • Repurpose To Nurture Leads
  • Maximize Value 
  • Reduce And Recycle

Use Your Data

Using the data you have on your content’s performance takes the guesswork out of deciding what pieces are strong enough to repurpose. It’s a quick process, and you’ll feel confident that you’re headed in the right direction. 

Here’s an example of how a little bit of data analysis helped me reuse a particular customer’s story again to create more impactful content. Using Hubspot, we see how our email campaigns have worked over the past year. Those signals tell us what works and what didn’t, and what to do next. 

Looking at this chart, I know the most popular emails, what got the most clicks, and what didn’t. 

When I zoom in on each data point, I can look for trends and see what resonated the most with our audience.

Here’s what we found: One of the most popular emails — with the most opens and click-throughs — was about one of our customers and their experiences. 

The article answered one of our frequently asked questions and talked authentically about the customer’s experience.

This data told me that our customers are interested in hearing about others’ experiences while learning more about the product at the same time. 

Now, I create more of the same content and feed it to new leads, helping them along their buyer’s journey.

Looking at the data helps you save, and figure out what works best


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Multi-Use Content

Whenever I create new content, especially new case studies, I’m also thinking about using the stories in different contexts. 

Let’s use a large continuing care retirement community that we represent as an example. They have a few different models of units available to residents, from studio apartments up to cottages. 

Early on, we found that people respond well when identifying with a resident in a story we tell. Open rates and engagement go up when the reader recognizes the circumstances the resident is discussing. 

Here’s how we used that information: 

When we know a certain-sized unit might be available, we interview people who live in those units. They talk about why they chose that one and why it works for them. 

We use quotes from their story when creating an article or email promoting that unit. Then, we use their overall story in a section called “Resident Stories.” It’s a blog article that acts as a long-form testimonial about the community overall.

Repurpose To Nurture Leads 

All the facts about a particular resident and their journey help us feed this article in lead-nurturing automated email workflows to prospective leads in a meaningful, contextual way.  

We can talk about the need to make a decision sooner than later. We can talk about the advantages of this particular size apartment. 

And we can talk about what life is really like after you move to the community. That’s something everyone considering a retirement community wants to know before making this big change. 

One piece of content can illustrate many different points across many different workflows.

Maximize Value

Good content can help nurture leads, serve as the basis for social and paid search ads, and provide a long tail of useful content that answers questions and helps persuade leads to become customers.

Moreover, great content is efficient. You pay for it once, and it continues to pay you back, time and again, through repurposing.

That should be the reason you invest in content in the first place- to have compelling content that helps answer questions and provide leads with additional reasons to trust you and consider converting to become a customer.

So while new content always seems terrific, refreshing an old article or using it in a new way gives you more bang for your buck. 

Reuse And Recycle

Don’t be afraid of repurposing or even re-writing old content to make it better. You can recycle from yourself by sprucing up an old article. Or, take great blogs you see elsewhere and give your spin on those ideas — “recycling” them for your own purpose.

Now, we’re not advocating plagarism here. Instead, take a popular blog and repurpose that topic with your information. That could be data your client has collected on the topic or case studies or testimonials from the people they serve. 

Our Conclusion

It’s really okay to “Steal like an Artist.” Give credit where you can, but take ideas and spin them to make them your own.  

And as David Sedaris’s best selling book shows us, stealing from yourself can also be profitable.  

Creativity is in finding ways to use what you have on hand and making something new and noteworthy. And sometimes, reviewing what you’ve done before and leveraging it to become even more successful is both efficient and cost-effective.  

If you are ever at a loss, check your work first for that next big idea.