The Ultimate Guide to Repurposing Content: Top Tips for B2B Marketers
Have you heard the B2B content marketing adage “create once, distribute forever”?
Create once. Distribute forever.— Ross Simmonds (@TheCoolestCool) August 5, 2020
Most people will spend 20 hours to create a masterpiece and spend 20 minutes to promote it. Then they're left wondering... Hmm... Why didn't that take off?
Distribution folks. Embrace it...
These days, publishing a blog on your website just isn’t enough. You need to take your content and put it on the channels and platforms where your audience hangs out every day.
And that means you need to get started with a clever tactic called content repurposing.
In this guide, you’ll get repurposing advice from Cognism’s Oscar Frost, Content and SEO Executive and Joe Barron, Senior Content Manager. You’ll find out what this tactic is and how you can use it to improve your marketing.
Use the menu or scroll 👇 to start reading.
What is content repurposing?
Content repurposing is a B2B marketing tactic whereby businesses reuse existing content to expand their reach.
For instance, you might take a blog and transform the main points into an infographic or a LinkedIn carousel.
To clarify: repurposing content is not resharing your content or someone else’s from various marketing channels.
And it’s definitely not sharing someone else’s content with your added opinion.
With repurposing, you take existing content and transform it to suit whichever channel or platform you’re publishing it on.
This can include creating an infographic from someone else’s article or publishing webinar snippets on YouTube.
Why is content repurposing important?
The benefits are well worth the effort it takes to create, share and transform your content assets.
1. Increases reach
By sharing content across channels, more and more people will see and share your posts. This leads to better brand awareness, more reach and a wider audience.
Think about this:
Let’s say that not many people saw your article the first time you published it. But if you retool it for a different channel, it gives you a second chance to target prospects who might have missed it the first time around.
2. Reduces costs
No matter the size of your organisation, repurposing content can help reduce the costs associated with content creation.
Since you're reusing content, your team will be available to work on other projects that bring in revenue.
So essentially, you're doubling your revenue-generating activities and cutting costs!
3. Saves time
As we mentioned above, content repurposing can reduce the number of hours your team spends on creating new content.
This streamlined way of marketing allows them to spend more time optimising and improving content, rather than constantly creating net new.
That's a win-win in anyone's book.
4. Supports SEO
Because the more you share your content, the more opportunities are created for backlinks.
Plus search engines, like Google, will find your site more credible and rank you higher.
5. Builds awareness
The more your brand is seen, the greater the awareness and strength of your overall message.
Your audience will also start to view you as an authority in their industry. They’ll come to trust you more than brands that aren’t very visible.
You’ll reach new audiences and form better relationships with your current buyers.
4 guidelines for repurposing content
To start taking full advantage of this strategy, you'll need to follow a few guidelines.
“It's really about where you want your content to go and what lead source channels you're using to get it there. If you have a blog you're thinking of repurposing, you’re going to have to adapt it to work for each channel and medium you're on.”
“For instance, when we repurpose our blogs as vlog-style videos on YouTube, we don't just read them to the camera as is. Instead, we rewrite the script to make it more engaging for the viewer.”
Here’s an example of a video we repurposed from our blog on the B2B sales process:
Beyond this, there are 4 steps you need to follow on your repurposing journey. Here they are 👇
1. Decide on your goals
Ask yourself a question:
‘What do I want to achieve by repurposing my content?’
When you know what you’re working towards, it’s easier to track the success of your repurposed content.
Here are some things to consider:
- Are you looking to reach a new audience?
- Do you want to attract leads or increase brand awareness?
- Do you want to spend less time creating content or just have it seen by as many eyes as possible?
Your goals will be different depending on which channel your content is published on.
2. Research your channels
Speaking of different channels, the next step is to decide on where you want your content to go, and that means diving into research.
“Do your research before you actually start repurposing content because then when it comes time to share, you'll have a better idea of what language you need to use, the length of what you should be writing, how you should break it up, the style and humour needed for each channel.”
To start, create a list of channels where your total addressable market spends most of their time.
- What format should your content take on each specific channel?
- What sort of tone should this content have?
Here’s Oscar’s advice:
“By doing this, you'll be able to familiarise yourself with how people communicate on each platform and discover how best to communicate with them.”
“Each channel will be different. For instance, you'll have to speak differently on LinkedIn than you would on Facebook or Twitter.”
Discovering top trends
From here, look into what's trending on the different channels you'll be using.
- Are certain hashtags more popular than others? If so, why?
- Are you noticing a topic that's being shared and spoken about repeatedly?
These are things to look out for and make a note of.
On social media/discussion platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Reddit, it's a good idea to join community groups and see what people are talking about.
Investigating YouTube SEO
For YouTube, you’ll want to be digging into SEO and keywords.
YouTube SEO is much the same as Google SEO - you want to find, low-difficulty, high-volume keywords that are relevant to your business. You can then repurpose your content to create videos and target those keywords.
Follow thought leaders
Last but not least, check out what the industry leaders on each platform are up to.
On LinkedIn, Cognism looks up to companies like Gong and experts like Chris Walker and Josh Braun.
On YouTube, we’ve taken leaves out of Moz and Ahrefs’ books.
Our advice is to look at your feed on each platform. Identify who the top posters/brands are. Then take inspiration from how these influencers operate. Bring some of their style into your own content.
3. Select your content
Now that you’ve got your research phase down, the next step is to choose the content you’ll repurpose for each channel. This means creating a list of criteria to follow.
To start, create a checklist for each channel. The checklist should include elements such as:
Then, once you have these guidelines in place, audit your existing content. Look for themes/topics that would work well in being repurposed elsewhere.
Just keep in mind that not all of your content needs to be repurposed or even should be.
Joe had some advice for where to start:
“Start with your most popular blogs. They’re already getting traction with your audience and it stands to reason that they’ll work on other platforms too.”
“Look for content that’s performed well or that your audience has responded to/engaged with.”
And don't neglect your evergreen content. Joe said:
“Most content marketers start with a blog. That’s good for repurposing because the content is all there, and it’s pretty much there forever. Plus, you’re publishing every day or every week; you can use those blogs in so many different ways.”
“For instance, we designed an eBook that consisted of every blog we’d published for six months. That acted as a very powerful lead magnet for us. It’s an example of how your standard, everyday content can be combined to create something much bigger and more definitive.”
4. Create and distribute
Once you have a good outline and strategy in place for how and when to share your content, it's time to start reformatting it.
Oscar told us:
“Try out different formats and see how your audience likes to engage with your content. I've found success with LinkedIn carousels.”
“To create them, we take long-form content and reduce it to 100 words or less, making it hyper-digestible and actionable. Then we add an eye-catching graphic. This has worked very well for our audience.”
“However, you might find that for some things, your audience prefers video. It's just a case of trying these different formats, measuring your results and seeing what works for you. There’s no absolute best practice here. It all depends on your audience.”
Some repurposing ideas include:
- Turn your webinars into video snippets and podcasts.
- Turn your blogs into videos, text-only social posts or Twitter threads.
- Stitch some related blogs together to make longer playbooks or eBooks.
- Take sections of your blogs/webinars and turn them into infographics or carousels.
- If a colleague makes a speech at an event, record it and write a blog summarising the key points.
At Cognism, we’re big fans of YouTube. Joe said:
“Videos are great for engagement because they’re more immediate. I think a lot of people, especially in our B2B sales audience, would rather watch a 5-minute video than read a 2k word blog on the same subject.”
“So YouTube has been an excellent channel for us. One thing to bear in mind with YouTube is that it’s the second-largest search engine in the world. When you want to look for something, where do you go? You go to Google first and YouTube second.”
“It’s one of the top places where people go to find content and ideas - so really, you have to be on there.”
It’s not just YouTube that’s been beneficial for Cognism’s content. LinkedIn has played a big part too. Joe explained our strategy:
“On LinkedIn, we've found a lot of success with text-only posts. With these, we take sections from our published blogs and break them down into bite-sized chunks.”
“The content is much the same but it’s delivered in a different way. It’s more ‘consumable’; people can easily read it while having their lunch, for example. People can also respond to it in a way that they can’t with a blog - they can like, share and add comments.”
The inspiration came from the top LinkedIn influencers who post in this way. Their posts often get thousands of likes and dozens of comments. We’ve seen some great engagement from doing this; more so than had we simply posted blog links.”
Here’s an example of how we repurposed our Meetings booked vs meetings attended blog for LinkedIn:
This post works because it speaks to our professional audience and delivers the most valuable points of the blog in understandable chunks.
Remember, each channel will have an audience that expects specific content from you.
On LinkedIn, people are usually after more detailed tactical advice and debate, while Twitter users prefer inspirational quotes, quick tips and interesting stats.
The key takeaway:
Stick to the tone your audience expects from your brand on each specific channel.
Building up a loyal audience in this way can also inform your future content - and lead to more repurposing opportunities.
“We spend a lot of time on LinkedIn and have a really great professional audience to gain insights from. Our audience regularly features on our blogs, podcasts and newsletters.”
“It creates a feedback loop - we’re constantly discovering new ideas to share and repurpose, thanks to our followers.”
What if you don’t have the resources to launch your own podcasts, webinars and newsletters? You can still find valuable opportunities for repurposing in your network - as Joe said:
“If you don't have the resources to host your own webinars or podcasts, one great thing you can do is have your internal people guest on other companies’ webinars and podcasts. In my experience, people who run podcasts are always on the lookout for new interviewees.”
“All you do then is take the podcast or webinar recording and write your own blog based on it. That was a very quick win in the early days of Cognism’s content.”
Top tips for repurposing content
Here are seven content repurposing tips, as curated by our team:
- Plan and create your content with repurposing in mind. Then you can easily segment and share different versions of that content to different audiences on different channels.
- Don’t be scared to go back in the archives and give forgotten content a new lease of life.
- Know what works best on your channels - research what gets good engagement.
- Look to others in your industry who have mastered a particular format; emulate them while putting your own unique spin on it.
- Join forums, communities and platforms like Quora or Reddit to spread awareness.
- Look to B2C for creative repurposing inspiration.
- Always include a CTA - like, share, follow, subscribe, comment!
How to measure content repurposing success
It all depends on the channel you use, as Joe explained:
“Metrics are different for each platform. For instance, if you’re on YouTube, you’ll be looking at subscribers, views and YouTube SEO rankings. For sales podcasts, you’ll be looking at number of listens, while for newsletters, open, read and click-through rates are what matters.”
But, first and foremost, you need to ask yourself: What's my goal?
Is it revenue, meetings booked and attended, direct demo velocity or marketing-qualified leads?
When you know the answer, then you know what to start tracking.
Disregard any metric that doesn’t factor in to achieving your goal. In content, engagement and SEO metrics are the ones to track because they’re the best indicators of quality.
Just keep in mind that while most attribution software shows pretty accurate statistics, there are some that can’t be tracked.
Dark social is the perfect example of this.
When you distribute content on forums and communities, many users will share those links over private channels like messaging apps. It’s very difficult to track those shares.
So to make things a bit easier, add a question to your website forms asking:
How did you hear about us?
That way, you can measure those answers against your marketing data and measure your repurposing success.
“Track the most useful metrics for each channel to get an idea of your overall performance through those channels. This could be impressions and engagement on Facebook, or subscribers and views on YouTube, for example.”
“Always try to tie these numbers to your overall content goals. Don't lose sight of which channels are providing the most demos or website visits.”
“If your content is popular on a specific channel, that's great, but it still needs to work towards your revenue target.”
Repurposing your content is a great marketing tactic.
Sound like a tactic that’s perfect for your company?
One final top tip - consider hiring a marketer to manage your content repurposing full-time.
It’s the fastest way to reap the best results.