Table of contents
What is Content Repurposing?
Repurposing content means adapting one piece of content to multiple formats. It helps maintain the high amount of weekly content you publish across all social media without considering new topics for each platform.
Let’s use this blog post as an example:
After publishing it, I can take the specific section of it (say, the part titled “How to Repurpose Your Video Content”) and turn it into:
- LinkedIn post: With a detailed breakdown of how you should squeeze out the most from the video content you publish on YouTube/Instagram/TikTok
- LinkedIn carousel: I can also turn this section into a digestible framework that I can present using a LinkedIn carousel
- Twitter thread: After the long-form LinkedIn Post, I can almost copy-paste it as a Twitter thread. I need to work on a more compelling hook and whitespace, though, as Twitter content tends to perform better when it has a lot of room to breathe.
- Video: Topics like this can quickly turn into a “talking head” or explainer video (if you’re camera shy).
- Newsletter: Finally, you can tweak the content to fit a short-form newsletter and include the link to the entire article in your email.
Do you remember we’re talking about just one SECTION of an entire article?
As you can see, I can get 7-10 individual formats for ALL my social media with minimal to no effort.
Sounds powerful, right?
But with power comes responsibility. And content repurposing is no different:
How to Repurpose Content (the right way)?
While publishing content on multiple channels through repurposing is relatively easy, it may not be the best idea for all content creators.
So, you can’t just “spray and pray” or “post and run away” on social media.
You must show up daily, engage with other people’s content, analyze the statistics, respond to your comments and DMs… It’s a lot of work.
And if you are a solo creator, you’d have to spend DAYS managing 5-6 platforms and probably wouldn’t have time for content creation. So, as you can see, being everywhere is pointless.
How to Choose the Right Social Media for You?
I have an unsexy answer to this question. After reading countless guides on all the social media platforms, it all comes down to the following:
Just log in and try it out, sis.
By spending time on it, you will quickly notice if the platform meets your wants and needs.
See what other people are posting there. What seems to be working on this platform? Is this content something you’d also want to create?
For example, I have many friends who despise the vibe of LinkedIn content. It seems too uptight, artificial, and inauthentic for them to stick around on the platform and show up consistently over a long period.
And sometimes… I can’t blame them
Now, let’s break down the methods of content repurposing:
Three Methods of Content Repurposing
You can scale the number of formats you create by following three patterns:
- Start with long-form: This is a more popular way. It entails starting with long-form content (blog post, long YouTube video, ebook) and repurposing it into multiple shorter formats (usually social media posts or newsletters).
- Start with short-form: This is more prevalent among people who create social media content first. It includes starting with short-form content (tweets, LinkedIn posts) and using it as a test before investing time and effort into creating a longer piece.
- Start how you want: You’re the creator here. Those systems aren’t set in stone and can be used interchangeably if you feel like starting with long-form one day and then using short-form first the other. The system’s primary goal is to help you create more content faster.
From my experience, the third system is usually the most realistic. Repurposing requires a certain level of creativity. It would help if you made sure how you approach repurposing fuels your imagination without making you sweat about being unable to produce more content.
If you feel like you’re forcing yourself to come up with a specific format just for repurposing — it’s probably the best sign to move on. The final piece wouldn’t be the highest quality anyway, so you don’t need to worry.
There’s also one significant aspect of content repurposing I haven’t mentioned yet:
When to Repurpose Content
Generally, you can repurpose content once you have something to repurpose — a complete piece of content you want to redistribute across all your channels.
Content repurposing should also have a clear business goal. Some goals connected with content repurposing are:
- Increasing the reach of your content
- Diversifying your online presence
- Introducing your brand to a new group of customers
- Acquiring more signups for your newsletter
On the other hand, if you want to repurpose because you feel threatened by your competitor’s online presence on different channels — this might not be the best reason to start content repurposing.
When dealing with such doubts, ask yourself:
“Are my customers actively using this channel?”
If they don’t, repurposing efforts are not worth it.
When Not to Repurpose Content
But there are times when repurposing isn’t the best idea. Here are the most critical cases when you should reconsider it:
You can’t adjust the content to the platform
This one might seem obvious, but I’ve seen some people tell others to “repurpose” their old content when they only meant copy-pasting the old piece and posting it as fresh.
While I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad idea, it’s NOT repurposing. Repurposing involves the redistribution of a new piece of content you created recently. No content specialist will tell you to “repurpose” content by copy-pasting it to the T.
The most critical aspect of content repurposing is the adjustment to the specificity of the platform. It would be best if you made it “Twitter-friendly” or “LinkedIn-friendly” — in other words, tweak your post’s copy or format to match the expectations of the platform’s users.
For example, if I post something on LinkedIn, I’d include a short hook to grab attention and amplify user engagement. It’d look more or less like this:
For social media video formats, I’d suggest making the video vertical to improve the experience for mobile users (and grab more space on their phones with their content). So, instead of my video looking like this:
I’d make it look more or less like this:
This allows me to literally take up more space on someone else’s phone screen while they’re scrolling their social media wall.
You don’t have time to engage on all the platforms regularly
You probably already know that social media algorithms demand your attention. If you spend time on the platform, engage with other people’s content, and produce your stuff, they reward you with likes and comments.
Even if you’re repurposing your content, you must engage daily on the platform. The “spray and pray” approach won’t work, leaving your content noticed by no one.
Usually, social media engagement takes around 30-90 minutes of daily work per platform.
Can you sustain this amount of work over a long time?
Your customers aren’t spending time on the platform
You’re screaming into the void if you create content on platforms your customers don’t use.
Usually, when I talk to my clients about their preferred content channels, I ask:
Do you know if your audience is there?
And very often, I hear: “I guess.”
And unfortunately, this is not good enough.
Before you decide on repurposing for any social media channel, make sure to research it thoroughly and understand the following:
- If your audience is using it
- What formats do they consume
- Who are they following there
Answering those questions will help you decide if repurposing content and publishing it on this platform is worth it.
Repurposing can be a fantastic tool to scale up your content output. But it also opens up new responsibilities you should take care of. Before repurposing your content, look closely at your audience and see if your presence on this platform would help them.
If not — focus your efforts on your current channels.