How to Effectively Recycle Content

6 minute read

Upland Admin

Studies across the board show that the more content you produce, the more engagement you’ll have. Maintaining a constant stream of content establishes you as an authority in your space, solves problems for your audience, and drives brand awareness and engagement.

So how do you go about creating this content? You could create new content every time you’re scheduled to push more out. This requires a team of content writers who can churn it out quickly, and an unending list of ideas on what to write about.

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But what if you don’t have those things? Or what if you really like the blog post on email marketing that you pushed out two months ago, but you felt like it didn’t get the traction it deserved? Or maybe a piece of content you wrote in the past has suddenly become more relevant now?

Recycling content isn’t cheating. In fact, it’s a good opportunity to: 1) put a fresh coat of paint on an old—but highly reliable—machine, and 2) make sure new audiences see past content at relevant times or places.

Here are a few ways to get started with recycling content, by content type:

eBooks & White Papers

If your team has ideas for gated content or larger content pieces such as eBooks and white papers, definitely get writing. But remember that these large content pieces are large for a reason: they’re supposed to be robust enough to get you through a quarter before pushing out another one.

If you’ve got a two- or three-page whitepaper or a 15-page eBook, release it at the beginning of the quarter, and then use it to fuel the rest of your content strategy for that quarter.

Pull segments, paragraphs, or sections from your eBook and repurpose them into shorter blog posts of 500 to 1,000 words. The writing has already been done; you’ll just need to write a new introduction, conclusion, and headline, and perhaps add a few transitions or change up the wording on a few things.

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At the end of each post, always remember to include a call to action (CTA) to download your eBook or white paper—if they were interested in reading your blog post, they’ll love the longer content piece.

Blog Posts

There are actually a few different ways that you can recycle blog posts, the first of which is actually the opposite tactic from the suggestions above. Instead of putting out your eBook or white paper at the beginning of the quarter and then using the longer content to help write your shorter content, do the reverse: use your shorter content to write your longer content and release your longer content at the end of a quarter.

This means that your content strategy will be centered on your blog posts and their topics, and you’ll want to make sure that you have several blog posts that fall under a greater topic umbrella. Then, toward the end of the quarter, pick out the posts that will be relevant to that larger topic umbrella, and put them together like a puzzle.

Rewrite or revise certain sections to make sure that the content flows smoothly and that your voice is consistent across the board. Once you’re finished, the longer content piece won’t seem like such a daunting task anymore.

Another way to repurpose your blogs is to simply share them again. You don’t necessarily want to re-share them like it’s the first time, though—it might look like you’re trying to package your old post as something new, which can be insulting to someone who’s paying attention. Instead, when re-sharing, include an “ICYMI” (“In Case You Missed It”) and create a new caption for your post. This tells your current audience that they’re seeing something they may have already read, and your new audience will know that this is an important piece of content that’s worth sharing again.

A final way to recycle your content is to tweak the language, or cut out and add sections, and then republish it on a different venue. You could find questions on Quora and answer them by quoting a section of your blog post, for example. Alternatively, publish the first part of your blog post on LinkedIn, or rewrite a section of it and publish it on Medium.

Don’t forget to include a CTA at the end of each of them that brings readers back to the original blog post on your website: “for more on this topic, read our blog post!”

Social Media

Did you know that only up to 10% of your Facebook audience sees your individual posts unless you pay Facebook to increase that number each time you post?

Social media platforms don’t let your entire audience see each one of your posts, so it’s in your best interest to recycle the content that you put out. Again, you can re-post on a different day with an “ICYMI” in the title or caption.

A few words of advice on this, however:

  1. Don’t post it twice on the same day with Facebook. If you shared your blog post on Tuesday morning, go ahead and re-share on Thursday afternoon, and perhaps again in three weeks.
  2. Don’t re-post to the same channel or page with the same caption. (It’s okay to recycle the captions you use to post on different mediums. Just remember that you may need to tweak the language for different audiences: 140 characters for Twitter, no hashtags on Facebook and LinkedIn, etc.)
  3. Don’t post on a business page and then re-share on Facebook from your personal page on the same day. (All this does is ensure that the platform combines your posts so that your audience just sees two posts clumped together at the same time.)

Your content is outstanding, and you work hard to keep it that way. The last thing you want is to keep turning out quality product that no one ever sees, so don’t be afraid to recycle some of your content and maximize the audience that sees the fruits of your labor.

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