Internet users are collapsing under the weight of content, whether generated by individuals, the media, influencers or companies. The latter have long understood that a content marketing strategy was unavoidable. Being useful to a user or entertaining them is the best way to make yourself known or to improve your reputation. Content must be posted regularly, which requires a lot of creational effort. Yet, rather than having your nose to the grindstone, there is an alternative: looking in the rearview mirror. There’s probably a goldmine of content with high potential in your previous posts. This content deserves to be recycled; the costs are lower and it will find a second life to benefit your brand again.

Creating versus recycling

Your company probably posts content on social media, on its official blog and perhaps on its YouTube channel, via webinars, or newsletters. All this work requires a huge effort in terms of creation, and therefore massive investment. The return on investment can be random, as the cost of creating new material is high and the effectiveness of the content thus created can sometimes be uncertain or disappointing.

But you’re potentially sitting on a gold mine. Indeed, your content archives can experience a new life, this is what’s known as “repurposing” giving new life to old content.

Delve into your archives: there’s surely content there that deserves to be reutilized. (Photo credit: Pixabay, Pexels)

Recycling content is most often synonymous with saving time and money. This explains the success of the strategy across the Atlantic, where the hunt for profitability is a national sport. It’s up to you!

A limited lifespan

The lifespan of content, whatever its quality, is limited on the web. Sources don’t agree but here is on average the lifespan of different content depending on the platforms:

  • Twitter: 18 minutes,
  • Facebook: 5 hours,
  • Instagram: 24 hours,
  • Linkedin: 1-2 days,
  • YouTube: 1 week to 1 month,
  • Pinterest: 3 months,
  • Blog: 1 year and over.
The lifespan of content is variable, but in all cases, on the web, its days are numbered. (Photo credit: Kristopher Roller, Unsplash)

Also, by carrying out an audit of your articles or media, you can identify which ones were the most popular, i.e. those with the most traffic or the most engagement. No content stays popular forever. If it’s had its time, it might just be the moment to give it a second life.

Popular content: how to recycle it

Concretely, how can you proceed with this grand repurposing?

  • Update. your article’s data can surely be updated. You quoted a 2016 study? Check if there are newer ones! The institute that published the study may have released updated figures this year,
  • Complete. You had listed the major trends in your area. A new trend has emerged. It may be better to simply add it to your existing article,
  • Enrich. If your article is a success, why not enrich it with more visuals, graphics, a video (whether yours or not)? This will increase your potential. Ditto for a video, by adding subtitles in another language. There’s always a possibility,
  • Synthesize. Assemble several popular content pieces and create new content with even greater potential. For example, your best blog posts could be in a complete ebook, or your Instagram stories in a best-of Facebook video.

Recycle content to unlock its potential

Also trust your instinct. If content seems relevant to you but didn’t achieve the expected performance, it can still be worth recycling. Indeed, the reasons for a mediocre performance are numerous and not always related to its quality.

Review the timing

Timing alone can explain poor performance at two levels: first, the time of day of your posts can have a huge impact. By republishing them at a different time, it might take off, for no other reason than the change of hour. Then, in the longer term, it’s also possible that you published too early. Now, the theme of your content may be a burning topic and it’s time to put it back in view.

If you post content for several days in a row, you risk diminishing its potential. Space your publications and vary the media. (Photo credit: QuickOrder, Unsplash)

Try another media

Your content has potential, but it might not be best adapted to the chosen platform. This isn’t necessarily an error of appreciation. It may be that the best platform didn’t exist at the time of the first publication. For example, that short, little remarked video on YouTube could find new life on Instagram stories or on IGTV. Similarly, your blog article on a B2B topic deserves a second, more promising life on Linkedin Pulse.

Reformat

If your content is really interesting, the source of its poor performance may be the format chosen. That long article would surely have been more digestible in a more graphic form . A webinar didn’t achieve as many viewers as expected, not because it wasn’t interesting, but because it was badly promoted. Its interest is real. Not posting the video on YouTube or Facebook is like shooting yourself in the foot!

Change creator

Using your internal resources for content creation may be cheaper, but it’s not always the best choice. Your employees are formatted by your corporate culture, and have their hands tied by your brand guidelines. Sometimes, it’s better to leave carte blanche to an outside professional. Also, trust a YouTubeur for a video presentation of your latest product, or order a sponsored article from an influential blogger. They’ll be able to treat the same subject in a more creative, more subtle way, and you’ll reach a new audience. To do so, experiment with a free connection platform like getfluence.com.

If you publish a lot of content, having a content recycling strategy is not just a good idea to try, it’s a must. It will allow you to take your content marketing to the next level, enhancing your past efforts, saving you time, energy and money.