A content repurposing framework can drastically change how your team approaches content creation. By leveraging every piece of content that requires heavy research as a jumping off point for multiple additional pieces, the overall quality and quantify of your content is going to increase.
A seasoned writer comes to you with an article idea that requires interviewing 10 subject matter experts and acquiring product insights with a survey from all of your customers.
This sounds great, right?
But how long will this take?
What’s the ROI on a piece of content that requires this much effort?
Will it drive enough traffic or generate enough leads to make it worth it?
Under some circumstances the answer is no, it’s not worth embarking on this adventure when you could churn out 10 more SEO articles and drive more guaranteed leads per month through organic search.
However, with a content repurposing framework, the answer could be yes, as long as there is a plan to repurpose this ambitious article across platforms, in multiple formats. You will be able to cater to a wider audience and contribute to every stage of the funnel with a single research effort.
Let’s take a look at how this can work.
What is a Content Repurposing Framework?
A content repurposing framework is a repeatable set of steps that converts a specific type of content into multiple other types. By repurposing large, cornerstone*, evergreen* content, you can multiply your content creation efforts while rewatching a wider audience on more platforms.
*Cornerstone content is a larger, more in depth, heavily researched piece of content that can be used to repurpose and reformat into other smaller, more digestible formats.
*Evergreen content does not lose it relevance over time.
The Blueprint for a Content Repurposing Framework
Every type of content requires its own content repurposing framework. For example, a webinar can’t be repurposed the same way as a blog which can’t be repurposed the same way as a user interview. However, there are commonalities across formats and channels and the underlying methodology is shared between them all.
What type of content do you produce?
The first thing to understand before writing down a full content repurposing framework is what type of content your team currently publishes. We can classify each content type as a repurposing input and a repurposing output.
For example, if you produce a weekly podcast or webinar, this is great content to define as a repurposing input.
If you aim to post to Twitter 2-3x day, these would be good candidates as repurposing outputs. Some portion of these Tweets could be derived from one or more of your repurposing inputs.
Chose content to repurpose that requires a lot of effort to produce in order to extract more value from it.
Where does your audience spend time?
The beauty of content repurposing is that you can increase the number of channels to spread your messaging beyond the original channel.
For example, repurposing your blog post into a series of Tweets, a LinkedIn post, a summary to distribute in Slack groups, and a list of email subject lines allows content to be distributed on four additional channels.
Before you decide which channels to add with a content repurposing framework, it’s critical to understand if your target audience spends time on that channel.
If your target audience and prospective/current customers are younger and don’t spend time on LinkedIn, don’t bother expanding into this channel. You might have more luck converting your blog posts into snackable videos to share on Instagram or TikTok.
If your target audience tends to subscribe to a lot of industry specific newsletters and spends a lot of time on email during the day, repurposing your blog as an email newsletter might make a lot of sense as a key component of your content repurposing framework.
Do you publish evergreen content?
Evergreen content contains insights and value that will continue to be useful long after its publish date.
A blog that introduces a new team member or product update isn’t likely to hold the same degree of relevance a year after its original publish date. This is not evergreen content.
However, and webinar that involves an interview with a subject matter expert where they discuss the history of an important industry specific concept is likely to still be relevant a year from now. This is evergreen content.
It’s important to mix a good amount of evergreen content into your content creation pipeline because it will have compounding value over time by continuing to add value to current customers, prospective customers, and the general public that may be interested in the topics you are writing about.
Who is involved in the content creation pipeline?
Do you have a one person marketing team?
Are there separate people that manage your social accounts, video production and planning, and lead generation content like case studies and Ebooks?
If your company is more like the latter, it’s important to have a central content hub where all members on various teams have access to all the available content from your organization in order to properly repurpose it for the channel they are responsible for.
It can also be incredibly effective to repurpose marketing material into short promotional snippets to share on social media for their own personal accounts. Employee engagement on social media can help build trust among an audience on behalf of a brand and also help hiring teams recruit with increased employer brand awareness.
Putting it all together
Taking the above points in mind—the type of content you typically produce, where is your audience, what content is evergreen, and who on your team is involved in your content creation pipeline—you can start to put together a blueprint for a content repurposing framework.
- Analyze your content archive
- What formats do you currently publish?
- If your primary channel is videos, start there. If you publish a lot of lead magnets for lead generation campaigns like white papers, case studies, and ebooks start there. If your primary focus is SEO articles on your blog, start there. Wherever your primary focus is, that should be considered your source of cornerstone content.
- What content is evergreen?
- Whatever your primary cornerstone content, it helps that it is also your source of evergreen content. This will ensure your repurposed material has similar qualities and you will benefit from the compounding value of repurposed material.
- What formats do you currently publish?
- Analyze your audience
- Your audience may spend time on LinkedIn. However, if you sell a product primarily to solo founders and indie hackers, Twitter is probably your best bet. Developers frequent Youtube and e-commerce customers are most found on Facebook and Instagram. Wherever your audience is, that’s where your repurposing strategy should be focused. Don’t spend time repurposing blogs as LinkedIn posts if your primary customers are on Instagram.
- Identify your content creation counterparts
- If you have a content team, everyone can benefit from a robust content repurposing framework. Whether you facilitate their activity on Social to support your brand messaging or if they are part of a team producing content on a different channel or function, repurposing each other’s content is a great way to expand your content archive.
- Establish content repurposing blueprints
- Each action that repurposes a document from one format to another should follow a basic blueprint. By understanding the structure of input and output documents, you’ll be able to apply a repeatable set of operations to every similar piece of content.
- Example blueprint: Repurpose blog as Twitter thread.
- Step 1: Identify main headers of the blog. These are typically identified as the “h tags” (h1, h2, h3, and so on). These operate as the main topics of each group of Tweets. For example, the first two tweets of the thread summarize the first subsection, the next two summarize the second subsection, etc.
- Step 2: Use a summarizing tool like Automata or summarize each section manually.
- Step 3: Make sure there is a coherent train of thought similar to the original blog and that each Tweet is formatted correctly with appropriate hashtags.
- The example above is fairly trivial since the format of a blog lends itself to a Twitter thread thanks to its basic structure. When we are repurposing more complex content like a webinar or a case study, it may take a bit more creativity to understand the core structure of the document or video.
The Key to Success: Consistency
No content repurposing framework will be effective unless it is executed with consistency. Without consistency, the overall result will be publishing fewer pieces of content resulting in less than stellar marketing results.
If we revisit the decision in the introduction to go ahead with the research-heavy article that only makes sense with a robust repurposing plan, the result without consistency is just the original article alone which may reach very few people on a single channel, community, or platform.
Content creation often takes the front seat in content marketing strategies. After all, the creation of high quality, well researched content is critical. However, even the best content in your industry holds very little value without a proper distribution strategy.
Many high quality videos and articles are simply posted and we wait for the benefits of SEO to kick in, and this can work great in some cases when we nail the correct keyword profile and really address an urgent need of your audience. But this can’t always be relied upon. There are more predictable benefits of actively promoting and distributing your article or video in communities, social media, and investing in backlink outreach.
The Penalty of Inconsistency
Social platforms like LinkedIn reward consistency in more ways than one. Not only does your audience, connections, and followers get to know you with consistent content, you need to give the algorithm a chance to understand the value you are providing. It is hard to post every day, and at times it may not be worth it, but when ideas are hard to come by, looking back at an old blog post, Twitter thread, or promotional video to repurpose is the quickest way to keep that consistency on social.
Consistency for SEO is also critical. Publishing one article per month, unless it’s a 10,000 word behemoth, is not going to get you anywhere on the SERPs. A consistent flow of relevant, niche-specific, and timely posts is required for the search engines to consider your domain a reputable source of information for your target audience.
The penalty for inconsistent content creation is weak distribution on social, a slow climb up the SERPs, and a target audience who has forgotten who you are since the last piece of content you published.
A repeatable content repurposing framework can solve most of your consistency problems. Every single evergreen piece can produce 5-10 additional pieces of content for multiple platforms and audience segments.
To be successful with a content repurposing framework, you need to first understand the primary content channels that you are already publishing on, where your audience spends most of its time, which type of content is most likely to be evergreen, and who in your team is most closely involved in content creation and distribution so everyone can benefit from the compounding value of a solid repurposing plan.