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Content recycling

Content recycling – give your texts a new life

Do you have blog posts or other texts that you feel are really good? Maybe they get many views, even months after publishing, or they rank high on Google or attract many new clients to your company. Whatever the reason you value a given text, it’s worth thinking about recycling or repurposing it. This way, you can make even more of it and enjoy its benefits for much longer.

Content recycling is a relatively simple technique that’s based on rewriting or recreating a specific piece of content so that it can be exploited for a longer time or in a different form, sometimes with different channels in mind. That’s the theory, but what does it actually look like in real life? Let’s have a look.

Why should you be interested in content recycling?

Content repurposing makes sense on more than one level. For starters, it enables you to get new, high-quality text quickly and easily. It’s a perfect solution when you’re struggling with writer’s block. 

Secondly, content repurposing can be useful from the SEO perspective. Let’s use a quick example. Some time ago, you got in touch with a magazine that asked you to create a guest post for them. You’re very satisfied with the end result, but obviously, you can’t use the same text on your website – that violates the agreement with the magazine. So, after a few weeks, you decide to recycle that article and put it on your website in a refreshed form. 

And here’s the third scenario – you have very good text on your website. People willingly read it; it generates a lot of traffic and even some queries from potential customers. But that text slowly becomes outdated, and you feel like soon, no one will be interested in it. There you go; that’s what content recycling is all about. You can take this text and update it according to the latest market data and put it back online in a new form. This way, you won’t lose customer interest, and your SEO will only grow.

As you can see, repurposing content should be a vital part of your content marketing strategy. Of course, such texts still require some work. Let’s discuss this aspect further.

How to repurpose content

There are a few commandments when it comes to recycling content. First off, you need to avoid something called duplicate content at all costs. You can’t just copy-paste the same article to a different place online because Google will see that it’s just a copy. Not only will it not help your SEO, it can also damage it. Duplicate content is one of the things that Google does not tolerate; every text has to be unique. This means that you have to rewrite the first text; it cannot stay the same, not even in parts.

Secondly, it’s always a good idea to examine the previous piece. Is the information in it still relevant and up to date? Are all the sources still available? Do all the links work correctly? Are screens and pictures of sufficient quality? If you see that there is anything that could be improved, you should focus on that and make your new article as good and as relevant as possible. If you use market data, e.g., from reports, whitepapers, or even Statista.com, you should check whether there is new data available. Many market reports are published regularly, so if you have a text from 2021, likely, there are already sources from 2022 that you can use in the refreshed article.

Lastly, if you update a given post on your website, add a quick notification that your users are currently viewing the updated version. This way, you dispel the potential doubts related to reading an outdated article. If there are some new sections that you’ve just added, it is always a good idea to distinguish them somehow, perhaps with a different color or with a frame.

WHAT ABOUT SEO?

In general, repurposed content should boost your SEO efforts, not harm them. If you stick to the rules we outlined above, that shouldn’t be your concern. What you can do, though, is run a second keyword analysis. Perhaps now there are a bit different keywords or elements of the given subject, and you can adjust your text to fit them better. If you use tools like Surfer SEO or Contadu, check the recycled text with them before putting it online. And don’t forget about the Helpful Content update – is your new text compliant with it?

Recycle content for different channels

Content recycling isn’t just about written content. In fact, this technique can be used with any kind of content you use in your marketing activities. An in-depth article can easily become a YouTube video or a podcast. And it works the other way round – YouTube video can be turned into a blog post, social media post, or newsletter (you’ll probably need a video transcript for that). As a part of content recycling, you can also shorten long texts (divide them into several shorter pieces) or create summaries.

And here’s yet another idea – if you have a text or a video that consists of a lot of statistics, why not turn it into an infographic? People love them because they are quick and easy to digest. Infographics work very well on social media and, when done properly, get a lot of shares and likes. You can do the same thing with tweets and quotes. It really is just a matter of your creativity.

Furthermore, if you have a list of texts that revolve around the same subject, you can consider turning them into an ebook. Such a publication is also a perfect lead magnet that you can promote through a separate landing page. Many readers don’t want to read tens of blog posts to get what they need. Putting them in one well-organized ebook seems like a good idea. Your customers save a lot of time – everything they need is contained in one PDF, and you get new leads thanks to the content that you’ve already produced.

Content library – necessary to recycle content effectively

It’s a digital list where you keep all of your texts published in different channels. With such a list, you can keep everything organized and under control. Your list should comprise the following elements:

  1. Title
  2. Type of content (blog post, guest post, social media post, newsletter, YouTube video, etc.)
  3. The first date of publication
  4. Link to the publication
  5. When the given piece was updated/recycled
  6. Where the recycled post was published and in what channel(s) – e.g., guest post recycled to a blog post and a newsletter

Additionally, it’s vital to divide these texts by area or industry. For example, if you are an LSP (language service provider), you should divide texts by what they refer to (e.g., translation, localization, interpreting, editing, etc.). Believe us, when you will have a repository of 100+ texts (and you eventually will!), you will thank yourself for having them all in one place.

Promote recycled content

Of course, as always, for content to be 100% effective, you need to promote it. Inform your target audience that there is a new version of the texts they liked. Add that information in the next newsletter and on your social media profiles. You can even run a quick ad campaign and direct it to recycled content. This way, you will make the most of it and get more engagement and views.

Maciej Mazurkiewicz

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