Does Repurposing Content Work? Here’s a Data Driven Answer

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How many times have you heard this content marketing strategy adage?

Write less…promote more.

Yet you might doubt how creating less fewer blog posts will actually help your website pages rank in the search results.

In the current content climate, just publishing your content creations won’t suffice. You’ll need to get out of your cocoon and get your great content in front of your target audience.

One effective way of getting more eyeballs on your content marketing output is to repurpose content on other platforms such as social media sites and various marketing institutes.

Your website might get decent traffic every day but that doesn’t mean you are fulfilling your content marketing potential. But, there are some other websites that are regular hangout abodes for your ideal customers and they might still not know about your brand.

If you can catch the attention of potential customers on these other websites, you can get them inside your funnel and boost your marketing strategy. The best part is that you don’t need to create extra content or blog posts from scratch.

You’ll just add a few touches to tailor your evergreen content, as per the other content marketing platform’s requirements and you’re good to scale your traffic.

Now, let me address one major issue why many content marketers detest the idea of repurposed content…

Fear of getting hit by a duplicate content penalty by the search engines.

In 2013, Matt Cutts said that around 25-30% of the content (whether it be blog posts or white papers or social media shares) on the web is duplicate or repetitive. And, it’s grouped into clusters by the search engine. It isn’t considered spam.

I’ve already mentioned that there’s no such thing as a duplicate content penalty. Google and the search engines reserves the right to penalize your website, only if you’re excessively copying blog content in a manipulative manner.

With repurposed content, you are only trying to increase the awareness of your brand – so you aren’t violating Google’s guidelines.

Download a short PDF version to learn about repurposing your content and improving your content marketing.

In fact, textual blog content or blog posts might not be the most appropriate medium for every content piece. So, experimenting with repurposing existing content into infographics and videos can actually help you score more social media shares. We all know this is good for your content marketing strategy.

And, as you know, social media signals have at least a minor contribution in search engine rankings.

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In exceptional cases, your article or blog post on a third-party website might end up beating the original version of that blog post hosted on your own website in the search engine results page. So, ensure that your article or blog post gets indexed by submitting your URL through the console. Only then repurpose content on other platforms.

To pump you up about this marketing strategy, I’ve compiled a few case study results to color your expectations from repurposing.

If your repurposed version gets loved on the published platform, you might end up ranking with both content pieces or blog posts for the same keyword. It happened with Adespresso.

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Benjamin Hardy was able to get 20,000 subscribers from Medium in 6 months – simply by copy-pasting all of his blog posts on the blogging platform. One major reason why Medium worked for him was that the blog post platform consistently pushes high-quality great blog content to the front, irrespective of your current following.

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Eugene Cheng got his content repurposing game right on Slideshare. And, he roped in over 10,000 subscribers by increasing the views on his slides.

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Alright, now you’ve got some data-backed proof as to the effectiveness of repurposing content as part of your content marketing strategy.

Are you interested in connecting your blog posts and brand a wider audience, without doing any extra research and using your existing content?

Then, here’s the right way to get started with repurposed content (along with data to prove that it can bring more traffic and more money as a result of content marketing). 

Explore your content stack to find the posts that are worthy of republishing

All of your content pieces and blog posts won’t receive the same kind of attention from your audience. You might end up getting the most traffic on a blog post that you least expected.

Your most popular blog posts have the greatest chance of getting pushed further and resonating with more members from your audience.

Login to your Google Analytics (GA) account and navigate to Behavior >> Site Content >> All Pages.

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Sort the pages by Pageviews and you’ll get a sequential list of the most popular pages on your website.

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Bryan Harris, from Videofruit, extracted his most popular blog posts along with the number of conversions they drove. And, he launched his first product that ended up making him $10,000 in 24 hours. This was a result for his marketing strategy.

Also, find your most popular content pieces in the previous month. You can change the time frame from the top right corner, inside GA.

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You can also use Buzzsumo to find out which evergreen content got the most shares on social media. You’ll even get the count of shares on individual social platforms – which will help in determining the type of content that resonates with different social media audiences.

If you can find a series of your blog posts that drove massive traffic to your website, then you can even bundle these blog posts into an eBook or make a white paper from the information.

Darren Rowse of ProBlogger received tremendous feedback for his series – 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. It consisted of specific tips from successful bloggers on how they grew their following and improved their blog posts for content marketing success.

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So, he packaged the blog post series into a paid eBook. Currently, he sells its second edition for $29.99.

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Even while people can access your content or blog posts for free, they are willing to have a tangible resource that offers a convenient reading experience.

Gael and Mark at Authority Hacker did something similar at their authority website HealthAmbition.com. They created an eBook from their existing blog post content, along with some exclusive content and ended up making $2,500/month in passive income.

If you add value and help your audience through your blog, your audience will actually wait to get an opportunity to pay you back.

Pat Flynn started his entrepreneurial journey by selling an eBook at $19.95 on GreenExamAcademy.com.

After his first month of sales, he found that 25–30% of respondents purchased his eBook not because they needed it, but because they passed the exam using Pat’s free content.

The reason they purchased the book was “because you finally gave me a way to pay you back for what you did for me.”

The bottom line is that your audience will show the most love to the high-quality content that they find most value-adding and helpful.

So, find it through your data and attempt to get more exposure on it.

In their month long, no new content publishing experiment, Buffer compiled their most popular blog posts and came up with the following spreadsheet. You can copy it here.

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Identify the most appropriate platform for repurposing the particular piece

Once you’ve built a list of your most popular evergreen content pieces and blog posts, it’s time to find out the most suitable platform for republishing.

HubSpot has the following 2 brilliant tips to help you determine where you should repurpose content.

What is the current stage in the buyer’s journey of the leads you’re trying to reach with your repurposed content? It’s generally easily identifiable from the 3 stages below.

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If you’ve created multiple personas to attract different target segments to your business, then tailor your content to reach different persona segments.

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To quickly identify the persona and stage in a consumer decision making process, say the following sentence aloud:

“Okay, I want to repurpose this to reach person X,” where X is a combination of a persona and a stage in the decision-making process.

With the above mindset, you can think of repurposing content like a matrix and extend the reach of a content piece that’s been performing well.

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HubSpot used the above process to give a framework to their repurposing. They used some basic SEO blog posts aiming to appeal to Persona 2 at the awareness stage of their content marketing plan. But, they ended up filling the whole matrix by creating 9 versions.

Once you’ve got a purpose, here are a few direct suggestions for repurposing your content:

1. If your content was graphic heavy and business oriented, then try Slideshare. List blog posts and expert roundups are also easy to convert into Slides.

Buffer created 3 new Slideshares on Twitter Tools, Twitter Tips and Words That Convert in their no content publishing experiment. They ended up getting 199,000 views, in total, for putting about 2-3 hours of work in Canva for pulling the content and graphics together.

2. If your evergreen content was long-form in the business/marketing niche, then LinkedIn is a good choice.

Content marketer Matthew Woodward recycled a couple of his popular blog posts on SEO, using LinkedIn.

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They converted at a little over 76% to get Matthew a staggering 332 new subscribers.

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3. Medium works great for both B2C and B2B businesses. And, it’s a great way to build your brand.

It’s especially important to format your blog post – the platform audience likes to highlight the quotes they like and share them on social media.

Here’s a great tutorial, by Benji Hyam, on how to go viral on Medium, along with suggestions for other publications where you can submit your post.

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4. You can also create an email drip course from some of your top content. Buffer created a social media course that received 18,185 signups in six days and had terrific engagement.

5. You can bundle your tool posts into a Product Hunt collection.

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6. Finally, you can also package your most insightful posts into a webinar that also allows you to directly engage with your audience.

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Give the repurposed piece a little marketing spin

Your motto with republishing content on other high-traffic platforms must be to get maximum eyeballs. But, since most of these platforms already publish a high volume of content, you’ll need to put in extra effort to stand out.

Matthew Barby got on the front page of BuzzFeed with his repurposed recipe post. That’s because he performed paid social advertising on Facebook, Stumbleupon, Reddit and Twitter.

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He increased his social lift score to get the attention of BuzzFeed editors.

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Benji Hyam also sent his Medium post to his email list and shared it on his Facebook account to fuel its momentum.

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On LinkedIn, you’ll need to tweet your repurposed post to the editors to get their attention.

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If you’ve repackaged your blog post into a Slideshare, then a good starting point to gain exposure is below your original post.

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You can also embed them with your relevant guest posts.

Twitter even has the option for embedding media, like Slideshare presentations, natively on the platform so that you can get more engagement.

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Ultimately, the initial traction will help you show up in front of the editors of the website. If they pick up your repurposed piece to appear on their top stories of the day (or, better yet, the homepage), then you’ll surely strike gold.

Refurbish and republish older posts

Brian Dean is the master at extracting the maximum value from his published content, this is what makes a content marketer stand out. But, instead of constantly pushing out new content, he believes in keeping his existing content updated and top-notch.

Indeed, most of his advice revolves around how you can get traffic without cranking out new content consistently. Recently, he shared how he integrated a case study from a reader into an existing post.

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Then, he re-promoted it to his email list and social media accounts.

The result was a 111.37% increase in the organic traffic to the page.

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You can also try to place your popular content in prominently visible places – like your right sidebar.

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You might want to reconsider the targeting of keywords for your ranking pages. If you can change the main keyword to a more lucrative one in your old articles, it’s possible to rope in new organic traffic.

David changed the targeting for around 40 existing pages on his website and found an overall 54% increase in traffic.

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He first played with Ahrefs to find a new potential main keyword.

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He then optimized the article for the new keyword – including changing the article title and URL.

Here’s how the article on ‘optimizing Twitter username’ looked before the changes.

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And, how it looked after.

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You might be wondering if this would have messed up the existing authority of the page?

That’s why David set up a 301 redirect, using this WordPress plugin.

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And, he manually asked Google to re-index the page.

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Since the strategy involves a permanent redirect:

I wouldn’t recommend you to give this a try unless you’re an expert at SEO and know what you’re doing.

But, you can play with the on-page SEO factors, internal linking and also craft more compelling meta descriptions to improve your CTR.

Conclusion

Gary Vaynerchuk mentioned that Pat Flynn creates awesome blog posts and great content, “but not doing enough to leverage that content to maximize exposure and results.”

So, Pat has taken the feedback to heart and started repurposing his blog content to give it a new life whether this is in white papers, eBooks, slide shows or more. I am sure that you can also achieve tremendous results from changing your blog content’s form and republishing it on other platforms. Start with one platform right now.

Does repurposing blog content find a place in your marketing strategy? Which platforms have been the most effective for you in driving new eyeballs to your brand?

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