5 questions to ask yourself before you reuse content

Henny Kel
4 founders over 30 share why starting later can be good for business

Reused content can attract extra search traffic, extend your reach, and make your message stronger when it’s done well

Everyone is looking for a way to work smarter instead of working harder. This is the beauty of reusing: It allows us to produce something new without having to start from scratch. Reuse is always a good choice when you have chicken leftovers – you turn it into a good sauté, a soup or a salad that makes it delicious.

First, let’s say one thing: Reuse does not suggest that you extract a paragraph from your new book and stick it in your blog.

This involves reinventing something you’ve already produced with the goal of creating something completely new. The best way is to convert your static content into an amazing interactive content in the form of infogrpahics, interactive guides, videos, etc.

Reused content can attract extra search traffic, extend your reach, and make your message stronger when it’s done well. So how do we identify the right time to revive this white paper and when should we leave it out?

Ask yourself these five questions before before you start reusing content:

1. Do you have anything new to say?

In the autumn, for example, your company published its annual report, but since then one of your sectors has been extraordinarily successful. The leader of this sector took the floor during your annual meeting, indicated the success to come and now you have figures that complement these forecasts. You already have some quotes and it is not necessary to schedule a full interview, since a short email can provide you with all the news you need.

You can also use recent news or an industry report that can offer a fresh view. Alternatively, if you have just held the annual meeting of which you have a 45-minute video, you can make 2-3 minute fragments or write a summary with the quotes from the top three speakers.

2. Will this attract a different audience than the original text?

Take an example: You sell recruitment software that is mainly used by recruiters, but they have to demonstrate the value to their top manager. The CEO and the recruiter have different priorities and you need to have content that caters to both profiles. You must adjust your focus so that it addresses the respective goals or challenges.

If you are not sure what these challenges are, you need to do a thorough search through your persona-client, buyer persona or targeted personas. (If you have not recently examined your buyer persona or you are unsure how to create one, you will find many resources on the internet.)

Also read: 3 steps to producing content that converts

Perhaps most of the content you’ve created so far has been adjusted to human resource needs. You’ve covered everything from tracking candidates to the need to build a powerful corporate culture that retains the best employees. You have focussed on offering practical and specific advice to recruiters and human resource management, which is really great. But senior executives who sign the decision to buy the software are not included in most day-to-day processes and they only care about a global vision of management.

Take a closer look at your content, and choose several parts that you can rewrite so that they are more appealing to that particular group.

If you have a part on effectively managing the engagement of a large group, consider reusing it so that it worries more about the effective structure of your HR so that it produces the best ROI if one day you double your recruitment. You’ve already done a search and a few points can be used for both groups — so you’ll have a new game in the blink of an eye.

3. Will the format be unique?

People assimilate information in different ways. To find the solution, some want to read a detailed manual from beginning to end. Others prefer to take information in small fragments. The preferred format also depends on the distribution medium you are using.

The potential client who browses Twitter will probably avoid the “ideal” recruiting manual in 15 pages but an image illustrating its appearance in a powerful way will undoubtedly attract much more attention. If you already have a considerable part of this type of content, you can use it abundantly in this way. Pull out the best statistics, quotes and fragments of information, and make an editorial calendar as you do for social network posts.

Our brain is designed to recognize patterns, so it is more likely that we remember a map or illustration than a paragraph of text.

In fact, a European Journal of Cognitive Psychology study shows that people retain 65 per cent of what they see when they are shown text and image , compared with only 10 per cent of the information being read or heard. This means — you guessed it — that your content should be more visually appealing. Find the 10 most important conclusions in this guide and make an illustration (present them with a computer graphics).

4. Do I have a new way of distributing it?

If your content was initially shared with 100 subscribers to your blog and you have a database of 10,000 potential prospects, then you only reach a fraction of your target audience. So consider a specific targeted email that would highlight your most popular blog published the previous month.

Also read: Definitive steps to a content marketing strategy your customers will love

Your email should be short and captivating, and it should take stock of the subject that your potential customers find interesting. Keep in mind that a majority of readers will browse it rather than read it, so be sure to highlight key phrases in bold and use chips wherever you can. Pay attention to the spacing — paragraphs can only have one or two sentences — and hold what counts most.

5. Do I have a new goal?

Answer quickly:

  • What is the purpose of your reoriented content?
  • What is your target?
  • What do you mean you have not already said?
  • What do you want them to do with the information?
  • How do you expect them to use this information?
  • How will you evaluate the result?

If you are not able to answer these questions, your new content will probably not be successful, however creative and attractive.

Sometimes it is not so easy to measure the objective, but it is still useful. Your goal may be to extend your brand’s reputation in social networks or encouragement of engagement. You can achieve it by prompting customers to ask questions about your product or service and then making a series of posts with answers that you can redirect in several ways.

The takeaway

Reusing content is an effective strategy that can save you time, but it is not always a shortcut to take. If you’re thinking about reusing content because you’re short of time or you do not have ideas to put on paper, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.

Sometimes content reuse can be as simple as rewriting a paper to optimize search results or reach a new audience. In other cases, it requires design work that can take longer than starting from scratch. Yet, if your content attracts more people, offers them what they want and makes them want more, it’s worth it.

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The views expressed here are of the author’s, and e27 may not necessarily subscribe to them. e27 invites members from Asia’s tech industry and startup community to share their honest opinions and expert knowledge with our readers. If you are interested in sharing your point of view, submit your post here.

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