Episode 4: Repurposing & Recycling Content
Ever wonder how you can continue to leverage the content you've created? Robbie and Tim discuss what you can do to repurpose and recycle content over time through different deliverables.
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Quote of the Episode
“Content in a lot of ways should be like software… you download that software to serve some purpose.”Robbie Fitzwater
Oh, wait, those emails make how much every time you send out a piece of content.
Tim, if I told you that, I’d have to kill you. Yes, this week, we’re going to be diving into recycling and repurposing content. It’s going to make it relevant and then how to leverage your content in the most efficient way as possible. So let’s dive into it.
Everybody welcome to Content Community Commerce Podcast. I’m Robbie Fitzwater.
And I am Tim Lowry.
The one and only Tim Lowry. And today, what are we going to be talking about?
We’re gonna be talking about content. But we’re going to look at it from the lens of recycling and repurposing, which I’m really excited because that’s sometimes is a really overlooked part of the process. Everybody’s familiar with, like, let’s create a blog for our site and they write this article, could be great, could be mediocre. But still, they create this piece of content, they get it up on their site, and it’s like my work here is done.
And they just leave it and it just goes off into the sunset is this beautiful thing that they forgot about two years later. And today, we’re gonna be like, let’s, let’s just pump the brakes. Here, we have some great things in the archives. And we got to go back in there, and we’re going to show you how to recycle, repurpose, and why you want to be doing that.
So like I said, as an SEO, I have a lot of content for a lot of clients. And almost as much as creating that content for the clients. I am going and I am recycling and repurposing content in different ways so that we can maximize the lifetime value of that piece of content. And there’s a lot of things that kind of, kind of go into, into doing that. And we’re gonna look at, you know, some of those methods that you can use.
But I think the first thing that we need to cover is like, well, what is what is recycling and repurposing? So I guess like from the definition of like an SEO, like if you’re going to recycle or repurpose a piece of content and more. So it’s that repurposing, it’s finding those pieces of content where you’ve done a guide and think office, where at the beginning of the year is it’s like you’ve done the best off something for 2021. We’re now in 2022. A simple repurpose, going in and updating it for the new year, adding something fresh to it, changing the dates.
And that’s just edits barebone minimums of how you would repurpose it, if you want to go deeper there, of course is then going in and being like, hey, this has changed the context of this is different now there’s something new that has came out around this subject, and we did not cover it. So it’s filling in those gaps. But is gonna look different for each post and how you handle that. But it goes way beyond just that refresh to the right. And this is where, you know, Robbie’s favorite. It’s almost like a coined tagline that, that he talks about many times, I’m gonna let you say it because it just sounds better.
I just want to blurt it out all the time. I call it “Using the whole Buffalo.” And I’ve talked about this for years now, this has definitely been a “Robbie-ism.” For years now, anybody who’s worked on one of my teams knows, hey, he’s going to use the same analogies over and over.
You introduce me to the whole buffalo,
The whole buffalo, the oatmeal raisin cookies, chocolate chip cookies. Just wait guys, when you listen to this podcast you will know all about, we will be able to describe things in the weirdest terms possible. But I speak through bad cryptic analogies and metaphors. And this is one of my favorites.
Because like in a former life as Director of Social for Clemson University, using the whole Buffalo was something I was really passionate about. Because especially in social, you’re publishing every day, you’re publishing very consistently, you need a pipeline of content, and you don’t always have the resources to create new content all the time. So how effectively do you leverage your existing content to serve that purpose, and then working in the email space.
Now, this is a whole different world, because suddenly, with automations, you get to you get to leverage that content all the time, every time and really, you’re going to use that content to kind of play the hits with every one of your customers. If it’s on your welcome series, and you’re introducing your customer to that content, value added customer journey, then that is something that is living and breathing consistently working for you because it’s really value. It’s really valuable.
It’s adding value beyond the transaction and hopefully, it’s going to be tying back to $1 value in your like, you’re gonna be it’s gonna be making you money all the time. 24/7 when you’re leveraging it to its fullest capability, that’s really valuable. And then also, once you’re kind of going one step beyond automations you’re going to the campaign side content emails, a sound worm to a lot of organizations, but they’re typically one of the strongest value driving emails because If you’re driving somebody to your site, you’re adding value, you’re building authority, you’re building credibility, you’re building trust.
But you also have that opportunity to use the same piece of content consistently, because you know that you’re not only going to be at one particular time of the year, yes, you may have some more contextual, contextual email, and some, again, more evergreen emails. But when people are coming, again, to engage in that content coming to your site, hopefully you’re getting them to browse from there, you’re getting them to kind of engage.
I’m gonna pause for a second. So you’re telling me the stuff that’s done. For the site, the articles, the blogs that are done on the site, those can live in email, too, like, we’re not writing different content, to create one hub of content that’s just for email type of content, this for the site.
So this using the whole buffalo is essentially saying like, hey, this content that we’ve created for SEO purposes for the users landing on the site, we’re going to work that into it. And that’s going to be a part of our flow, of course, you’re still going to probably create unique content for email. But the whole concept here behind the whole buffalo is like, we’re going to get the most out of what we’ve created here.
Yes. And honestly, one of the one of the hacks that I’ve always thought about from this perspective, too, is you’re publishing for SEO, like on how long does it take to get someone to rank and drive organic traffic
Depending on the site, great sites, within a few weeks, most sites, they could be looking close to six months, just dependent on their authority.
So as a marketer, investing in content, like putting my Director of Marketing hat on, I’m investing in content, I know, I may not necessarily see the returns from that quickly, if again, strictly through organic Facebook, organic channels. But if I can monetize that content through email right away, and drive 1000s of dollars pay for itself, and then some really quickly, with that content. Yeah, this content pays for itself. And we always joke like, hey, email, marketers and SEOs need to be like BFFs. Because both make the job, the other does a lot. And hey, you can justify content a lot easier if you know that it’s driving revenue and through a few different channels.
So there’s, there’s a really relevant one that right now, we’re both super familiar with because it’s, it’s a client that we both work on. And we both have that ability to do SEO for them. And then Robbie’s on the email side. And it feels like we should just kind of pop this one in. It’s like, here’s, here’s an example of something that’s been recycled multiple times. It was a, you know, best equestrian college guide, came out and was really popular on social at the start. It’s now climbed up and does amazing in SEO, but over the last year, like, how many times would you use a piece like that? And email? And can you use it too many times? Or like what should people be thinking about,
I’m not going to use an analogy beating a dead horse, because I feel like the inappropriate talking about.
You may get a phone call from the client.
Yeah, we may not be comfortable with that yet. Sometimes, it can be used multiple times in the course of the year, it should not only be shared once, because assuming you’re not getting 100% opens or 100% engagement from your audience at any given time. people’s inboxes are full people are are dailies with so much information all the time, you can share that 4, 5, 6 times a year without alienating your audience framing it differently using a different hook, the positioning of it is going to be very different depending on what you’re using it for.
That same email, we’ve drove 10s of 1000s of dollars multiple times through sends and each time we send it it drives, like like, it drives upwards of like 1500 clicks, and drives 10s of 1000s of dollars of revenue each time. But people are engaging with that content, it’s adding value your audiences quickly is evolving all the time. It’s building and growing.
So new audience members are receiving that content, finding the value in it. But then again, hopefully that’s also changing and evolving in terms of what that contents doing for your site. So over time, you what changes to that?
Yeah, it’s and I’m just like, I’m thinking I just I love that so much like it’s you know, it’s out there. It’s ranking at stripe as long as like a full circle of words like it ranks it drives, people come in, they read it. They sign up for email, they then get an email, they may see that three, six months later, gives them a warm, fuzzy and then they buy something just repeat and new audiences just continually adding into that but you know, as I look ahead to this one, we’re probably nearing that stage where you know the little bit of a repurpose might come in.
We’re not quite there yet. I tried to keep up post on it and it shows me some of the signals I look for would be like erosion in the content. So like if somebody’s done something better, where they maybe bumped us from a top spot, and we’ve moved down a few positions, and you know, I see a dip in users per day. That’s my signal of like, we’re, we’re to stage two to go in and maybe repurpose this. And for something like that the repurpose would be looking at the specific colleges and universities we featured. So are they still the top ones? Are we are we on the pulse of things?
Or has somebody just introduced a brand new program put a new facility that blows the others out of the water, and they’re not on our list? So obviously, we want to get them on the list has people or I shouldn’t say people, but again, you know, these educational establishments have they have they added new programs to it, they now you know, add an equestrian veterinarian program that they didn’t have before, well, then we want to update that information, we want to make it relevant.
So that’s stage coming, because I see it as kind of a chance to do a lap again, past all of the contacts that I built with those with the universities to go back and be like, hey, hope things are well, what’s going on? Can we get any updates, we’ll update the post, and maybe they will share it again. And when they shared it the initial time, we got like 10 15,000, you know, social visits in 24 hours just from their posting off.
So that’s, that’s on the horizon for that one. But the the repurposing is is always always there, it’s you know, it’s something we’re content doesn’t stop, people are always writing new posts, better posts, trying to one up your list of 15 best, they’ve got 20 Best things at a stage where it’s like, there can’t really be that many best things. Because there’s so many on the list. It’s like, how can you have 100 best, but still, you get the point, like people are just always trying to one up whatever’s winning.
And sometimes I feel like it’s not so much the repurposing of like trying to get more on your list. It’s just trying to be better about the information that you’re sharing on those that are they’re adding more things like as of recently with Google product review, update, you know, better images, video context that shows that, like you’ve seen and felt and use that product, like if you can be more more intimate with like how you’re talking about something, then Google is going to know like, okay, these people aren’t just saying something to try and get traffic, they actually have looked at this. They’re basing it off their usage. So there’s all different ways you can go in and repurpose, but those are some of the things that we look for.
Yeah, so you’re not again, creating from scratch either, like you’re not, again, starting recreating the wheel every time I know, you’re able to add, add value. On top of what you’ve already added, you probably have some learnings from the how it’s performed. Yeah, what you could do better.
Again, in general, as a marketer, if you’re not getting better and evolving, you’re not doing your job, because you have to continue to consistently get a little bit better. But people’s behaviors and consumption pattern change and expectations of buyers consistently changes too. So you got to consistently meet those with that content,
A little bit of the secret sauce also on the repurposing, so like, if you go in and you make these updates, you change, let’s say upwards of like 20% of the Comp. So if you change out enough things to where it’s like this feels that it’s had some significant changes, like Google is going to notice this, don’t just leave it at that, go ahead, update it to today’s date. So whatever the date is, you finished and just hit publish, so that essentially the post is going live, but it has the current pub date.
So then Google is going to see two different things, they’re gonna see a freshness factor with it. But then you have all of those existing backlinks that your content may have got. So if your content for the last year has built backlinks into it, you now have an authoritative post that looks like it’s just been refreshed, and it’s live. And Google will quickly slide you back up into that first place position, if that’s where you’re at, or they’ll move you up from where you were.
So like, there’s there’s value, like if you have 50 great posts that are performing, but you let 48 of them just kind of erode over time, then you’re it’s hard to keep coming up with new topics and new things and creating new stuff and keeping that momentum. So part of it is just going back and just giving some love and bringing the pub date up. And for most people that visit this site, they’re not going to be like, “oh, I remember that article from, you know, 2019 why is that showing today’s pub date on it?”
That’s not how people are finding that content. So it’s totally fine to do and as long as you’re refreshing it and adding some value Google really appreciates that they see that you’re you’re just not letting things kind of age out and die on your site.
Yeah, that there’s so many so many like great nuggets of wisdom there and so much of this. So many of these ideas really do apply across across platforms to like this is not something that lives on the email and SEO either. It’s something you should be looking at for all of your platforms like what your the example you’re talking about all those backlinks, all of that social proof that Google’s seeing about find that content when you’re refreshing it, it’s even better on the other side, because you’re adding value to it.
Like, I know, in social, we used to, like republish Facebook videos, and when they would go live all the social proof behind as many views, that gives a lot of context to what people are seeing. And it makes the content a lot more engaging. So those are things that kind of, as time builds, as that content works for you over time, that social proof takes over, the value of that content takes over.
And it really kind of serves a life of its own and so many different ways to So, like from this, like ideas here, you can really transfer across different areas of your marketing channels that you know that, hey, if this worked before, this would likely work again. We use this article here for we paid to get people to our site, we published this article and sponsored it to an audience around the holidays. We’re going to do the same thing this year to kind of recycle that and bring some of that same magic.
Don’t let your content be a one hit wonder. It’s like it’s it should it should be the that song Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas. Oh, yeah, that thing is like, there’s lots of new Christmas songs that come out. But every year, that thing is just released, it’s out there. It’s just, you know, it’s just it’s evergreen, as a seasonal thing can get like, that’s, that’s what you want with your content. It’s like, recycle it. And then people are repurposing, there’s some covers off it now. They’re they’re all equally bad.
Make your marketing more like Mariah Carey. Yeah, this is what wins. It’s true, it’s true, though. It’s you’re building an asset, that’s not just a one off, you’re building a business asset you’re going to leverage frequently and consistently. And kind of what we’re talking about this one analogy we were thinking about, it’s like, Hey, this is like, like content in a lot of ways should be like software, like you download that software to serve some purpose.
You want that software to help you be efficient, and meet your goals that you have now, goals and needs are going to change over time. So you want that software to update and change with you different browsers, different updates for items, you want that to be a consistently applied living and breathing entity that that gets better improves and continues to add value year in year out.
Because if it’s not, you’re not going to pay, you’re not gonna want to pay for it anymore. So softwares have an incentive to software companies have an incentive to improve their product, is it more user friendly, improve the improve the experience and improve the value. But afterwards, you should probably think about your content the same way. It’s like, Hey, we’re offering to our customers, let’s make this as good as possible. And let’s learn as much as we can to get the most value we possibly can out of it.
Yeah, and as you’re talking about leveraging it, I just I feel the need that. Some more insights is like other ways that like this content can go because of course, there’s email, which that’s the one that like if we’re honest, like that’s going to be the money generating component to the content. That’s your warmest audience coming in to read it and giving them a reason to come back to the site.
But we want to keep driving audiences into your site. And of course, having your article out there, having it rank on Google is great. But there’s other places you can put your content and tap into different audiences. So you know, can you take this this blog that you’ve written, and condense it down and have it published natively on LinkedIn, and that was something that you shared with me a while back, like publishing natively, versus just linking out to your post, many times can have more benefit and how many people come and read it and engage with it because of course, LinkedIn is desire is to try and keep people within their platform and not be sent.
There’s places like Medium where they offer an SEO tools, if you’re publishing to Medium, they have an advanced SEO setting, you’ll see it under the settings. And that allows you to take content from your site, you can cross publish it to Medium, and then it will canonicalize it back to your site. And basically what that’s doing, telling Google like, hey, this content actually originates over on this other site.
And it’s been used here with permission, but if anybody links to it, or does anything, all that equity is going to still pass back over to your site. So there’s places where you can have your content live. But again, if somebody reads and consume and medium or subscribes to different channels within that, that are within their, their sphere of things, then that’s just getting you in front of the right audience, and the place where they’re more likely to find you.
And there’s no reason to be just one dimensional with how you’re using that content like you need to research and write it and put it together. So how can you slice and dice it distributed, put it places. I feel like that’s just an often overlooked part to how content is handled.
Yeah, so understanding where else you can, where else it can live, how you’re leveraging that. And even thinking about each piece of content almost as a campaign, hey, this goes live on the it’s, it’s kicked off, it’s launched on your site. From there, it’s maybe distributed through social channels after that, publish it natively on LinkedIn afterwards, you may take a small clip of the video that the video that was a companion piece to the article. And you may share that small clip on social as a teaser to get people across to the article.
But basically, all of these are different, just ways of getting people back to your website is the hub, you’re bringing people back to that contents living there, you want to bring the hub that those people back to the hub, because that’s where they’re going to be able to transact, that’s where they’re going to be able to, again, dive deeper into it. And that’s where that you can control that experience a lot more than another place. So this is as other channels as a, again, a of traffic back to your hub. Again, thinking about other funny examples of this, like even recycling on social, like we had a video, in years past had a video about researcher and turtles moving.
This is stuff that they do university research is a big deal for universities. And we had video that talked about turtles, and why this was so innovative and unique about this research. So a few different times on social. And it was it was like average, you got a few 1000 views. The third time we shared it, it suddenly had 45,000 organic views, and over 1000 clicks to the site within like two hours. So we’re suddenly able to drive traffic to it really fast.
But again, that’s those algorithms are, again, what the context of the situation is, they may vary, it may be different, but you can go go back to the well of that great content you have all the time, and leverage it in different ways. And you never know when some of those things that serendipity may happen, where you can certainly drive a lot of traffic from your other channels, but you’re never going to be necessarily reaching the same audience all the time. And I think that’s one.
That’s one kind of misconception that marketers have, it’s like, hey, if I show this twice, my audience is gonna see this twice, and you’re gonna get offended, they’re probably not, you’re probably giving yourself too much credit. Understanding the platform’s well enough, because like Facebook, you’re not going to see your audience is not going to see all of that even email, you’re not going to see all of it.
But if you share it on a Tuesday morning, and you’re a month later, on a Thursday night, you may be reaching two distinctly different audiences. And you just have to understand how to how to met those how to blend those two, you’re probably not, again, overwhelming them with the same content where you have enough in between, but you can really kind of go back to those same hits frequently.
Yeah, I think that that’s such a great example, like the one and done should not get around content, whether that’s just creating the blog post or creating something for an email flow is it’s truly it’s using the whole buffalo is like, how can we take this piece of content and apply it across all of our markets? How can we use it multiple times over and knowing that, you’re probably going to hit slightly different audiences each time depending on how it’s used, where it’s used, which part of it you’re using, how you picked it, to tee it up, what you included as part off, it might be top of an email at one stage, and the next time it might be below a feature product.
And it’s just further down for that person scrolls deeper in the email. I like yeah, that’s it so many can miss out on. And for me, you know, being selfish in what I’m about to say. But being an SEO and having somebody that’s like utilizing these things, and email, it just makes what I do look even better. So yeah, it’s great if I’m growing traffic and getting sales through organic, but if the person is doing email is doing a great job, and they can also be like, hey, this piece of content that was done for this is now also generating 10s of 1000s of dollars each send.
Every time you send it.
Yes, yeah. Like that’s, you know, the return on investment then for for a client.
And for your you know, whether you’re an in house marketer, or whether you’re an agency, like you know, that allows you to be able to really see that value and be able to know like how much could we really spend on creating great content, because no longer you’re thinking around it from a one dimensional aspect of like, oh man, that’s kind of expensive just to create a blog, that amount of research or writing or to get unique images or do photography, but whatever it might be, you know, all of a sudden, you’ve kind of got this license of like, well if we use it across all of these things, and it becomes a revenue generating component over here,
and it builds engagement here, and it drives people to our site here, then all of a sudden, it’s like, you’ve got a much better understanding now of why something cost what it does, why you should invest into these things, why you should take that time to go back and recycle and give love to it knowing that like, hey, two years ago, this was doing big things for us last, maybe we should just go back and reinvest a little bit of time and energy, make it great again, and then just start the cycle over again of reintroducing it into whatever that might be. So I love that Robbie.
Yeah. And again, especially to with like you like having an SEO, doing and can trust, like, as a marketer in any other capacity in the organization like, you know, hey, if it’s gonna be valuable to someone, if people are searching for it already, that are part part of your natural audience, you can assume that if they’re searching for it, they’re likely going to be adding value at some component of their customer journey to so you’re answering questions you’re adding value that your audience is already looking for.
You’re just teeing it up in a way that, hey, we don’t have to assume people are going to find this, we know that we have an audience, an active audience that’s ready to use this and leverage it. And one of my like, one of the other components of this through automation that we didn’t necessarily talk about is like, how effectively do we leverage this later on in the process, like, in automations, we can line that piece of content that serves a purpose with what stage they’re in, in the customer journey, which makes us super helpful and valuable, because, hey, if somebody’s coming to our welcome series, and we know they’re interested in XYZ product, like, again, we’ll talk about equestrian.
We know they’re interested in equestrian breaches, we have a question and breeches fitting and style guide, that is perfect to serve up to them as a piece of content halfway through our welcome series that adds value, because we know, hey, if they’re looking for this content, this is something that’s going to help, again, make the most of their transaction or help them efficiently make that transaction.
But it’s going to support so many different pillars of our marketing and building trust, building authority, credibility and respect that we can really, so it’s most valuable in that contextual moment. Yeah, there’s so many advantages to it that I really think that are, if you can think through the all the different areas where you focus on your content, focusing almost as much time on the distribution of that content, as you do building the content.
Yeah, yeah, you put so much energy into it to get started. So use use that same exciting vigor, as you’re, you know, getting into out there is like, we’re not creating this just solely for x, we’re going to create all of these other things. And here’s why we’re going to do that and use that as part of your thinking and planning. And as Robbie was saying, like, I think he totally hit on it.
There’s like what you’re creating, if you’re doing it, right, you’re creating content that people are searching for, you’re answering questions they’re looking for, you’re providing value. So if you’re using places and just repurposing and recycling, redistributing that, there’s always gonna be an audience asking those questions, creating something where you haven’t taken the time to figure out, Is this what people are searching for? Or looking for wanting to know?
Then your responses might be different. So there is that like, looking in into it being like, am I am I generating what people want, but if you’re genuinely creating stuff that people want, then they’re not going to be upset if they they see it in search, and then find it and they look at your social, or six months from now, like, oh, there’s that article again. Yeah, I want to check that list. You know, that’s, you’re just providing value and giving them joy. So I think, yeah, recycle repurpose. It’s, it’s a necessary but often overlooked part of of content, and, and social and everything else marketing ever.
Yeah, everybody your marketing, like, again, interrogate how you can leverage it, interrogate how you can use it. And there’s probably more ways that you can leverage it than you think. And that’s where a creative marketer, you may not have all the resources in the world, but you can be resourceful and you can maximize the value of what you have. And that’s, I mean, at the end of the day, that’s what good marketing looks like, is maximizing the opportunities. And, Tim, for us, this is also going to, we’re going to probably find ways to recycle and reuse what content we’re going to pull out how we’re going to atomize that content, and how we’re going to maximize the value of this content through the lifetime and the distribution of it.
My mind was was there and my mind also went to what do I need to be doing for clients here were some of those things that I could probably be going back and refreshing. So with that, I’m probably gonna start looking for those two
So, again, value, recycle, repurpose. And with that, we’ll leave you guys. Wait. Before we do, we gotta get to today’s sponsor, we have the sponsor, the sponsor, the unofficial, official sponsor, Nespresso. Sponsored by George Clooney, the beverage by lottery. It’s wonderful. It’s delicious, caffeinated and jittery.
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Yes, that’s That’s not. That’s not marketing jargon. That’s science Okay, but thank you all for joining today. Hopefully, you all got some value. Hopefully you guys are all looking at your content, seeing different ways you can recycle it seeing different ways you can repurpose it. And hopefully, we get, we get those wheels turning. And that’s what we’re here for. So I guess, Tim, you want to call us out?
Yeah. Thank you. Well, thank you, Robbie. We are out.
Yeah. subscribe. Give us a lovely review. We probably earned it at this point. So if you’re willing to review for us, we would love it and appreciate it. And yeah, I’m Robbie Fitzwater and the is Tim Lowry, and we’ll see you next time on the Content, Community and Commerce Podcast.