– 8 min read
The content repurposing strategy: your key to avoiding content burnout
Any creative person will tell you that it’s hard — if not impossible — to be creative all the time. Creativity can come in spurts, yet anyone operating in the world of The Internet will tell you that there’s intense pressure to produce all the time.
Content marketing, in particular, has been fueled by hustle culture. Both rose to mainstream popularity over the past decade or so as tech companies dominated the content marketing arena. Too often, content teams focus on the “next new thing” without a breather. No wonder content folks burn out hard.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. A content repurposing strategy can give your team a much-needed mental break. While content repurposing still takes time, it’s a heck of a lot easier than creating new work from scratch.
You can, and should, be working repurposing into your content strategy so that your team knows what to repurpose, when, and — most importantly — why. (No needless repurposing please — that doesn’t fix the burnout problem!)
- A content repurposing strategy can give your team a much-needed mental break.
- Repurposing starts with content you’ve already put time and effort into.
- You can also “remix” your content by tweaking it so it performs better.
- If you’ve got a healthy mix of new and repurposed content on your calendar, you can proactively avoid content burnout.
Take a proactive approach to content repurposing
Content repurposing starts with content you’ve already put time and effort into and reformats it for different channels. You can also “remix” your content by updating old content with new information or tweaking it so it performs better. If you’ve got a healthy mix of new and repurposed content on your calendar, you can proactively avoid content burnout.
Brittany Berger, founder of WorkBrighter and content marketing and repurposing consultant, has experienced this firsthand. For most of her career, she’s been a one-person content team. When she got too burned out to create new work, she’d revisit older blog posts and improve them.
But this tactic was always reactive, admits Berger. “I would only do it when I was too burned out and too tired to write a new piece of content from scratch,” she says. “But after a few years of that, I started realizing that I could get more proactive. I could create less content in the first place and repurpose, remix, and refresh more instead. And then I would just burn out less often to begin with.”
Berger got really systematic with her approach, replacing new content on the content calendar with repurposed content. She focused on building sustainable content marketing strategies that included creating less net new content.
And the more high-quality your original content, the more high-quality your repurposing efforts will be. You’ll have oodles of ways you can repurpose the content because the source material will be so high-value for your audience.
Define your content repurposing strategy
A repurposing strategy isn’t just “repurpose this content later.” Content teams should know exactly what steps to follow, depending on the format of the original content.
Berger suggests creating a repeatable system. “I think the less formulaic you are in some areas you are, like the content topics, the more formulaic you can be in other areas, like how you remix it,” she says.
Your content repurposing strategy should start with figuring out how much content you actually need. In some cases, that might mean releasing the idea that you have a specific publishing cadence (like for your blog). Instead, your team can use that time for content repurposing.
Create a content repurposing flow chart
If your content team has to think through, “How should I repurpose this content?” it doesn’t exactly reduce mental energy and potential burnout.
Instead, you should create a flowchart (Roadmap? Workflow? Whatever you’d like to call it!) that outlines the steps to take when repurposing. For example:
- A new blog post becomes three LinkedIn posts and one Twitter thread
- A new podcast is repurposed to a blog post
- A new webinar is repurposed into short video snippets
You should also include the timeframe for the repurposed content: when will the team have dedicated time to work on repurposing, and when it will be shared (two weeks later, two months later, etc.).
Don’t be afraid to flat-out reuse things, either. Content teams often shy away from this tactic, thinking that the audience will get sick of seeing the same content over and over. While that’s possible, it’s unlikely if you think about how much content people consume each day.
“The only people who are going to notice that your team is reposting content, as long as it’s spread out by a few weeks or months, are your biggest fans,” says Berger. “And they’re not going to mind. They’re going to be like, ‘Oh, thanks for the reminder!’”
While your content repurposing will have a human element, you can definitely rely on tools to help get the job done (trust me, your content team will thank you). Anything that improves the process will further reduce the burden on your content team. Repurposing shouldn’t feel like a chore.
A few tools that can help your repurposing efforts:
- Video editing tools that can easily take a longform video from an event or webinar and create short videos for social media
- AI writing tools that can summarize blog posts, newsletters, and other written content into social posts (check out recaps from Writer)
- Scheduling tools that allow you to easily identify “slots” for your posts, so your team knows when to schedule new vs. repurposed content
Pro Tip: Ask your AI writing tool to summarize your longform content into bullet points. Each of those bullet points then becomes a separate tweet in a thread, image in a carousel, or individual social post.
Add repurposed content to your editorial calendar
Content repurposing can only reduce the burden on your team if it’s not treated like an afterthought. Think about the psychological and creative impact: knowing that there’s space on the calendar to work on repurposing instead of creating new content.
As you do your content planning at the beginning of the quarter, slot in dedicated spots for content repurposing (turning original content into something else for a different channel) and content remixing or refreshing (updating old content). In one of Berger’s roles, the company had three spots on the content calendar per week, and one was always a content refresh every Friday.
Optimize for your content goals
Each piece of repurposed content should have a strategic role. The advice “Turn one blog post into 40 social posts!” doesn’t solve the burnout problem if your team now feels like they’re on a content hamster wheel.
With repurposing, you can fill gaps in the buyer journey. You might want to boost your visibility across channels. Or you refresh the content to improve it from an SEO perspective.
In her content repurposing strategy, Berger looks at three things in blog post traffic, with three different outcomes:
- Highest-performing posts are a great source to double down on the topic across other channels
- Lowest-performing posts might have missed the search intent and can be rewritten
- Declining performance might need a refresh with new information or a new CTA
Over time, you can “repurpose your repurposing.” Your refreshed blog post becomes the new source for social posts. Or comments from your audience inspire additional sections to an existing webinar.
Start small, then expand your repurposing efforts
Since you’ll be eager to jump into a content repurposing strategy after reading this article (obviously), this is a quick reminder to take things slowly at first. If your team is on the verge of burnout, adding a bunch of new processes to their plates won’t help the situation.
Instead, focus on “quick wins” —- whether it’s adding some refreshes to your content calendar or using AI to create social posts. Start with your best channels, where you know you’ll see results quickly.
You can then build out the processes and gradually incorporate more repurposing into your content strategy. Eventually, repurposing can help you expand into new channels since you’ll be able to rely on something you’ve repurposed rather than create something new. It’s a content marketer’s dream: to get the most mileage out of some amazing content.
Check out some additional ways to repurpose events (including more tips from Brittany Berger!) in our Content kitchen webinar.