We often talk about how to repurpose your most recent content as fast and easily as possible. It’s fantastic to get those procedures locked in as consistent habits.
But don’t forget, your back catalogue is a treasure trove of repurposing potential.
If you’ve been creating content for a while, I can almost guarantee you have a ton of repurposing opportunities in your archives.
Click play below to listen to the podcast episode where I talk you through ways to identify what content to repurpose, or read on for a detailed overview.
Why Repurpose Old Material?
Repurposing older content provides two kinds of value to your audience:
- A second chance to catch something they missed
- A fresh look at a concept they saw the first time but that bears repeating
1. The Second Chance
You can't assume even your most hardcore followers catch everything you publish. There are many reasons why someone might miss a piece of content that they'd still love to catch up on.
Some will have missed it because they didn't follow you back then, or potentially even know who you were!
Some will have been on a break from your content. Either they were on holiday, they got too busy for a while, or any number of other reasons.
For some, your content simply wasn't relevant to them then, but it is now. For example, let's say you did a post a year ago about podcasting. A segment of your audience may have not had a podcast back then but have gone ahead and started a podcast since then, and would love to get the information in your old post.
2. The Fresh Look
Not only those who missed it the first time will appreciate seeing old content repurposed.
They may have seen it before, but how great is it when something you enjoyed is brought back to the front again?
The other day, while I was watching TV, an old film from my childhood popped up: The Flight of The Navigator.
I was overjoyed! It's a great film and I haven't seen it for ages. I was so pleased the TV network decided to bring it back.
I welcomed the repeat!
I also really welcome repeats of Friends, Frasier and Seinfeld!
The same can be true of your old content. Most of your audience will welcome a reminder of great value you provided before, especially if you present it in a fresh way.
Time to Find the Winners in Your Archive
Now you see the value of creating new value from your old content, the next question is this: “Which pieces of content should I repurpose?”
You could take a stab in the dark. But why risk it?
You have a few things to consider when selecting your winners:
- Which were the most popular?
- Which were the most engaging?
- Which were the best at inspiring people to take action?
- Which are the most evergreen (or at least can be updated to be relevant today)?
What Analytics Tools Can You Use?
You have loads of choices of analytics tools, for free or low cost, that can give you useful insight into what content to repurpose.
1. Website Analytics
The simplest way to see which of your past content was most popular is to consult your website analytics.
The best free website analytics tool available is Google Analytics.
If you haven't already done so, sign up for Google Analytics as soon as you can and connect your account to your website. This suite of tools allows you to track your website statistics, including:
- Total visits
- Average time on site
- Bounce rate on specific pages
- Audience demographics
- And much more
Also check out Google Webmaster Tools for more on how your content is doing in search results. This includes click-through rates from certain search terms.
2. Social Media Analytics
Most social media platforms provide a lot of useful analytics data as standard.
If you have a Facebook Business Page you can look at things like reach, likes, and other forms of engagement.
You can find your Twitter analytics at analytics.Twitter.com.
To use Instagram analytics (called "Instagram Insights") you'll need a business account. You can switch any account to a business account in a few minutes.
Instagram's built in analytics are quite basic. But they can, at least, give you a good idea about the popularity and reach of certain posts, Stories, or IGTV videos.
If you want to upgrade your Instagram analytics, you can use 3rd party software such as CrowdFire or Hootsuite. With these tools, you can find out which posts actually sparked off discussions among your audience.
3. Email Analytics
Data from your email list can be invaluable in finding what struck a deep chord with your audience.
- Open rates on certain topics
- Clickthrough-rates on links related to certain topics (whether those links pointed to your own content or someone else's)
- Which lead magnets and content upgrades brought in the most leads. Data on your lead magnets might be the most insightful you have
If a topic inspired lots of people to, not only consume your content, but give you their email addresses, they probably have an on-going appetite for it.
The Biggest Sign of Popularity Without Analytics: Did People Reach Out to You Privately?
Any time someone reaches out to you privately about a topic, it’s a huge sign there's a hunger for it.
Private contact includes email, your website contact form, or ‘PM’s and ‘DM’s in social media platforms.
It doesn’t have to take ages to do.
Scan through as many private messages from your audience as you can. Make a note of which topics most of the messages were about.
If there are any clear winning topics, you can go through your back catalogue and pick out all the content you’ve published about those topics.
Who knows? This tactic alone might keep you busy with guaranteed-popular repurposed content for months!
Is it Evergreen? (Important!)
Your past content can fall into three rough categories:
- Totally evergreen content (e.g. How to be more productive)
- Timely content that you could update to make it relevant today (e.g. Best productivity tools on the market)
- Ultra-timely content that doesn’t really have any relevance today (e.g. Breaking news in the productivity industry)
You could use ultra-timely content to help create new content. For example, if you posted about an update in some software your audience loves, you could use that to help create a new post about the tool’s history. Unfortunately, though, you can’t just update it to be relevant today, no matter how popular it may have been.
Tips for Podcasters
Podcast analytics are a little different from other types of content, so it can be a little harder to find out what content to repurpose.
You’ll only really have downloads to go on, unfortunately. But that’s certainly enough to spot the most popular episodes in your back catalogue.
Sometimes you’ll see a sudden spike in interest on a particular topic. Grab that episode and get repurposing!
You can write a blog post from the episode. You can create social media graphics. You can use clips as teasers. You could create an infographic, a presentation, or a video on the same topic.
If you’re a video podcaster on YouTube, you have a bit more to go on. You can check out numbers of views, total watch time, and average play duration for any of your videos.
Don’t Let All That Potential Go to Waste!
Bring your older content back to life!
Content repurposing isn't just about new content. It's about maximising the value of everything you create and making the most of the time and effort you put into it.
Don’t be afraid to bring back old content that people might have seen before. They won’t mind.
Imagine a world where we didn't have Friends reruns on TV all the time! There's a reason they do that. It's great content and people still love it time and time again (well I do, have you guessed I’m a huge Friends fan yet?!).
Look at the data and other signs you have at hand. Find your past pieces that struck the biggest chord with your audience and repurpose those first. You don't need to take a stab in the dark.
Make the most of what you already have. It’s just sitting there, waiting for you to tap into it!
Tell Us How You Get On
I’d love you to tell me if you have a go at this.
Which data points were most relevant in your analytics? How well did your repurposed pieces do? Did anyone recognise them from before, and how much did they love the fresh take?
Let me know in the comments below, or reach out on social media.
And remember, if you ever need help with your content repurposing, we’re here for you.
We offer a fully done-for-you, end-to-end content repurposing service for all you wonderful content creators out there!