content repurposing

4 Common Mistakes You Must Avoid In Content Repurposing

Repurposing content sparks joy.

One of the reasons I canceled most of my training contracts back in the day was the limited impact.

Training 20-30 people at a time is great. You can bond with them and work with every single one.

But I switched to blogging, conferences, and then content repurposing because I felt locked. 

My time is limited. If I have 6 hours for training or coaching a week, I want to MAXIMIZE them. Reach as many folks as possible and help out people who would otherwise not be able to attend (or pay an entry ticket).

Here’s how to adopt the repurposing mindset yourself. 

10% creation, 30% repurposing, 60% distribution.

However, those who lack expertise and experience in repurposing content often stumble and commit mistakes that can cause the entire content marketing strategy to falter.

If you want to execute your content marketing strategy flawlessly, then check below the 4 common mistakes you must avoid in content repurposing.

1. Picking Random Content and Posting Randomly

Decide which parts of your content need to be repurposed. Repurposing a blog post as a Facebook status can be implemented in several different ways.

Headline Variations

The title of a post usually requires a revamp for Facebook. B2C brands especially bet on clickbait and other viral techniques which would tempt a reader to read a post. The average attention span of a social media post in a feed is around 3 seconds, which means that intercepting one’s attention should happen instantaneously.

Moreover, you can only provide one headline for a post title. On Facebook, you can test other variations and A/B test different texts and images.

Facebook Audience

Facebook statuses are usually aimed for one of the following two groups:

  • Page/Group fans
  • Custom audiences

The first group may not represent the majority of your blog readers.

Let’s assume that a website receives 60,000 monthly views or 2K/day on average. Its Facebook group has 20,000 likes.

Sharing a post generates ~2% CTR, or 400 Facebook viewers. About 1100 are organic searches, 200 from Twitter and LinkedIn, 300 from email and direct.

98% of Facebook fans don’t interact with the content directly. And 80% of the website’s traffic isn’t the same group that likes the page (roughly speaking).

Which is why the group may target a slightly different audience – requiring a different approach.

Custom audiences work in a similar way. A post title may be suitable for a large group of visitors (and applicable from an SEO standpoint), but a targeted niche audience may convert through a more relatable headline.

Facebook remarketing is another story – which could be approached like this.

Emotional vs. Logical

Neil Patel often suggests swapping logical copy with emotional during retargeting campaigns.

Designing a landing page with “hard data” (stats, numbers, quotes) is the most effective approach for some. Others are more inclined to purchase with an emotional pitch.

You can experiment with two different statuses applying each technique separately.

Option 1:

“Converting 235% extra customers with XYZ – Interview with John Smith”

Option 2:

“How Z’s non-profit helped more schools get the education our kids deserve.”

Reusable Snippets

There’s a pretty handy service (available as a WordPress plugin, too) called Twitter advertising & marketing tool · ClickToTweet.com. It lets you extract short snippets that fit into a tweet, with a button that automatically shares them.

Consider your tweetables as snippets that would fit Facebook, too. Prepare 5–6 key techniques or other excerpts that spark interest in your readers. Schedule them over the course of a couple of weeks and see what works for your audience.

Those tips are not conclusive – and you can experiment as much as you can. Keeping track of your analytics (both Facebook and Google) will help you figure out what your audience responds to and how to optimize your headlines in the future.

2. Focusing On Quantity Over Quality

high quality content

Needless to say, a high volume of extraordinary articles is the best-case scenario.

Of course, this is an expensive endeavor. Moreover, there’s a problem with tons of content hitting your blog index at first.

  • Content production is contingent on content strategy.
  • Your business needs to tailor its target market.
  • Buyer personas determine the type of content to be published.
  • The buyer’s journey goes through different phases – each one to be covered with a different piece.
  • Target keywords could be set at first – but the list evolves with time.

This justifies investing in top-notch content first.

Experienced marketers can afford to focus on low-volume, high impact content. Brian Dean from Backlinko has published approximately 50 posts generating somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 monthly views.

Of course, Brian is an experienced SEO expert who managed to fail in 5 different online businesses before finding his niche and building Backlinko. He has been published in Inc., Forbes, Entrepreneur, The Huffington Post, SocialMediaToday, among many others.

…and Brian invests in additional marketing channels – such as video tutorials on YouTube.

Unless you really know what you’re doing, implementing a mix of quality and regularity is a good starting point.

Several Techniques to Avoid

  • Spinning articles.
  • Republishing existing content written by other authors.
  • Writing mediocre content that serves no value whatsoever.
  • Writing extremely short posts – 300–500 words. Not only they won’t get ranked, but you can’t really describe anything in details within just a few paragraphs.

Consider publishing 2–3 pieces a week on topics that seem relevant to your target audience. Length could be somewhere between 1,200 and 1,500 words for starters. Sure, some could be shorter, others – longer, but that’s a rough starting plan.

After the first couple of months, you’ll end up with ~20 posts of an acceptable length. If your industry isn’t overly saturated, you may start seeing some results sooner, within the first few months. Niches that focus on content marketing may require 12–18 months until you rank for a good number of keywords – and reiterate further.

3. Overlooking Internal Ranking

High volume may lead to internal competition.

One thing that bloggers and content marketers overlook is internal ranking competition. If you write several pieces on the same topic, Google may fail to figure out which page to rank first, leading to split batches of traffic pointed to different resources instead.

This hybrid plan of “okay” content with some regularity will give you some pointers after browsing your Google Search Console (and, ideally, other tools like SEMrush, Moz, or Ahrefs). Finding some early signals that some of your pieces do well is an indication of “needs improvement”.

Expand on the topics that generate some views. Consider merging other pages into the top one, including a redirect to the main page. Generate some backlinks and/or repurpose some of this content by republishing it on Medium, LinkedIn Pulse, or through generating lead magnets, infographics, checklists.

Bottom line, low-quality content won’t help you rank. High-quality content is extremely hard to produce, takes time, and costs a lot.

Using the hybrid approach will help rank slowly for a few long-tail keywords, which will help you focus on the top pieces and make them stand out later on.

producing high quality content

4. Relying Solely On Books

I don’t think there are any decent books on content repurposing and distribution.

The industry evolves way too fast. A proper book may take a couple of years from starting to publishing on Amazon (with a publishing house, print format).

New marketing channels pick up traction and there is a sweet spot of 6–18 months until that channel gets oversaturated.

Bloggers write ebooks (again, for lead generation) on that specific topic – one sample being Repurposing Content E-Book – SmartBug Media which isn’t too bad.

Aside from that, looking for “content repurposing” on Google will yield a good list of resources (checklist) and channel ideas for people interested in expanding their reach with minimum effort (also known as “working smart”), examples:

You’ll find that there’s an overlap between many of the listicles. That’s normal – some may scrape sample topics from 5 other blogs and combine them into one. The skyscraper technique by Brian Dean is often exploited in a similar way by newbies.

How to Look for Resources and Opportunities

Instead of looking for books, follow the top marketers online, subscribe for some innovative marketing blogs and podcasts, follow Product Hunt, Inbound.org, the Growth Hackers community and make sure you are open to upcoming trends.

For instance, late in 2017, LinkedIn announced that they would start supporting video. Since this is a new initiative, they would be more willing to promote that more prominently than articles or posts until people get comfortable using it.

It’s also the medium used by the second largest search engine (YouTube), Facebook Live, and even Instagram/Snapchat. So it’s definitely a winner.

Telegram launched that around the same time. If you were using Telegram, that could have been a good excuse for starting.

Once you start recording videos on LinkedIn or Telegram, you can:

  • Publish them on YouTube.
  • Transcribe them as blog posts.
  • Extract the audio for a new podcast.
  • Pick the best quotes for an Instagram post with a photo.
  • Create a Slideshare presentation from the best nuggets.
  • Schedule a webinar (props Eric Siu for the idea).
  • Compile videos as a paid video training.

Videos are slightly easier since they are content-rich (video, audio, plenty of content). But I’ve reversed the process and I often record videos based on my Quora answers used as a script.

Note that I did not get these types of information by sifting through books, but by following top marketing experts and keeping myself updated with the latest trends online, as well as implementing my own content marketing strategy.

repurposing content

Bonus

I get asked about my content schedule and repurposing habits A LOT.

Truth is, I publish at least one blogpost a week, a couple of videos, I’ve recently started a podcast, publishing a guest post every week or two, and recycle some content for LinkedIn Pulse, Medium, or other networks.

Plus, all of that takes between 12 and 15 hours a week.

My process is fairly straightforward. Spoiler alert: it is heavily reliant on Quora. 

If you want to streamline your content writing and delivery process, check out my workflow and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Your thoughts?