Summer after summer, Hollywood parades an unending list of movie spin-offs and sequels, and summer after summer moviegoers complain about it. Here’s the thing, though: Even amidst our complaining we still go to see the movies—so you can hardly blame the studios for sticking to a successful formula. Even now, the #1 film in the world is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a title that’s been around for decades now—proof enough that you don’t always need a brand new idea to attain some level of success. (And sometimes, we might note, the sequels are actually good from a quality perspective; see The Empire Strikes Back, Toy Story 2, The Godfather Part 2, etc.)
Our point is that recycling older ideas is not always such a bad thing. Maybe it’s an idea that your audience hasn’t yet tired of; maybe it’s something that can be easily recontextualized to lend it fresh new meaning. Regardless, knowing when and how to reuse old ideas isn’t just a key skillset for Hollywood executives. It can come in handy for content marketers, as well.
Recycling Your Best Work
We should note that you don’t necessarily want to recycle every single piece of content you write. Always look at your analytics, and see how a piece of content performed. If it was a flop—simply failing to generate any traction—then recycling it may be foolish. If the content flopped because you just posted it at the wrong time or didn’t promote it properly, that’s one thing—but if your guess is that the content isn’t connecting with people because the topic is whack, then repositioning it in some way may not make much of a difference.
When you have a really great piece of content, though—a truly exceptional, evergreen blog entry or white paper that provides deep, enduring value—you may as well get maximum bang for your content marketing buck, spinning that content into fresh new pieces of content. Grammar Chic, Inc. has used our Content Marketing Checklist post not just here on the blog, but also as fodder for a press release, an e-mail newsletter, and beyond—and it’s been effective in driving traffic and engagement every time.
How to Get a Fresh Spin on Older Content
What are some effective ways to recycle old content, then? A few tips spring to mind:
- First, there’s the obvious: Use your great piece of content as fodder for different content delivery systems. See our example of writing a blog post, seeing that it performed well, then summarizing it in our e-mail newsletter and paraphrasing it in a press release.
- Never plagiarize your own content. Make sure that, even if you’re using familiar ideas, you’re restating them in new ways.
- Try writing on a similar topic for a different audience. Your post on 5 Plumbing Fixes Every Homeowner Should Know could provide some good ideas for a separate post on 5 Plumbing Fixes Every Rental Property Owner Should know.
- Take a positive spin on negative topics, and vice versa. A post about the five biggest auto maintenance errors naturally points to an article on the five auto maintenance tasks everyone should do.
The bottom line is that a good piece of content can sometimes live multiple lives, boosting your brand in different forms and different places. To learn more about the basics of content marketing, contact us today: Visit www.grammarchic.net, or call 803-831-7444.
Amanda E. Clark founded Grammar Chic in 2008. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and English. She launched Grammar Chic after freelancing for several years while simultaneously leading marketing and advertising initiatives for several Fortune 500 companies.