How to Repurpose Content For Social Media and Optimise Your Time

by Josh Barney
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Your audience is hungry for entertainment and education, and the competition has never been more intense. 

The best solution – more content. 

But, as you already know, creating quality content takes time and resources that you don’t always have. 

Your choices: 

  1. Work longer hours
  2. Sacrifice other tasks 
  3. Hire somebody

But, what if I was to tell you that there’s an easier way? 

Instead of rearranging your work balance, you can multiply your existing messages and takeaways by repurposing content like videos, podcasts, blogs, ebooks and posts for social media. 

There are over 43 million Apple podcast episodes (January 2021).

Source

If you’re managing a social channel, creating blogs, podcasts or videos, or building a brand reliant on content marketing – stick around. 

In this guide to repurposing content for social media, you’ll discover how to better optimise your time, amplify your messages and increase your reach online. 

What is Repurposing Content For Social Media?

Repurposing content is the act of refreshing, editing or adapting your existing content into many more pieces of content. 

When you repurpose for social media, you’ll have to sift through your existing content and pull out the best parts. 

social media content creator

For example, from a blog post, you could create videos, audio files, carousels, quotes, stats, facts, how-tos and much more…

This has become a popular content marketing tactic with creators and brands, as it: 

  • Amplifies an Existing Message Across Different Channels: A blog post or podcast doesn’t make a great Instagram post, but a carousel repurposed from that content does. 
  • Reaches New Audiences: Everyone has different content habits – some of us watch, others prefer to listen or read – repurposed content reaches every segment of the market.
  • Is Fast: Repurposed content doesn’t require fresh ideas, new information or research – everything has already been thought-up and published. 
  • Is Already Branded: Social media posts repurposed from your existing content have already been created in your brand’s voice – making it ready-made branded content.
  • Saves Time and Resources: When done correctly, repurposed content saves time and resources (more on this later). 

Why Should You Repurpose Content For Social Media

The fight for your target audience’s attention is intensifying – and it’s near-impossible to create enough high-quality content for all your channels unless you’re a big brand with a large content team. 

In order to maximise your social profiles as marketing channels and achieve peak reach, engagement and follower sizes, you’re going to need to post:

  • 1-2x every day on Instagram
  • 1-2x every day on Facebook
  • 3-8x every day on Twitter
  • 1-2x every day on LinkedIn

And that’s before we get into any niche channels and distribution hot-spots that need managing. 

What you’re facing, as a content marketer, creator, entrepreneur or marketer, is an insurmountable content load. 

And as if that wasn’t enough, the competition isn’t making life any easier. 

What Your Content Is Up Against

The ferocity of content competition is enough to put any aspiring creator, brand or marketer off their dreams of publishing a blog, podcast, video or channel – but in 2021, it’s too costly NOT to create content. 

Blogs drive traffic and generate leads, podcasts increase awareness and demonstrate expertise and videos draw viewers closer and build connections. 

B2B marketers who have blogs get 67% more leads than those who don’t.

Source

The thought of a relatively new creator going up against an established channel is enough to deter the bravest of souls – >10 views is a pretty terrifying reality.

The best way to avoid figures like this is better marketing – and that means more exposure, greater awareness in your target audience and ultimately, more content. 

And this is where repurposing content for social media really comes into its own. 

Did You Know? 

  • Podcast listeners listen to an average of 7 different shows per week, up from 5 in 2017
  • There are approximately 31.7 million bloggers in the US heading into 2021. (Statista)
  • 92% of marketers say video is an important part of their marketing strategy

What You’ll Need to Repurpose Content For Social Media

Repurposing content is fast, branded, personalised, reaches new audiences and amplifies your message – but before you get started with it, there’s a few things you’re going to need. 

  1. Content – You can’t repurpose content if you don’t have any to start with! The longer and more in-depth your content is, the more social media content you’ll be able to repurpose from it. 
  2. Design/Editing Skills – Social networks are very visual places – you’ll need to repurpose your existing content into visually striking posts that catch the eye on today’s competitive newsfeeds. If you know how to create video content – even better. 
  3. A Good Eye – Repurposing content is all about picking out the most engaging, fresh and interesting points for social media. It’s like cutting a full meal down to a few small delicious morsels.

If you can’t tick all 3 of these boxes, don’t worry – these are skills that you might be able to pick up with practice. 

Outsource Your Content

However, if you don’t have the time or patience to pick up design/video editing skills and a knowing eye for social content, you might want to outsource the task to professionals. 

We Imagine Media specialises in repurposing and multiplying content for social media – for a monthly flat-rate, they create unlimited social content. All you need to do is copy and paste a link to your published content (like blogs, podcasts and videos) in their member’s area and a dedicated content creator will do the rest! 

For a fraction of the price of a social media manager, content creator or content marketer, zero commitments or contracts and a 14-day guarantee – their service is scalable, affordable and super-easy to get started with.

Creating Content That’s Repurpose Ready

Anything can be repurposed – from your latest social media post to a 2-hour podcast. However, as a creator who wants to optimise their time, I’d advise creating really high-quality content – and then taking a break to distribute/market it. 

Creating one piece of content allows you to cover everything on the subject – going into more depth than your competitors as well as making something truly awesome. 

BTW: You can find out more about the optimum content creation schedule in my recent blog How Often Should You Blog.

Think about it, would you rather: 

  1. Create one awesome blog/podcast/video/resource per week
  2. Create 5x low value blogs/podcasts/videos/resources per week

For me, the answer is always a. I say this because it allows me to stay consistent, create awesome content and never run out of ideas. 5 posts per week is a lot – and sooner or later, you’re probably going to burn out (unless you’re covering news/politics – where there is always something fresh to say). 

When you publish fewer long-form pieces of content, you become much more reliant on repurposed social content to engage your audience, increase brand awareness and attract visitors/traffic. 

And, as you’re creating long-form content, there is always going to be much more that’s repurposable. 

Repurposed Content and Value

Pack value into your content.

If you’re creating a long-form piece of content, that doesn’t mean dragging out ideas, it means adding more value. 

In a longer piece of content you can include many more: 

  • Visual explainers and prompts
  • Videos
  • Lists
  • Bullet-points
  • Stats
  • Facts
  • Quotes
  • Sub-headings
  • Take-aways

The more value snippets you add to your content, the more you’ll have to repurpose and the longer you’ll be able to work from it. 

For instance, if you record a brilliant 1-hour podcast, you’ll be able to use the repurposed content for months.

The Social Content Calendar

If you’re serious about social media, you’re (almost definitely) using a social posting planner. 

BTW: At Einstein Marketer we use Agorapulse, but there are many other awesome options on the market including Buffer, SproutSocial and PostPlanner. Make sure you do your research before selecting a posting planner. You’ll find plans, prices and features within each tool that are tailored to different spaces in the market. 

When using a social posting calendar, you’re able to schedule posts for weeks and months ahead – giving you an opportunity to space out your content topics.

This works in tandem with repurposed content, particularly when you’re creating long-form content on a less frequent basis. 

For example, if you own a blog about personal development and you repurpose each blog post into 15 pieces of content (with outsourced help or by yourself), you could fill one day of your social calendar for the next 15 weeks with a valuable snippet from just one published blog!

This optimises your time, amplifies your reach, multiples your message and gets your one piece of content to work for you.

5 Rules of Social Media Content

Before we look at how to repurpose content for social media, you need to know a few basic (but very important) rules about social marketing.  

Here are 5 rules of social media for content creators and brands: 

  1. Social is a competitive place: As a brand, you aren’t just competing against fellow creators, marketers and brands, you’re fighting for attention against your target audience’s friends and family. 
  2. Variety wins: Your audience doesn’t want to hear the same messages over and over again, they want new information, told in new formats, and they want it on a regular basis. Videos, stories, images, carousels, etc.
  3. Losing momentum can be fatal: A week or two’s break in your social posting calendar can cause massive problems – particularly to your reach and engagement. Don’t let the social algorithms hold your content back, keep on posting! 
  4. Branding is crucial: Users flick through their newsfeeds at crazy speeds, make your content instantly recognisable. 
  5. Don’t let the quality drop: Relentlessly posting fresh content on social can be exhausting, but whatever you do, don’t let the quality of your brand’s content drop! 

When you’re creating and repurposing content for social media, be sure to keep these rules in mind – they will drive your brand guidelines moving forward. 

How to Repurpose Content For Social Media

The real trick to repurposing content for social media is to know what works best on each network. That means holding an active interest in networks like: 

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

Visit these social networks whenever you have time (a few minutes a day is enough), scroll through your feed and look for posts that have drawn high engagement figures. Analyse the content and look for patterns in the top performers. 

When you’re confident in your knowledge of social media content, you should start looking for repurposable elements within your content. Here are a few tried, tested and proven repurposed winners: 

Lists into List Posts

Repurposing content doesn’t always mean reinventing the wheel. If you a have list within your content, turn it into a post! 

Lists draw engagement – particularly from followers who disagree with your selections or want to add a recommendation of their own.  

Scan through your blogs, podcasts, videos and recordings for anything that might resemble a list, use a number in the headline of the social media post – and there you have it, engaging repurposed content. 

Stats

Great content includes research and proof to support its points. 

If you’ve got any numerical stats in your content – repurpose them into stand-alone social media content. 

In addition to making really easy content, stats catch the eye, align you with your industry and start conversations. 

When designing your repurposed content for social media, be sure to make the number as big as possible to capture attention. 

Quotes 

A great quote for social media doesn’t need to enlighten the soul. 

Quotes can be found almost anywhere – no matter how light-hearted your content. 

As long as your quote is relevant to your industry (or brand direction), holds some sort of entertainment or education value and can stand alone without any supporting text – it’ll work! 

When done well quotes generate high numbers of shares. 

Audiograms

Audiograms are audio files that have been converted into videos. 

Similarly to the quote, audiograms don’t need to be profound – they need to act as a snippet of your podcast to promote the entire recording.

Pick a 1-minute highlight from your podcast, cut it from the audio file and convert it into an audiogram post. 

These work well with sound waves over a static image, or as text appearing on the screen as the words are spoken. 

Get a professionally designed cover and use audio software to add subtitles and a sound wave (or find a company that can do this for you).

Carousels 

Carousel posts are swipeable images that fit together like chapters – they are very popular on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Carousels can be created from sub-heads or sections through a blog/podcast/video, from lists, stats, facts or interesting stories. 

When it comes to repurposing content for carousels, creators have plenty of options – the most important thing is that the repurposed content fits into chunks, that can be drip-fed to viewers as they swipe through the carousel. 

Instagram carousels can be anywhere up to 10 slides in length. LinkedIn posts can be 10+ (but it isn’t advisable to create too many) and must be formatted as a PDF before being published. 

Videos

Written and audio content can easily be repurposed into videos.

If you’re brave enough, get in front of the camera and quickly record yourself talking about your subject, if not, try using a video creation tool. 

Here’s a social video that’s been branded and repurposed by We Imagine Media:

You can easily create visually stunning slideshows, animations and explainer vids from anything. 

Videos are engaging, capture attention, reach new audiences and should play a big part in your content marketing. 

Teasers

Instead of repurposing content for social media after publishing it, why not repurpose it before it goes live. 

Take a snippet from your blog, podcast, video or recording and use it to promote your upcoming content – like a movie trailer (just not as a dramatic). 

Try pulling out some highlights, or even create a short video of the finished product before it’s published! 

How to Repurpose Content For Social Media

Those are just are a few examples of how you can repurpose your content for social media. 

The truth is, you need to know and understand how social media works to create great content for it. 

There are always takeaways, snippets and quality content excerpts that can be pulled from your long-form content, it’s just a matter of being able to spot them, find their ideal format and create them. 

If you’re a decent designer, have a good eye for content and have the time to go about creating your images and videos, everything you need to get started is included in this blog. 

If you would like some help from the pros, check out We Imagine Media’s flat-rate Multiply plan. Copy and paste your work into their content portal and they’ll do the rest, providing unlimited social media content for your channels every single month.

Josh is the Founder of We Imagine Media, an award-winning content marketer and best selling author. He creates and strategises content, sharing the most successful tactics with his lovely audience. He hates writing in the third person, follow him on the social links (above) so he can get back to writing as himself.

4 Responses

  1. Interesting idea about repurposing for social media. I have seen it done for videos but did not think about it for anything else. I need to add this to my content strategy.

    1. Hi Ismael, it’s possible to repurpose anything! A great way to do this is to change the medium you’re using – podcasts can become videos (like audiograms), blogs can become podcasts, ebooks can become quotes – be creative with your repurposing ideas and you’ll get triple the social content!

  2. I love how you show us with these examples how to successfully repurpose content in less time. I love Agorapulse as well. Thank you. You have given me some great ideas 🙂

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