Repurposing your content is essential to your success. You don’t have enough time to create original content constantly, and your community needs to hear your messages and calls to action in clear and consistent ways over and over anyway. Repurposing content makes sense, and it works!
I like simple rules. So I created five of them to help guide your repurposing strategy. To make them even easier to remember, they are all “rules of three.”
Rule #1: The Editorial Calendar Rule of Thirds
When you plan your editorial calendar, think about the number of times you’ll be communicating in all of your given communications channels within a set amount of time. Plan for about a third of those slots to contain original content. Plan for another third to contain repurposed content (either from that first third or older content). The final third you leave open because you know something will come up that you’ll need to add. If it’s a slow time, repurpose more content into those slots!
Rule #2: Deconstruct Big Ideas into 3 Smaller Chunks
As you come up with great ideas for content, as you are writing, think about how you would break that idea into at least three smaller ideas. For example, let’s say you need to do some wrap-up and thank-you messaging after a fundraiser. You might want to do one big post on your blog, but think about it in at least three chunks that you could parse out for other communications channels or smaller articles. Your three chunks might be (1) How much you raised and what you will do with the money (2) the photo gallery from the event and (3) some highlights or quotes from people who were there. By thinking ahead of time, even if you are doing longer pieces initially, your repurposing work will be so much easier.
Rule #3: Formats — Long Form, Short Form, Visual Form
Think about three different ways to format your content. When possible, do a long form, a short form, and a visual form. If that’s not possible, you can mix and match, or even do three different types of one form (e.g. a post on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, all tweaked to perform best in each channel).
Rule #4: Time Zones — Now, Soon, Later
In many cases, the time periods in which we repurpose content are too short. Instead of thinking about just this week or next week, how could you plan to repurpose content you are writing this week for a month from now? A quarter from now? Next year?
Think about ways to repurpose now, soon and later. But also consider repurposing within a campaign, for example. How can you reuse content at the beginning, middle, and end of a campaign? What would it look like if you considered how you would use today’s content again later this month, next quarter, and next year? Can you make changes to the way you write now that will facilitate that repurposing later?
Rule #5: Everything in at Least Three Channels
This is my last rule in the list, but it was the first repurposing rule I created for myself. Never create anything unless you know how you are going to use it in at least three different communications channels. If it is so niche or specialized that it’s only good for use in one communications channel, you aren’t thinking creatively enough, or it’s not worth your time to create.
Got more repurposing rules? Share your favorites in the comments!