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Recycle your content

The Risks and Rewards of Repurposing Owned Content

Lasagna is better the next day. So is chili. Marinated meat? You betcha.

Is anyone else hungry yet?

Everyone knows the value of Thanksgiving leftovers the next day, but can the same be said of your brand’s content? How long can a blog lounge in the daylight of promotional efforts before it becomes rancid, or just plain ineffective?

Often, marketers are concerned about the timeliness of their content as it relates to releasing it to the world, and subsequent promotions via paid or owned media.

How often should I release content? What is the explicit shelf life?

The topical relevance and initial impacts of your content are obvious first litmus tests, but for the sake of this conversation about frequency and timing, let’s assume that your brand’s messaging strategy is spot on, and resonates with your target customer and influence groups.

Chances are they missed it the first time.

The 24-hour news media makes a compelling argument for extending the life of a story beyond a single news cycle. As Americans habitually choose different times of day to consume content, so too do brands try to align with audience habits. Add a global (let alone an American multi-time zone) audience and the release timing of promotions can be a complicated affair.

Newsworthy releases and events have multiple angles, features and benefits. Hillary’s Blackberry contents aside (as a poor example), your latest product release, market analysis or culture commentary is likely dynamic in its subject matter, else see my earlier litmus test comment about topical coverage.

What about republishing?

One of the most costly mistakes made by active brands is underutilizing content they already spent the time and resources to produce. If the message sent this week is relevant to the audience, what says the same message will not continue to be relevant 24 hours, or even a week or a month later?

Context is everything. If the circumstances invite republishing, don’t hesitate.

The risk in republishing is overkill. The same message on broken-record repeat is the surest thing to drive interested audience members away with the response of “I’ve heard this before.” Alternatively, date-sensitive materials are an obvious impasse.

Thankfully, there’s a straightforward data point to help understand the true impact of publishing frequency: audience burn. If audience size, engagement and conversion totals continue to go up and to the right while you experiment with frequency, then you likely haven’t hit the glass ceiling of frequency.

It is helpful to think of e-mail, social and blog channels as an extension of messaging from your brand. At no point do the tendrils of your brand’s value dry up and become irrelevant, therefore it is ill advised to cut short the ways in which content can reach your audience.

So why do it?

First, the Internet likes it. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion, and if you don’t believe me, look at Jurassic World’s opening weekend numbers.

Even if it wasn’t, giving search spiders a reason to re-crawl your site’s content isn’t a bad idea, either.

And let’s not forget the new faces of your audience. If you’ve pulled a few hundred/thousand new folks into your channels since last year, they likely haven’t seen the content in your library that was hot last summer. (See what I did, there?)

So in short, audience consumption patterns, time-zone coverage, audience overlap, nostalgia, SEO, and resource utilization – just a few of the reasons why you should keep a finger on the ‘legacy’ assets from your content library.