Recycling: Try it With Ads and Content

The concept of ‘frugal living’ has fast become a major trend. Today, we’re instinctively switching off lights at night, turning off the water when not in use, and recycling old products. It’s an idea that is slowly but surely showing signs of expanding into practically every area of our day-to-day lives… even our jobs. 

Many of us are already recycling empty milk bottles and out-of-date newspapers, and we’re even starting to show a preference for repurposed design or over-optimized design. Why shouldn’t we be recycling our old ads and content, too? While it may sound like an unusual approach, it could prove to be beneficial.

Why Recycle?

Consider that we’re spending more on content marketing than ever before. Globally, businesses are expecting to increase content marketing budgets by 14-69% by 2020. There are not only salaries and freelance creation fees to take into account, but also the costs of paid media, agency billings, and any sort of hardware or software required to get the job done. Financially, it makes perfect sense to reuse or repurpose old content, with experts claiming that creative recycling can reduce the cost of innovation.

However, it’s about more than just the money; it’s about getting it right. Creating content, generating new ideas, and producing quality work are all ranked amongst the top 10 obstacles for marketers. In fact, half of all marketing campaigns fail to reach their target audience. The situation is even worse now that we’re said to be in the age of ‘peak content’. How can we move forward from here? Perhaps we can’t. What we can do, however, is move backward and bring our old content into our modern-day campaigns.

Jennifer Best, an executive on the board of the Forbes Communications Council, poses an interesting question: ‘When a marketing campaign is hugely successful, why let it end and be a past success?’

The Benefits of Recycling Content 

Here are just some of the reasons why you may want to think about reusing your old content:

  • To build upon success: If a previous ad or post has performed to an unprecedented level, then you did something right! Use this as a base to build bigger, better campaigns in the future.
  • To expand your reach: Your target audience may have lots in common but they may not like the same sort of content. Recycle webinars into videos; guides into articles; news into case studies.
  • To encourage engagement: If a blog post has performed well, ask yourself if it could do even better a second time around? The average share rate of content greatly differs by content type.
  • To spark new discussion: Republishing content at different times can spark different responses. Reading George Orwell’s 1984 at publication would have been a lot different from reading it today!
  • To demonstrate growth: One of the most visual and engaging ways to demonstrate business growth to your audience is to interact with your old content in new and exciting ways.
  • Analyze evolution: Monitoring and tracking how today’s audience interacts with content vs. yesterday’s audience is a fantastic way of analyzing the changing behaviors of your visitors.
  • To re-emphasize importance: If you keep coming back to a specific topic or idea, you’re highlighting its importance and solidifying your content’s role as an authoritative piece.
  • Increase organic visibility: Re-creating old content in new formats provides you with a whole new opportunity for SEO and can be an effective way to increase organic traffic to your site.
  • To create new backlink opportunities: Quite simply, the more content you have, the more backlink opportunities you can generate, even if that content has already been published. Setup a blogger outreach campaign and get your content shared by influencers.

Planning & Strategizing 

If you’re considering recycling your ads and content, there are a few ‘must do’s in order to derive the most value from this marketing method. Firstly, it’s important to focus on evergreen content and types of ads that will continue to be relevant, interesting, readable, and valuable to your audience at distinct points throughout the future. This may mean being wary of mentioning specific brands or being willing to update old content before re-publishing. As the Nielsen Norman Group advises, write for reuse.

Now is a great time to conduct a thorough content audit, looking at what works for you, and what doesn’t. This forms the first step in building a recycling strategy and also provides useful pointers for any fresh content that you choose to create. The secret to successful content recycling, however, is to promote your repurposed ads just as much — if not more — than you did the first time around. Remember that this content won’t have the same social proof as last time; it has to earn it again.

New Marketing Trends 

Recycling content is fast becoming one of the hottest new marketing trends. In fact, it’s believed that 29% of leading marketers already reuse old content on a regular basis, with a systematic plan in place for doing so, and Google suggests that between 25 and 30% of all online content is duplicate. Don’t miss your opportunity to derive the most value from your best content, and show off your most prized work!

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