Video is a necessity in your marketing strategy now, given that people now watch more of it than ever.
With social feeds swamped with this must-have content, you can’t stand out if you compromise on quality. But videos that influence take time to create – planning, scripting, recording, editing, and everything in between.
To get the maximum return for all that work, make sure you repurpose your quality videos (both the ones you’ve created and any you plan to create.) I’ll show you how to create many kinds of content from a single video (and why you should).
First, I’ll explain my definition of content repurposing.
What is content repurposing?
Content repurposing involves turning a piece of content into different media for use across multiple platforms. It involves thinking creatively about communicating your message in different formats and locations, so you can reach and connect with more people.
Content can be multifunctional. A YouTube video doesn’t have to only remain on YouTube. It can become a blog post, a podcast episode, a social media graphic, a LinkedIn post, or even a meme or GIF.
Repurposing video content frees your strategy from relying strictly on an audience of YouTube fans or video lovers to discover your content. Your repurposed video content can grab the attention of social media users, podcast listeners, blog readers, etc.
But don’t think content repurposing is a buzz phrase for copying and pasting. Content repurposing, if done well, is a strategic and creative process.
Each repurposed piece requires time, energy, creativity, and strategy. The difference is you’re not starting from scratch. You can expand or minimize points and value within the original content to create new platform-specific content.
Repurposing your content expands and reinforces your ideas and presence on multiple touchpoints. By varying lengths and formats for various platforms, you reach audiences:
- Where they consume content
- In formats they prefer
- Who have more than one learning style
I’ll share some ideas and examples for repurposing your video content. Choose the options that make the most sense for your content marketing strategy.
How to decide on formats and platforms
No one knows better than you where your audience hangs out and how they consume their content, so use that knowledge to guide your repurposing plans.
- Who is your audience? Who is consuming your content, and how can you align your brand’s messaging with their needs and expectations?
- Where do they consume the most content? When you have identified a target audience, align your content strategy with their preferences. This ensures you get the most engagement, and your message will be seen by the right people in their preferred format.
- What resources do you have? Do you have the budget to outsource, or does repurposing depend on what you can create?
Let your answers guide where your content should appear, and as your audience grows and diversifies, so can you.
Plan a varied content menu
Imagine your content as a menu designed to appeal to varying appetite sizes and palate preferences. Offer a mix of content nibbles (think tweets and Instagram Stories), starters (Twitter threads, Instagram image carousels), mains (long-form articles, white papers, e-books, podcasts), and desserts (checklists, swipe files).
People may start consuming your content in any of these courses, so make sure to include calls to action (CTA) that let your content diners know what else is on the menu.
Nibbles and starters
Great short-form content whets people’s appetite (and curiosity) for more, and they’re a great way to attract the attention of people who aren’t yet part of your audience.
You see short videos everywhere, from TikTok to YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, and even on Pinterest. According to HubSpot’s 2022 Social Media Marketing Report, short-form video has the highest ROI compared to any other type of social media content.
Long-form video is relatively easy to repurpose as short-form videos for social media platforms. Just consider the following factors:
- Dimensions: Tailor each video’s dimensions to the target platform. Sproutsocial.com has a detailed, regularly updated social media video specs guide with all the rules, sizes, and dimensions.
- Captions: Subtitles or captions allow people to understand the videos with the sound off. It also creates an inclusive experience for people with hearing impairments.
- Standalone value-add: The hardest part of repurposing long-form videos into shorter clips is deciding what to include. Ultimately, you want standalone clips that entertain, educate, and inspire.
You can also turn your long video into shorter text -or image-based content for social platforms. Here are some options for serving those content appetizers (the image above shows a few examples).
Tweets and threads
Here are a few ideas to repurpose your videos into content for Twitter (if you and your audience are still using that platform).
- Break your video message into text-only tweets.
- Write a thread based on the main ideas from your video.
- Post the graphics.
- Share bite-sized clips from your main video.
- Create GIFs from your video.
Instagram or LinkedIn carousels
If your video is packed with tips, steps, and how-tos, showcase them as image carousels on LinkedIn or Instagram.
According to Search Engine Journal, carousels have an average engagement of 1.92% compared to 1.74% for images and 1.45% for videos, simply because viewers have more content to engage with – not to mention the carousels can appear multiple times in the feed.
Use the most engaging quotes and screenshots, and if you’ve created graphics for social, tweak them for your carousels.
TIP: Repurpose your Instagram carousel into a LinkedIn carousel by saving the images as a single PDF document and creating a document post on LinkedIn.
Instagram and Facebook stories
According to Buffer, 500 million people create and watch Instagram Stories on their mobile devices every day, and Facebook Stories attract approximately the same number.
Edit long videos into short, vertical videos. Use features like link stickers, polls, rating sliders, ask me anything, and surveys to make this content more interactive.
Instagram or Pinterest graphics
Highlight your core points in a single or series of graphics.
An inspiring quote, a helpful tip, an engaging question, or a solution to a problem covered in your video all make great repurposed content for visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
Face-to-camera live video
Livestreams are great for engaging with your audience and building a community. While this isn’t repurposing in its strictest sense, it is taking one idea from your video and making it go further.
Focus on a theme from your original video in a livestream, engaging with your audience about the topic.
You can go live on many platforms, including YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Plus, your live video can be downloaded and repurposed, too.
Reddit and Quora posts
Reddit might not be top of your list for distributing video content. But it has a strong, passionate audience of 52 million active users and a forum for every subject. You could host an ask-me-anything (r/AMA) thread on your video topic or post a snippet of your repurposed blog post accompanied by a graphic.
However, you need to do your homework before you get on Reddit, as its users are famously intolerant of content that is irrelevant or useless to them. Avoid content that feels like an ad, always ensure your content provides value, and look for unique ways to engage the community around your content.
On the question-and-answer site Quora, you’re almost guaranteed to find questions related to your topic, no matter how obscure. More than 300 million people visit the platform each month, so it may be the prime location to demonstrate your expertise.
Target threads related to your topic, repurposing your video into authoritative, engaging answers.
Not everybody prefers video, and some only prefer it in certain situations. Repurpose your long-form video into text and audio options to satisfy more of your audience. Here are some options to consider:
If your video doesn’t depend on visuals, the audio alone holds value. You could turn it into an episode of your regularly scheduled podcast.
While video generally requires a stationary audience, podcast listeners are out and about. Those people might not have 30 minutes to watch a video, but they will listen to a 30-minute podcast episode while commuting to work, wandering around the grocery store, walking the dog, etc.
Repurposing a video into a podcast episode starts with converting it to an audio file. You may need to finesse elements to make it work – be more descriptive in some places or remove references to visuals in others. Consider an intro and outro and midrolls too.
TechSmith, one of my company’s clients, repurposes their livestream interview series as YouTube videos, then strips out the audio to use in the company podcast.
The power of the written word remains strong, and a blog post can have as much impact and authority as a video.
You also can embed the video into the blog post so your readers. However, it’s safe to assume not everyone will watch it, so the blog post should make sense and add value on its own.
Another option is to expand on the video’s main points to create a blog post independent of the video. Go into even more detail about the topic than the video provided and add links to other content to provide maximum value to your readers.
TechSmith turned that same livestream/YouTube video series and podcast into an article on the company blog.
Book chapters and e-books
If you’ve got a handful of videos with a common theme, you’ve already got the makings of a good e-book. Each video can be repurposed as a chapter. If this process reveals gaps in your content, you can create new videos to fill them.
Look through your archives and analytics to identify your most engaging videos. Think about what you get asked over and over. This is the topic for your course.
Put your videos together in a concise, easy-to-use, manageable way that informs and educates. If you give your customers exactly what they need, and they leave knowing exactly what they need to know, you’ve done your job.
For people who want a bit more after the main course, think of something to offer as the icing on the cake. Turn the tips and graphics from the video into an infographic, template, or a simple checklist that keeps the main points (and your brand) top of mind.
Infographics provide a great visual snapshot of content that’s not just easy to consume but also highly shareable.
Don’t forget to also repurpose these dessert items into the relevant main courses such as blog articles, e-books, book chapters, etc.
Make the most of quality ingredients
With content repurposing, make sure you’re starting with quality ingredients. Don’t repurpose lackluster videos. That’s like distributing free samples of mediocre food – you won’t convince more people to order the whole dish.
Then don’t let your quality ingredients go to waste. Before creating new content from scratch, think about whether you already have a high-quality video you could repurpose.
And every time you create a new video, plan how to repurpose it.
Try some of the ideas I’ve shared, and you’ll have whipped up a content banquet before you know it.
Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute