Making Old Content New Again – How to Audit and Repurpose Existing Material

Content is king in the world of online marketing, whether it’s being published on a corporate website, a social media profile, or an email blast. Consumers demand a constant stream of value added content, and if they don’t get it, they quickly disengage, with potentially disastrous results for marketing campaigns. This constant need for content can put a lot of pressure on businesses, and any content manager will tell you how overwhelming it can be to have to perpetually pump out new material. Luckily, there is a hidden mechanism that businesses can use to help ease the difficulties of coming up with fresh, new material. That mechanism is the content audit, and performing one can unlock an abundance of new material.

A content audit is a fairly straightforward task and works essentially the same way as a financial audit. However, instead of examining and analyzing financials, a company doing a content audit digs into their back catalog of existing and already published material. The goal of the audit is to uncover and catalog all of the existing material that has previously been created or put to use, in order to create a content inventory that can then be easily searched and referenced by content managers or social media managers looking for new ideas. Once a solid inventory has been put together, reducing the load on content managers is just a matter of finding creative ways to repurpose that old material into something new.

Repurposing can be done in a number of ways. One of the simplest is to transform one media type into another. For example, a content audit may reveal a high-quality article that has been previously published to a social media account or website. Simply republishing the article wouldn’t add much in the way of value, but turning it into an engaging video will. Best of all, the material is already written, so no new time, effort, or expense needs to be spent on brainstorming ideas or writing out scripts. The same thing can be done in reverse. Many people prefer the written word to watching videos online, and taking an existing piece of video content and transforming it into print is an equally easy way to give old content new life.

Coming up with and creating new articles, videos, podcasts, or images can be a nightmare because of the insatiable hunger that consumers have for new content. As a result, it can be incredibly easy to get stuck in a rut or burn out trying to meet the demand. By simply performing a content audit, and identifying what existing materials a business has already commissioned, created, or published, content managers can provide a spark for new ideas while simultaneously finding ways to make the old new through repurposing and transforming one media type into another. While it isn’t smart to focus solely on repurposing old content, the reduction in overall production load that repurposing can provide makes performing a content audit an easy decision to make.