You’ve worked hard on a blog entry, LinkedIn post, or infographic on your website. But now what? Does all that hard work disappear into the abyss of the Internet, never to be resurfaced again? Hopefully not! One of the beauties of content marketing is that information can be reused and reformatted to post again in the future. If your uniquely crafted content is running low, it may be time to repurpose your existing content. We want to answer the “what,” “when,” and “how” aspects of this strategy.

What should become recycled content?

It wouldn’t make sense to recycle material that you wrote for tax preparation season in September, just as it wouldn’t make sense to wish your clients a Merry Christmas in July. So what kind of content has the potential to be recycled and reused?

We’ve talked about evergreen content before, but as a reminder: evergreen content is content that isn’t especially timely or specific, but instead focuses on a general problem that your clients face. Evergreen content is the type of content that should be repurposed for a different time and place because, if it is well-written, it can still be relevant and educational.

Which brings us to the next point — the quality of the content. No matter how compelling your subject matter, if it’s not engaging, it’s not going to stand the test of time. Content that doesn’t engage your audience won’t drive traffic, and that makes it a poor choice for repurposing. If it flopped the first time, chances are it will flop every other time, as well. Quality content has the power to continue to engage audiences and also hold up as SEO continues to change.

When should I recycle content?

There is no magic amount of time between a post’s original publication and when to recycle it, but we believe that it should be long enough that it isn’t front-of-mind for your clients. This may be a few weeks, a few months, or a few years.

This period directly relates to the quality of the original content and how it is reused. For example, if your next post is very similar to the original format, you may want to wait a longer period of time. But if the format and audience are entirely new, the same content might be able to be reused as soon as a few weeks later.

How do I recycle content?

Learning how to answer this question is key to reusing content for your marketing strategy. Hearing the term “recycle” may lead you to think that you can publish the same post a few months later. Instead, it’s important to tailor your content to different media outlets. Some examples of this would be creating items like slideshows, videos, podcasts, or infographics. A content marketing strategy that integrates recycled content can breathe new life into information that has resonated with readers and customers in the past.

First, look at the points that were most salient to your viewers. These are the points that should be recycled into new content. Then, decide how this content can be tailored to a different audience or different media outlet. For example, if you had an excellent response to a Facebook post you shared about what couples need to know about education planning, you can take these essential points and turn them into a slideshow to share on your LinkedIn page. Because the audiences of your Facebook and LinkedIn pages are likely going to differ, this same information will reach different dimensions of your client base. Also, a slideshow is a new medium for the same information.

We’ve talked before about creating content calendars to help you regulate your social posts. While creating new content for your calendar, think proactively about ways your content can be reused in the future. Find connections between what you are posting and what you want to post in the future. This practice will help you tie your content together and make it easier to fill up your content calendar and reuse existing content.

Repurposing content shouldn’t be viewed as an easy way out because tailoring information to fit new avenues and media outlets requires time and energy. While it isn’t easy (what part of creating strong content marketing is?), it can help you stay socially engaged with your audience, and gives you the chance to reiterate important points in the future.