The Downside of Repurposing: Understanding the Pitfalls and Benefits for Micro Businesses

In this episode of The Know, Like & Trust Show, we’ll be exploring the downside of repurposing content. We delve into the topic, highlighting the importance of thoughtful and strategic repurposing. Britney emphasizes the need to ensure that the original content is effective before repurposing it, shedding light on the potential pitfalls of distributing content that may not be resonating with the audience. 

Throughout the episode, she draws colorful analogies, including a quirky comparison between content and managing pets, to drive home her points. Britney also offers practical advice on how to measure and assess the effectiveness of content, guiding solo service providers on a journey towards achieving an “uncommon content golden zone.” Tune in to discover the keys to successful and impactful content repurposing in this insightful and engaging episode.

[Content repurposing] can become a bigger problem when you’re reusing that content in different ways because you might end up tanking your social following on one of your channels if you keep pushing this content piece that isn’t doing well.

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Highlights in this episode:

  • 01:40 How repurposing content can have a downside.
  • 05:16 Repurpose content to reach larger audience.
  • 07:52  The phrase polishing a turd relates to content very well.
  • 11:17 Repurposing content across channels can hurt your following when not done correctly.
  • 14:12 Before repurposing, check for success signs.

Thoughtful Content Repurposing

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of repurposing content, let’s be clear about one thing: there’s a downside to repurposing. And that’s exactly what we’re going to discuss today. Look, I’m all for repurposing content – in fact, my main offer is helping service providers like you utilize evergreen content in smart ways so you can escape the content creation hamster wheel. But there’s a catch, and it lies in one sneaky little word: thoughtful.

Many tend to gloss over this word, possibly because being thoughtful implies intention and strategic thinking–more than you might want to invest. When it comes to repurposing, you might feel like you’ve already put so much effort into content creation that you just want to repost something and call it a day. Well, I hate to break it to you, but that’s probably not enough.

The 3 R’s of Repurposing: Reuse, Repost, and Recycle.

Now that we’ve established the importance of thoughtful repurposing, let’s briefly discuss the three R’s of repurposing. Why? We need to be on the same page of what repurposing is before we can talk about how to do it well. For a comprehensive overview of this topic, I recommend checking out the full blog post titled “The Complete Guide to Repurposing Content with Examples.” It’s specifically designed for service providers like you who don’t have massive teams or extensive resources.

Recycling Content is One Type of Repurposing

The first R is recycling – my personal favorite. Sometimes, you publish content that feels good and gains traction, but it doesn’t quite reach your entire audience. This is when I like to refurbish it with a fresh intro or a different hook. By doing so, you can breathe new life into your work and ensure it resonates with more people.

repurposing content by using new analogies

So remember: while repurposing content can be an effective strategy, it’s crucial to approach it thoughtfully and intentionally. That way, your efforts will truly pay off in reaching and engaging your target audience.

It’s important to recognize that not every story or analogy will resonate with everyone. For instance, I often use anecdotes about raising chickens, homeschooling my children, and lessons learned from special education with my son. However, some people might not be interested in these topics and could potentially tune out before reaching the main point of the content.

One way to overcome this issue is by recycling content and replacing a story or analogy with another one. It can help recycle the main idea and make it more appealing to a larger audience segment.

Reuse Your Content In A New Way

Another method involves reusing content in a different way, making it more suitable for various platforms. For example, you might have a blog, podcast, or video channel where you post your primary content piece. You can then take elements from this piece and adapt them for platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram Reels, or TikTok. This allows you to reach people who may not spend much time on your main content channel but are active on other platforms.

Remember that most of us hang out in more than one place online. We have our primary content publishing channels but also use other platforms to build relationships and attract attention to our work. It’s essential to adapt your content accordingly and play by the rules of each platform’s algorithm.

reposting content as is

Repost Content As Is

The “easiest” way to repurpose content is simply reposting it as is. There are several reasons you might want to do this:

  1. It’s been a while since your audience has seen it. Even if they’ve seen it in the past, it’s possible they weren’t ready for the content then or have forgotten it before it’s need for their current situation. Think of it as giving them a refresh.
  2. You have newer members of your audience that have not seen it before. 
  3. This particular content is needed as foundation for newer content.

What Happens When Your Idea Isn’t Resonating

While we don’t intentionally create “bad” content, sometimes an idea we love just doesn’t give us the expected results. Let’s face it, sometimes that big content piece on your main channel might not be resonating with your audience as much as you’d like. Perhaps they’re not ready for the information, or maybe you’ve tried various hooks and analogies without success. Whatever the reason, you could end up with a less-than-stellar content piece.

Now, bear with me as I use an unconventional analogy. We’ve all heard the phrase “polishing a turd.” Repurposing a large “turd” into smaller ones won’t change its overall quality. In fact, 100 small “turds” might be worse than one big one.

To illustrate my point, let’s briefly discuss chickens. When someone says they’d love to have chickens but think they’re too much work, I’m often surprised. To me, owning a dog requires more effort than maintaining chickens, and many have dogs without questioning it.

My husband has devised a once-a-week system for our chickens – refilling their water and food tanks and dealing with their waste. It’s not that hard compared to taking care of a dog that needs multiple walks a day and constant attention. 

Every pet owner can probably relate to one universal truth: if you don’t deal with the poop, things get messy. Fast. All those pet turds aren’t so bad one at a time. But leave a bunch out? It’s a problem.

Finding A System That Works For You

Not only do those smelly turds attract pests and introduce disease, but they also serve as a metaphor for content management. (Bear with me here.) Just like cleaning up after your pets, managing your content requires regular attention to avoid a buildup of mess – or in this case, poor-quality content.

So, what can we learn from this analogy? Just like managing chickens and dogs, effectively reusing content is about identifying the good pieces and the bad pieces–the turds–before it becomes to difficult to sort through them.

Regularly Measuring Your Content Is The Key To Repurposing

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “This might be the grossest podcast episode yet.” But stick with me because there’s an important lesson here. Regular maintenance is essential in many aspects of life, from hosting parties to bookkeeping. And yet, when it comes to content management, people often neglect this crucial practice.

polishing a turd of an idea

Take the time to assess your content and identify opportunities for improvement before diving into repurposing it in different formats.

Without regularly measuring your content’s performance, it becomes difficult to weed out the low-quality pieces – the turds, if you will. And then when someone suggests measuring thoughtfully and consistently, it feels like an overwhelming task because it hasn’t been maintained over time.

As a result, when people hear about repurposing old content to lighten their marketing load, they love the idea – until they unintentionally end up repurposing a “turd.” This issue extends beyond simply reposting one big piece of content across multiple platforms; it applies to every aspect of content management.

How To Measure For Effective Content

Start by looking for non-measurement signs that your content is resonating with your audience. 

  • Are people talking about the ideas you’ve presented? 
  • Do your clients seem familiar with the concepts even before working with you? 

These subtle clues can be a goldmine of information, helping you pinpoint which content deserves a second life.

using your content in different ways

Don’t forget to also check the numbers. Your social media app statistics, dashboard data, or any other preferred method of measurement should be part of your evaluation process. By paying attention to these insights, you’ll have a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t.

One effective strategy is measuring your content’s ROI. This helps you identify which pieces are working hard for your business and which are falling flat. A content ROI dashboard can be invaluable in this process.

Adding Content To Your Evergreen Rotation

You don’t want to end up simply recycling lackluster material. (Because, let’s face it, no one wants to read something that feels like a reheated leftover.) To avoid this pitfall, it’s crucial to take a step back and assess your content’s performance before deciding to give it a makeover.

So remember: just like dealing with pet messes, staying on top of your content requires regular attention. Don’t let yourself get buried under a mountain of outdated or low-quality posts – or worse yet, inadvertently repurpose one!

Key Takeaway:

Measure your content to avoid falling into the trap of relying on underperforming pieces. Only add a piece to your evergreen rotation once you’re sure it’s a winner.

The Upside to Repurposing Your Content

Now, let’s not focus solely on the doom and gloom. There is an upside to repurposing, particularly for solo-ish service provider businesses without dedicated content teams or PR departments. It may seem like a heaven-sent gift when you can transform a single video or podcast episode into multiple forms of media. And it can be – if you’re measuring your content and ensuring it has a positive impact.

Remember, your content should always be doing one of two things: nurturing your audience and generating leads. By measuring these aspects, you can make sure your repurposed content is truly serving its purpose.

In summary, don’t shy away from repurposing content – just make sure you’re working smart by measuring its effectiveness and focusing on pieces that genuinely resonate with your audience and drive results. Once you’ve confirmed that, feel free to repurpose away and watch your ideas flourish in new and exciting ways.


How should content creators approach repurposing content to ensure it effectively reaches and engages their audience?

Repurpose with purpose. Like a chef forming a gourmet dish, transform your content thoughtfully. Measure its effectiveness regularly (setting up automation helps!) to ensure it’s still relevant and serves your audience a fresh, not stale, experience as you nurture your current and grow new audiences.

What are the benefits and challenges of repurposing content?

The benefits and challenges of content repurposing show the thin line between clever repurposing and lazy déjà vu. While repurposing offers the allure of lighter content creation investment and extended reach, challenges arise when it doesn’t quite hit the mark. It’s like recycling a lukewarm excerpt from a bestseller—still lukewarm. 

Do you need help creating a content marketing plan that allows you to shine?

We offer complimentary one-on-one consults to help determine if a done-with-you or done-for-you approach is best for you and your business right now.

Music by Michael De La Torre. Thanks, Mikey!

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