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How to determine what content to repurpose - using data!

How to determine what content to repurpose – using data!

The nice thing about content marketing is it gives your business tons of valuable resources to promote and share and archive and archive and archive and … wait a minute…

Now that your blog content is piling up, it’s time to delve into those catacombs and resurrect some of your best pieces by repurposing and repromoting. But, with so many old articles and whitepapers lying around, how do you know which ones are worth picking up again?

Let’s talk about how to use data to determine what content to repurpose.

How to find content to repurpose

1. Find high performers in Google Analytics

Content that has driven high volumes of traffic to your website and helped fulfill your goals is prime for repurposing. So, any long-form blogs, case studies, ebooks or even user-generated content that has high pageviews and conversions in Google Analytics shows that it was valuable – people came, saw, and clicked.

This is especially true if the corresponding bounce rate and time on page metrics of said content is also low and high respectively. These metrics prove that the content was engaging to read and scroll through – people came, saw, stayed, and clicked.

  • Quick tip: Pull up a historic report and see if the top performers are from months prior to the set date range of that report. Anything that was still performing well months after publication is excellent content. E.g. If you pull a January-March report and there’s still September content performing in there, you’ve found a winner.

2. Isolate your social champions

In a similar fashion to the above, social media metrics can tell you what blog content created the biggest digital buzz, so you can repurpose those old posts and get the wheels squealing a second time around.

There are two ways to find social data to use when identifying what content to repurpose:

  1. Google Analytics: If your utm codes were established correctly, you should be able to see which social media posts drove the most traffic to your website during past campaigns. Try recycling any content associated with those campaigns.
  2. BuzzSumo: Plugging your domain into BuzzSumo will show you the most-shared pages from your site across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more. Any articles that top this list are definitely worth pursuing. You can also see the most-engaged posts from Facebook specifically.

Just remember to check the Google Analytics data on any social content before repurposing it. If a particular article drove high engagement on Facebook, this will look great on BuzzSumo. But what if it also had a super-high bounce rate on your site itself? While this article got buzz, it didn’t drive actual results, and probably isn’t worth repurposing. That is, unless you can think of why it had a high bounce rate, and fix the issue.

Our next point has a little more on this topic…

3. Find bad articles to polish

For the most part, you’ll be looking at best-performers when determining recyclable content. But that will leave a heaping pile of underperformers just sitting around taking up space. So what can you do about them?

Go to Google Analytics and sort your content by pageviews (ascending order) so we see the lowest of the low at the top of the table. Now ask yourself: Which out of these are actually good pieces that just didn’t take off, and which are genuinely unworthy (i.e. rushed press releases, blatant keyword grabs from the Bad Old Days of marketing, etc.).

If you have content in there that has value, and is still relevant to your audience, let’s fix it.

Our article “5 tips for repurposing your content” has some great ideas for touching up those old articles, but it essentially boils down to this:

  1. Do some new keyword research and update the copy to match.
  2. Add rich media like images, videos etc.
  3. Make it longer by adding more depth.
  4. Try changing the angle, or moving the article up or down the sales funnel (i.e. making a top-funnel piece more mid-funnel, to target a different audience).


How do I find out why these pieces didn’t do well?

Google Analytics can tell you “what” but not “why”. For that you’ll need to conduct a qualitative content analysis – or more simply put, you’ll need to talk to your customers.

Qualitative research is designed to generate data on intangibles, like emotions and preferences. You can access this type of information by offering surveys in your drip campaign emails, on your blog articles, and anywhere else you have a customer interaction (your sales and customer service teams will have a ton of this information).

It’s harder to do this for specific articles, but perhaps you can start offering a quick survey on each article you post that pops up and asks, “Was this what you were looking for?” or similar. Over time you’ll start to gather better information for future use.

On to the next step!

You’ll find plenty of ideas on repurposing content in the tips article we mentioned above, as well as our ebook titled “Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose: Reach Wider Without Creating More”. Using these and your data-driven content list, put together a repurposing calendar and fit it into your regular content marketing schedule.

Now you can mix in old content with the snazzy new stuff, and you’ll have a more diverse content strategy for it.


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Duncan Pacey
Duncan Pacey About the author

Duncan has hands-on experience developing and rolling out many of our bespoke search-optimised writing products, making him the perfect Castleford blogger. When he’s not writing about SEO, lead gen, and the art of entertaining people and Google simultaneously, he crafts prose for clients in hospitality, construction and building, and the software as a service field. Current clients include SAS, Altus, Epson - and of course the Castleford website.

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