In this guide we will go through three primary forms of content: Text, Images, and Video and how to repurpose everything and anything that can be upcycled from these formats to social media posts.
The significance of this widespread tactic was revived in the initial phase of the pandemic when a nationwide lockdown was imposed abruptly, and the production of new content came to a halt. Here we will go through how you can repurpose content, to not stop distributing it, even if you stop producing it.
Relaunching campaigns with new voiceovers, and Tweets being posted as images on Instagram are the two best examples to explain why repurposed content works, and works very well on social media, but a few more reasons are listed below.
Perks Of Repurposing Content
- Increases the shelf-life of the content
- Catches more or new sets of audience
- Helps recover cost of production
- Fills the social media content calendar
- Helps in keeping up with topical trends easily
- Aids in tapping a broader theme with pieces of content compiled in one umbrella
- When you cannot produce new content, you can repurpose old content
Producing new content may still not be feasible for several reasons, financial or otherwise. And with the advent of more and more traditional, small, and medium-sized businesses building their social media presence, producing new content on a frequent basis may not be an option. Learning these tricks can help boost one’s social media presence.
The game plan can be used by brands, agencies, publishers, and content creators, of all sorts. Established ones with ample resources or up & coming ones with minimal resources, the tricks would be useful for both.
Articles, blogs, notes, or any other piece of content in the textual form can be converted to videos, and images as posts for platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and more.
There are basically two ways to repurpose (for example) an article (it could be any form of text) to a video, one is, narrate the article as spoken word in front of a camera, or do a voiceover using a montage of visuals.
In both cases, more specifically in the second case, you’d have to use snippets from videos and relevant stills around the subject, with overlayed text. In the first case, it is just to make the video more engaging, in the second one, it’s necessary.
While you already have the material (the article), the part that needs work is shooting & editing the video or recording voice & editing the video.
In the example below, by Genius, a media company serving a collection of song lyrics and musical knowledge, Tia Hill deconstructs a song by Eminem – Venom, recorded for the motion picture with the same name.
The video uses lyrics from the song overlaid as strips of text, the song as background score, and snippets and stills from the song video and the movie, with Tia narrating the annotations that can be found on the website or app in the textual form.
Genius Annotations for Eminem’s Venom On Website
Eminem’s “Venom” Explained On YouTube
While there are use case applications for brands from varying industries, this trick is primarily useful for publishers, storytelling platforms, content houses, and a lot more.
This was text to video, as for text to images, you can convert bits of text that you think would work well as an image. For instance, quotes do well as images and can also be used to promote your endeavor or capture an emotion. A simple way is using a picture of the person quoted with their quote overlaid on the image.
This technique can also be used by brands to share important statements from the leaders repurposed from press releases.
This example was by Carlsberg Group sharing a statement by their CEO. Similarly, they were also promoting their initiative Unleash Lab – working on sustainable development. The initiative was promoted by introducing the participants and their thoughts.
Apart from quotes, the text could be anything from a DIY recipe to a simple hack/guide or just plain information. It should just be relevant to the subject you want to talk about or use for the promotion of your products.
The matter can also be from third-party websites or other sources unless such use is barred from the owner, just give them their rightful credits, preferably with a tag.
This tactic is highly useful for sharing customer testimonials, repurposing of this kind is as simple as copy-pasting a review your consumer shared from on the website, E-Commerce platform, or anywhere else.
Particularly beneficial for businesses who want to build trust or are in their initial phase of building a consumer base, but this practice is useful for businesses of all sizes and statures who want to boost consumer loyalty.
The simplest way to do this is to paste the text on a template and post it. You don’t even need a complicated tool like Photoshop, use basic resources like Canva, a free photo-editing tool, which is so basic you don’t even need a step-by-step, just open the website and you’ll know what to do.
Few important things to keep in mind are:
- Keep the text concise
- Font type and size should be readable
- Stick with uniform templates
- Use colors from your company color palette
- Avoid long captions (most users don’t read a lot on social media)
- Feel free to use stock images, illustrations, or vector icons
Pieces of text can also be posted as Tweets, the post format that best appreciates text on social media.
Also Read: How to shoot videos from home professionally
The length of the videos can be played with to repurpose a video in several ways, it also needs to be optimized for each platform.
YouTube is best suitable for long-format, Facebook for the medium duration, and Instagram for under one minute for posts, (preferably) less than ten minutes for IGTV, and 15-seconders for YouTube Shorts, Reels, or any other short-video platform.
Suppose you have a long-format video on YouTube, you can use a part of the video for Facebook, a cut that can be independently used as an individual post.
For instance, this interview below by Film Companion with Ranbir Kapoor is about thirty-two minutes long.
#FCUnfiltered With Ranbir Kapoor on YouTube
A part of the same interview was used for Facebook & IGTV posts, which is close to four minutes long.
Ranbir Kapoor On His Insecurities As An Actor (IGTV)
Ranbir Kapoor On His Insecurities As An Actor (Facebook)
A shorter part of the video or a ‘high moment’ of the piece of content could also be used for Reels or YouTube Shorts. Film Companion also creates Reels out of several interviews. Repurposing a video in this sense is very easy, you just have to cut out a part and add context to that.
You only need to make sure the context of the shorter videos are independent of the original video, and a viewer will understand it. This method can be applied to any piece of video content – one song from an entire episode of Coke Studio or one Scene from Kingfisher X TVF Pitchers – anything that conveys the message in spite of not being a part of the larger cut.
You would have not only repurposed a piece of content by doing this, you are tapping multiple platforms in the best-suited formats, and by adding a CTA to watch the whole piece, you can also revive the original piece’s shelf life while recovering costs.
The same trick can also be used for video campaigns, the right editing can make this practice efficient and gain maximum returns out of the video.
Here is Zomato using a GIF-like snippet from its own video campaign to promote a product at a discounted rate.
Another way to repurpose videos is by stitching several videos to tap one broad theme. The example below by BuzzFeed Tasty explains how. One video is a series of 6 Chinese food recipes and the other is an individual recipe from the same series. The result – more views from less work. You can learn more from BuzzFeed Tasty- The God Of Repurposing Content here.
6 Chinese Take-Out Inspired Dinners
Slow-Cooker Beef And Broccoli
Similarly, if you have a video talking about places to visit in Andheri, and you have more videos talking about Bandra, Marine Drive, etc. You can stitch them together and make it places to visit in Mumbai. Just apply this notion to your already available content bank, the possibilities are endless.
Repurposing images is the simplest of them all. The best part about repurposing images is adding text can add context, and changing the text can change the context.
Images exclusively available or owned by you, stills from videos or pieces of content produced by you, or any form visual still that is not copyrighted and can be used, can be repurposed.
The prime example is social media channels of OTT platforms, be it Netflix India, Amazon Prime Video, or any others, their feeds are filled with repurposed stills from their vast content library. Similarly, you can make do with what you have or can use.
Below is a popular post from Netflix India shared during the initial phase of the COVID-19 outbreak that repurposes a still from a show available on their platform.
COVID-19 Precautionary Measure – Netflix India
Similarly, images from your content library can be repurposed into posts, memes, or be put in trending templates.
Topical Spot: #JCBKiKudhayi – Netflix India
Meme Template For Mirzapur Promotions – Amazon Prime Video
Another brand that is efficiently repurposing images is Fevicol. In fact, repurposing images is inscribed in the social media strategy of Fevicol.
The brand uses visuals of the omnipresent presence of the brand name and OOH installations to tap topical trends and put across effective brand communications.
Topical Spot: People Before… – Fevicol
Topical Spot: #GonnaTellMyKids – Fevicol
Announcement: #MyFevicolAd – Fevicol
The road to repurposing content is not a one-way street, the tricks can also be reverse-engineered, transcribe a video for a blog, use stills of images to make video montage, or vice-versa, or versa-vice. Be sure to add value for the viewer or sustain it and be contextual each time.