Why you should recycle content over and over again

Posted on August 27, 2019

 

As Engage Web produces a lot of written content for our clients (such as blogs), you would expect us to wax lyrical about the benefits of content. Something would seriously be amiss if we didn’t, and make no mistake we do think content is amazing. It’s the most important part of any digital marketing strategy and is essential for the success of your website. However, you might be surprised to hear us bestow the virtues of recycling your content, rather than creating new content every time you need to share something.

Considering we write content, aren’t we doing ourselves out of work by saying this?

Let me explain.

For our clients, our own website and for other websites we own we produce lots and lots of content. We write thousands of blogs per month truth be told (like this one you’re reading now). These blogs are, for the most part, published on websites that use WordPress. They are then, often, shared out across social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

It’s these shares that give the content the opportunity of going viral, but only the ‘opportunity’. I’m not about to explain how you generate viral content, as that’s not really a thing that can be explained and followed. Nobody can ‘generate viral content’. You can generate content that has the potential to go viral, but it’s never guaranteed and usually it’s highly unlikely. There, I’ve said it.

In fact, and this is kind of the point of this particular article, if you create content with the intention of it being shared, engaged with and (fingers crossed) going viral then you don’t really want to give it just the one chance to do so. You see, when a piece of content is written and published to your website it doesn’t mean it has to go viral, or achieve loads of engagement, then and there. It’s not a one shot deal.

It has time on its side.

This is why, at Engage Web, we like to recycle content. This doesn’t mean creating duplicate content. Oh no. Do NOT do that!

No, this means sharing the same page of content across your social media channels, networks, emails, newsletters or however you like to share content, more than once. Something that has all of the tools to succeed the first time, and doesn’t, could well succeed the second time.

For example, Engage Web has a blog post about tracing a fake Facebook account that received very little interaction or traffic for the first few months it was live on the website. Then, following some fortuitous engagement from the right sources, things got very exciting. The post has subsequently received almost 150,000 page views. If we had gauged the success of the content based on the initial couple of months, we could have deemed it a failure. It has since, however, gone on to become a steady source of traffic, enquiries and indeed sales for Engage Web.

On a similar note, in April we published a satire news story on one of our own websites about a Nokia 3310 being found after 20 years with 70% battery. It was a spoof news story, or ‘Fake News’ as a certain President likes to call it. It also received little engagement on social media.

We could have given up on it but, as we know that content can be recycled and shared again with wildly different results, we did so last week. This time things were very different, with the post receiving over a quarter of a million engagements and over 66,000 shares.

The exact same content. The same link. Not a single word changed, with the same picture. Yet the results could not have been more different.

This is why you should recycle your content. Don’t assume something is dead and has run its course just because you have received little or no engagement from it the first time. It could be timing. It could be the right person seeing it. The right share. All factors outside your control.

Also, recycling is good for the environment.

Darren Jamieson

Technical Director at Engage Web
Darren is Technical Director at Engage Web, as well as being a co-founder of the company. He takes a hands-on approach to SEO and web design, helped by more than 15 years’ experience in these fields.

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