Content Repurposing: What We've Learned from Our Biggest Mistakes

Intro to Content Repurposing

Welcome to the intricate, and often misunderstood world of content repurposing. Now, you may be asking, "What exactly is content repurposing?" Simply put, it's the practice of taking a piece of existing content and tweaking or transforming it to serve a different purpose or platform while still preserving its core message. This might mean turning a detailed blog post into a series of engaging tweets or converting an informative webinar into bite-sized YouTube videos.

When executed correctly, content repurposing can supercharge your brand's online presence and significantly extend the lifespan of your original content. But like all things in the rapidly evolving digital landscape, success in this area comes with its own set of challenges.

Now, imagine playing a song on glorious vinyl only to later hear it screeching from a dodgy cassette tape - the magic is lost. That’s what missteps in content repurposing can feel like. As someone who's been knee-deep in the field for over a decade, I've seen firsthand how overlooking certain aspects or rushing the process can lead to less-than-stellar results and cause dissonance instead of harmonious messaging.

From instances where valuable messages were lost in translation due to hasty copy-pasting, to scenarios where visually stunning infographics turned into pixelated nightmares when shrunk for social media platforms - let's just say I've witnessed my fair share of content repurposing blunders. Not pretty!

But here's the silver lining: Every failure brings along powerful lessons that help us do better next time. So whether you're just starting out or have been doing this for years but still finding yourself getting tripped up by those pesky pitfalls - stick around!

The goal of this blog is simple: to share some hard-learned lessons from common failures in content repurposing. By providing you with tangible examples and effective strategies, we hope to save you from some repeated facepalm moments. We'll dive into several areas where content repurposing can go awry and offer clear solutions to steer your strategy towards success.

In the following sections, I'll share with you the key lessons learned from various missteps in content repurposing - insights that I hope will empower you to revamp your strategy and make the most out of your invaluable content. So get ready for a journey through hard truths, valuable takeaways, and crucial do's and don'ts in the world of content repurposing.

Understanding the Value of Originality in Content Repurposing

As you delve deeper into content repurposing, it’s worth underlining a key aspect: originality. Simply copying and pasting your content verbatim across different platforms is a common mistake, but it’s one that can seriously undermine your repurposing efforts.

Here’s why: Each platform comes with its own unique set of characteristics and norms - an Instagram post requires a different skillset and approach than, say, creating content for LinkedIn. By simply replicating your content without mindful adaptation, you risk neglecting these considerations and delivering content that is out of sync with the platform’s dynamics or your audience’s expectations.

Suppose you’ve written a highly detailed, data-driven blog post. It did wonders on your website and was well-received by your reader base there. Emboldened by this success, you decide to share the exact blog post on Twitter - a platform known for its brevity and fast-paced feeds. However, things fall flat here.

Rather than generating engagement or sparking conversation, your tweet thread goes unnoticed. A big chunk of text copied from a blog doesn’t quite fit into Twitter’s quick-fire dialogue environment. This disconnect is where the copy-paste approach to content repurposing fails.

But here’s where things get interesting: What if instead of directly copying that blog post into a tweet thread, you had distilled key points into pithy, engaging snippets? Or created vibrant graphics to represent the hard data from your blog? This approach would have leveraged Twitter’s fondness for brevity and visual appeal - enhancing the chances of your content striking a chord with users there.

One example of failed content repurposing due to lack of originality took place in my early days as a content strategist for a tech startup. We had crafted a brilliantly comprehensive whitepaper on industry trends. Given its success on our website, we decided to directly share large chunks as captions on Instagram - assuming that the substance would win over our audience.

Unfortunately, the posts resulted in low engagement and even some confusion. Instagram’s users, who were habituated to visually appealing content with relatively brief captions, were thrown off by our heavy text-based approach.

This experience was a wake-up call that content repurposing is not a one-size-fits-all process. It underscored the need to adapt our content in a way that not only preserved the original message but also resonated with different platform dynamics and audience preferences.

So remember: originality is key. When you respect each platform’s unique requisites and your audience’s expectations, you enhance your content’s chances of success across the board. It adds an extra layer of work, sure - but it’s most certainly worth it!

The Pitfall of Ignoring Platform-Specific Norms

Content repurposing is not a one-size-fits-all process. A key element that often goes overlooked in this practice is recognizing and adapting to the unique norms of each platform you're targeting. Just as you wouldn't speak the same way to your boss as you would to your childhood friend, you should tailor your content to suit the specific platform's culture and audience expectations.

Each social media platform, be it LinkedIn or Instagram, Twitter or TikTok, has its own language, preferred content format, and unspoken 'rules'. LinkedIn users expect professional and informative posts. Instagram leans towards striking visuals and storytelling. Twitter thrives on quick, punchy updates and conversations, while TikTok is all about short-form video content that's engaging or entertaining. Ignoring these platform-specific norms can make your repurposed content stick out like a sore thumb - and not in a good way.

Now, let's take a trip down memory lane. I recall an instance where a company that I won't name tried to transfer their long-form LinkedIn articles directly to Instagram, without any alterations. Their content was informative, well-structured, and performed incredibly well on LinkedIn. However, when they decided to dive into the Instagram pool by posting lengthy text-heavy posts as captions under unrelated picturesque images, they were met with crickets.

Their posts saw minimal engagement. Their follower count stagnated. The comment section was barren. What went wrong? They ignored Instagram's norms: the preference for visually appealing posts with succinct captions that evoke emotion or tell a story. A simple oversight led their content repurposing effort astray.

So how do you adapt content effectively across different platforms? Here are some tips:

  1. Know Your Platforms: Understand the intricacies of each platform you're targeting. What kind of content resonates with its users? What formats perform best? The answers to these questions will guide your repurposing strategy.

  2. Rethink, Don't Recycle: When repurposing content, don't just copy and paste. Take the time to rethink how the original message can be best conveyed in the new format or platform.

  3. Engage with the Audience: Every platform has different ways to interact with the audience. Use emojis, hashtags, or tagging on Instagram. On LinkedIn, use professional language and engage in industry discussions. Engaging appropriately enhances your content's performance.

  4. Experiment and Evolve: What works today might not work tomorrow. Stay open to feedback, keep an eye on trends, and continuously revise your repurposing strategy.

Remember, successful content repurposing is like translating a book into multiple languages - each version must respect and adapt to its own cultural nuances while preserving the original message.

Quality Over Quantity: A Key Misstep

When it comes to content repurposing, there's a common misconception that can lead even the most seasoned marketers astray: the belief that more content always equates to better engagement. This could not be further from the truth. In the rush to churn out more content, quality often takes a backseat - a misstep that can have far-reaching consequences.

Firstly, let's address the elephant in the room: why does this misconception about quantity over quality persist in the realm of content repurposing? The answer is simple - it feeds into the instant gratification mind-set. It's satisfying to see a surge in output, and with the constant demand for new content on multiple platforms, it can be tempting to repurpose as much as possible, as quickly as possible.

However, this approach overlooks a fundamental principle: quality matters. In an age where consumers are bombarded with information from every angle, standing out requires more than just adding to the noise. It's about delivering value - offering insights, telling captivating stories, and creating meaningful connections. And this simply isn't possible if your focus is on churning out content like a factory production line.

Let's look at a real-world example of prioritizing quantity over quality leading to negative outcomes in content repurposing. A renowned lifestyle brand, keen on keeping up with their competitors, decided to take every blog post and turn it into a series of Instagram posts, Tweets, LinkedIn updates, and YouTube videos - all within a matter of days. Sounds impressive, right? Wrong! The rapid spread meant that each piece of repurposed content received little attention to detail and hardly any customization for its respective platform.

The result? A barrage of bland and impersonal content that made followers feel spammed rather than engaged. Instead of experiencing the brand's usual impactful narratives and eye-catching visuals, they were faced with rushed, cookie-cutter content that lacked the brand's signature touch. Engagement rates plummeted, and so did their reputation for quality content.

This example illustrates a crucial lesson: when it comes to content repurposing, less can indeed be more. It's not about how many times you can repurpose a piece of content, but how you do it. Take the time to adapt your message for each platform. Pay attention to aesthetics, language, and user behavior. Remember, your goal isn't just to fill up space; it's to provide value and strengthen your brand's relationship with its audience.

In the world of content repurposing, quality should never be compromised for quantity. Because at the end of the day, it's not about how much noise you make, but how well your voice resonates with the audience.

Neglecting Audience Engagement and Feedback

Content repurposing is not a one-way street where information is simply relayed from the creator to the audience. Instead, it should be viewed as a dynamic conversation, a two-way exchange that encourages interaction and fosters engagement. Ignoring this crucial aspect can turn your well-intended repurposing efforts into wasted opportunities.

Let's dive into an example that underscores this point. A few years ago, a client of mine had created a highly informative e-book about the ins and outs of digital marketing. The e-book was well-received, and so they decided to repurpose its content into several blog posts. However, despite the valuable information each post carried, they saw little to no engagement.

The issue? They had overlooked the importance of interaction in their content repurposing strategy. While the e-book was a standalone piece meant for quiet consumption, the blog format opened up opportunities for conversation through comments and shares – opportunities that were missed due to lack of prompts for audience engagement.

Now, how do we avoid such setbacks in content repurposing? How do we facilitate continuous interactions and take into account constructive feedback from our audience?

Firstly, make your content interactive. Encourage your audience to share their thoughts or experiences related to the topic at hand. For instance, if you're transforming a podcast episode about healthy eating habits into an Instagram carousel post, don't just present the points as is. Instead, pose a question like "Which of these habits do you already follow?" or "Which habit do you find the most challenging to maintain?". This not only makes your repurposed content more engaging but also gives you valuable insight into your audience's preferences and behavior.

Next, always be open to feedback and incorporate it wherever relevant. If you've converted an exhaustive white paper into a series of blog posts and a reader suggests that a visual representation would have helped them understand better, consider it for your future content repurposing endeavors. Perhaps infographics or short video clips could be incorporated into your strategy. Remember, feedback is a valuable tool for continuous improvement and innovation in your content repurposing journey.

Lastly, engage with your audience's responses. Reply to comments, acknowledge shares, and appreciate the time they took to interact with your content. This not only fosters a sense of community but also makes your audience feel heard and valued - an essential aspect of successful content marketing.

Don't let your content repurposing efforts go in vain by neglecting audience engagement and feedback. Remember, it's about creating a dialogue, not a monologue. Incorporate interactive elements, be open to feedback, and always strive to keep the conversation going - this is the way to win at content repurposing.

Inconsistency in Brand Voice and Messaging

As we delve further into the world of content repurposing, let's talk about something that often gets overlooked: consistency in brand voice and messaging. While it’s essential to adapt your content to suit each platform's unique style and audience, it's equally crucial to maintain consistency in your brand's voice and messaging throughout. This consistency serves as the thread that ties all your content together, building a recognizable and trustworthy brand identity.

However, the road to consistency is riddled with potential pitfalls. It's all too easy to lose sight of your brand's voice in the process of tailoring content to different formats and platforms. When your brand voice fluctuates wildly from post to post or platform to platform, it can confuse your audience and dilute your brand's identity.

Let me share a story that perfectly illustrates this point. A few years ago, I came across a brand that sold eco-friendly beauty products. They had a strong online presence and a clear brand voice centered on sustainability and environmental responsibility. Their blog posts were insightful, informative, and strongly echoed their ethos.

However, when they ventured into content repurposing, they seemed to lose their way. Their Instagram posts, while visually appealing, lacked the depth and commitment to sustainability that was clear in their blog posts. Their Twitter feed, on the other hand, was filled with light-hearted, humorous tweets that felt jarringly off-brand.

The inconsistency in their brand voice led to a loss of trust among their audience. Their engagement dropped, and they faced criticism for failing to uphold their commitment to sustainability across all platforms. It was a classic case of content repurposing gone wrong due to inconsistency in brand voice and messaging.

So, how can you maintain a consistent brand voice while effectively repurposing content? Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  1. Establish a Clear Brand Voice: Before you start repurposing content, clearly define your brand's voice. Is it formal or casual? Educative or entertaining? Once you've nailed down your brand voice, use it as a guiding principle for all content repurposing efforts.

  2. Create a Brand Style Guide: A style guide is an invaluable tool for maintaining consistency. It outlines your brand's voice, tone, and messaging guidelines, ensuring that all content aligns with your brand identity.

  3. Review and Edit: Always review your repurposed content to ensure it aligns with your brand voice. Editing is an essential step in the repurposing process, allowing you to adjust and refine your content to maintain consistency.

Inconsistency in brand voice and messaging can be a major stumbling block in content repurposing. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your repurposed content reinforces, rather than undermines, your brand's identity and message.

Overlooking SEO and Analytics in Content Repurposing

If content repurposing were a symphony, then SEO and analytics would be its conductor. They guide the performance, ensuring each note hits just right, reaching the audience it's intended for and creating a lasting impact. Yet, surprisingly, many marketers still overlook these vital elements when repurposing their content.

Successful content repurposing isn't just about reshaping content to fit different platforms or audiences. It's about understanding how this content performs, who it reaches, and how it can be optimized for better visibility and engagement. This is where SEO and analytics come into play.

However, neglecting SEO and analytics in content repurposing can lead to a host of issues. For instance, repurposing a well-performing blog post into a video without considering keyword optimization for the new format might result in the video getting lost in the sea of online content. Similarly, failing to analyze how your audience interacts with different types of content across various platforms can leave you shooting in the dark, unsure of what works and what doesn't.

I recall working with a client who was eager to repurpose their long-form blogs into a series of podcasts. However, they overlooked the importance of incorporating SEO strategies specific to podcasts. The result? Despite the high-quality content, the podcast series struggled to reach their target audience and gain traction.

So, how can we leverage SEO and analytics for effective content repurposing?

Firstly, when repurposing content, remember that each platform has its own SEO best practices. Whether it's optimizing video descriptions on YouTube or using relevant hashtags on Twitter, make sure you're tailoring your SEO strategies to each platform.

Secondly, dive deep into your analytics. Understand what type of content resonates with your audience on different platforms. Look at metrics like engagement rate, time spent on page, shares, and comments. This data will provide valuable insights into what works and what doesn't, helping you make informed decisions when repurposing your content.

Lastly, keep track of your repurposed content's performance. Regularly reviewing and adjusting your strategy based on your analytics can significantly boost the effectiveness of your repurposed content.

Remember, in the realm of content repurposing, SEO and analytics are not just supporting characters; they're leading roles driving your strategy towards success.

Failure to Evolve and Adapt

One of the most crucial aspects of content repurposing, and indeed any aspect of digital marketing, is the ability to evolve and adapt. It's a dynamic environment out there, with trends shifting faster than ever before. What worked brilliantly last month might be obsolete today. Ignoring this ever-changing landscape is one of the most common pitfalls in content repurposing.

In the world of content repurposing, one size does not fit all, and one time does not fit forever. The trick is to keep your fingers on the pulse of what's trending, what's preferred by your audience, and how you can align your repurposed content with these factors.

Let's take social media platforms as an example. Each platform has its unique set of trends and user behaviors. A funny meme that works wonders on Instagram might fall flat on LinkedIn, where professional insights and thought leadership are more appreciated. Likewise, a long-form article that garners high engagement on your blog might need to be broken down into bite-sized tips or visual infographics for Twitter or Pinterest.

This is where a platform like can be a game-changer. By using such a platform, you can easily adapt your content to the unique requirements of each channel without losing the core message. It's like having a skilled translator who can flawlessly convert your content into different 'languages' - from blogs to tweets, infographics to video scripts - ensuring it resonates with the specific audience of each platform.

But adaptation isn't just about tweaking content for different platforms; it also involves keeping your content relevant and timely. This means staying updated with industry news, societal happenings, and shifts in consumer behavior. Your audience is evolving, their preferences are changing, and your content repurposing strategy should reflect that.

So how do you stay relevant and adaptable in content repurposing? Here are some strategies:

  1. Continual Learning and Research: Keep abreast of the latest trends and updates in your industry and the digital marketing landscape. Attend webinars, read industry reports, follow thought leaders, and use tools that provide insights into trending topics.

  2. Regular Audience Engagement: Engage with your audience regularly to understand their changing needs and preferences. Conduct surveys, encourage comments and feedback, and monitor social media conversations.

  3. Experimentation: Don't be afraid to experiment with different content formats, styles, and platforms. Use analytics to measure the effectiveness of your experiments and fine-tune your strategy accordingly.

  4. Leveraging Tools and Platforms: Utilize tools and platforms like that streamline the content repurposing process and make it easier to adapt to different platforms and trends.

Failing to evolve and adapt in content repurposing is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. It just won't work. Stay flexible, stay updated, and remember - content repurposing is not a one-and-done task, but a continual process of learning, adapting, and evolving.


As we journey through the winding path of content repurposing, we must pause to reflect on the significant lessons we've picked up along the way. The journey hasn't been without its fair share of pitfalls, and it's only through understanding these missteps that we can truly refine our strategies and enhance our approach.

First, we discovered the vital importance of originality in repurposing content. Simply duplicating content across various platforms won't cut it - each platform has its unique language, and our content must speak it fluently. We've also understood that more is not always better - quality must never be sacrificed for quantity. In our quest to create more content, we must ensure that each piece is valuable, engaging, and impactful.

Our journey also revealed the significance of audience engagement and consistent brand voice. Ignoring feedback or failing to engage with our audience can turn even the most meticulously repurposed content into a futile exercise. Similarly, an inconsistent brand voice can confuse our audience and dilute our message.

Finally, we've learned about the critical roles of SEO and analytics in content repurposing, and how overlooking these can lead to poor performance. We also understood the importance of staying relevant and adaptable in this ever-changing digital landscape.

Remember, each failure in content repurposing is a stepping stone towards a more refined strategy. Embrace these failures as opportunities to learn, grow, and improve. One such opportunity is to leverage a platform like that simplifies the process of content repurposing while ensuring you avoid these common pitfalls.

The journey of content repurposing is ongoing, filled with constant learning and evolution. It's a journey that requires creativity, adaptability, and a willingness to learn from past mistakes. But remember, every step you take in this journey, every lesson you learn from your failures, brings you one step closer to mastering the art of content repurposing. And in this art lies the power to amplify your brand's message, engage with your audience on a deeper level, and make your content work harder for you. So, keep going, keep learning, and keep repurposing!