Content Repurposing Is More Than Copy and Paste

Abba and Barbie Content Repurposing Visuals

What does an iconic 70s pop band and this year’s summer blockbuster have in common? Both use content repurposing in their strategy and are taking the world by storm.

So, can content repurposing add value to your business efforts? And what is the result?

What is content repurposing?

Content repurposing transforms existing marketing content for different formats and channels. The goal of content repurposing is to reach a broader audience or a more targeted segment of your audience.

Examples of content repurposing include:

  • Blog posts to social media posts
  • Long form to shot form content
  • Video to podcast episodes
  • User-generated content to contests
  • Customer testimonials to social proof

What can content repurposing be used for?

Content repurposing is best when used across a variety of channels. This strategy best optimises to reach a broader audience or target different segments of the same audience. By focussing on the preferences and media habits of our audience, marketers can more effectively target and influence them.

By recycling, revitalising, and repurposing content, marketers can reinforce key messages and maximise the value of the original content.

How can content repurposing be useful?

Content repurposing offers many advantages in today’s digital landscape.

For one, it cuts down on costs to continually create new assets. Creating cost efficiency boils down to ‘sweating those assets’ and thinking of different ways to bring older materials ‘back to life’.

Can all content repurposing be good?

Absolutely! But how about concerns over quality, audience fatigue, and diminishing ROI?

All these concerns are valid. But let’s consider how getting more from your content can be key to effective marketing strategies. And we’re going to use ABBA and Barbie to tell that story…

ABBA uses content repurposing to win big!

ABBA downed their stage costumes and haven’t toured since 1980.

However, ‘ABBA Voyage’ is a virtual concert, currently running in London, that hosts the original band members as digital CGI avatars – or is that ‘ABBA-tars’? The concert uses video motion capture to project the band members onto the stage, despite them disbanding in 1982.

It’s been a massive success for ABBA and has broadened their reach to new audiences. Their new album launched at No. 1 and sales of their catalogue have accelerated.

Taking what was old and making it new, these pop stars are regaining global status with audiences through content repurposing.

So, is content repurposing just smoke and mirrors?

Behind the magic is British film director Baillie Walsh.

Walsh employs thousands of technicians and creatives: among others, the team from Industrial Light & Magic. The same studio founded by George Lucas.

And for what? To sell a few more tickets to support an iconic band in retirement? Or perhaps engage with audiences in a music industry first. Or perhaps attract a younger audience who never saw them in their heyday?

It’s all these, and more.

What could ABBA’s success teach marketers?

According to Walsh, “The important thing is the emotion. I want people to laugh, dance, cry”.

We can learn from Walsh as marketers, as we know that the most powerful influencer of consumer choices is emotion.

The concert draws heavily on past hits and integrates them with their new album, ‘Voyage’.

To audiences, it’s the same familiar ABBA, with some flashy new features. It’s their hits, their look, their dance moves… everything reminds the audience they are experiencing something familiar, yet new.

That doesn’t change whether they are experiencing them again, or for the first time.

How has Barbie coloured the world?

Brands grow by reinforcing key messages and consistent branding. That’s why content repurposing can have a lasting effect.

Imagine what brands like Tiffany & Co would be without their blue? Coke without their red, or Nike without their ‘Swoosh’?

Come to think of it, have you noticed the world seems more pink recently?

That would be due to Mattel’s US$150 million global marketing campaign for Barbie. That figure is just paid media costs. The earned media would be worth well over a billion dollars and still growing.

What is the impact of consistency in content repurposing?

Between Barbie and competing blockbuster, Oppenheimer, the colour pink has won the conversation. Barbie dominated the box office and won 88.6% share of voice.

In marketing terms, that’s a literal goldmine. A larger share of voice means a larger share of market over time and the revenues will keep rolling in.

In total, there have been:

  • 7 million social media posts about Barbie
  • reaching nearly 9.5 billion people
  • with more than 277 million engagements

That’s pretty impressive results for repurposed content used for over 64 years.

Does content repurposing really affect ROI?

If marketing metrics don’t impress you enough, let’s look at the bottom line.

  • US$165 million in its opening weekend (US$337 million globally)
  • Brand value up 20% since last year

How’s that for impressive ROI?

Can content repurposing stop audience fatigue?

I tried to buy tickets for ‘ABBA Voyage’. Even after a year on show, I was unable to find a single available ticket.

When I went to see Barbie, the cinema was at capacity. On a Tuesday night!

Perhaps my point is only anecdotal, but audience fatigue does not seem a problem for either brand.

I’d go as far as saying that content repurposing has reinvigorated both these brands and I’m sure we will be seeing much more of them to come in the years ahead.

What about creativity and originality?

In ABBA’s case, the original content created was both creative and original.

There is no question about the popularity of ABBA pretty much from the day they launched.

With the content revitalised, the brand is now able to reach new audiences and reengage exisiting audiences after forty years.

Considering that many brands are forgotten after only a year or a single hit, that’s a phenomenal achievement.

That’s the true power of well created content in the first instance and well managed brand consistency.

Barbie has also captured the world with its quality and consistency.

The brand has made a lasting impression, ensuring content reinforces positive attitudes. We certainly won’t be forgetting about this brand any time soon.

So, what can content repurposing do for your marketing strategy?

In the short term, ABBA and Barbie have seen huge brand resurgence, significant increases in revenues and brand value. Both marketing campaigns have been strategic, well planned and resulted in a strong return on investment.

So, can content repurposing deliver results with the same intensity?

In short YES, but only when the original content has been created with quality in mind and has resulted in a piece of content that is worthy of repurposing.

By reusing this kind of content, we can continue to revitalise brands, maximise ROI and create brand longevity well into the future.

Content that is created in hast, without a well thought through brand strategy is probably not the kind of content that you would reinvest in repurposing.

‘Sweating those GOOD assets’ can improve your brand’s value and keep your brand alive, when coupled with a well managed and consistent marketing strategy.

In short – invest in content wisely, pay the money to have original, strategic and well-crafted content created in the first place, and then it will continue to keep on giving on for years to come!


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