Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: Re-use Your Old Content

Recycling sign drawing womanWe live in a world where “new” gets attention. How often have you focused on “breaking news” or “happening now” stories? You already know generating new content helps to improve engagement with your communications, but you don’t always need to start from scratch to capture an audience. In fact, there are many ways to use what you’ve published in the past to help citizens and stakeholders reengage with your content.

Check out four simple methods below to help you put a new spin on something you’ve already created so you can gain more visibility without going back to the drawing board.

1. Make it Relevant—Again

Some of the content you’ve created is timeless. Without any revamping at all, you may be able to reference the ideas and key government topics you’ve published about in the past to the audience you are seeking to attract today. Doing so is simple; find content that correlates with what’s happening today or in the near future and show how they’re connected.

Try it: The next time you need to communicate on an issue for your organization, reference an older, related post or Web page. If the message is directed towards audiences that care about the topic at hand, you can get your point across effectively, reinforce your organization’s key message with stakeholders who may have seen the content previously, and attract new readers to the older yet “evergreen” material.

2. Refresh and Repost

Popular content often features data or engaging tools that were relevant at the time it was posted. With a few updates, these messages can easily make a comeback. When new stats come to the surface about topics of interest for your audience, take advantage of the moment to make it newsworthy again, using previous content as a shell to showcase your news.

Try it: The next time your organization has new statistics or a new report, dig up content from the last time you released a similar report or stats. You can either revise your old message accordingly and promote it, or use the older content as a comparison for the updated report so the public can peruse both.

3. Introduce Something Old into the New

For recurring events or important dates you want to draw attention to, you can always avoid creating brand new content by calling out the last time you covered that occasion. If you want to generate buzz, make your statement fresh and link to a previous post that still has pertinent information for your audience.

Try it: The next time you host an event or celebrate a milestone, use last year’s post about the same occasion to generate coverage about this one, so you can save time and send stakeholders to content that’s already out there.

4. Incorporate a Throwback

See an opportunity to reference something you’ve already posted? Use popular social media devices like “Throwback Thursday” to send out a bit of nostalgia to the masses. As your audience base grows, you cannot assume that everyone has had the chance to check out content that has performed well in the past. A little post to remind them about what’s out there can go a long way to make the work you’ve already done applicable again in the future.

Try it: Find a few fun and engaging messages that could resonate today and make a playful nod to them in your communications to hook readers. A simple headline like “This Week in 19XX…” and some great images can easily connect your readers to your organization’s mission and history. You may be surprised at how effective recycling your old material can be to new eyes.

Have you incorporated any of these tactics into your digital communications strategy to revive existing content and engage new stakeholders? Let us know what’s worked for you.

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