Seven Tips for Repurposing Video Content


I produce a lot of content. As both a freelance journalist and a content marketerOpens a new window , efficiency with content creation is always on my mind. That’s why every time I produce a video for myself or a client, I get between 8 and 15 pieces of content for my effort. I can do better, too; even 15 is not enough.

That’s because video lends itself well to repurposing. I’m not talking about publishing the same video in multiple places, something that might have worked in the past but doesn’t perform well today. I’m suggesting you can do more with the video you conceptualize and shoot so each production gives you many pieces of content without much additional work.

“Video creation is a major investment for marketers, and getting the most out of your content is an important strategy for brands of any size,” notes David Kashak, CEO and co-founder of video platform, ConnatixOpens a new window .

This starts with good planning.

Tip #1: Know What You Want Before Making It

The trick with repurposing video content is defining all the ways you can use it before you even dive into conceptualizing your video. Each video production should be approached as a package that will get spun for multiple platforms and in multiple ways.

“Have a plan for what the repurposed content will be before you shoot,” stresses Brian Tane, founder and CEO of creative video agency, TaneOpens a new window .

When you start with where it will get used, you can engineer your video creation so it serves multiple uses without sacrificing time or quality.

Tip #2: Turn Each Idea into a Separate Video

One of my keys for getting more from each video production is thinking like a journalist. I don’t think in terms of story, I think in terms of idea. Then I build my stories around a collection of ideas.

This same approach can be used for taking a single video and making it into many standalone videos.

“Chop the video up and create clips for each point made within the video,” advises Lauren McHugh, a senior product manager at video platform, BrightcoveOpens a new window . “You can then build individual content around those points to build an even bigger story.”

Tip #3: Double Up as a Podcast

Many marketers make podcasts in the wrong way: They produce a podcast!

A better, more efficient system is building a video series and including a podcast in the overall production strategy. That’s because interviews and content-heavy video easily can be turned into a podcast with a little editing.

If you’re producing a podcast right now, you can expand it into a video program or a series of standalone videos with the next production cycle. If you’re already producing video, you have a podcast waiting to happen.

“You can also use this as a way to direct your audience back to the original video, and drive further engagement,” suggests Kashak.

Tip #4: Reuse Video as B-Roll

Every video benefits from B-roll, the cutaway shots that make video interesting and visually dynamic. One of the signs that a marketer understands video is creating B-roll with every video production.

The sign that a marketer understands video repurposing, on the other hand, is taking footage from past video shoots and stockpiling it as video for future projects. This is an old trick I learned my father, who ran a TV studio when I was a kid. It works wonders for video marketers, too, because it saves on the need for stock footage.

“Video footage can be costly to create or license, so reuse what you can,” says McHugh.

Tip #5: Recut Videos for Added Social Engagement

Every piece of content has a shelf life, whether it is an ad or a piece of video content on social media. This doesn’t mean you must come up with new ideas and new videos at the pace of that shelf life, however.

While there certainly is the possibility of overexposing an idea or piece of content, often videos come nowhere near that line because social media platforms have already discriminated against the video and stopped showing it to your audience.

“Facebook doesn’t like showing people the same stuff,” says Travis Chambers, founder and chief media hacker for video marketing firm, Chambers MediaOpens a new window . “So you should plan on continually updating your videos, and mixing and matching them up every 2-3 months.”

This is the easiest kind of video repurposing because it isn’t actually repurposing at all, it just looks like it.

Tip #6: Make Trailers for Longer Videos

Longer videos have their place—they serve as great source material for those short videos you can spin off with Tip #2 above. But sometimes longer videos do have a role in the marketing funnel as well, possibly as a content giveaway, evergreen webinar or instructional video.

You can further the utility and traction of these longer videos by creating short trailers that can be posted on social media as teasers for the longer video. These trailers are additional content from the same production, and also help get social media viewers to watch longer content off-platform.

“Short social teasers not only help promote your content,” says Kashak. “They serve as unique content as well.”

Tip #7: Spin Articles from Video Content

Videos you produce also make a good foundation for written content.

Over the years, I’ve written hundreds of articles that are no more than lightly-edited transcripts of video content I’ve produced, or are spinoff articles that deep-dive on a specific idea in a video. A great example is a MindBodyGreen pieceOpens a new window I wrote several years ago about strong marriages that was actually several short videos weaved together in a new way.

The story wrote itself because it was just a series of quotes from videos I had made, and behind the scenes I was able to make the story part of a larger lead gen campaign that tied into blog posts, marketing partnerships, podcast segments, exclusive giveaways and even sales for a related business.

Or if you are less industrious, you always can just use it on your blog as an additional piece of content.

“If you have a video that is more on the educational side, place it in a blog and add color commentary around the points you made in the video,” says McHugh.

All of these tips get back to a central idea: The video content you create is a gold mine of additional content that comes at little extra cost. If you’re not getting substantial mileage from each video production, you’re not fully utilizing the time you’ve already invested in video creation.