How to Build a Content Repurposing Workflow in 5 Steps

Get more value out of your content by repurposing it. Here are five steps to building a content repurposing workflow that works for your brand.

How to Build a Content Repurposing Workflow in 5 Steps

Content repurposing has taken center stage right now—and for good reason. Every distribution platform and content format is competitive, especially video content, which takes more time and effort to produce. So, marketers are turning to content repurposing to get more value out of existing content and free up some bandwidth. 

But aimlessly resizing and reposting content doesn’t actually drive success. To avoid the content treadmill, you need a reliable repurposing system that produces great content, not mediocre results. 

Today, we’re breaking down how to build a custom content repurposing workflow for your brand in five steps.

Step #1: Set your goals for repurposing

Before you dive into how and where you’ll be repurposing content, it’s important to consider your why. 

“Because leadership wants us to publish more content” is a common but not particularly helpful why. That’s how you end up repurposing without a purpose, which is a surefire way to lead yourself to burnout, frustration, and lackluster results. Even outcome-oriented objectives, like “Take more shots on goal,” don’t go deep enough.

Let’s look at two distinct goals:

  1. Distribute our thought leadership content through our internal team on social media, and
  2. Turn more of our social and video content into search-friendly blog posts

Repurposing can help accomplish both of these things! The workflow to arrive at each of those goals is very different, though. Without a precise goal in mind, it will be hard to set up an efficient workflow and, even worse, hard to say if your repurposing efforts have even been successful.

You don’t have to choose one of the goals above. The point is to think about your marketing goals and how republishing or repurposing your existing content can help you achieve them.

In your next strategy session or brainstorm, map out how you might use republishing for each goal. Some examples:

  • Do you want to expand your audience outside of your owned channels? Turning blog posts or webinars into social media clips could be fruitful.
  • Do you want to leverage an executive’s reach and influence to convince your target audience of your brand’s POV? Repurposing can help fill their posting calendar with on-target messaging.
  • Do you want to add fuel to your SEO efforts without doubling your workload? Converting videos into blog posts is one way to do that.

Repurposing isn’t going to be the right fit for every goal, of course. But this exercise will help you narrow in on the goals you do want to focus your repurposing efforts on.

Step #2: Select your anchor formats

Anchor formats are the content formats where most of your repurposed material will be drawn from. We think of these as the channels where your ideas make “first contact” with your audience. You can start with any format where you’ll be investing time and attention regularly.

For example, one very common anchor format is a longform B2B podcast. That’s one of the anchor formats we use, with repurposed video clips and written content appearing across our blog, brand social accounts, and personal social accounts. One of the reasons we like the podcast is that it’s a relatively informal, unstructured format where we can talk through ideas and points of view before taking them to other channels and refining them.

An example of how we explore a single idea in our podcast then expand on it across multiple channels.

There are three main things to think about when choosing your repurposing anchor format.

1. Choose at least one anchor format that’s video-focused

Video content has some of the best reach and highest potential for repurposing—most social media platforms bias toward video these days, so there are plenty of places to publish your repurposed content.

2. Consider both long-form → short-form and short-form → long-form

Long-form to short-form is intuitive and frequently used, but short-from to long-form is very underrated. Picking a place where you’ll publish short-form ideas helps you test unproven ideas or angles before investing in a piece of long-form content. 

Not sure how an idea or recent trend will land with your audience? Trial it on your preferred short-form channel, then repurpose to a longer-form piece once you have evidence that it’s resonating.

3. Think about effort and outcome when choosing your format 

One of the benefits of repurposing content is that you get more value out of each piece of content by breaking it down into multiple assets for different audiences. When choosing your anchor mediums, picking at least one traditionally high-effort format can help offset the initial investment of time and effort it takes to produce a blog post or podcast episode.

Step #3: Map out your repurposing workflow

You don’t need a literal map, but a visual workflow chart can be helpful for organizing your repurposing process and seeing how everything interconnects.

A roadmap for your repurposing strategy should outline, at a minimum:

  1. Where original, net-new content is published (e.g., your anchor formats)
  2. Where this content will be repurposed (e.g., your repurposing channels)
  3. At what cadency you plan on repurposing each week (e.g., 3x clips per week)

Your repurposing map isn’t meant to be set in stone, especially as you’re just starting out. Content always rests on a bit of serendipity and trend hopping, so don’t force yourself to republish content that just doesn’t work on your other channels because of an arbitrary goal.

Consider the map more of a guideline to follow than an inflexible path you have to stick to. Having a clearly defined map will help you forecast how your average week will look, which is useful for planning, goal setting, and course correcting.

Step #4: Choose how you’ll repurpose the content

This step is less about choosing your repurposing format or channel and more about how you approach the actual repurposing part of the process. 

Fit the approach to the content

We’ve covered before that there are really multiple ways to repurpose content on social media. “Repurposing” and “atomization” are broad terms that include a number of different approaches. Which approach you choose largely depends on the content you’re looking to repurpose.

You can take a one to one approach, where you take one piece of content and repackage it for another medium or channel without changing the content, just the format. For example, taking a blog post and turning it into a video script for YouTube.

The one to many approach works similarly. Think about repurposing a video podcast for social media: you break it down into multiple short clips, trimming and resizing it without changing the actual content you’re sharing.

Content atomization requires more effort, but works well for assets that don’t translate well to a new medium or for hitting strong POVs on multiple platforms and from multiple angles. The assets are all new, but the core ideas and talking points are pulled from existing content.

You don’t have to commit to a single style of repurposing. Instead, we recommend finding a framework that helps you identify when to use one method over another. One framework we like comes from Michele Linn at Mantis Research. Although this framework is recommended for survey-based data stories, it can be applied to most types of marketing content:

Linn’s framework ranges from the copy/paste end of the repurposing spectrum all the way to sharing net new information by reimagining the original asset, concept, or theme for a new purpose.

Fit the content to the channel

Whatever framework you go with, decide how you’ll repurpose certain regular formats. 

For example, we never repurpose our podcast to a standard transcript on our blog because that wouldn’t make sense for our blog as a channel. We fully rewrite these stories to match the style we’d use for any standard blog post. That’s a repurpose style we commit to for that format.

Another, perhaps more extreme example: Would you cross-post a vertical video from your CEO’s LinkedIn to your brand’s TikTok account? Probably not.

You have to tailor-fit content to the channel, rather than force-fit. 

Three things to keep in mind when deciding if a piece of repurposed content works for a channel:

  1. Does this fit our goals for this channel? Repurposed content should still fit within your channel strategy and serve that channel’s goal, whether that’s awareness, acquisition, education, etc.
  2. Does this fit the theme and style of this channel? See our previous example about cross-posting our podcast episodes to our company blog. We’ve set an expectation of what kinds of articles our readers will find when they come to our site and we have to maintain that standard.
  3. Does this content work well on this platform? This is a little more subjective; you’ll have to rely on your past experience and analytics to inform what kind of content works well on each channel.

Step #5: Speed up your workflow

The biggest hurdle with repurposing is that, when done right, it still takes plenty of time—often more time than leadership expects!

While repurposing content is still faster than creating everything from scratch, you’re still publishing content at scale which requires time and effort. You can speed up your workflow by using AI-powered tools, though, by automating repetitive tasks or expediting the “first pass” phase.

Look for parts of your content repurposing workflow where you don’t have to apply as much creative decision-making. Here are some of our favorite ways to speed up our own workflow:

1. Formatting a transcript with ChatGPT before revising

One of the ways we repurpose our weekly video podcast is by turning it into a blog post. We transcribe the video first, then rewrite it. 

Most transcription tools leave you with a wall of text, which is tedious to read through and format into something usable. To speed this up, we recommend pasting the transcript into ChatGPT to break it down and format it for you.

Some prompts that we’ve found helpful when formatting our transcripts include:

  • Format this transcript by creating line breaks when each speaker starts talking. This is especially good if you’re trying to pull specific quotes and want to be able to find them at a glance.
  • Write a five bullet-point summary of what the speakers are discussing in this text. Helpful for writing an article brief or drafting social copy with key takeaways from the video.
  • Remove/change all instances of “[Word X]” to “[Word Y].” If you have a brand name or other popular noun that transcription software tends to get wrong, batch correcting it like this saves time. Kapwing users can set Custom Spellings in their Brand Kits to autocorrect these kinds of mistakes and skip this step.
  • Add sub-headings to this transcript to group the main topics of discussion between these two speakers. Breaking up the transcript like this will help you write and outline and group key ideas and takeaways together.

You’ll still have plenty of writing and editing work to do, but the goal here isn’t to create something ready to publish. Instead, you’re just speeding up a few steps to kickstart the writing process.

2. Finding clips with Repurpose Studio before editing

Editing an engaging clip does take a very creative touch, but finding an initial set of clips, adding subtitles, or getting to a rough cut are much more standardized parts of the workflow and can be automated. Kapwing’s Repurpose Studio automatically finds the best clips from a longer video and formats them for social media.

We use this feature to take our long video podcast episodes and find clips for our brand socials as well as individual team members’ accounts.

3. Automatically resizing clips we plan to repost 1:1

Sometimes, the best way to repurpose a clip is just to resize it for a different platform. Instead of manually adjusting the aspect ratio of every clip, we use Kapwing’s automatic resize. This allows us to turn one clip into three (or more) posts for different social platforms.

Building a content repurposing workflow for your brand

There’s no one size fits all content repurposing strategy, because how, why, and where you repurpose your content will vary depending on your audience, message, and goals.

But following these guidelines should help you build a thoughtful content repurposing workflow that's focused on impact, not just output.

Create content faster with Kapwing's online video editor →