Need a Sustainable Content Strategy? Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

September 12, 2019

Who knew that last night’s take out containers could inspire a blog post? 

In content marketing, it pays to go (ever)green. Creating just one piece of good content takes significant time, money and mindshare. Doing this at scale has proven challenging for many marketing and communications professionalswith 50 percent of B2B marketers reporting that consistently producing content remains a top challenge. All too often projects are delayed or die in the idea phase, due to lacking bandwidth and budgets. Still, teams are under pressure to produce new long and short form content at rapid fire to support PR, branding, lead generation, thought leadership, sales support and market domination. A sustainable strategy is essential.   

So, what could be a better solution than the three ‘Rs’? The importance of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle has been ingrained in most of us since primary school. It’s the easiest way to be sustainable. It’s also the easiest way to launch a scalable content plan and get the most mileage out of your marketing dollars. Here’s how:


Less is more. The goal here is to reduce the time, money, and energy output required to create content, over the long term. Focus on channels, topics and campaigns that are producing results. Leverage data analysis to understand why those pieces are working and how they can be maximized. Invest more in high performing and engaging content and platforms. If a certain case study is drawing an unexpectedly high number of readers, feature it on your channels, and reuse it in new ways (more on that below). Weed out pieces that are underproducing and learn why they didn’t work, so mistakes aren’t repeated. Understanding how and where people are interacting with your content will help streamline where you make investments and boost results. 


Let’s be clear, reusing isn’t just reposting content, regardless of how much engagement it generates. With 77% of marketers reporting that certain content has reusable value, resulting in repeat visitors and multiple exposures, it’s time to take a closer look at how you are reusing. Dig through comments or pull from presentations, successful blogs and your most engaging social media posts. Draft new content by filling in gaps from previous pieces or expanding on your high-performing content. You can do the same for digital media. That successful webinar? Repurpose it as a YouTube video. A great client report? Incorporate the data into a case study. You get the picture. It’s not about simply rehashing content, but rather finding ways to reinvent it. 


The last step in creating a sustainable content creation strategy is to start recycling content.  This involves the process of breaking down content into bite-sized pieces, which can then be reworked to produce new materials. Part of the recycling process is identifying major content pillars and evergreen topics that you can fall back on again and again to reinforce your message. Ask yourself, is there content that performed well that you can focus your energy on in the future? Can those that didn’t perform well be altered to become more engaging?

According to Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing and generates nearly three times as many leads. Consider the ROI potential if you build on those metrics by saving even more time and resources when you reduce, reuse and recycle. You’ll get the most bang for your buck, your teams will thank you, and you’ll feel more confident knowing that you have a substantial bank of great content to keep things sustained. 

Allison Hefner
Social Media & Content Development Manager 

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