December 26, 2018

A dummies guide to video repurposing

Video repurposing as done by an editor for effective content marketing

We are quick to dismiss a piece of content when it doesn’t get the desired acceptance from the audience. But should we? While text content might not lend itself to easy repurposing, videos, on the other hand, provide for ample repackaging opportunities. Enter video repurposing. Considering the number of social media platforms on which you can serve content in different styles and formats, it is critical to repackage and redistribute your videos for a wider reach.

What is video repurposing?

Repurposing literally means to adapt something existing to use differently. Content can be used similarly, with each repurposed piece providing a fresh perspective. Whether you do so to suit the platform of choice or to provide a new perspective, video repurposing can prove to be very beneficial for you as a content creator.

Why repurpose video content?

First off, you can repurpose your videos just to enhance their reach. A video you uploaded in the past might not have reached the number of people it should have. You can change this by uploading the same piece with some added elements. Remember, there is absolutely no shame in serving old wine in a new bottle. Just present something interesting and unique to the audience in the repurposed video, and you are home.

Secondly, different digital platforms have their own set of rules and algorithms. A three-minute YouTube video will not work on an Instagram feed that allows only 60 seconds of video content. The problem is worse on Twitter where you can only upload a 30-second clip. Hence, you will need to adapt your videos to a native platform’s requirements to effectively convey a message.

Video repurposing significantly increases a content piece’s shelf life. It can boost SEO ranking, help your content reach newer audiences, help you distribute it better across various platforms and support a broader marketing strategy.

How does one repurpose video? 

With video repurposing, you are essentially refreshing content that otherwise might seem dated. And it really isn’t difficult to do. Two simple ways to refine your videos are to add a transcription of the video content and/or break one video into several shorter clips.

Adding text refines your video in several ways. The primary purpose it serves is making your video more search-friendly. Google cannot index plain videos and, hence, adding transcriptions and closed captions will help Google know more about them. It goes without saying that this will significantly boost the reach of your video through search.

With closed captions and/or transcriptions, you will also reach out to viewers who might be consuming video content on mute. Adding text information to video helps viewers get an idea of the content quickly without having to rely on the audio. This helps hold their attention for longer.

Transcribing your videos also allows you to supplement them with blogs on your website, or your LinkedIn or Medium pages, to further enhance your content. Make sure you link your viewers from your videos to related blogs, if any.

Here is an excellent example of a well-transcribed video.

Breaking a video down into shorter clips will also help your content in ways more than one. For starters, you can better serve an audience that suffers from an ever-decreasing attention span. People want quality content served quickly, without having to sit through a needlessly long video. Shorter clips help to keep your viewers focused and wanting more information if the clips are woven together smartly, making them part of a series.

It has already been discussed how several social platforms allow only short-length videos. The ideal length of a YouTube video is ten times that of a Facebook video (14.5 minutes on YouTube and 1.3 minutes on Facebook). On Instagram and Twitter, it is 60 seconds and 30 seconds, respectively.

Make sure you redirect viewers from your shorter clips to your YouTube channel where they can subscribe to your channel and watch the complete videos if they wish to. This way, your shortened clips will help your YouTube reach as well.

Another interesting way of video repurposing is to add ‘bloopers’ if your content allows it. People often like watching all that goes on behind the scenes, and blooper reels grab attention. Short candid and comic additions to supplement your video content will help your audience get hooked more easily.


A video is one of the best forms of serving content and also one that allows for creative repurposing. To gain wider acceptance as a content creator and build credibility, video repurposing is a very effective tool. Do it well and you are bound to reach a wider audience, improve your SEO rankings, increase the life of your videos, and make the most of a single piece of content.