How to Use AI for Content Repurposing (An Excerpt From The Content Entrepreneur)

A blog post header image that shows a laptop computer screen. A page from OpenAI's ChatGPT is open on the screen. There is a text overlay that says this blog post topic is a book preview of how to repurpose content using AI.

Content should never be one and done. What I mean by that is, for every piece of content you create, you should have at least three uses. For example, your blog post becomes a podcast segment and a newsletter blurb. Or you take an infographic and create a LinkedIn carousel and an Instagram Reel from its elements.

This approach ensures you drive the most value from your content investments and enable your community to engage with your content in the ways that work best for them.

And thanks to the incredible power of AI, it’s easier than ever to create derivative content from your meaty blog post, audio content, video, or other content asset.

Learn how to use AI for content repurposing in this chapter preview from The Content Entrepreneur, a book by Joe Pulizzi and 30+ friends (including myself). Looking for more great advice to take your content creation further? Order a copy of the book.

How to Use AI for Content Repurposing

You’ve just completed a new piece of content and scheduled it for publication. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to move on to the next topic.

To maximize your time investment, it’s important to repurpose that content into other channels and content types. A blog post can quickly become social media content or a podcast topic. An e-book can become an infographic and a few blog posts. As you repurpose your content, new and old, you can build on new platforms, expand your reach, and gain access to new customers. [For some visual inspiration of which channels make the best repurposing partners, in two handy charts, order a copy of the book.]

Unfortunately, repurposing means a few more hours of work adapting the content to the best content styles for those channels. But generative AI tools with AI assistants can speed up repurposing.

Identifying the Right AI Tool for the Job

You can use four main AI types to repurpose your content. The best type to use depends on the content type you repurpose and the desired content output.

  • Natural language processing (NLP): NLP is a type of AI that focuses on understanding and processing human language. It can analyze audio, visual, and written content. With NLP, you identify key topics and themes and then use the AI to generate new content. Tools like IBM Watson and are used to produce video captions and transcripts and generate fresh content from existing materials.
  • Machine learning (ML): ML is a type of AI that involves training algorithms to learn from data and make predictions or decisions. In content repurposing, use ML tools like Microsoft Azure Machine Learning to analyze your data on user engagement and behavior. The tool can then make recommendations for—or draft—written derivative content that will probably perform well on your channels. Chatbots and content drafts can benefit from ML in repurposing and audience targeting.
  • Generative AI: Generative AI uses algorithms to generate new content based on defined parameters or inputs. In content repurposing, you can use generative AI such as ChatGPT to create new content based on existing content. For example, Canva’s generative AI creates images for social media posts from blog posts.
  • Computer vision: Computer vision is a type of AI that focuses on analyzing and interpreting visual data. Computer vision tools like Google Lens can analyze images and videos to identify core themes and topics. This type of AI then uses the analysis to create new visual content.

Setting Guidelines

The success of your AI-powered content creation depends on the quality of the input you give the tools. Guidelines will help AI create content that matches your brand.

Sharing your style guidelines—do you capitalize every word in your headlines or prefer to use the Oxford comma, etc.—with any AI tool is vital. But it’s helpful to document and share more to get the best results and greatest time savings.

Consider outlining your word counts and content recipes for your most frequently created content. If you already use a detailed content brief in your organization, it can be a useful starting point. At a minimum, consider documenting and sharing these elements:

  • Your company name
  • Who your audience is
  • Your brand voice attributes
  • The appropriate tone 
  • What capabilities to reflect as a content creator
  • The content you want to create and an example of that content type
  • The content you want the tool to repurpose

Here’s what this minimal feedback could look like as a prompt: 

“You are writing for Acme Insights, an analyst firm, for a B2B audience of human resources leaders. Our brand voice is innovative, friendly, and empathetic. Your content should have a warm and encouraging tone. It should show that you are an experienced content creator with knowledge of SEO and human capital best practices. You are creating three unique, nonduplicative LinkedIn posts with a call to action of clicking through to a landing page to download an e-book. Emulate this LinkedIn post style [Example]. Here is the content to repurpose [Original Content].”

Note that some tools will allow you to point them to a web link to replace the content indicated in the brackets above. Other tools will require you to copy any examples or templates you wish to follow and paste them into the prompt.

After writing your first prompt for a repurposing project, you can quickly and easily adapt and reuse it. Revise each prompt to reflect the nuances of your different content types and channels, and provide your most compelling examples.

AI Content Still Needs a Human Touch

AI is better and faster than humans for many content repurposing activities. But AI’s utility for content creation still has a few key limitations. A big problem is that it can make mistakes, including making up facts—sometimes called “hallucinations.” Similarly, AI can analyze data and identify patterns but has difficulty understanding the data’s context.

In its current state, while you could publish AI-generated content as is, you really shouldn’t. There are unresolved legal issues on copyright, since many AI programs were trained on copyrighted materials without the express permission of their authors. That’s even if you are okay with not being able to own the copyright on the work you generate. AI-generated work is also not public domain, so reuse still needs legal definition.

AI-created content always has a noticeable lack of human touch. Sure, AI can analyze data and identify trends quickly. However, it may not understand the nuances of language or the subtleties of human emotion. This can create technically correct content that lacks the empathy to engage and connect with your audience. While it may manage dry captions, you should not use it for sales copy.

To ensure quality, I suggest hiring an editor who understands the target audience to review the AI-generated copy. Such an editor will ensure that:

  • Content is accurate
  • Sources are cited (and can be verified as actual, not invented)
  • Data is applied with context

Practically, AI’s best use is to speed ideation and conversion between formats. Within these narrow parameters, AI can be a powerful tool for content repurposing. This frees up time for more creative content that differentiates you in your market.

Build Your AI Repurposing Toolbox

Does your team need hands-on support with using AI to build a strong foundation for scalable content? Learn how we can help you here.

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