One of the most common questions that comes up when I’m talking about content is whether to repeat coverage of the same topic in content. My answer? Every time: yes, absolutely. Just about every company that’s around for as little as two or three years is going to repeat coverage on some topics if they have a robust content program.
Repetition creates strength - for learning, it strengthens knowledge. And for working out, it strengthens muscles. Repeating content is a good workout for demonstrating your expertise. So, consider me your personal trainer in this particular exercise. And I’m here to tell you it’s not only okay to repeat coverage on a topic, I strongly advise that you do. In fact, this very post is inspired by a blog post from six years ago I decided to revisit with a different approach.
Why should you repeat your message?
There are three big reasons repetition is important:
1) Your audience won’t see every piece of content you produce.
Remember this always. Not only will they not see it all, sometimes the medium you choose isn’t the best medium for them to consume content. Even if they see it the first time and the medium is right for them, maybe the message isn’t hitting them at the right time.
By revisiting topics, you demonstrate your evolving expertise and you’ll capture the attention of new audience members as you grow your following.
2) You learn and grow and experience change right along with your business
Speaking of evolving expertise, the advice and information you give to clients when you start a business isn’t necessarily the same five years in. It matures as you learn and change with the industry you’re in. It’s important to keep your point of view on topics up to date. After all, you don’t want someone to find content from six years ago that’s now out of date and assume that is your current view when it’s not.
By coming at a topic from a fresh angle, you can repeat topic coverage with interest and value by adding new information and context.
3) People learn better through repetition
Think about how you’ve learned all your life. Ideas and information don’t always resonate or catch the first time you’re exposed. But when you hear something the second, third or fourth time, you’re more likely to grab and hold onto it.
By repeating discussion of topics, you give your audience that additional exposure that allows them to categorize the information as more important to them so they’re more likely to remember and act on it.
How do you repeat content effectively?
Next week, I’m going to dive into how you can repurpose content, but here’s a preview of some ways you can cover old topics in a new way:
Use a different medium. If the original was a blog post, can you expand to an ebook? What about a video? Or break it down into smaller chunks and use it for social.
Find a new angle. One way is to approach from the opposite direction - going positive or negative depending on the original approach. Or share an alternative reason to benefit.
Share a case study. You’ve shared your knowledge, now show proof with the story of the journey of solving a problem, finding the right solution and the outcome once resolved.
When you’re doing repetitions as part of a strength training program, changing it up keeps you from getting bored or stagnating on progress. Repeating content effectively works the same way. It keeps your content program interesting and strong - for you and your audience.