Creating quality content is an investment. It takes skill, technology, time and focus. But once you’ve met the deadline the focus quickly shifts to the next project. Consumers are hungry for new content. And attention spans are shrinking daily. It is the reality of our fast-paced digital world… Projects that take blood, sweat and tears to create are soon forgotten.

What if your ‘old’ content could be new again?

Research suggests that consumer demand for video is insatiable.

“84% of consumers say they have liked a company video that has appeared in their news feed, and nearly 50% shared a video on their social media profile” (Forbes)

Do you have plenty of content? Chances are, you haven’t had time to review all the ways you could re-use, re-purpose and monetise. Doing more with less will always make you popular! So book some time with yourself to review your content library and make sure you don’t miss out.

At Preferred Media, we help clients re-use content every day with great results. So we’ve created this list to inspire you to get more from your media files.

There are multiple ways to maximise your content
You could be sitting on a content goldmine

Is my content re-usable?

Feature films and TV series are an obvious choice for re-use. Screen Australia report that creating profit from film is often a long game. But there are many opportunities for advertising content too. Documentary footage, music videos, even unused rushes. So much of your content could be a goldmine.

Not all content endures, of course. Plus, there are rights and usage restrictions to consider. You may need to arrange clearance for talent, music, trademarks, landmarks and more before you re-use content. If in doubt, seek legal advice.

But if you have all your ducks in a row, you can get a lot more from your content.

What tools can help?

An organised content library (with metadata) makes your content accessible and usable. Descriptions and keywords, talent information and credits. Find what you need and know the terms of use. All essential information if you want to monetise or re-use content.

If you need clearances, the details are all there. You can even transcode to web-ready formats. We recommend a Digital Asset Management system like MediaPhile. It’s a fully managed service which makes it even easier.

1. Social media content – Throwback Thursday / Flashback Friday

Good for: Vintage TVCs, News and Documentary, Music Videos, even Audio

Vintage content is perfect for sharing on social media. Look for short clips that evoke an era. Connecting to the collective memory is emotive. It can often be hilarious. And provide a visual reference to cultural and technological change. Fashion, cityscapes, technology and people. Before and after shots make compelling content. If you’re lucky it might even go viral!

2. Licence to digital platforms like Ozflix, Stan or Netflix

Good for: Feature Film, TV Series, Documentary

Reach new audiences with content-hungry digital platforms. We recently converted a couple of classic Australian features to digital, destined for the Ozflix platform.

Ozflix has the ambitious goal of streaming every Australian feature film ever made. But think both locally and internationally to maximise your opportunity. Maybe your lead actor has a cult following somewhere overseas!

3. Anniversary campaigns and compilations

Good for: TVCs, History Reels, Music Videos, Feature Film (Clips), TV Series (Clips)

Compilations, retrospectives and countdown style shows like 20 to One are perfect for all kinds of content. See what’s happening in your area.

Marketers can convert history reels into campaigns brimming with authenticity. It’s a chance to tell your brand story and stake your place in history. If your company is still young, think ahead 10, 20, even 100 years and start putting the pieces in place now. So that you will be able to re-use your content later.

Historical content also has cultural value, so it may be newsworthy. Editorial coverage of your campaign is a potential bonus.

4. Company history

Good for: TVCs, History Reels, Training Videos and Interviews

Don’t suffer from corporate amnesia. Some content isn’t suitable for current promotions or compilations, but may still be worth presenting to your company or organisation. Your company history tells the story of how far you have come. Motivate and celebrate your team’s achievements. Taking the time and energy to develop your internal culture has the added bonus of helping attract talent.

5. Monetise via online stock footage platforms

Good for: Excess Footage, Outtakes

Stock footage is a simple way to generate passive income from your content long after you’ve created it. The market is growing, with key platforms Shutterstock, Getty and more recently Adobe.

Low-lying fruit includes landscapes, aerials, food shots and other content without identifiable people or brands. This keeps the legal issues and need for releases to a minimum.

Metadata is key to having your footage found and being able to use it. Think of how your content could fit into new projects and tag comprehensively for best effect.

6. Re-use in film – but not just for period settings and documentary

Good for: Features, Excess Footage, TV Series, Documentary and News, Music Videos

Feature films re-use content more frequently than many of us realise. Nor is it always obvious things like a period setting or news clips in documentaries. Recycled footage can appeal to filmmakers looking to stretch their budget.  Or to those having trouble with weather on location. Ridley Scott recycled exterior car shots from The Shining into the final scenes of the theatrical release of Blade Runner. Kubrick “must’ve done a blanket shoot of every peak in Montana for The Shining using the best helicopter crew…I’ll bet you he’s got weeks of helicopter footage,” recalled Ridley Scott. (Read more at Mentalfloss).

At Preferred Media, we recently digitised a music video. It was being licensed to play in the background of a feature film set in the early 90’s. So all kinds of content may be re-used or re-purposed in film.

7. Bloopers

Good for: Outtakes you’d rather forget

Sharing our faults makes us more human. It makes talent and personalities more relatable. And funny clips are shareable! They’re not appropriate for all occasions, but if humour is part of your brand persona, embarrassing outtakes can become viral gold. And, if you release the footage yourself, it gives you more control over all-important context.

8. Post on Youtube to generate ad revenue

Good for: Education, News, Documentary, Music Videos, Audio Tracks, TVCs, Unpublished Footage

Youtube can be a monetisation option for many kinds of content. Educational ‘how-to’s’ are popular. Make sure to develop and use your metadata to make your footage findable.

Benefits don’t stop at ad revenue though. For brands, Youtube is another channel to boost visibility. Emerging filmmakers and videographers can raise their profile and become more discoverable.

9. Spinoffs

Good for: TV Series, TVC’s

Television series and even popular TVC’s can be great candidates for spinoff creation. Spinoffs are an effective way of extending the life of popular characters. They require more resources than passive income streams like stock footage, it’s true. On the other hand, existing profile and popularity means lower risk.

Don’t be put off by the idea that spinoffs are necessarily a lesser version of your favourite show either. A successful spinoff can even grow to be more beloved than the original series. 

10. Transfer to a different medium

Good for: All kinds of content

Transferring to a new medium is a simple way to refresh and re-use content while reaching new audiences.

  • Take a catchy jingle from a TVC and air on the radio.
  • Create stills from high resolution video content.
  • Re-use content in short clips for online polls, quizzes and games.
  • Convert education and training videos into slideshares and ebooks.

The options are endless.

Be the re-use hero and get more value from your content
Do more with less

Key takeaways

  • Be imaginative! This list is just a start. How many other ways can you think of to re-use content?
  • Be prepared. Planning now will make it easier to re-use content later.
  • Organise your content into a central repository (with metadata) for quick and easy access.
  • Metadata is key. To finding your content and being able to use it.
  • Ensure you have the correct clearances and releases and if in doubt seek legal guidance.