Disney’s ‘Maleficent’ is a Magnificent Example of Recycling Content

Disney's ‘Maleficent’ is a Magnificent Example of Recycling Content

Photo: Disney

Some stories may be timeless, but telling them the same way over and over again gets old. Disney’s latest box office hit, Maleficent, is a retelling of the classic story, and equally classic Disney movie, Sleeping Beauty. The twist is that this story is told from the point of view of Maleficent, the title character and villain of the original Sleeping Beauty movie.

Most of us have heard the story and seen the movie. Disney (probably) has squeezed every last drop of profitability out of that story through home video/DVD sales, merchandising, etc. Disney took a film and property it has owned for decades, repurposed it and created a brand new property to generate revenue from.

Not only is the new movie doing well (Maleficent earned $170 million worldwide on its opening weekend), but it has opened up new lines of merchandise and future home movie sales. Plus, I wouldn’t be surprised if the original Sleeping Beauty property received a revenue boost too. It is a magnificent example of recycling content.

Your Sleeping Beauties

Eventually, marketing content reaches maxes out its value or is just forgotten. Those old blog posts, presentations and other content had a good run, but now they are just sitting around on your website or in your archives. What do you have sleeping that could be woken up and retooled to drive addition inbound traffic?

Like Sleeping Beauty, your old content can be recycled and repurposed to squeeze extra value from it.  This seemingly fresh content is ready to deliver more inbound traffic from new followers who may not have seen it yet or current ones who forgot about it. Don’t worry about repetitiveness. Marketing content has a short shelf life and you are (hopefully) continuing to add to new eyeballs your following.

Recycling content generally takes less time to publish, so it can help cover busy seasons when content creators may have other priorities. This should not replace original content’s place on an editorial calendar, just fill in a gap or supplement your current content marketing efforts. Just use caution as people will soon pick up on laziness and go elsewhere for original thought.

Wake ‘Em Up

Here are few ways that I have woken up sleeping content:

  • Combine a series of blog posts on a particular subject into a white paper
  • Convert a white paper into a webinar
  • Turn an old presentation into a blog post
  • Redistribute individual parts of larger campaigns as stand-alone pieces
  • Republish old blog posts with updated statistics and analysis
  • Publish case studies as blog posts

And finally, here are a few content recycling tips from the pros at the Content Marketing Institute

Content Recycling: A to Z

5 Great Starting Points for a Content Recycling Program

To get the full affect of Disney’s recycling of Sleeping Beauty into Maleficent, here are the trailers for both movies.