The world is at a critical point right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the entire planet to a screeching halt, and as a result, many businesses have had to make some serious cutbacks. For example, one area that businesses are cutting back is marketing and content creation. But we’re here to tell you that this is something you should absolutely avoid at all costs.
To stop your marketing at a time like this is a business death sentence. Marketing is a race, and if you stop to take a nap in the middle of a sprint, you’re going to be left in the dust. By the time you wake back up, your opponents will have already crossed the finish line, posed for pictures, gone home, and had a celebratory beverage.
Race metaphors aside, you can’t just pack in your digital marketing efforts and expect to pick back up where you left off when this pandemic eases up. It may surprise you to learn that 62% of billionaires in the United States are self-made.
Do you think they got there by packing in their efforts during a difficult time? Absolutely not! So does that mean you should pump a ton of time and money into new marketing initiatives right now? Absolutely not!
We know, it seems like we’re sending out mixed messages, but hear us out on this one. When the short term is so frustratingly unclear, you can’t invest in long term ROI. However, by shifting both your budget and your priorities to the short term, you’re able to get more traction from the content you already have.
What does that mean in English? If you repurpose content and focus heavily on quality, you can get more by doing less. In fact, you can get twice the results at only half the cost by following the tips and tricks highlighted below.
Make Your Old Content New Again
The world of content marketing can be crowded and cut-throat. It has accurately been referred to by some as a Marketing Hunger Games. When you consider the fact that blogging has evolved from simple 500-word pieces to epic articles exceeding 1,200 words, it’s easy to see why there’s so much pressure around the content that you’re creating.
As the graph above shows, blogs are getting longer and more involved year by year, and that doesn’t seem like a trend that’s changing anytime soon. With time being money and all that jazz, it becomes essential during unprecedented times like these to save on both.
By making use of your old content and repurposing it into other formats, you’re able to churn out new content without making the time investment involved with starting a totally new topic.
There are many ways to do that, but we’re going to focus on five key tips for content repurposing:
- Updating existing content that has fallen out of date.
- Changing up the theme and story of existing content to create guest posts
- Switching up the format
- Making use of the Hub and Spoke method
- Turning a large existing article into a series of smaller pieces
Let’s start out with the simplest option, updates to existing content.
1. Update Existing Content
The first and easiest way that you can repurpose content to create something new is with a simple refresh. You can look back on the ideas for articles that you did long ago. Maybe it was something that performed very well for you. Maybe it’s an article that didn’t generate as much attention because it wasn’t properly optimized.
No matter the case, if you used statistics in that article, give them a once over with a modern mind. It’s very possible that a lot of the information in that piece is now outdated and useless. Go through your old articles and update them.
Pop in some modern charts, graphs, and statistics. Maybe you could even add a section talking about how when you first put this article together, the numbers you cited were very different. That’s a perfect opportunity to talk about the change from then to now and dive deep into the “why” of it all.
What happened to make such a change? What does that change tell you about the growth or decline of your chosen topic?
Do you write reviews on your site?
If you’re in the business of reviewing products or services, it’s a good idea to go back every couple of months and see if anything has changed. Even more during a time like we are living today when things are changing every day.
Let’s say you’re reviewing an online service and you’re upset that they don’t offer live chat customer support. Fast forward six months, now they’ve added that feature. You can update your article and alter your original opinion and offer better insights on each product.
A new take or update on an old article should appeal to your regular readers. Share that refreshed content on social media and generate some buzz about what you’re doing.
List articles, like this one comparing the best credit repair companies, are also easily revisited and updated. This allows you to keep your content relevant and ranking well.
2. Alter The Story and Theme
It’s possible to mix and match the body and story of old articles in order to repurpose content that can be featured on your site and beyond. Everyone knows that producing optimized content is crucial for SEO. But, you also have to produce backlinks that connect to your page from high value and relevant outside websites in order to let Google know that you’re an authority.
It’s possible to create guest posts that can be shopped around to various sites within your industry. These articles should contain a link back to your page. That counts as a backlink.
Now, every blog post is made up of two major elements. They are the body and story. The body is the actual content of your article, while the story is the angle or spin that you put on it. Through the body, you’re able to give facts and show your expertise. With the story, you can inject some personality into your work and make it entertaining.
You can easily take the body of one article that you’ve already done and altered its story if you want to have it featured on an outside platform.
Don’t worry about focusing on the same topics. Repetition is a good thing. If you’re doubting whether or not the repetitive topics of your articles are damaging you in any way, remember that the average visitor to your site, or to other industry-related sites, is casually browsing and not completely engrossed in your world.
Through repetition and alterations to the story and body of your work, you’re able to solidify the topic in the minds of readers and help them better remember the information within your article for the future.
3. Change Up Your Format
Content isn’t just the written word. That’s a common misconception. There are many different types of content. Content can be video, it can be audio, you can even create an infographic.
If you have a written blog post, you can get a lot of mileage out of that original content by converting it into other formats. Consider taking a post you created and making a YouTube video out of it or talking about it on Facebook Live. Web video is an excellent way to entertain your audience and increase website traffic.
Posting your repurposed video on YouTube can do a lot for your brand visibility. YouTube is by far the most popular video streaming platform in the world today. Make your repurposed content a topic of conversation on your company’s podcast. (If you don’t have a podcast, consider starting one!)
Finally, for some visual content, build an infographic. You can easily design an infographic about all of the content showcased in your article that can be easily shared across infographic directories and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram stories, and LinkedIn.
If you are selling and marketing products in a niche, changing up the type of content you put out should be a bigger part of your marketing strategy.
For example, in this post about how to market and sell to architects, we learn that “It’s also important to think about how architects evaluate products when you’re creating your website. Essentially, aesthetics matter a great deal to architects. They expect both high-quality products and a high-quality website.”
Basically, always adapt your content to your target audience. Do not underestimate the power that the content you offer will have on the buying experience.
4. Utilize Hub and Spoke
Another great way to repurpose the content you’re creating is to use the Hub and Spoke method. In architecture, hub and spoke is when you design an area around one central icon or building and then lay the rest of the area out in a circle surrounding it.
When it comes to content marketing, it’s much the same. Let’s say you write one huge in-depth article that focuses on a number of issues. You can then write shorter follow-up articles that spring off of that.
What connects each article is a link. Everything has to be linked out from that central article, and all of the offshoot pieces have to link back to it.
Let’s say you do one 6,000 word article on how to make a podcast, You cover everything from microphone technique, equipment, software, and beyond. In the section on microphone technique, you’d link to a smaller 1,200-word article that focuses extensively on microphone technique. Then, somewhere in that microphone article, you’d link back to the main topic.
You already did the research for the central article, so these offshoots should be much easier to write and will save you a ton of time and money in the process.
It’s also going to help your SEO immensely. Google looks for cross-linking between your pages, so having a web of interconnected articles is going to be a major feather in your cap.
5. Turn List Articles into a Series
List articles are always a good bet. They provide a lot of information in an easily digestible format. But if you’re doing an article on the “Top 10 Ways to Beat the Heat This Summer” you can take that article and roll it into 10 shorter focused articles about beating the heat.
A good example to illustrate this is FreshBooks, an invoice, and project management software from the UK. Their blog is full of tips to start or scale your business which is not related to their core business.
Instead of doing one article with a lot of information, they divided it into multiple ones and created a series of articles, each time cross-linking their pages, which helps a lot their ranking.
You can even use the list article as your central hub if you want to turn this concept into a hub and spoke series like we touched on in the last section. Again, this is an article that writes itself, because it’s coming from information that you already have. And linking from the original list to individual posts is easy.
At the end of each section, you could say something simple like, “if you want to learn more about this topic, click here for an in-depth look.”
Create Quality Content: Less is More
With COVID-19 ravaging the world, you’re probably thinking that you don’t have enough time to put out enough articles to meet the needs of a complete content marketing strategy. But there is no magic number of articles that you should be producing every week. While a search engine like Google likes to see new content, it also likes to see great content.
In the short term, it’s a good idea to focus on writing fewer articles that are backed by superior quality. To put it into cliched terminology, go for quality, not quantity.
But how do you do that? Here are four steps you can take to ensure that you’re producing quality content.
Refine Your Hook
If you want someone to read an entire article, you have to hook them early on. That’s where the “hook” comes into play. The hook is that opening bit of your article where you lay out the problem and your overall take on it.
By injecting enough personality and style into your hook, you can up your quality score by leaps and bounds.
You might decide that you need to lean heavily on the article’s angle to capture the attention of your audience. By clarifying your angle upfront, you’re able to lay it all on the table for the reader, who can then decide whether or not they want to continue reading.
Starting your article by presenting the problem your audience is facing is a surefire way to grab their attention. This article about business process automation starts by telling readers that their business processes are costing them money. It provides a descriptive introduction of exactly what the reader’s problem is.
Use the Proper Tools
It’s never a good idea to rely too heavily on your own editing abilities when putting an article together.
Before you get any ideas, no one is calling you a bad editor. It’s just that the best way to ensure that you’re posting pristine and optimized content is to use some of the various web tools that are available to modern content marketers.
First and foremost, you need to make sure that your copy is clean. Instances of accidental plagiarism tend to sprout up. A tool like Grammarly can help you protect yourself. Also, there are optimization tools like Clearscope and MarketMuse.
You can upload your content into these tools and they will assign a score to it based on how well you rank for a chosen search term. They will also give you a point of comparison by showing you pages that currently rank high for these terms.
Without knowing the tricks of the SEO trade, you can end up wasting a ton of money on content that does nothing for your business. Investing in professional SEO packages might be the right step to take your content strategy to the next level.
Define Your Voice (And Stay Consistent)
It’s important that your brand develop its own style or voice. When you create content, you should be able to put everything in the voice of your organization.
If you don’t know what the voice of your organization sounds like, that’s a major problem.
Whether it’s a blog post, a social media post, or the content on your website, everything should be conveyed in the same general voice that appeals to your target audience. That’s true even if you have a team of writers at your disposal.
It’s always a good idea to have a style guide for your business so that new employees can get all of the information they need about how to interact with the public on behalf of the company.
If your social media content is fun and energetic but your blog posts are super dry, that’s going to turn your readers away. Remember, customers, don’t know that you have 15 writers on staff or that you outsource to an agency. In their minds, everything is written under the same umbrella, so it stands to reason that everything should sound the same.
Don’t Be Afraid to Tell Stories
You shouldn’t be afraid to tell stories that will help illustrate your points. Yes, that’s going to pad your word count, but is that such a bad thing? A blog post that’s only 400 words is not going to catch a lot of attention because it skimps on entertainment value and engagement and dives right into the point.
Imagine watching a crime show and it goes something like this.
“Oh no, it’s a murder!”
“There’s the murderer!”
Yes, you’re getting the main point of the episode but you’re missing out on all of the fun and engaging elements that keep you Netflix binging for eight hours. It’s no different for your online content.
Even more when you are explaining the full story of your product, like JoyOrganics and their ultimate guide to CBD Oil. The article is full of information, a well-explained story of the product they are selling. With the 24 comments that were written, it’s a good example where you can see that your customers will enjoy reading full stories and not only short blog posts.
Don’t let COVID-19 infect your content marketing strategy. This pandemic is not the end of the world, nor is it the end of the content you’re creating. Sure, you’re going to have to do things a little differently for a while and focus more on the short term, but that will keep your head above water until you’re able to rocket forward again.
Write fewer articles, but keep them high in quality while repurposing existing content and you’ll see that less really can be more when it comes to SEO.
Interesting Related Article: “Everything You Should Know About Mobile Marketing & SEO“