Content marketing is time-consuming. Researching topics, creating a relevant hook, writing a succinct, yet insightful post, publishing and outreaching plus all your social media activity.
After all that work, the results can be…underwhelming.
Whilst this doesn’t mean you should give up (quite the opposite actually), creating link-worthy content doesn’t mean going back to the drawing board every time.
For many companies, you’re already sitting on a goldmine of content that just needs refreshing. That’s right, your old content could be a potential goldmine of traffic with a bit of a spruce up and some different promotion tactics.
For many of us that work in Content Marketing, we are constantly working on new pieces of content. So much so that sometimes we neglect the awesome pieces of content we have already created.
It’s so easy to put your heart and soul into a piece of content and then neglect to promote it effectively. We’re all guilty of it but we sometimes need to take a step back and review our existing content to see where opportunities exist to drive some real traffic with a lot less time investment than starting a new piece of content from scratch.
Let’s take a look at three quick and easy tactics you can be using today to maximise the potential impact of content you have already created.
1. Update your old posts…or redirect them
There are plenty of posts already out there about this, but people are still not jumping onboard.
It’s very likely that for most of us, the way we write today is much better than it was two years ago. Our keyword research is getting better. Our topical understanding has got much better and our ability to write headlines that drive traffic has also got better.
That’s why it’s time to revisit those posts from two years ago and see if you can refresh them. With some new keyword research, identifying new topics to build into a post or even identifying potential featured snippets, you can soon take an old post and make it extremely relevant for a raft of keywords.
Here are a few of the simple things you can do to an old post to make it more relevant:
- Write more copy – increasing the length of a post and including keyword rich header tags (H2, H3) can really help to improve the relevance of the post for the target keywords
- Improve your H1 tag and Title Tag – additional keyword research should throw up new target keywords – make sure these are included in your H1 and Title Tag
- Include relevant images or video content – including visual content can help to make your old posts much more engaging, helping to increase the time on page
The kicker is that if the post had some traction a couple of years ago, it likely already has a decent amount of page authority so it won’t take much effort to see a rankings boost and for that post to start driving new traffic.
Top tip: even if you are changing the content, try not to mess about with the URL. A recent study by Patrick Curtis (writing on the Moz Blog) found that changing the URL decreased traffic to the forum threads by an average of 38% so it’s best to keep the original URL where possible.
Redirect your poor performing posts
When you are looking back over your content, you will likely stumble across some posts that simply weren’t that great to begin with and no amount of re-writing is going to make them better. In this instance, we recommend either writing a completely new post on a related topic and redirecting the original content piece or simply redirecting the original piece to another relevant post of category landing page.
2. More social sharing
One crime most of us are all guilty of is not sharing our posts enough on social media. In particular, Twitter. With a half-life of around half an hour to an hour, Tweets are so easily missed and if you think that Tweeting about something once is enough to gather some traction, then you’re missing a trick.
For each of your new and refreshed content pieces, we would recommend creating a detailed schedule of Tweets. Recurring Tweets are a great way of pushing out your content multiple times but it’s also a good idea to test our different headlines and CTAs for each of your recurring Tweets to maximise your engagement opportunities.
As you can see from the screenshot below, at Digital Hothouse, we regularly go through this process. We typically write 12 different CTAs for a single blog post and then push those 12 messages out 5-6 times so each post gets 60-70 shares. If we have a particularly successful post, we will go back and revisit the schedule, refine the Tweets that performed well and set up a new schedule.
Don’t be afraid to post out a Tweet about the same piece of content 4-5 times in a day. Take a look at when your audience is active and target those time but mix it up and see what sort of engagement you get at different times of the day.
3. Curate your own content lists
One final way of driving traffic back to some of your old, quality content pieces is to create a curation-style blog post.
You will have all seen these types of post. Catchy titles like ’15 of the best SEO blog posts from 2017′ or ‘7 top Instagram accounts you need to follow’ really grab the reader’s attention and generate a lot of clicks. By curating a post on your own blog which not only links out to other popular blogs but also some of your own evergreen content, you can really start to drive traffic to not one but two or three of your own posts.
If you’re struggling for inspiration for a new content piece this week, go back and review some of your older posts, identify the top performers and follow the three steps above and you could have an absolute star on your hands.