5 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Content

Content marketers are in a constant battle to produce the most content, and the best content. And while the debate rages on about quality over quantity, Google sits somewhere in the middle with its Panda and Penguin algorithms – like another terrible Ford commercial saying, “Quality AND Quantity!”

The other side of the coin is all this social business. On average, your tweet lasts 18 minutes. Unless you’re bull riding, 18 minutes isn’t very impressive for most things in life. So if one tweet can’t stay afloat long enough to finish out the episode of Glee you just hashtagged six times over, how are you going to keep your audience engaged?

If you solely focus on social networks, each one has its audience and each has it’s own type of engagement. So while your content team is finding a way to eat, sleep, research, write, edit and publish at the same time, here are some things you can do to get the most out of their hard work.

1. Build a content library

Ninja-RaxLet’s start with the low hanging fruit, and NOT with social. With content marketing, it’s no secret that inbound is your best friend. That’s why we blog, build eBooks and record webinars right? The whole point is to share great content that will drive trust and increase awareness and conversion? If you’re just beginning building content, this won’t have a “profound” effect on you immediately, but it will quietly build and build over time.

Build a page on your website that cleanly offers gated content. All of your eBooks, your webinars, your infographics, ect. Provide fantastic descriptions and use images of eBook covers, and even some social sharing as well. Keep them organized, but on one page or with tabs if you can (for SEO purposes). Smartbear Software did this and in 1.5 months saw eBook downloads increase from the website by 8x. So now you can have a year old eBook generate new leads every day without lifting a finger.

2. Utilize paid media outlets

extend-content-lifeThis may not be for everyone, but content is expensive. If you can afford to build content, you can afford to promote it. There are a plethora of companies that will send their audience your content for a price. I can’t begin to name all of them, but it’s worth diving into your audience to find which will work for you.

Things to be aware of – they’re all different in pricing, send structure, ect. It’s a bit of trial and error, but the most important thing is to know your audience. The content you send must be as relevant as possible to that audience, otherwise you’ve wasted money. Finally, don’t give up if it doesn’t pan out the first time. Some audiences will respond better to an eBook and others an infographic. This may go without saying, but always gate the content, and always have a dedicated ‘no index, no follow’ landing page to track your ROI.

3. Repurposing (but not in the way you might think)

Don’t you hate it when you send an email with a new eBook and you think, “Now I can’t send that to them again.” You’re wrong. Let’s say you have a 15% open rate, maybe a 2% CTR. Then if you have a trial form on the thank you page for a product you have maybe .5% actually trial. With the goal of content creation being to push prospects farther down the funnel, you are left with 98% of your send that didn’t convert, and 99.5% that didn’t trial.

How do you repurpose? While you can always repurpose your eBooks by making them infographics or Slideshares, you can also resend your top performing content (in its original form) to the same people as a bundled package. Something like, “Our most popular eBooks this month”. Do the same with a blog roll or any other content as well. You can also apply this to older eBooks that were popular.

4. Build an automated drip

Depending on your business, drips are a great way to help potential customers get the most out of your product.  They are commonly associated with those trialing, but don’t stop there. If you have an entire backlog of content, building a drip of targeted content for those in your database can help to not only push them down the funnel, but also to get a little more information on just what kinds of content resonates the best with a particular audience.

5. Having a true social media strategy

Of course, having a social media strategy is far bigger than what you’re sharing and when, but if we just focus on the repurposing side of things we can build a plan for sharing your content way down the line.

When the content is fresh, test different tweets. Use the title as one tweet, and a description as the other. Test in different variations on different days at different times and take note of what works best. Then while that data is fresh in your mind, schedule posts out far down the road with the winners. Set it and forget it. You should only be automating what you know works in your social networks. If you’re not, you’re just a spammer.

The ramp up is long, but worth it

If you’re just beginning these steps, you may be worried about the time involved until you see results. The fact is, it does take time and dedication. But, it’s no secret that excellent content marketing is the result of long-term, well-measured campaigns. Put these four pieces into play now and measure them over a month or two. With enough traffic, you will see dramatic results.

Great content should never die. Yes, even timely content (though timely content may not always stay relevant). You shouldn’t just toss an old blog post or eBook to the side because it was used once. Squeeze it until you can’t get anything else out of it. Then, set it on the shelf to open again another day.

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