Content marketing often implies content creation. When at the beginning of your content marketing journey this makes sense. You have no content yet, so you go about creating valuable assets for your personas. This is often the mode we stay in, creating more rather than optimising what we already have. So let’s look at an approach you can apply today to start making more out of your existing content.
1. Set your content goals and plan
Whether you have been creating content for years or are just exploring the opportunities of content marketing, you need to have set content goals.
Begin by understanding your organisation’s goals. What messages should marketing be supporting? What product/service are you focussing on?
Understand your persona(s) and their goals. How do they sit with your organisation's goals? Can you already identify topics that are valuable to them and that will drive their buyer’s journey forward?
Outline the lifecycle of your persona(s). What stage are you focussing on for your content goals? Focus on the area that needs the most attention and is your biggest pain point first.
Your content goals and subsequent plan should outline clearly:
- who your personas are
- what they care about
- how this marries with your organisation’s goals and messaging
- the style, format and type of content that will help you reach your goals
In this post, we are focussing on repurposing existing content. So this first step should be a review of your existing content goals and plan. Think of it as a sense check: from when you set the goals first to today, has anything changed?
2. Start a content audit
If we want to repurpose content and perform content marketing without creating anything from scratch, then we need to know what we have.
I always recommend keeping a content library up to date. A simple spreadsheet that lists all of your content as you publish it (blog posts, videos, white papers, guides, webinars….). This is a good starting point. If you don’t keep track of your content, then start today.
During your audit, examine all your existing content. Identify:
- Content that is driving traffic
- Content that is driving lead conversion
- Content that fits your content marketing goals but is not performing currently
- Content that ranks well but is not driving conversion
- Content ranking at the top page two in search results
You can do this by adding results columns to your content library sheet like ‘visits’, ‘leads’, ‘conversion rate’ ‘rank’ etc.
3. Identify opportunities and rank them
For this step, it’s important that you have a clear definition of your goals. Based on the goals and the audit you’ve performed, start identifying opportunities.
You can do this by ranking your content under headlines you used in the audit. For example;
- Take the content currently at the top of page two in search results. Rank it starting with the content most likely to help you reach your goals.
- Take the content that is driving the most lead conversion and/or traffic, again rank it.
- Take content that is driving traffic but not converting and again rank it starting with the content most likely to help you reach your goals.
4. Repurpose, reformat, reuse, refresh your existing content
The opportunities you identified are the pieces of content that we can repurpose, reformat, reuse or refresh. Let’s go through a few examples:
Refresh and republish your traffic drivers
Evergreen content presents a great opportunity to keep driving traffic. Consider refreshing the content slightly and republishing it. You could think about breaking the content into social media snippets. Develop a new image or graphic to promote the content. You are not creating anything new, you are refreshing, republishing and resharing.
Reformat non-conversion driving content
A good example here is past webinars. Once the live-date has passed, they generally stop driving leads. However, they might still be very much goal oriented. Rework a webinar into a blog post series or an ebook.
Sticking with the webinar example, some webinar tools allow you to re-run a webinar. If you are considering this option, make time for a live Q&A and a live intro to engage the new audience. However, the centre content is a replay of the original webinar you ran.
Add new Call-To-Actions
Reduce bounce rates and potentially move your content from the top of page 2 search results to page one by updating your CTAs. Change the flow of where the reader should go next and make your site more sticky overall.
Create an email campaign
Many organisations send newsletters and little else in the way of nurture to many of their leads. Take those leads and create an email campaign just for them. Take a topic that you have existing content for (blogs, videos, webinar recordings, infographics, etc) and format it into an email sequence. Make sure it’s informative and leads to your goals.
Consider video or other formats
If a certain piece of content worked as a blog, why not see if you can reuse this content but as a video? Or vice versa. Serving content in different formats allows you to understand which format your audience really prefers. It allows you to learn more about which format drives conversion vs traffic. And you can do this without having to create content from scratch.
Depending on your goals, your existing content and opportunities, we can keep coming up with new ideas of how to rework your existing content into something new. And, as those examples show, you are not starting anything from scratch!
Reinventing the wheel
Content creation is costly. Right from idea generation, it takes up time. Depending on your capabilities you may be budgeting for writers. There are the time and cost involved in the design, the editing, the publishing... The list goes on.
Creating new content is valuable. Especially when you have something new to say. Investing in it then makes sense. However, we shouldn’t forget the wheel we already invented. Our existing content often has plenty of mileage left in it!
Working through your existing content in an audit, identifying which pieces offer an opportunity to reach your goals and reworking it can save substantial time and budget. Give it a try and let me know how you get on!