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Stop me if this sounds familiar…
You’ve worked hard on your latest blog post, and it’s finally ready for publication. You take it live on your website, blast it out to Facebook and Twitter, then you sit back and wait for the views and comments to start rolling in. You engage a bit with your audience, but before you know it, it’s time to move on. Your editorial calendar never stops chugging — just as soon as you’ve finished one piece of content, it’s time for the next one.
Now, I’m not going to say that this is totally wrong. If your choices are to do content marketing like this or to not do it at all, then by all means, do content marketing like this.
But if you aren’t satisfied with the results you’re getting, there’s a reason for that. There’s a much more effective way to do content marketing and—as an added bonus—adopting this alternate approach can seriously cut down the amount of time and energy you put into content creation.
Here’s how I go about maximizing the value of my content:
Step 1 – Make Sure Your Content Is Actually “Epic”
I know the title of this post implies that you’re already working with “epic” content. But since so much of what I see online — even long-form posts — is basically rehashed nonsense, this is an important step nonetheless.
So what makes content truly epic? Ask yourself the following questions before you even think about hitting the “Publish” button:
- Have I added anything new to the conversation?
- Is the idea behind my piece new or exciting, or has it already been covered to death in my industry?
- Does my headline adequately convey how epic my content is?
- Have I backed up the things I’ve said with statistics, charts, graphs or other data points?
- Would I be proud to have the thought leaders in my industry read this?
- Will my readers walk away with any questions I haven’t answered?
If your answers to these questions reveal any weaknesses, address them before putting your content out into the world.
Step 2 – Repurpose Your Content
So, you had a great idea. You wrote about it in a blog post. And now you’re ready to move on? Hold on a second — this kind of “once and done” approach doesn’t serve you or your customers.
You’ve probably got a few avid readers, but most of your website visits likely come from people who encounter your site elsewhere on the web (and click through to one specific piece of content) or from regular fans who check back now and again.
The problem is that, in both of these scenarios, there’s a decent chance that readers who would be interested in your latest posts will miss them — especially if you keep up a rigorous publishing schedule.
To increase the odds that they’ll see your work (and to reach those who have different preferences about how they consume content), try repurposing your content using the following formats:
- Create an infographic. QuickSprout blogger Neil Patel attributes 2,512,596 visitors, 41,142 backlinks and 3,741 referring domains to the 47 infographics he’s produced and published.
- Publish a slide deck to Slideshare. This site isn’t well known, but it boasts over 60 million monthly users. Break up your blog posts or infographics, add them to a set of slides and you’ve got ready-made consumable content – without the hassle of creating something new.
- Share quotes from your blog posts as images on Instagram. Few content marketers have a well-established strategy for leveraging this social network, but Foundr Magazine’s owner Nathan Chan uses it to capture over 8,000 email subscribers a month.
- Send out email newsletters with your latest posts. 73% of marketers count email marketing as core to their businesses. Create email blasts easily by developing a weekly digest message or using a tool that automatically sends out individual blog posts as in-line messages.
- Produce a video based on your article. Share that video to YouTube (which has over a billion users) or to Vimeo (which counts 100 million users and 400,000 paying subscribers).
This isn’t it when it comes to repurposing your content, either. Sites like Periscope, Vine, Snapchat, Quora, Google+ and others could all be powerful allies in getting your message shared, depending on your business’s individual aims.
Step 3 – Publish Your Content Elsewhere
In addition to creating new content pieces based on your original idea, be sure that your initial piece gets as much traction as possible by publishing it in as many places as possible.
Now, to be totally clear, I’m not suggesting that you take a single article and post it on every site that’ll have it (although syndicating content to sites like Medium and LinkedIn may be appropriate). That’s 2008-era SEO, when spamming article directories was considered valuable marketing.
Let me give you an example to highlight the difference. Over on my Growth Everywhere blog, I regularly interview leading growth hackers and marketing experts. Once I’ve completed an interview, I’m not just going to publish the final video to my site and hope for the best. To get as many eyes on it as possible, I’ll also publish it to:
- Apple iTunes
I don’t even spend that much time on sites like YouTube and LinkedIn, but just publishing there can score me 4,000+ YouTube views and 400 website visits from LinkedIn members:
It’s not much, but it’s more than I’d get if I didn’t push my content elsewhere. And over time, it all adds up.
Step 4 – Leverage Influencers to Aid in Promotion
The last step you want to do to expand the reach of your content is to work with well-established authority figures in your industry.
One of the best ways to do that is to take the content you’ve already published and, assuming it’s high quality, use it to pitch these influencers on potential guest post opportunities on their sites. They’re much more likely to accept your request if you can prove that the content you’ll be contributing is worth their time.
This strategy is part of a larger marketing approach known as “influencer marketing”. And since it deals with the creation of entirely new content — versus using what you’ve already produced — there’s one last tip I want to leave you with.
Before you move on to creating new content pieces, take one last look through your blog post and see if you’ve mentioned any influencers in it. If you have (and you really should have), take a second to message them, let them know about the mention and encourage them to share your work with their followers.
Not everyone will respond to your requests, but you might be surprised by how many do. Brian Dean, founder of the popular Backlinko SEO blog, estimates that he gets an 11% conversion rate on content promotion emails:
So there you have it: four steps that’ll help you get more out of every content piece you create.