Content Marketing 101: Now What?

(This is the fourth and final part of a 4 part series. You can find Part I, Part II, and Part III here on the blog. It is recommended if you are new to content marketing that you read those posts first.)

In this, our last and final post on introducing you to what content marketing is and what it can do for you, we’re going to talk about what happens, or at least should happen, once you’ve published your content for all the world to see or hear or read.

In the content marketing world, this is known as analyzing, repurposing, and republishing your content.

We’ll break each one down, give a brief description of it, show you an example, and explain why you should utilize it in your content marketing efforts.

Ready? Let’s get rollin’!

Analyzing Your Content Marketing

Some guys really get juiced over data. They could stare at charts and graphs and stats all day. Not me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t use a little bit of that stuff to guide my content marketing efforts.

How I Use My Data

I use Google Analytics on the blog. It tells me how many readers each post gets, how many comments, and where those readers and commenters are from. It also tells me when they read and comment. And all of that is very valuable to me as a content marketer.

Facebook and LinkedIn give me stats on my posts there, too. Some of the same info, but not always. I use all these numbers to determine some very important things.

For instance, all my blog posts go live on Tuesday. This is because most of my readers visit the site sometime in the latter half of the week, from Wednesday on. Publishing new content on Tuesday means there’s always something fresh for them to enjoy.

From previous blogging efforts of mine, and in working with client blogs, I know that posts between 750 and 1500 words do the best with readers. A few of mine go over that every now and then, but again, readers like variety, so it doesn’t seem to hurt the blogs any.

How to Use Your Data

You can follow your own stats and determine some of the very same aspects of your blog. When do you get the most visitors? What posts get the best responses? What type of content has the worst performance? Are they reading/watching/listening to the first offering of the week, but not the second? (Too much content can be a bad thing.)

And how about your promotional and engaging efforts on social media? When’s the best time to post on your profiles? What type of posts get the most comments, likes, engagement? What type of posts gets the most click-thrus to your main content source?

Follow the money may work for some guys, but for content marketers, we need to follow the data.

Repurposing Your Content

Don’t just assume that you can hit “Publish” and be done with any particular piece of content. You can be, but it’s best if you aren’t.

There’s a “thing” we do in content marketing called repurposing. We take really good tidbits of existing content and we create new and different content with them.

How to Repurpose Content

How does that work? Here are some good, easy-to-do examples:

  • taking a really juicy statement and creating a “pull quote” from a blog post
  • taking stats from a data-heavy post and making an infographic with them
  • using a pull quote in an image or graphic
  • dumpster diving into several posts to create a listicle
  • using post content to create a one-pager or lead magnet
  • making sure there’s a transcript available of every podcast’s audio
  • compiling posts into an ebook or Kindle edition
  • taking a series of informational posts and creating a course

Granted, those last two aren’t for the newbie content marketer, but they show just how valuable content can live more than one life.

Why Repurpose Old Content?

Repurposing gets your older, existing content in front of new eyes, fresh minds, creating bonds with the newcomers to your brand. It also can breathe life into a valuable piece whose traffic has drifted off in search of that “greener grass on the other side”.

The best way to repurpose content is to create a repurposing plan. The easiest way to do that is to simply denote on your content marketing strategy plan when you will repurpose the piece after it’s been published, and how. What are you going to do with it? When will it makes it’s grand debut in its new form? You may not be able to decide the what until the piece is finished, but the when can be scheduled. You can create a long play – choosing weeks or even months after publishing. Or, you can repurpose this week’s content in your efforts to promote it this month.

The decisions are yours to make. The only wrong decision is to not repurpose your content at all.

Republishing Your Content

Whereas repurposing your content marketing efforts requires you to recreate the content in a different form, republishing doesn’t require much work at all.

That’s because you are simply going to give it a freshening up and then send it out into the world again.

Why Republish Content

Why would you do this? Four good reasons:

  • It refreshes valuable content with updated information. Say you’ve created a post about plant-based nutrition. It got some good responses and has a lot of basic info in it. Science has come along, however, with new and slightly different recommendations. Or some products you suggested are no longer available, and other ones have taken their place. Update the info and republish it as a new piece.
  • It’s good for your SEO. An older piece has established itself with the rankings and the bots. Republishing an updated version can keep it in their good graces.
  • Gets new eyes on old stuff. If you have been around for awhile, and have done your content marketing job well, you’ve undoubtedly grown your audience. Republishing older pieces with a bit of a refresh gets that old content in front of your new followers. It gives them the chance to experience what your older readers already have. It strengthens the bonds between them, and between you and them.
  • It can fill your publishing calendar during busy times. That ski trip over the holidays, or the weeks after baby is born, or the time it will take to pack and move across town or across the country needn’t be a time for your blog or podcast or email newsletters to go dark. You can fill it with old content that’s been spruced up a bit (and repurposed content, too) and not worry about leaving your followers hanging.

Putting a new date and a few updates on old content is an easy, quick, and efficient way to reuse your hard work to your best advantage.

How to Choose Content for Republishing

How to choose which content to republish? Use your data and your content marketing strategy plan.

First, choose pieces that did well the first time around. They apparently appeal to your audience and should do so again.

Next, look at the date of original publication. Don’t use anything newer than 6 months. It’s too soon. However, you can go back as far as you want.

Then, consult your plan and see what you can fit in with your existing content. As a result, you won’t interrupt a good run on one topic with an old post that discusses something completely “out there’ and off the wall.

Lastly, check the content for any “current event” or pop culture references and either update or remove them. The Uptown Funk challenge is over, after all. Note other updates needed, and you’re good to go.

You can do a formal content audit, or have one done, if need be, but following the guidelines above should help you find older content fit for republishing.

Summing Up

Maybe you haven’t even created your first piece of content yet. Maybe you’ve been blogging for 10 years. Whether you’ve hit “Publish” or Post the first time or the 1001st time, now you know that the job isn’t finished just because your content has gone live. Your SEO, your ROI, your audience, and your biz will all be better off with a bit of data analysis, a little content repurposing, and some content republishing thrown in.

This concludes our four part series on content marketing for the beginner. You should have enough info to at least have an intelligent conversation with a professional content marketer and creator like me. If you’re ready to have that conversation, drop me a note. I’ll be happy to sit down and talk with you.

If you’d like to just leave a comment, or if you have a question about what you should be doing after you send your content out onto the world’s stage, leave it below.

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