As I wind down this long content marketing series, I thought it would be a good idea to chide the many marketers out there doing everything right in their content marketing strategy, except for one key thing: They're not marketing their own content. And that's kind of silly.
I get it: they're focused on driving sales conversions or lead generation or newsletter subscriptions. Who has time to focus on marketing marketing content. Still, I say it again: It's kind of silly not to.
Great content is not only central to a successful SEO strategy, it's key to regularly bringing in an audience that may not be ready to purchase, or for some other reason is sitting on a fence. Similarly, it's an excellent way to move cold leads into the warm category while building a lasting relationship and brand affinity that will in time yield real bottom-line results.
Getting the Maximum Yield from Content Investments
Another very important reason you should be marketing your own marketing content: value extraction. Too often marketing departments will produce outstanding content that is published just once in a blog or YouTube channel, never to be seen again. Yet I bet if you were to carefully examine your Google Analytics results you'd discover that a whole range of content you've produced in the past reliably generates impressive new and repeat visits over time
It's important to keep an eye out for these gems. That content is working double- and triple-time for you. For whatever reason, it caught the attention of an audience, which drove great SEO juice for the URL, which means new organic traffic is now finding that content. It probably means you've struck gold in terms of people's interest in an issue or topic.
Throw fuel on that fire (I know I'm hopelessly mixing metaphors, but it's been a long week). Make sure you've got a "Most Popular" column on your blog sites, Web site, microsites and other Web channels. Highlight most-popular content in your newsletters, even if it was featured in an earlier newsletter. If you've got enough material in a particular vein (back to the gold metaphor again), try creating a white paper out of it that you can promote to drive lead gen, demand gen or newsletter subscriptions.
Pluck Out the Diamonds in the Rough
Similarly, take a look at the stuff that radically underperformed in terms of audience engagement. You can learn from this lack of enthusiasm the sorts of stuff your audience may not care so much about.
It's also possible, however, that you didn't approach the content correctly the first time around. Or maybe you posted the content at a time of week, month or year that meant audiences were engaged elsewhere. If you feel in your bones you've got a legitimately good piece of content that has underperformed, try reposting it or promoting it in new or different channels. Brush up the headline and opening paragraphs if it's a blog post, or rework the opening if it's a video or podcast. You get only a few seconds to grab the attention of audiences, so sometimes you just won't get the headline or opening quite right; a little jury-rigging may do the trick and give overlooked content new life.
Finally, use your CMS or aggregation and semantic analysis applications like Daylife to source and deliver content from your archives that may offer additional context or perspective to something new you've produced. By publishing contextually relevant content alongside fresh content, you not only give new life to previously published material, you create opportunities to engage your audiences longer, encourage social sharing and inspire return visits.
Throughout this series I've talked about the need to use every marketing channel at your disposal to promote, deploy and redeploy your content. Use all these channels to highlight both the most popular and the unduly overlooked, and you can drive incremental new or returning traffic to your Web destinations.
In next week's last and final installment in this series, I'll focus on measures and metrics. I hope this series has been helpful. As always, don't hesitate to offer your insights or suggestions in the comments below.