By Stuart Roberts on April 12, 2019

Think "what's best?", not "what's next?" for content

Does the constant churn of content mean you focus your attention on ‘what’s next?’ without evaluating ‘what’s best?’

Look at your company blog page for a minute. For most of you, it will be a simple list of blogs in chronological order, maybe five posts deep. What happens when you publish? That fifth blog disappears to page two never to be seen again.

This focus on the new needs a rethink.

Creating great content is HARD WORK. According to an survey of more than 1,000 marketers, creatives, advertisers and IT professionals it takes, on average, 14 hours to create one piece of short-form content. By simply publishing and moving on, you’re doing a disservice to the craft and care that’s gone into creating all that great work.

Enter stage right: The content audit. Assessing the work you’ve already published can unearth fantastic opportunities to breathe new life into old-but-gold content. So what can you do with your older posts?

- Combine them: What are the common topics you write about? Can you combine 5-6 articles to create a bigger piece of content like a downloadable guide or whitepaper? Creating guides from scratch is a big job. Editing a few articles into something cohesive, then writing an intro and conclusion is much easier. Get the copy over to a designer with a solid brief and you’ve just created a lead magnet for people to download from your site.

- Sweat them: Got a post packed with stats or data? Turn it into an infographic. Got some interview pieces doing well, could you get the interviewees back for a webinar? Or could you produce an animation around the topic? The content is there already, use it to its fullest.

- Create a cluster: Hubspot recommends ordering your content into ‘content clusters’. Although not quite this simple, the concept is to hyperlink between articles on the same topic. Why? Because Google’s algorithms spot the context between all these articles and give a search bump to all related content.

- Update: That post on digital transformation is consistently performing well, but it’s from 2016. Can you update it with relevant stats, change the publish date and distribute again? Yes. Could you tweak some of its on-page SEO to help performance? Also yes.

- Skyscraping: Rather than being a resource on a topic, can you turn it into the resource? The concept of skyscraping is to create as comprehensive a guide to a subject as is possible so visitors to the page don’t need to look elsewhere for any other information.

- Share again: If you’re solely sharing your news pieces of content on social, you’re neglecting 99% of the great work you’ve already done. If they’re high-quality and the content isn’t time sensitive, schedule them across your social channels.

- Kill them: For older content, it’s worth making the call as to whether they’re adding any benefit to your site at all? That 200-word post about a new coffee machine in the office? That can go.   

If you already have a substantial bank of content in the bank, taking time out to assess it all can present some quick (and valuable) wins.

If you don’t, perhaps you need a partner that can help.

Published by Stuart Roberts April 12, 2019