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In early 2011 I put together a simple video for a friend's band for a song they made referencing a certain (lonely) dictator.

It was uploaded to YouTube and had been seen by a handful of people; however on December 17 that year the viewing figures suddenly skyrocketed.

The despot in question had died, and I was the unexpected beneficiary of some web traffic.

Something I had long forgotten about was suddenly being watched by thousands of people!

With search engines archiving everything you post for eternity (unless you ask them not to), the first interaction someone has with your brand may be via a page that hasn't been updated for a couple of years.

Ideally these 'mature' pages have been considered within your content strategy, performing a useful function within your user journey.

If not you might be scuppering various chances to convert new customers from your content.

There are multiple ways of reusing and repurposing content, without it looking like you've got nothing new to bring to the party.

And for more on this topic, download Econsultancy's new report, 100+ Practical Content Marketing Tips, which gives a how-to guide for editors, writers and content creators.

Make something better

Ever noticed your favourite chocolate bar, cereal or instant noodle snack pot adding a 'New and improved!' tag to the front of the packaging. 

This isn't a major New Coke style reinvention, it's a slight improvement that you probably wouldn't have noticed if they hadn't mentioned it.

Can you pump a new set of data into a tool or calculator on your site to make it more effective? Is there new legislation you need to communicate to people downloading your eBook in a revised 2014 edition?

Making an improvement to the quality of information and/or user experience gives you a valid reason to suggest people pay it another visit.

This ties into an agile approach to online publishing - making incremental adjustments to what's there rather than starting from scratch each time. 

Make something bigger

One of the objectives for your regular content output should be identifying opportunities to craft more substantial campaigns - with all the data and insight in the world, it's still sometimes impossible to predict exactly how the audience will see your messages before they're live.

The most sensible use of your resources is to keep a close eye on how people are reacting to each piece of content - are they spending a few seconds or a couple of minutes looking at it? Are they using it as a platform to enter into debate?

Apps, videos and social engagement campaigns are often expensive to put together, so before you develop your plans, make sure the approach is informed by the success of an existing piece of content.

New fans mean new eyes

We've recently seen some exceptional organic social growth for one of our clients, increasing fan numbers on their Facebook page from 2m to 3m in just 94 days.

That's a million new people to share content with, and while we have an abundance of fresh things to put out, there's no harm in revisiting some of the posts that have helped us get to where we are.

This of course works for any timeless content you have available, however event specific activity can also be revisited when used in conjunction with social conversations such as Throwback Thursday, or as a lead in to annual activity:

"Looking forward to this weekend's festival? Here are the best pics from last year..."

People love a callback

It's a method that stand-up comedians regularly deploy - spinning off at conversational tangents, but occasionally dropping in references to things the audience can relate to.

From Wikipedia:

"The main principle behind the callback is to make the audience feel a sense of familiarity with the subject matter, as well as with the comedian. It helps to create audience rapport. When the second joke is told, it induces a feeling similar to that of being told a personal or in-joke."

That sentiment of creating audience rapport should be something that all content publishers can connect with. Your execution of this needn't be hilarious to be effective:

"Remember that charity initiative we launched earlier this year? Here's a wrap-up of what we've been doing to raise cash..."

Just because something has been active for a few years, doesn't mean it should be left to rust. Have a look through your analytics and see if there are any sleeping giants waiting to be awoken.

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Published 31 July, 2014 by Danny Chadburn

Danny Chadburn is Content Strategist at iCrossing and a contributor to Econsultancy. 

17 more posts from this author

Comments (4)

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Hilary Marsh

Nice article! I completely agree, and I published a similar article earlier this year entitled "To Grow Your Audience, Become a Deejay for Your Content:" http://www.hilarymarsh.com/2014/02/18/content-dj/

almost 2 years ago

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download music

good article.
thanks al lot . . .

almost 2 years ago

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Rich

I know for some sites that I own that I've been recycling old content that was popular in the past. For some what I've been doing is giving updates to these old pieces of content as usually things have evolved and changed since the content was first created.

almost 2 years ago

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Jason Dea

Great article. The hardest part of content marketing is the inevitable wall of writer's block that you're bound to run into (I am there right now, lol). These are some great ideas to get around that or at least defer it for a while, by making use of your earlier content in some new ways.

I've also had some success playing around with content formats too. For example turning stats heavy content into infographics and slide decks etc...

Also working on improving my video skills, since that in my experience is the best bet for shares.

Thanks!

over 1 year ago

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