Content Marketing

How should you tackle the challenge of decaying visibility for old content

Short answer is repurposing your old (yet gold) content. How you can go about doing it, and which content should you be repurposing are the topics we would talk about today. So let’s get on with it. … Yesterday, as I was concluding the series on using Benne Analytics to improve Content Performance, I mentioned how decaying visibility hinders the growth your old, once popular content could continue providing for your business. And when I was talking about it, I realised I needed to dive deeper on the topic.

So today that’s what we are going to talk about.

Why is it important?

We talked about it quite extensively in our story yesterday. Decaying content visibility has a direct correlation to time, and is affected by how and how much it is able to have your audience engage with it. And if your content is not visible and discoverable by your audience, that means it obviously would not be able to drive back any value to your business.

Do you need to focus on all of your old content?

If you were to focus on everything, it wouldn’t be right to call it focus then, would it? ;-)

The very term focus means you need to identify and isolate the content pieces you would be working on as a part of this exercise. How you go about doing it is something your analytics platform (such as Benne Analytics) helps you with.

But even if you are using any other analytics platform, or not using our actionable insight reports, you can determine what content pieces you should be focusing on while making a “content to be repurposed” list.

Focus on what was once popular

Pick a timeframe, say 6 months ago to 1 year ago. Log on to your analytics dashboard and look at the content that was most popular during this period. Today, some of those content would not be bringing in enough visitors to be considered even remotely close to their average during this timeframe. These posts were popular once, but they don’t seem to enjoy the spotlight any more. They should go on your list.

Identify posts that need updating

The world of internet is dynamic and always changing. As such, there would be posts that would be in need for an update or some minor overhaul. Identify them and put them on the list - assuming they were once popular, of course.

Do not beat a dead horse

We have been living in the times of a pandemic for almost 18 months now. The way we work has changed, how we look at our professional engagements and interactions has changed, and we have all adapted to it.

As you know, remote work and asynchronous methods of collaboration and team work have found prevalence in these trying times. You would come across a lot of content on different websites that would talk about the effects of the pandemic on your work life and working methodology etc.

But, things will get better. For all of us. With vaccines being administered to citizenry all around the world for a good part of 6 months now, things will start getting back to normal in a not too distant future. Would these covid specific content pieces still be relevant then? They may have been able to engage with their audience once, but as we leave the pandemic behind in the rear-view mirror, these articles will slowly lose their relevance. So no matter how popular they once were, there is no point in channeling your energy to revive the visibility of this content. The content was seasonal and was specific, relevant and contextual to a particular scenario. So as that scenario is no longer true, the need for the audience to want and seek such content would also vanish.

Bottomline, only repurpose content that is evergreen, i.e. which would continue to be valuable for your audience for months and years to come.

How Benne Analytics improves this process for you?

If you read yesterday’s story, we talked about it a bit already. Our insights module and algorithms keeps an eye out on the performance of your content pieces. As it starts deteriorating for any piece of content - in terms of visibility, engagement, conversions or goal completion, it informs you of the same.

The insights report segments content with decaying visibility and performance into different buckets depending on how the decay is progressing and the nature and extent of impact it used to drive in the past. This makes our customer, i.e. you, ready and primed to act on the insights provided in the report, saving you countless hours every month and year in the process.

An important note: As our system matures and evolves, and we bolster up our machine learning and AI models and algorithms, the insights module will become even more valuable than it is today. But as of now, judging whether a content can be considered evergreen or not is something we would leave it to you. We may, from time to time, include an evergreen score in your insight reports and would ask you to flag it to us if you believe the classification to be inaccurate or not upto the mark.

Now that we have identified the content that needs to be repurposed, what are the different ways in which we can do so?

#1. Guest posts

Guest posts swing both ways.

You can write guest posts on other websites and publications, and the process is going to be relatively simpler for you because you already know of all the important and critical things you have to say, the information you have to pass along and the perceived value of the piece from the audience’s perspective.

If you are systematic in selecting the publications where your guest posts are published, then this process ends up helping you get extremely targeted referral traffic that would be converting better than other marketing channels.

At the same time, since the whole process ends up creating a lot of canonical and high quality backlinks back to your website, the SEO value it imparts to your business is also noteworthy.

On the flip side, instead of writing guest posts on other websites, you can also invite posts on your own website by different guest authors.

By this time, from your Benne Analytics dashboard and insight reports, you already know the topics your content needs to cover to pump lifeforce into your old content, so you can be extremely methodical in who you accept guest posts from, and on what topics.

#2. Craft targeted series in campaigns, emails etc.

Since this whole process is about old content on your site, by the time you start treading down this path, there would be plethora of content you have created on different topics. You look at this pool of content, and you would be able to come up with themes. Themes and topics that encapsulate multiple individual content - some of which, if not all, would be content pieces from your “content to be repurposed” list.

You also know, from the analysis and insight reports we talked about earlier, which segments of your audience is this content or series most meaningful for, and who is likely to engage the most with such series.

So now you can start creating a series - whether in terms of themed campaigns or targeted email series (daily/weekly/monthly). Take this article itself, for example. There are 7-9 different sections in this story (if we count the intro etc as sections of their own). So, if we were to repurpose this story as an email series, it can easily be a series where each email addresses one section, and makes it engaging by including examples from how different successful businesses have gone about executing it.

You can use this series to attract new subscribers, generate leads, engage and nurture existing subscribers, and even facilitate transactions or trial activations.

Remember, your goal in creating such a series is to guide your audience into navigating through and engaging with your content as well, so make the emails more engaging via instructions, steps, examples, and direct them back to the content.

#3. Leverage platforms like Quora

Quora is a great place to leverage the repurposing objective.

By design, Quora is conversational in nature, starting with a question someone has - a question multiple people are seeking answers for.

Once you need to repurpose a particular old content, look for relevant and contextual Quora questions. Address the topic at hand with an insightful, detailed response, preferably with examples, and direct the audience back to your website - if they wish to learn more.

Pro tip: Don’t use Quora just to seed traffic. That rarely works, and even when it does, it would not result in long-term results. Making an attempt to be genuinely helpful before you ask users to check out your content for ‘additional optional information’ is always the right strategy.

#4. Repost and repromote on social media

If you remember our content selection process, we were focused on evergreen, timeless content. By definition, that makes it possible for you to share and reshare that content at any point in time, and have it deliver the same value it did when it was first published. So go ahed and promote that story once again.

You have to realise the fact that just because you are resharing doesn’t mean it won’t reach new audience and help you gain new followers and new traffic.

Reposting works best when you share the same link, but with a different commentary attached to it. You can take different snippets from your article, pull quotes, attach graphics and other quick-bite format media that will engage the audience without your posts coming across as repetitive.

#5. Refresh and republish old posts

There would be times when you feel the need to add some shine to your old posts - whether with new pieces of information that have since come to light, or a new added perspective to your original point.

This process is sometimes the simplest owing to the fact that most of the times, you would be salvaging majority of the content, and would just be changing, editing and/or adding a few details. When you do so, however, you may want to add a quick note letting readers know that the post has been updated.

Hubspot has a slightly interesting take on this particular process. According to them, one of the key benefits of this process is you are able to renew the piece thereby making it a fresh content, but at the same time retain the existing URL. This helps the content keep hold of its original SEO value, and add further to it. So, essentially since you can now even change the publishing date, you are able to keep the URL, but show it on your blog as a brand new piece of content.

Just look at what Semrsush did with this content - on this exact topic - in 2020 and 2021.

repurposing content 1

They updated the content - even changed the headline, but the url is still from last year.

#6. A new blog post altogether

This is yet another way to update an old post. If you had, in past, addressed a matter that you see generating a lot of interest, and there is enough going on with the topic that it can help you create an entirely fresh piece of content, then you can go ahead and do exactly that.

And just like we did in #5, add a note informing your users of the new post. You can even add a note on the new post informing users that this post is in follow up to an old post you had on the same topic - thereby completing the feedback loop.

Just look at what Buffer did on the topic of how they hire - somewhat of a popular topic amongst their audience.

repurposing content 2

#7. Other ways to repurpose content

Now those were the easiest ways in which you can repurpose your content. Those are the ways I have myself used the most, and with most success. However, they aren’t the only way in which you can repurpose your top performers from yesteryears. You can create ebooks, podcasts, video series, webinars, infographics, series of instructographics, presentations and slideshares, case studies etc.

The number of ways in which you can repurpose your winning content is literally endless and is limited just by your imagination. These topics, however, do end up taking more time than the ones we discussed in #1 - #6, so whether you should be executing these or not would depend on how much of free and available bandwidth you have.

/Wrapping up/

Repurposing content is a big time saver, and the value it generates tremendous. It is a hack, sure, but if you do it methodically and execute right, can end up blowing life into old content that, at its prime, generated immense value for your business.

Also, repurposing doesn’t necessarily have to be an afterthought. You can have ideas on how you are going to be repurpose a content, if needed, even when you are originally creating it. It will help you structure your content the right way so that it remains evergreen and prime for repurposing at the right time.

As long as you remain unwavering in your focus to add value to your audience, you would be able to add value to your original content.

Do you have a content repurposing strategy? What ways have worked for you? Which routes do you feel are the easiest to include in your overall marketing plan and execute on? I would love to know what you think. You know where to find me.

That’s it for today, see you tomorrow.



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