How to Generate More Engagement (Without Creating More Content)
June 2, 2016 | Victoria Hoffman
Ever feel like your content team is stuck in creation mode? You know – as soon as you finish one blog post or eBook, you’re onto the next one, giving little thought to extending the lifespan of the piece of content you just finished.
The quality vs. quantity content debate is ongoing. On the quantity side, it’s important to create a steady stream of fresh content to remain topical, engage subscribers, and increase inbound traffic.
On the quality side, your content will only be valuable enough to generate engagement, subscribers, backlinks, leads, etc. if it exceeds a certain standard.
In other words, if the quality of your content is suffering for the sake of quantity, you have a problem. It might be time to give your editorial calendar a break and focus on getting more value out of the content you already have.
Here are a few ideas for how to generate engagement without having to create more content.
If you’re in an industry where it makes sense for your brand to cover highly topical content, don’t stop on my account. However, if your audience will find more value from evergreen content topics – content with a longer shelf life – plan them carefully.
Build a finite list of evergreen topics for each persona, and create 10X content around each key topic (this is also a great practice for SEO purposes). Consider things that could easily go out of date, including:
- Stats – Stats are important to prove any point or demonstrate industry trends. Make sure that any stats you include are from a recent, credible source so they don’t date your content (and compromise your own content’s credibility).
- Trends – Remember frosted tips? Some trends never turn into a best practice (nor should they). Be critical when writing about trends, and if you’re unsure, consult an industry expert.
- Product – Your product will evolve over the years. Keep this in mind if you include screenshots or talk specifically about features and capabilities. Talk to your product manager about providing a product roadmap, and keep track of where you include screenshots so you can easily update them.
Thinking evergreen will make it much easier to execute a content strategy that’s focused on longevity. However, even the most evergreen of evergreen content topics will need to be updated eventually, which brings us to our next point…
Regularly Implement Historical Optimization
Historical optimization is exactly what it sounds like: optimizing “old” content so it’s as good as new. The optimization process involves analyzing your content to determine which old pieces are top performers, editing and updating them, and then re-publishing them as part of your content schedule.
This has a number of benefits:
- It ensures all content in your resource center is fresh and up-to-date
- It can improve your content’s performance
- It’s easy to scale when implemented as part of your regular publishing schedule
HubSpot has a great guide on historical optimization – check it out here.
Syndicate, Re-publish, and Re-promote
Once you have a content strategy that’s designed for longevity (i.e., you’re focusing on publishing a certain amount of evergreen content and you’re performing regular historical optimization), it’s time to start reviving your content via promotion.
Re-promote your content on all of your regular promotional channels – social media, email, etc.. Schedule it to be featured at the top of your resource center to improve discoverability. Encourage your entire team to share it on social again.
If it fits your audience, take advantage of syndication and republishing channels like LinkedIn Publishing, Business2Community, and Social Media Today (which allow for your content to be republished with a canonical URL, thus avoiding any duplicate content issues).
New platforms mean new audience exposure, which is necessary to prolonging your content’s lifespan and generating more engagement.
Don’t Be Afraid to Give Your Editorial Calendar a Break
You work hard and pour tons of time and money into the content you create. Make sure it’s bringing in positive ROI!
Give your editorial calendar a break (if only for a few days) and focus on getting more value out of your “old” content. It doesn’t deserve to collect dust in the depths of your resource center – bring it out and let it shine.