Content marketing efforts can be one of the most effective (and cheapest) ways to get in front of potential clients or customers and create new leads. It can also increase conversion rates, drive more traffic to your site, and establish you as an expert among other benefits.
But it can also be exhausting, tedious work—especially for the solopreneur or a small team. Creating content takes time and energy. And we frequently hear from small business owners that they feel like they’ve “run out” of blog ideas or that they don’t have anything to share because it’s the “off-season.”
9 Ways to Get More Out of Your Content Marketing Efforts
Here’s the deal: Many small businesses don’t make the most of the content they’re creating. They might write a blog post, share that day, and then—unless it goes viral—it’s never shared again. This system often won’t produce the results necessary to justify the time spent creating the content. But fortunately there are plenty of ways to extend your content…
1. Be super clear on the purpose of every piece of content you create.
One of the worst things a business owner can do is to first look at what everyone else is publishing. The first thing one should do is determine the purpose of the content. Are you trying to establish yourself as an expert, sell a product, or find new clients? Being super clear on purpose is the best way you can make sure you’re getting the most out of your content.
There’s a tendency to look at what everyone else is doing, and think you have to do the same thing in the same way. “Oh, that photographer is offering education on her blog, then I should, too.” But, if your revenue comes from booking wedding clients and you intend for it to stay that way, then you should be publishing content that speaks to bride and grooms!
2. Share, share, share your content.
Sounds obvious, right? But how often is content shared beyond the week it’s created. If the content is evergreen (content that remains relevant for long periods of time), it should continue to be shared as long as it’s relevant. This doesn’t mean everyday, but perhaps once-a-month.
Wedding professionals: your work is most likely evergreen on some level. While certain elements may go out of style, it’s probably okay to share work you love for at least a year!
We share content the day it’s created, the next day, the next week, the next month, and then at least once-a-quarter afterwards. This is where it’s helpful to have a marketing calendar solution like CoSchedule. CoSchedule enables us to preschedule everything from blog posts to social media. It also provide valuable metrics like Top Posts and Social Engagement.
3. Use excerpts of old content to create new content.
Attention wedding professionals and other service based industries that are seasonal—this one’s for you! Check out this blog post where we shared some of our favorite wedding bouquets from 2016. This is an easy way to take pre-existing blog posts and create new, valuable content around it.
There are so many ways that something similar can be done. It’s a great way to “fill-the-gap” during the off-season because it doesn’t require additional work and content is still be created that potential clients will find valuable. And the bonus is that we were able to promote vendors with whom we enjoy working.
4. Update old content AND republish.
Take some time to go through old content and see if any of it can be updated. This is especially worthwhile for content that was previously popular. After updating it, republish it on your blog. It’s best to include a note at the top saying that it’s recently been updated (for anyone who read it in the past).
The truth is that only a fraction of your audience sees any given content you’ve published. This is especially true if you’re sharing on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram that use algorithms to determine what content users see.
But it’s also true because you’re most likely gaining new visitors each month. Those new visitors have no idea what you shared 1-year ago, let alone 3 weeks prior. Another reason why you should continue sharing old content as long as it’s still relevant and valuable.
5. Appropriate content for new mediums.
That old blog post that was really popular? Turn it into a guide or create an infographic. Or maybe it can be turned into a video tutorial. It’s okay to share similar content on different channels.
Different content formats are better for different channels. If you’ve written a popular post on how to style images for Instagram, consider creating a quick video tutorial, too. This enhances the value of the blog post for visual learners, and also gives you collateral that can be used on channels like YouTube.
One of the best parts? The content has already been created on some level. You just need to appropriate it for a new channel, which is easier than creating entirely new content.
6. Turn long-form content like guides into smaller posts.
Long-form content like ebooks and guides can be great content to use as a lead magnet. Since it takes more effort to create, it’s generally a good idea to hide it behind an “email wall” (an email list opt-in form). But after a while you may notice that guide or ebook has lost some steam. Perhaps it’s no longer converting as well as it once was, or a new guide has been created in it’s place.
Consider breaking the guide into a series of blog posts or videos. Again, an easy way to take content that has already been created, and share it across a new channel.
7. Convert a series of blog posts into a guide or longer-form content.
Pay attention to content that gets a lot of interaction, whether it be through comments, questions, or likes/shares on social media. That’s the kind of content to consider turning into a bigger piece.
This is a great way to be more confident your content will be more successful. If a shorter, less detailed piece struck a chord, it stands to reason a longer piece that elaborates on areas people had questions will also be popular. It’s better than spending a ton of time on something you’re not sure will resonate with your audience.
8. Get it Published in other Places
If you’ve created new content that you think could be published elsewhere, reach out and see. If they decide to publish it, your work is potentially getting in front of a new audience. Generally publishers don’t want that content published elsewhere at first. But after some time you can share that content on your own blog (with the added bonus that it’s been “featured in…”).
The same can be done for older content. There are many blogs that share so much content they don’t care as much about whether it’s been shared previously. We get requests every month from wedding publishers asking if they could share some of our already shared work from our photography blog. And we’re generally cool with it as long as it’s a legitimate and relevant blog.
9. Use your most popular content to create new, related content.
The truth is that there are few topics that can be completely covered in a blog post, guide, ebook, video or infographic. We would actually argue that the best content leads to more interest—and thus more questions—around a given topic. We recently published an article on determining whether or not one should show their prices on their website, which led to questions about how to know when to raise one’s prices. Sounds like another blog post is needed, right?
If content does not lead people to ask interesting questions, it’s probably not that interesting to begin with.
Of everything suggested, this requires the most work. But as we mentioned in #6, using content that has already proven to be popular as inspiration is a nice way to make sure you’re not wasting your time with content people aren’t interested in.
There are plenty of ways to extend content. It’s common for the blogger to feel like she’s “overdoing it” with a piece, but that’s mostly because the blogger is spending considerably longer with the piece than any of the visitors.
What’s your favorite way to make the most out of your content?