All things being equal, content that generates results over a long period will win over content with a shorter life span.
But time is a difficult thing in content marketing. With 9,100 tweets scrolling by per second, the average lifetime of a single tweet is no more than 18 minutes. Twitter is our live radio broadcast, Facebook is live TV. Content doesn’t stick there, but is washed away by the next update almost as soon as you’ve hit publish.
If you want to save your content from the sad fate of being forgotten and left to die immediately after you post, leverage these three techniques to extend your content’s life from 18 minutes to forever.
1. Share multiple times to double your content life
No matter what objective you’re pursuing (engagement, followers, traffic, leads, or even revenue), it involves having your content read by the people you target.
Yet, you are aware — or you should be — that when you distribute your content on social media, almost no one sees it. And this makes sense: Most people don’t spend their entire day on Facebook or Twitter looking for things to read!
Even using email isn’t a foolproof technique to ensure that your content gets seen by the right people: If you include three blog posts per newsletter and have an impressive 15% overall click-through rate, it means one of the blog posts is probably seen by only 5% of your subscribers. Meaning that 95% didn’t see it.
That’s a lot of people who missed seeing that content.
Mark Traphagen, senior director of online marketing at Stone Temple Consulting, shared the same content multiple times over several weeks. As he reports, “Each of the later shares that ‘hit’ generated more than half the amount of traffic that the original share did. That’s traffic we never would have had if we’d only shared once.”
Source: Stone Temple Consulting
Why are marketers not sharing their content multiple times? Some want to focus on the “next thing.” Others claim they don’t want to spam their audience. But if you do it smartly (i.e., don’t publish the same content three times in a row on the same account), you’ll reach a new segment of your audience. And besides, if your content is good, nobody will blame you for promoting it several times.
How to do it efficiently
Organize your social shares to increase reach while appearing human
Space your social shares intelligently to stay human. Create two or three social media messages per post so you can rotate them over two to three weeks. Here are some elements that you should consider including:
- Post title
- Quote of an influencer in the post
- Data point highlighted in post
- Rewritten post title
Automate social media promotion
Sharing content multiple times involves a lot of execution and requires time. To lighten the burden, use software to plan several weeks of promotion at once, space them the right way, and monitor the impact on each piece of content.
Resend your newsletter to those who haven’t opened it
This is not something you should do every time you deploy a newsletter. But from time to time you’ll have a particularly good piece that you want to be sure gets in front of the eyes of as many people as possible. Why not send out the same newsletter with a different subject line (and preview) a few days after the first newsletter? Be mindful to send only to subscribers who did not open your first email. And no, sending two emails in the same week is not spamming. People receive an average of 90 emails per day in 2016, and that number shows no sign of waning over the next several years.
2. Amplify organic content for double the impact
Now that you’ve given your piece two to three weeks of promotion and earned two to three times more traffic to it, can you put that piece in a drawer and move on to your next piece? Absolutely not. Yes, you should publish content consistently and promote that new content. But be careful not to forget to nurture your older content.
This technique is called organic content amplification, which focuses on your own channels, and can help you generate two to three times more impact in terms of traffic and leads.
In an amplification phase, you invest time in additional distribution methods and strategies for content proven to perform in the promotion phase. Studies show that when amplified and not just promoted, a post will produce results long after it’s been published (as much as two to three times more traffic/leads over three months) because of distribution, search, and referral traffic.
Savvy marketer Jeff Bullas has used this amplification technique since 2011. He recommends that the content you re-share to amplify should be “evergreen content that will be relevant over a long period of time.
“These (content amplification) tactics were key to growing my Twitter following that now stands at 465,000+ and building my site traffic to over 5 million hits per year.”
How to do it efficiently
Identify these posts
Analyze the performance of all your posts that received the proper three weeks of promotion to identify and short-list the posts worth amplifying.
Promote your posts across your social media channels
Amplify your top-performing posts by continuing their promotion. Make sure you don’t overload your social channels with too many messages or too much repetition of the same messages.
Add short-listed posts to upcoming email newsletters
Why not promote a great piece of content four months down the road? Your email list has evolved. You have new subscribers who have never seen that content. And many existing ones might have missed it in your first email. If you can, include it in a list of articles for a specific topic (such as “the 5 resources you need to improve your SEO rankings”) and make sure to change the title and the introduction of that post in your email.
Measure results of amplification to make sure your post traffic and lead generation patterns conform to the model described above (otherwise, it means your followers are not interested and might quit).
3. Use predictive insights to extend life to forever
Now you’ve amplified your content to the fullest and successfully generated more traffic and leads from content written several months ago. Can you move on?
Why? Because if content is relevant and evergreen, there’s no reason to stop sending traffic to it. If you don’t, you’re still leaving money on the table.
Now, ask yourself:
- How can I identify that kind of relevant and evergreen content on an ongoing basis?
- How can I ensure that I keep promoting it as long as it’s relevant?
In other words, how can I constantly know how my content is doing and be predictive about which content to promote?
The answer can be found in your content audit. With this information, you can:
- Analyze granular content performance — data on how each individual piece of content affects your business metrics, not just traffic or shares but conversions and leads.
- Make actionable recommendations on how to improve content performance or what to do next with each piece of content.
- Identify top-performing content that deserves further amplification.
This analysis also can identify the best channels, times, and messages for top-performing posts.
Your Guide to Creating and Sharing Content in 2016 [Infographic]
Take on the challenge
Do you know if (and which) posts from 2014 and 2015 are generating traffic and leads, this month? Have you shared those posts lately and have you planned to share them in the future? Do you know which posts have a great conversion rate (ratio of leads per view) but haven’t been shared in a while?
Turning your content metrics into predictive insight will help you uncover how to make more from your existing content. And, more importantly, it helps you bring more opportunities to your audience to find answers to their questions and engage with content that resonates with their challenges.