Content marketing has a problem: the content itself. Creating good content is expensive and time-consuming. First, there’s the content quality problem. More content or better content? You can: Republish Your Content On your site Got any content pieces that are more than a year old? In one survey of content marketers from the curation tool Scoop.it, only 17 percent said they repurpose their content from one format to another. So maybe the state of content repurposing looks more like this: A word about these terms. Pick a few simple ways to re-use each piece of content (like in your email newsletter, on social media, and in a simple infographic) – then leave it alone. Give the piece of content time to perform (or not) on social media and in the search results. Will this particular test (this blog post, for instance) hit the right cord with your audience?
Content marketing has a problem: the content itself.
Creating good content is expensive and time-consuming. It requires skill and subject expertise. It’s generally a pain in the … budget.
And bad content? It might be less expensive. And easier to create. But it’ll get you almost no results.
Fortunately, there are several ways around this:
- You can outsource your content creation, either to freelancers or influencers.
- You can hire an Editor to take your in-house rough drafts and make them better.
- You can create far less content, and just promote, SEO, and advertise the heck out of it.
- You can curate some of your content.
- You can just ignore content marketing entirely, and stick with advertising… at least for as long as that lasts.
I don’t recommend that last one. And while the other tactics are good, they aren’t actually the best option.
But before I get to that, let’s understand the problem better.
Content quality versus content volume
The challenge with content creation is actually two-fold.
First, there’s the content quality problem. Your content has to be good, or it won’t work. And by “work”, I mean attract and retain an audience.
Then there’s the content volume problem, aka “content velocity”. This is the frequency you’ve got to publish content at if you want to retain your audience’s attention. If you publish too infrequently, your audience will start to forget you.
These two demands pull against each other. So maybe you can create great content – but only a couple of posts a month. Is that enough to keep your audience engaged? Just barely (for most publishers).
And so marketers press themselves to publish more often… even if it digs into the quality of what they can produce. They might want to publish more often or with better quality, but they’re limited by their budgets.
They can’t max out both content quality and content velocity at the same.
They have to compromise.
More content or better content?
The terms of that compromise are thorny. It’s prompted a lot of discussion about the pros and cons of content quality versus quantity. I tend to fall in the quality camp, but there have been some very persuasive articles about how content quantity might actually be king.
You can’t cut quality too far, or your engagement rates will tank, but you still have to keep up the pace. Your competitors certainly aren’t going to let up. Your audience isn’t going to wait around. Leave them hanging, and they might change their content consumption habits.
So what to do? It’s simple, really. You figure out a way to get more results out of the same amount of content.
Ends up, your content creation problems can be solved… with the content you’ve already got.
Reuse: Republish, Repurpose, Refurbish
This strategy goes by a lot of names, but let’s just call it re-using content. That ends up being the single best way to escape this quality versus quantity conundrum.
There are a couple of ways to re-use the content you’ve already got. You can:
Republish Your Content
On your site
Got any content pieces that are more than a year old? Are they performing well – like in the top 20% of your content? If so, consider republishing them, almost as if they were new.
Just be sure to give these pieces of content a little face-lift first. Optimize their SEO based on the traffic they’re actually attracting. Make sure their links and research and calls to action are all up to date. Then republish them without apology. Very few people in your audience will even notice.
When HubSpot tried this trick, they got…