I saw a really interesting statistic on OrbitMedia recently. According to a study, they found that it now takes 65% more time to write a blog post than it did back in 2014. That is more than three hours per piece of content, quite a chunk of time. The reasoning behind this can be argued but I personally think it shows the care that is being put into those blog posts in order to compete with others.
Think about it, what did we see a lot of in the early days of online content marketing? I know clear back into 2014 I was still witnessing a shocking number of spun articles and keyword-stuffed blog posts. The algorithm was changing but old tactics were still being used by less reliable sources.
Now, we know that high quality is what dictates success and that means providing value to the reader. The same principle can be applied to other forms of content, especially videos, which is making up a large portion of content marketing strategies today.
Expanding Your Content and Developing Solid Ideas
Right now is a great time to work on that content. Not only are we all stuck at home, but people are hungry to consume information or be entertained. You should be spending even more time right now developing that content than before.
That just leaves us with one problem: the inspiration. Just having the time or the need isn’t enough, you also need ideas to back them up. Even the most prolific creators among us get stale sometimes. How do you get those creative juices pumping so you can get proper outreach for your brand?
Here are some of the tactics I use to get fresh ideas when I am running dry.
Revisit Old Content
This is always my first go-to when I am feeling a little wrung out and need a topic. Instead of coming up with something brand new, I go looking for something old to help me out. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone through old posts and realized that they are ripe for an update. After all, we work in an industry that is ever changing and most other niches have at least a few tweaks that could be beneficial to make.
I start by looking at my most visited posts. If they are still getting a lot of traffic, I ask myself if something could be added that would give it a fresh spin. Not only does this keep me up to date on content my readers appreciate most, but it provides a chance for internal links that can direct newcomers back to that old content that they might find valuable.
Next, I look at topics that didn’t quite hit their mark. A little analysis will tell me if it is a topic that just isn’t important to my readers, or if it is a topic that was not timely then but might be now. If the latter is true, I write a whole new piece to replace that one and publish. I like this option because it gives a second chance to content that might be genuinely useful but wasn’t published at the right time or just fell through the cracks.
I love using Text Optimizer to re-optimize and expand my old articles. The tool uses semantic analysis to extract related concepts from Google’s search snippets and urges you to create content around them. The higher your score, the better you rank:
Text Optimizer helps you discover concepts and angles that need covering in order to make your content more comprehensive. You can also use TextOptimizer’s plugin to make your content expansion task easier. There are a few more plugins to help you better optimize your old content.
When using the tool, make sure to avoid keyword stuffing when trying to achieve a higher score. Only use the tool to drive your content research, always use your editorial judgment when building content.
Start Looking For Questions
What questions are people asking right now? It used to be a little hard to find out but in today’s world, it couldn’t be easier. First, you have tried and true tools like AnswerThePublic, one of my all-time favorites. It is a search listening tool that lets you submit a keyword and find the most to least common questions people have about it. I like the visual element and how it separates everything into the primary queries: What, How, When, Why, Who?
Then there is the ultimate search tool for questions, Google. Since they began using Google Answers as a primary method of linking users to the content they need most, you can get a clear picture in an instant of what is trending. I spend a half hour on Google these days and end up with hundreds of ideas for content, which gives me a great list to start narrowing based on my knowledge of my users.
Fall Back On Roundups
I am a little sad that roundup posts are becoming less common. That doesn’t mean I am less likely to use them myself, as I know first hand how great they are for spreading information from top industry experts in a way that is easily digestible for my audience. Expert roundups are still one of my favorite forms of content.
If you have been keeping up with your influencer networking (hopefully you have), you should have a decent number of people to ask for advice on certain topics that are hot on the minds of your readers. It is also a good opportunity to make some new connections.
I prefer to stay away from full interviews because influencers are busy and might not have the time or desire to sit down for something that thorough. Instead, I will ask the same question to around ten people and usually get seven or eight responses back to work from.
Widen Your Content To Include Other Media
This is a no brainer, so why are so many people still nervous about dipping their toes into new media? It is an adjustment but the reward versus the risk makes it worth the effort. Wordstream has found that 51% of marketers name video marketing as the highest ROI generator available.
Beyond that, it gives you access to a whole new audience. Let’s face it, not everyone wants to sit down and read an article, even if it has been formatted for skimming. Some people just prefer visual media and video is going to widen your viewership by quite a lot. Plus, it is very social media friendly and we all know we shouldn’t be neglecting that field.
Videos can be made using the same content you have written, just scripted in a new way.
On top of all, visual assets offer you more marketing opportunities as you are able to re-use them on various social media channels. I use ContentCal to manage my team’s editorial calendar and it ensures no image or video is lost:
Let your content writers, video creators and graphic designers add their visual assets to your content library for your social media managers to use them on social media.
Do you have any ideas for expanding content or generating fresh new ideas? Let us know in the comments!
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