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December 19, 2016

Top 4 Simple and Fresh Hacks for Your Content Marketing Toolbox

Here are four ways you may alter your content marketing strategy if you need or require content more quickly and more regularly. The problem is that search engines and social media ranking systems tend to promote regular contributors while simultaneously demanding higher quality content. The two concepts are diametrically opposite which is why many content marketers struggle over the long-term. Here are four ways used by professional content creators that may help you increase your content production rate without compromising the quality.

1. Repurpose Content and Customize It to Suit Your Needs

If you struggle with this concept or you are worried about plagiarism, try combining smaller pieces of content to create larger pieces of content. For example, you may combine a series of photo images and add your comments to them. You may combine a series of cheat sheets, mix them up, and pass them off as your own.

There are plenty of blog posts that cover the same subject that you wish to cover. You can cherry pick the best pieces of information from them and create your own content. You may even combine such points with information you took from white papers and eBooks.

There are infographics, videos and social media updates that have usable information you can repurpose. You may reproduce sections as they are, or you may compile them into a document, and then re-write the document itself to ensure it is plagiarism-free.

A simple way to repurpose your content is to syndicate it. CNN Money has been repurposing their content for years and it seems to work well. It uses systems such as OutBrain in order to syndicate its posts.

Examples of Clever Repurposing

  • Turn your webinar and video tutorials into an article with a written transcript;
  • Gather together old blog posts and arrange them into a guidebook or eBook;
  • Use previously posted data to create a case study;
  • Create image-only slideshows with the information you have already published;
  • Post your visual content on social media platforms such as Pinterest.

2. Utilize Historical Content

There are things such as #ThrowbackThursday on Instagram and Facebook’s timeline feature. There is a difference between old new and old content. People may not be interested in how well Kim and Kanye’s pregnancy is going if she gave birth two years ago, but people may still be interested in why the last space probe was launched toward a comet.

There is no need to steal or rewrite old/historical content. Many times, you are able to give a fresh perspective to old content.

For example, the Simpsons once created an episode where they were in the future and Lisa mentions President Trump. Back then, the comment was a surreal joke, but that piece of old content may attract a fair number of viewers right now if it were highlighted and commented upon by you.

Insightful content will take years to lose its effect, especially if it contains good advice. For example, there are plenty of elements of Sun Tzu’s work that people still find useful today. Just because content is old doesn’t mean the content is useless.

Take the time to figure out what your target audience will respond to, and find historic/old content that suits them. Give it a refresh if needed, and post it as part of your content strategy.

The MehTV website goes a step further and uses very old historic content and images to show things such as how brands have changed over the years. They are re-using old images, but they are adding their bit to them to make a point.

Examples of Using Historical Content

  • Old comments from users may be re-used and addressed in upcoming posts;
  • Turn old comments, questions and answers into a question and answer section;
  • Cherry pick from older social media posts and create new ones;
  • Use historical data from your social media analytics to create usable statistics;
  • Personal/brand related historical data may show how far you have come.

3. Content Curation

There are plenty of tools that curate old and new information, such as Feedly and Scoop.it, which may make your content redundant. However, one has to assume you are shooting for a very specific target audience, which also means you may curate very specific information that is of interest to your target audience exclusively.

Oddly enough, you may be able to use online tools and websites such as Feedly to find information you may like to curate.

Start by curating your own material. If you have a blog, then curation is your best friend. Blog posts tend to be lost into the ether after a few months.

After all, just how many views are your posts from three years ago getting? Curate your own material in the same way that TV shows have clip-show episodes that feature their best bits.

Many writers and bloggers tend to curate content based on page views and social media popularity. For example, if out of 30 posts you notice that five started to trend, it may be worth curating them into another post at a later date.

If your content has a purpose or a goal that has spread itself over a long time, then this may give you a perfect excuse to curate. You could show the different types of content you have produced as your viewership increased.

For example, if you create online comics, you may show your early work that was scrappy and poorly written, later show how it has improved over the years.

The Moz website uses a very simple ‘Top 10’ mechanic to curate older content in a way that makes it interesting. Not only is it offering people what they have already read, but it is also giving its opinion on it by ranking it. You may also do this with a ‘Most Popular’ post.

Examples of Content Curation Ideas

  • Don’t just curate written content, curate your podcasts and videos too;
  • Gather together your best work and write reviews on it;
  • Use underground, deep Web or dark Web content that is not on Google;
  • Personally use an RSS feed or Google alerts to help you find usable content;
  • Add value by commenting on the things you curate.

4. Encourage User-Generated Content

User generated content is very powerful and very dangerous.

For example, social media is powered by user-generated content, and social media is very popular.

On the other hand, the website FunnyJunk is full of user-created content and it frequently angers other content creators because people steal their content to add to FunnyJunk.

Should the threat of other people plagiarizing stop you from encouraging user-generated content? Yes and no.

Yes, it should stop if you are trying to maintain a very high level of online quality, and if you wish to fully control the direction your website goes in.

No, it doesn’t stop you if you have been struggling for years without any success. It also shouldn’t discourage if you are willing to administer your website very carefully.

For example, if you spend 20 hours per week creating content, ask yourself if you would rather spend five hours creating and 15 hours administering. If you are willing to be very hands-on with regards to what you allow people to post, you may be able to get your users to create your content on a long-term and consistent basis.

The Honest Trailers YouTube channel frequently adds its user comments into thei videos. It allows people to choose which movie is reviewed next, it frequently refers to comments made by users and adds them to their videos, and at the end, they have the users post comments on what they would like the narrator to say in his epic voice. This is just a few innovative ways that Honest Trailers has used its viewers to enhance its material.

Examples of User-Generated Content Ideas

  • Consider, but do not rely on, comment bait;
  • Allow people to post and edit afterward rather than before;
  • Offer people followed links in return for fresh content;
  • List the benefits of guest posting;
  • Solicit the efforts of social media influencers by paying them to contribute.

Conclusion

Maintaining a consistent quality level is the key to all four of the hacks listed above. Search engines and social media ranking systems will take your production rate into account as well as your quality level, but they will also consider how popular your posts are based on page views, user engagement and how many times your posts are shared.


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Brenda Savoie is a content marketer at Essayontime, private English teacher, and desperate dreamer. She is writing her first romantic novel. She is seeking contentment through mindfulness. Find her on Twitter and Facebook.

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