Crafting engaging, high-quality online content is key to a company’s continued success, both short and long-term. However, great content means nothing if an audience cannot find it or does not know that it exists. Getting the most out of online content requires analysis, strategy, and no small amount of networking. You also need to take a hard look at what you already have on hand, to avoid duplicating efforts or wasting resources. While it is always possible to generate new content, there are many ways to exploit existing content to your advantage.
What did you do and how did it work?
A great starting point is to analyse existing content and evaluate it from a perspective of activity. Numerous paid resources exist for this purpose, such as ahrefs, Moz, Raven Tools, and others, but smaller companies can get significant mileage out of Google Analytics. Regardless of the product, the key is to sort your links according to several different metrics, including clicks, click-throughs, shares, and e-mail open rates. Once content is sorted, it is easy to determine which content worked and which content did not. In the case of cold or dead content, you can gain insight into exactly why your content failed to resonate with audiences. After some analysis, focus on active content with potential for growth.
Assemble a collection of potential websites that can help you with promotion. Most online analytics tools can analyse websites and links related to your specific project or goal. Taking a dive into competing companies and projects can yield invaluable data pertaining to social media shares (i.e. which sites backlink to third-party content and how often?), as well as overall site hits. You can also identify valuable keywords for search engine optimisation (SEO), which serves as built-in content promotion for search engines. Broken links can provide a valuable opportunity, as you can either alert a site owner for networking or partnership purposes or claim a dead link and nurse it back to health by convincing linked sites to keep hosting your new link. Do some digging, assemble a list of potential content opportunities, and be ready to network once your content is organised.
Scrub and polish.
Having identified a list of potential opportunities, your next step will be to reconfigure content to match those opportunities. If you have a great PowerPoint presentation on optimal fundraising techniques, for example, you may want to reorganise it as an article or blog post for ease of reading. If you have a comprehensive case study regarding sales trends in London and the South East, it may be beneficial to rewrite it for a layperson audience, and provide visual aids to inform the reader. The idea is to turn your existing content into content that a third party will want to promote: updated, consolidated, streamlined, and easily digested.
After you have a polished product, run through your list of potential partners and explore those opportunities. If you work at a non-profit, for example, you could partner with a larger organization serving your target demographic, such as linking your organization’s cancer studies to the page of a national cancer society. If you are marketing a product or service, you may want to consider the possibility of paid promotion via websites like StumbleUpon, Twitter, Outbrain, and Taboola. Facebook promotion is also a possibility, though cost will be a factor for smaller organizations.
Tap into current events.
Tying your content into a developing news story can provide a great jump start toward going viral. While it is not possible or advisable to take this route with every piece of content, it is certainly an option worth exploring. With a little tinkering, a study on the benefits of a particular medication could be tied to an emerging story on disease. Similarly, viral movements such as the ALS-focused ice bucket challenge can serve to capture an audience and introduce them to your content. It is much easier to capture a consumer’s attention if you’re able to speak to what is presently holding their attention.
The Internet represents a vast, ever-changing sea of information. By keeping old content fresh and tapping into a breadth of promotional opportunities, you can ensure that your message stays afloat. Keep an eye on current trends, dust off and polish up your content, and you’ll be well on your way to greater success.