Take a lesson from TV, content marketers

Content marketers should follow the path of television, and realize the value of reruns.

Why do television executives like reruns? Well, they average about 50 percent of the viewership for the original episode (52% in 2010-11 and 48% in 2011-2012, according to the Los Angeles Times), and there’s no added creation cost. Decent bang, little buck.

Of course, marketing content differs in major ways from television. For example, generally speaking, content is educational, while television is for entertainment. However, while we couldn’t find any statistics about readership of repeated content, by comparing content to television, there are several reasons to believe that republishing existing content can provide a decent return for very minimal investment, including:

• Reruns aren’t just for people who watched/read the original, but also for those who missed it. While certainly television options have proliferated, with their now being hundreds of stations, that’s nothing compared to the amount of written content available. When you’re competing for readers against hundreds of thousands of other content pieces, it’s very likely that people in your desired audience missed your content the first time.

• The content rerun doesn’t have to be a complete rerun. That is, the content rerun has a major advantage over the television rerun: you can change it. You can update content, for example, by putting in new supporting facts, figures and anecdotes. In other words, you can take old content and make it fresh and new, so that people don’t realize they are looking at “old” content.

• You can rerun content when it is “hot.” By using a software tool, such as SocialEars HR, that tracks when social influencers are most engaged by certain topics, you can choose to release your republished or newly reworked content when people are most likely going to want to read it, thus giving it the best chance to succeed. You also should, of course, promote your content through your blog and social channels.

Here are a few tips for rerunning content:

1. Pick content that was successful when it was originally published. Unsuccessful content is likely to remain unsuccessful. Even though people are more likely to have read your successful content, if you update it significantly, especially if you provide a new introduction, people who read the original will be more likely to read it.

2. Select older content. There are a number of reasons for this, including: It’s less likely that people on your distribution list will have read it. You likely haven’t promoted it via social channels before. The updates you do to it are likely to be more significant, so the content will seem more like an update, as opposed to a rerun.

3. If any information in your content is old and outdated, you need to update it. Otherwise, your content could do more harm than good for your business. People accept outdated television shows, but not outdated content.

4. React quickly to what’s “hot.” When social influencers are highly engaged on a topic, the peak of interest doesn’t last long. So if you have existing content that relates to the discussions taking place on the topic, update it and publish it while their interest is likely to be piqued by it.

5. SocialEars HR users should use the software’s Content Analyzer to ease, quicken and improve updates. By inputting their content into the Content Analyzer, users can see the latest content related to their content topics, related topics they might want to add, and the people writing and sharing the content on those topics. Using this information, users can quickly improve the quality and extend the reach of their content.

6. Don’t overdo it. Just like with television, new content is incredibly important, and should be the top priority. Reruns and updated content should make up a small percentage of your total content.

7. Duplicate content can hurt your SEO, so you need to be careful how you handle it. Google’s Penguin update expressly penalizes sites that deliberately create duplicate content. So, when rerunning or updating content, consider removing the original from your site and using a permanent redirect to tell search engines that the page has been moved permanently to the new URL. More information here.

Follow these tips, and maybe you’ll find the occasional rerun/update to be an effective part of your content marketing.

Download the "10 Ways" white paper for more great ideas on using social marketing to improve your marketing.

Post written by HRmarketer / SocialEars HR team member Eric Anderson.


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