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How To Breathe New Life Into Unpublished Content

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How To Breathe New Life Into Unpublished Content

Repurposing successful content is old news. You already know how to squeeze as much value out of it as you can.

But what about your content that never made the cut? These assets languish on your hard drive or in the cloud, never fulfilling their original purpose. They could be:

  • Blog articles made irrelevant by breaking news.
  • Press releases never picked up by the media.
  • Thought leadership articles created for trade magazines that ceased publishing before your content could be published.
  • Case studies tabled when your organization’s priorities changed.

All is not lost: Here’s how to breathe new life into that unpublished content.

Find the misfit content

You likely don’t remember every piece of content created that never saw the light of day. To rediscover these potential gems, search your brand’s server for content that never moved to the next folder in the publishing process. Look at your own hard drive (and ask team members to do the same) for completed drafts that were never finalized. Peruse your content management system (CMS) for unpublished content.

Once you find some of this misfit content, it’s time to unearth their hidden value.

Find some misfit unpublished #content and unearth its hidden value, says @Hey_Formichelli via @CMIContent @inmotionshosting. Click To Tweet

Revitalize rejected content

In my 25 years as a magazine writer, I racked up well over 500 rejections to my pitches. I saved each failed idea in a folder on my hard drive, and every so often, I would go through it to see if any of the ideas might be workable for a new publication.

In early 2020, an editor at a prominent women’s magazine asked me to pitch some ideas. I compiled a handful of rejected pitch ideas that I updated and revised. One of those ideas ended up in the December issue.

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You can do something similar. Send the once rejected column written by your CEO to another publication. Take that exclusive release sent to a reporter who never used it and turn it into a release for bloggers in your industry.

Remember, just because a piece of content was wrong for one outlet doesn’t mean it’s wrong for all of them. Or sometimes, you just need to wait until the time is right. Look at your rejected work with a new eye, and ask: Is it this content’s time to shine?

Just because a piece of #content was wrong for one outlet doesn’t mean it’s wrong for all. Revitalize your rejected content, says @Hey_Formichelli via @CMIContent @inmotionhosting. Click To Tweet

If your revitalized content gets rejected again, publish it yourself on your blog, resource page, social media, etc.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: Guest Blogging: A Step-by-Step Guide

Transform content dismissed because of unexpected events

When I ran a small content studio, we developed an incredible report about how to incorporate the principles of women’s magazine journalism into B2B content to “take it from ZZZ to OMG.”

Right after we released the report to the world, the pandemic struck. Suddenly, no one wanted to read about (or create) fun, entertaining content. Our new content needed to demonstrate we knew what was going on in the world – the gloomy “new normal.” It made sense. Brands that didn’t at least give a nod to the situation in their content looked out of touch and tactless.

But what about the amazing piece of content that seemed wrong to publish based on what was happening in the world?

Tweak the content asset: Sometimes, a simple tweak can turn your content from “They said WHAT now?” to “I need to read this now.”

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A month or so after the pandemic lockdown, we could have made the report work with a new design and lead, such as: “We could all use a distraction these days. Here’s how to bump up the fun in your B2B content to give your readers a welcome break from the negative.”

Reframe the idea: Maybe the original content treatment still won’t work in the present, but it could be turned into on-trend content.

Say you’re a home furnishings brand. Just as the pandemic started, you were about to launch a content campaign on how to create a luxurious guest room for summer visitors. But now, that angle was irrelevant. Instead, you could have reframed the content into how to turn an unused guest room into a home office or classroom, and the campaign would be right on point.

Your original #content angle might not work in the present, but it could be turned into on-trend content, says @Hey_Formichelli via @CMIContent @inmotionhosting. Click To Tweet

Do something else: With my content studio’s women’s magazine lessons for B2B report shelved, we create new content in the form of an infographic – 30 Creative Alternatives to ‘Unprecedented.’ This amusing infographic showed an awareness of the situation. It also ended up getting even more attention than we expected from the original report.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

Wait it out

If the content went unpublished because of current events, reassess it a few days, weeks, or months later to see if it’s now viable. We did that with our women’s magazine B2B content report. A few months after the pandemic began, people did get tired of gloomy marketing content, ads featuring somber piano music, and emails from brands about how we’re all in this together. We reposted and marketed the report in June, and it garnered a lot of engagement.


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Top Options for Hosting (and Optimizing!) Your Content

Your website hosting decisions can make a big impact on speed, performance, and manageability – and the experience that you deliver to your content consumers. Before you choose a hosting solution, watch this chat with Harry Jackson of InMotion Hosting, where he outlines the three main options and explains the pros and cons of each. Watch now!


Pick the good from the bad content

In some cases, the unpublished piece of content is simply unsalvageable:

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  • The content is so out of date it’s not worth your time to update it.
  • The case study features a customer now out of business.
  • The video targets a persona your brand no longer serves.
  • The author is no longer in good standing in your industry.

However, even this content is not dead. You can mine it for bits and use them for another piece of content, social media, newsletter blurbs, testimonials, and so on. For example, grab out and reuse:

  • Quotes from subject matter experts
  • Helpful (and still valid) tips
  • Sidebars or short sections connected to unsalvageable long-form content, such as white papers, books, and guides
  • Resource lists

Pick over that content like a grandma using a roast chicken on day three. We’re in chicken salad territory here, folks. Don’t let any usable content go to waste.

Your unpublishable content is not so unpublishable

You’ve delved into your content and come up with some losers you could turn into winners. In many cases, you’ll find the content wasn’t really bad. It was just a case of the wrong place or wrong time.

Now that you have these strategies for reviving rejected, tabled, and otherwise unpublished content, add a quarterly reminder to your calendar to go digging for content gold. You’ll save time and money – and treat your audience to amazing content they otherwise would have missed.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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MARKETING

Daily SEO Fix: Competitive Link Research

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Daily SEO Fix: SEO Reporting — More Specific Use Cases

Link research is an essential pillar of an SEO strategy, but competitive link research can help you get a leg up. It’s vital for websites to not only know about their own link profile, but to also have an effective strategy in place to stay relevant against competitors.

Hopefully at this point, you know who your competitors are, and hey, that’s half the battle. If you still aren’t sure, check out our Competitive Research tool in Moz Pro. This tool can help you find out exactly who your competitors are, the keywords they rank for and what their top performing content is.

If you would like to understand our Competitive Research tool more, and learn how it can be used to your advantage, feel free to book a Moz Pro Kick Off Call with a member of Moz’s Onboarding Team below.

Book a Moz Pro Kick Off Call

So, why do we want to conduct “competitive link research”?

  • Learning how others are performing can help guide your own linking strategy, and you may discover tactics that you haven’t considered before.

  • There may be opportunities and gaps in your competitor’s link profile, which you can identify and slot yourself into.

  • You will know what types of content perform well, and from there can make your content 10x better than your competitors!

  • Your analysis will help you understand more about the audience you are trying to speak to.

  • A comprehensive backlink strategy can aid you in ranking higher on the SERP.

If you’re seeking guidance on how to build an SEO competitive analysis framework, check out Moz Academy’s SEO Competitive Analysis Certification. This coursework covers everything you need to know to confidently implement an effective strategy, and you’ll earn your Moz Certification, which you can display on your LinkedIn profile!

In the following videos, the Moz team will show you workflows and other tips and tricks within the Moz Pro tool set that will help you with your competitive link research analysis.

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Link Gap Analysis: Link Intersect

Link gap analysis is a popular tactic amongst SEOs. It involves comparing your own link profile to that of your competitors, and finding the gaps that exist. They could be getting backlinks from several websites that you aren’t receiving any from — this could be a golden opportunity — another way to compete with your top competitors.

In this video, Emilie will show you how to use Moz Pro’s Link Intersect tool to find out this information.

Discover Linking Domains with SERP Analysis

In the Moz Pro Keyword Research tool, there is a functionality where you can search a keyword, and the top ranking pages for that keyword will show. But, there is so much more to this function.

In this video, Varad will show you those ranking pages, as well as the domains that are linking to that particular page. Get ready to soar from there!

Use Page Optimization to Find Content Suggestions

Moz’s Page Optimization tool is primarily used to see what improvements may need to be made to a page, as well as keyword placement on a page. When you dive a bit deeper into this particular tool, you’ll find that Moz offers content suggestions to you, including URLs that are ranking for the keyword you first queried. Identifying these top ranking URLs is a great way to see what kind of content you should also be creating.

In this video, Rachel will show you what you can do with this new found information and how it can help your link research.

Find Backlinks to Competitor’s Broken Pages

Analyzing the backlinks on a competitor’s broken page is another tactic that SEOs are using, that you may not have been aware of. There are hidden opportunities within these broken pages that are just waiting to be discovered.

In this video, Arian will show you exactly how you can find those broken pages within Moz Pro’s Link Research tool.

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Discovered & Lost Backlinks

Another gem within the Moz Pro Link Research tools is the ‘Discovered & Lost’ section. This section will show you all of the new backlinks that Moz has found linking to your competitor in the last 60 days, as well as backlinks that have been lost. This can be insightful information when working on your own backlink building.

In this video, Eoin shows you how you can use this functionality to up your Link Research game.


If you’d like to continue learning about Competitive Research, check out our previous Daily SEO Fix on Competitive Keyword Research for some great insights into a competitive keyword research strategy.

Other additional resources for learning continuation:

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