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Everything Old Is New Again: Why & How to Refresh B2B Content

Why & How to Refresh B2B Content

Why & How to Refresh B2B Content Content creation—it’s the linchpin of our B2B content marketing strategies. And 56% of B2B content marketers have upped their investment in content creation over the past year—more than any other spending area. Without a steady cadence of fresh, quality content we can’t proactively adapt to our audience’s changing needs nor consistently reach, inform, engage, entertain, or inspire action within them. And for most content marketers, this effort is often grounded in creating net-new content. But freshness is the eye of the beholder; quality content creation doesn’t have to be done from scratch. Refreshing existing content is a massive opportunity, playing an integral role within your always-on content marketing strategy. It’s not only more efficient to produce, but when done strategically, it can also boost results, improve user experience, and extend the life and relevance of the content you’ve worked so hard to produce. As it’s been sung, everything old can be new again. Below are all of the reasons why you need to identify refresh opportunities and how you should approach it.

3 Reasons to Refresh Existing Content

#1 – Content takes time to “mature in search”—and needs to be nurtured.

SEO is a foundational element of content marketing. You know your buyers are becoming increasingly self-directed in their search for answers, and you’re creating SEO-informed content to satisfy their queries. But if you just focus on new content creation, you’re leaving potential on the table. We’ve all experienced those sweet, near-instant wins in search results after a new post goes live. But typically, it takes time and smart optimization to gain consistent organic traction. In its post analyzing top ranking factors, Moz’s Jeff Baker discusses three different correlations between the age of a post and its keyword position. Based on their research, it took roughly 100 days or more for a new article to realize its full potential. Moz Data on Page Age & Keyword Position Image credit: Moz.com While pages need time to mature, without the proper nurturing their relevance can degrade over time; this is the “fresh” factor. Essentially, strategically updating older posts can improve rankings as search algorithms prefer fresh over stale content. Data and insight should guide the type of updates you make, but updates could include optimization tweaks to capitalize on new related keyword rankings, expanding or refining content around certain themes, and link building. Once again, Moz illustrates how freshness can fade in the eyes of search engines. Graph from Moz Showing Content Freshness Image credit: Moz.com [bctt tweet=”Content takes time to mature in search, and it needs to be nurtured. @annieleuman #B2BContentMarketing #contentrefresh” username=”toprank”]

#2 – Refreshing allows your content to grow WITH your audience.

Search is constantly evolving. Not only are search engines getting more sophisticated, but the way people are searching has changed as well:

  • Half of all smartphone users use voice technology. (comScore)
  • Mobile phones are expected to be used for 80% of all internet access in 2019, a 10% increase from 2017. (Quartz)
  • Mobile searches for queries with questions like “do I need”, “should I”, and “can I” have grown by at least 65% over the past two years. (Google)

As queries get more specific and question-based with natural language, making tweaks to your content to match those relevant queries and opportunities allows you to better match users needs. It paves the way for being the best answer, whenever, wherever, and however your audience is searching. Read: Hey Alexa: How Do I Bake Voice Search Into My B2B Marketing Strategy?

#3 – Refreshing could give you leg-up on more than just your competitors.

Content marketing is no longer the new shiny object in the B2B realm. Content marketing is simply modern marketing. As content continues to proliferate you’re likely competing for visibility and reach with your direct competitors within your industry, as well as indirect competitors such as third-party review sites, industry publications, independent bloggers, technology providers, and so on. There are hundreds of billions of webpages in the Google Search Index, and while serving different audiences and thought leadership purposes, there’s likely some overlap in keyword targeting. Let’s take “B2B content marketing” as an example—industry publications such as Search Engine Journal, tools like BuzzSumo or HubSpot, platforms like LinkedIn*, and of course B2B marketing agencies like us, have all produced content on this topic. So, when it comes to refreshing content, you have the opportunity to see how your content is stacking up to all the competition and make data-informed tweaks to differentiate and personalize for your core audience.

How to Get Started with Refreshing Content

Identify Refresh Opportunities With a Content Audit

You’ve published a lot of content. And more than likely you have several that are top-performers, bringing in tons of traffic. You also may have some good performers or rising stars in there, as well as pieces that simply haven’t gained any meaningful traction. Refreshes can help you bolster those top-performers and hopefully improve performance of other pieces. To know where to focus your refreshing and optimization efforts, you need to know how your existing content is performing with an audit. By auditing your current content for current rankings, position changes, traffic trends, and more, you can see which posts have the greatest opportunity. [bctt tweet=”Content refreshes can help you bolster those top-performers and hopefully improve performance of other pieces. @annieleuman #B2BContentMarketing” username=”toprank”]

Put Experience in the Driver Seat

Refreshing is about both your audience and the search engine. So, when you revisit posts to make optimizations, you need to ensure you keep both parties in mind. Focusing solely on your audience could mean missing out on a critical SEO opportunity. And the opposite could be said when zeroing-in on SEO. To tick both boxes, carefully research your content’s current user experience with metrics like time on page, click through rate, bounce rate, pages per session, or scroll depth. Analyzing these data points should give you an indication of which areas of the experience need the most attention and which sections of your content may need adjustments. This helps you avoid delivering an unsatisfactory user experience that results in drop-offs from both your audience and site crawlers.

Repurpose Where It Makes Sense

There’s refreshing and repurposing. Refreshing is updating something that already exists. Repurposing is taking something that exists and using it to create something new. And there’s a place for both in your content strategy. When should you repurpose and when should you refresh? A top-performing, broad post is a great repurposing opportunity. You’ve covered the topic with broad strokes. And through repurposing you can dig a little deeper into some of the specific themes or opportunities, using some of the existing content to support your narrative. Conversely, in-depth content that is ranking for several long-tail keywords is another good repurposing opportunity. If you split the content into several pieces, with each one targeting a different long-tail variation, you could drastically improve those organic rankings and traffic — all by repurposing and restructuring the original piece. In addition, repurposing can help you personalize content for specific verticals or audience segments. Through repurposing, you can take an existing article and tailor it for a different target audience with new data that’s relevant for them, solutions to their biggest pain points, and more. Read: A Tasty, Strategic Addition to the Content Marketing Table: ‘Repurposed Content Cobbler’

Refresh for Success

Everything old can be new again. From SEO to growing your content to match your audience’s needs, there are several benefits that come from refreshing content. Refresh for success by conducting a content audit, keeping both humans and search engines in mind, and repurposing when and where it makes sense. via GIPHY How else can you maximize the value of your B2B content? Get an inside look into the future of B2B Content. *Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post Everything Old Is New Again: Why & How to Refresh B2B Content appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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Content Curation Inspiration: Types, Examples, & Use Cases for B2B Marketers

Content Curation Inspiration for B2B Marketers

If you create and share content, curation is part of your B2B marketing strategy. From seasoning a blog post with key third-party statistics to sharing an interesting article from an industry publication or influencer across your social channels, you’re curating.

But content curation has a place beyond adding an insight or two to your content.

With large volumes of information available today and short attention spans, curation allows content marketers to create more convenient, valuable content experiences for their target audience, while growing thought leadership, bolstering their content calendar, and increasing production efficiency.

What types of curation exist? How are B2B brands doing curation? When does it make sense to do curation? Let’s dive in.

Types of Content Curation and B2B Examples

The Curation Kitchen Staples: Microcontent

Statistics. Quotes. Tips. Social media commentary. Third-party videos. Gifs. Memes. Curated microcontent is what gives your content its flavor—whether its used as seasoning in a long-form blog post or modularly in short-form social content. This is foundational curation, and it plays a role in all other types. And as TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden once said:

“Snackable content can often be managed and repurposed like ingredients to create a main course. On their own, short-form content like quotes, tips, and statistics are useful for social network shares and as added credibility to blog posts, eBooks, and articles.”

See what I did there? Microcontent is simplistic and easy to integrate, helping you provide more depth and insight on a topic, infuse credibility, and highlight industry experts.

When microcontent curation makes sense: Always—if the content is relevant to the topic you’re discussing. Microcontent helps you provide proof points to bolster your narrative and build credibility with your audience.

The Curation Classics: Roundups, Listicles, and Resource Hubs

Collecting key bits of information and insights and organizing them into an easy to digest format is the quintessential content curation tactic. The premise is simple: You’re gathering interesting tidbits from multiple sources on a specific topic and placing them in one central location.

The underlying theme for this curation tactic (and any content tactic for that matter) is relevance and value. It needs to be topically relevant to your audience and it can’t be a lazy compilation; it needs to serve a purpose.

News roundups are perhaps the most popular of the curation classics. We’ve all seen them and likely have a few we go back to on a regular basis, so I won’t spend too much time here. (Shameless plug to check out our weekly digital marketing news roundup.)

But here’s an example of a roundup style piece from EHS and sustainability consulting firm *Antea Group that brings video content together to have a little fun and spark a connection with the audience.

The post showcases six workplace safety videos—all sourced and easily embedded from YouTube—with movie-critic-like commentary that make connections to the daily life and work of their target audience.

Content Curation Example from Antea Group

When it comes to resource hubs, HubSpot is an “ultimate list” destination on a variety of subjects, most notably digital marketing statistics. Here’s a recent example featuring Instagram statistics.

Content Curation Example from HubSpot

For listicles, one of our recent BIGLIST editions featuring 50 of the top marketing blogs featuring martech brands is a solid example. Time was spent on researching and vetting, and the list provides a short and sweet description of each blog, as well as our favorite recent article to give readers a cue on what’s worth checking out first.

Content Curation Example from TopRank Marketing's Lee Odden

Finally, events can be great opportunities for curation. *Introhive, an enterprise relationship management (ERM) platform, regularly curates social and team member insights to compile post-event infographics with top takeaways.

Content Curation Example from Introhive

When classic curation makes sense: Classic curation is largely an awareness and engagement play. If you’re looking to provide your audience with a helpful resource that hits quick on the points, and showcase your brand as a thoughtful expert in the space, this type of curation can make it easy for your audience to find insight and inspiration—and minimize the amount of time they need to spend on the hunt.

The Next Level of Curation: Thought Leadership Mashups

Curation isn’t limited to assembling a robust, scannable list of information or resources, or seasoning original content with stats, quotes, or videos. Curation can fuel thought leadership.

Great examples of this kind of curation are trends-focused pieces. Taking a cue from the classic curation formats, this kind of content aims to identify one or more trend or pattern using curated bits of information, all tied together with your knowledge and expertise.

This could be small-scale or large-scale—meaning a single concept could provide the supporting content or tie-in, or it could be your take on a collection of related trends, facts, or insights. This piece from *SAP’s Digitalist Magazine is a great example.

Content Curation Example from Introhive

But this kind of curation doesn’t just lend itself to discussing trends. Many of our own blog posts use a mashup curation method to educate and engage marketers, and define our perspectives and approach to marketing.

This can be seen in a recent post from Nick Nelson on how to write clear, concise content. Using our words intentionally is a core belief, and Nick was able to illustrate that with his deep knowledge and some relevant insights from third parties.

Content Curation Example from TopRank Marketing's Nick Nelson

Also, when we say “curation,” we don’t just mean collecting insights from third-party sources. You can curate your own content—it’s just most often called repurposing.

Salesforce has a great example here. This recent post touches on a key trend in the marketplace (lack of consumer trust), leverages microcontent from Salesforce’s own research (the Trends in Consumer Trust research report), and then original content builds a narrative for a specific audience (retailers).

Content Curation Example from Salesforce

In addition, curating and repurposing influencer content is an especially big opportunity. More than likely, the insights that influencers share with you have implications and applications across other related topics.

When curation mashups make sense: If you want to build thought leadership on a subject, mashups should be in your content lineup. Mashups allow you to elevate an idea, perspective, challenge, or opportunity, while using existing content as a jumping off-point or as part of the foundation of your take.

Read: A Tasty, Strategic Addition to the Content Marketing Table: ‘Repurposed Content Cobbler’

Content Curation for the Win

Regardless of your editorial plan, you’re already doing some form of content curation. However, you can make curation a more deliberate and effective part of your overall B2B content marketing strategy.

Whether you create an ultimate list featuring statistics from multiple sources, provide high-level takeaways from an event or report, give your own content new life to build thought leadership, content curation can provide value and convenience for your audience and writing team.

Looking for content curation best practices, tools, and more examples? Check out our post on Content Curation 101.

*Disclosure: Antea Group, SAP, and Introhive are TopRank Marketing clients.

The post Content Curation Inspiration: Types, Examples, & Use Cases for B2B Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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