Update website

 

Do you think it’s important to keep your website content fresh? After all, your website is your virtual storefront, and even if you don’t actually have a shopping cart on your site and sell directly to your audience, it still acts as a face to your company. It often makes the first impression for your prospects.

Agree? 

So among other things, your site should be clean, easy to navigate and provide a great experience for the user.

It also means that the content on your site is imperative. Your content should be clear, concise, and speak to your audience. If the reader is confused about what you do and the problems you solve, they’ll probably click off your site and look for someone else.

But just because your content is clear and easy to digest doesn’t mean you should set it and forget it. Instead, think about changing it up from time to time. This not only pleases the Google Gods, but it also provides you with a reason to invite readers to come back and visit again.

Before we get into how you update your website content, let’s discuss how you know it’s time to update it.

 

Signs your website content needs updating

Think about the last time you updated your site. When was that? If it’s over a month, you may want to think about refreshing the content.

What, if anything, about your business has changed since then? Have you rebranded, added products or services, or stopped offering products or services? Are these changes reflected on your site? 

Other clues that your site needs a refresh include:

  • It isn’t optimized
  • It loads slowly
  • The images are outdated
  • The basic information is out-of-date
  • It’s not doing anything for you, like driving leads

If you can relate to any of these, it’s time to think about refreshing your website content.

So, how do you do this?

 

1. Out with the old, in with the new

Whenever you wrote your website content (or had a content writer do it for you), chances are it was in the past. That means there are some straightforward things you can do to update the old information. For example, when you first published your site, does it indicate your business was 10 years old? If so, today it’s older, and you can update that.

If you have old products or services that you no longer offer, take them off. And, if you are offering new products or services that are not yet listed on your site, now’s the time to show them some love.

 

2. Share any new news

Has your company gone through a rebrand? Did you write a press release because you secured a new client? Any new hires you should feature?

Share this news.

Not only do your prospects and customers want to know about this, but it’s also great fodder for refreshing your website.

 

3. Repurpose your content

Let’s say that you do have a new product or service that you offer, or you hired a couple of new people in key roles. Include that information in the appropriate pages on your site.

You can repurpose turn that information a couple of ways by:

  • Turning it into a blog post
  • Including in your News tab (oh, you don’t have one? Now’s the perfect time to make one)
  • Posting about it on social media and drive traffic back to your site

Repurposing content is another easy way to add content to your website to keep it fresh.

 

4. Check your old links and add new ones

If you’ve linked to any external content either on your web pages or in your blog, check those links to ensure they are still in working order. And, if you can add any new external links, go ahead and do it.

And, as you create new content on your site, be sure to add internal links to other pages on your site that are relevant.

 

5. Think about your website’s design, too

Your website’s design works in tandem with the copy to give the reader an amazing experience. If the design is out of whack, then that amazing experience is elusive.

You want to make sure the pages are still valid, and the imagery is up-to-date. And it must be responsive and mobile-friendly.

 

Keeping the content on your website fresh doesn’t have to be a pain. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to keep your website relevant, clean, and up-to-date.

Want to discuss more?  Let me know you want to chat, and we’ll set up a time to do so. 

 

5 ways to repurpose content

You know that feeling when it happens. Your palms start to sweat a little and your heart rate increases just a touch because the content calendar says it’s time to publish something, but you have no idea what it should be. The tentative topic in the content calendar is no longer relevant, and you are searching for an idea, any idea.

The pressure is on, and your mind is spinning. No ideas are coming to you. 

So what do you do? One thing is for sure – don’t fret. Take a deep breath and wipe your clammy palms on your pant legs because there is no need to panic…or rack your brain to come up with a topic. The truth is, you have something already created in your arsenal that you can use, and you are simply going to repurpose it. 

 

What is repurposed content?

Repurposed content is taking older content of yours and making it new again. There are many ways you can do that:

Blog post → Email newsletter 

Podcast →  Blog post

Case study → Infographic

White paper → Twitter thread

Blog post → Blog post

Repurposed content is a great way to reinforce a point you already made but in another format. It’s often much easier to create than an entirely new piece of content.

So let’s look at each one individually.

 

How to make something old new again

 
Make a blog post into an email newsletter

You have a couple of options here. The first one is probably the easiest and what a lot of people do: cut and paste your blog post into your email newsletter, make any necessary updates to the content if need be, and click “send.”

Not a lot of time or effort is needed for this option, and it’s not necessarily the most effective way to repurpose content.

This brings me to the second option, which is boiling down the blog post into a few key points to highlight in your newsletter, with a link to the initial blog post at the end.

Either way, you can use the blog post’s initial content differently. 

 

Make a podcast into a blog post

Often, show notes from a podcast don’t get the love they deserve. Instead, they act as the Cliffs’ Notes to a podcast and may or may not get read.

And the podcast itself? Usually, they are chock-full of great information that you can capture and present differently. 

In other words,  a podcast and its show notes are pure gold when it comes to content. Take the information you glean from a podcast and present it in a blog post. It is a great way to repurpose content and get in front of additional eyeballs.

 

Make a case study into an Infographic

First off, I can’t stress enough how powerful case studies are, and if you have a solid case study, you will want to use the content within it as much as possible.

Why?

Because they tell the story of how you helped a happy customer from that customer’s point of view. In other words, they are objective and relatable.

A great way to use content from a case study is to repurpose the main information into an Infographic. It doesn’t have to be long or complex, either – just the key points laid out in some graphical way will do the trick. And of course, don’t forget to include a link back to the original case study.

 

Make a white paper into a Twitter thread

Some people love Twitter; others hate it. Still, others have no opinion about communicating in 140 or 280 characters. Me? I’m a fan and think it’s a powerful platform if used correctly.

A Twitter thread is a series of tweets that are connected and build upon each other. It allows you to provide additional context or extend a point by connecting multiple Tweets.  

And while they require some work and thought., they tend to get more impressions and more engagement than single Tweets.

So, you can use a Tweet thread as an opportunity to repurpose the content of anything, really, including a white paper.

Get the key points that you want to make together and disseminate each into a separate Tweet. Then at the end, include a link to the white paper.

 

Make a blog post into another blog post

Sure, you can repurpose one blog post into another one but if you do, change up the format to keep it fresh.  

The format of the original post will dictate the format of the repurposed one, but some ideas include:

  • A listicle
  • Top 5 list
  • How-to guide
  • Q & A

You can repurpose your initial post on your own blog, and you can also repurpose it on other platforms like Medium, Substack, and LinkedIn Publisher for additional mileage.

 

The idea is to squeeze as much juice out of every piece of content you produce. So the next time you’re sitting there wondering what in the world to write, look back at what you’ve already published and determine in what format you are going to publish it again.

If you need some help figuring any of this out, please feel free to reach out; I’d love to help!

Content goals

What are your content goals? This question stems from an email I received last week.

Every week, James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, emails me (and the rest of his list. Also, it’s a great book). In each email, he shares three ideas, two quotes, and one question. The question he asked last week was, “Are you being effective, or are you just being busy?” Now, we could use this question in relation to many areas of our business, but I thought it was particularly poignant when it comes to content.

It seems that many businesses create content because they think they should but they do so without any real purpose. Maybe they threw together a content plan, and maybe they know where and how they’ll distribute the content they do create. But still, they aren’t really sure of their content’s goal.

If this sounds like you, your content isn’t effective. It’s simply busy work.

If you want your content to be effective,  however, you need to think about the goal you want for each piece of content your produce.

Sure, it’s true that posting new content on your blog is pleasing to Google and that it makes your business look legit, but you need deeper goals than that.

Let’s look at some of the more common goals you may have with your content, such as:

  • To educate your audience and helping them progress on the buying journey
  • To drive social engagement
  • To earn backlinks

 

1. Educate your audience

Content that educates comes in many forms. It can be a long-form blog post, ebook, or white paper, but whatever it is, you want to make sure that the value it provides helps move the needle for the reader. In other words, you want it to help them progress in the sales funnel.

In order to achieve this, you should be thinking about a few things like, where are they in their journey and what types of content should I put in front of them when?

There are typically three phases on the sales funnel:

  • Awareness and Discovery – your potential prospect has an issue they need resolved and are starting to their initial research. It is very early, and they have lots of questions that they need to be answered. Content for this stage of the funnel could include blog posts, checklists, and ebooks.

 

  • Research Solutions – your potential prospect is narrowing in on their issues and what can help them resolve those issues. Here you could produce in-depth guides, a pros &cons list, and comparison-style guides.

 

  • Making an educated decision – here, your prospect completely understands their issues, the best type of solution, and they are ready to make a purchase. Content here can include FAQs, videos about specific product or service features, and case studies.

You need to produce content for each stage of the funnel and don’t forget to always include a CTA so your audience knows what their next step with you in their journey should be.

 

2. Drive social engagement

The content you created to educate your audience may or may not do well on social media, and in fact, you shouldn’t solely rely on that content to engage your fans and followers.

Why?

Think about your own behavior on social media. What type of content do you react to and engage with on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram as you scroll through your feeds?

Chances are, if you see a 1,200 how-to guide linked in your Twitter feed, you may click on it and bookmark it for later. But chances are, you’ll react to other content much more in the moment.

Content like Infographics, listicles, and videos. And remember, if it performs well on one social channel, then it did its job. That is why you produced it.

 

3. Get backlinks

Why do you want backlinks? They represent the legitimacy of your content. When other websites link to your content, that’s a vote of confidence and it’s telling the search engines that others vouch for your content which is good for SEO.

There isn’t one type of content that is particularly good for backlinking. Many types of content are, including infographics, quizzes, and guest blog posts. Whatever the content is, it must be fresh and add value.

If you cite a certain statistic or use an idea from another publisher, let them know. Send them what you produced so they can see how you are using their ideas. They’ll be flattered, and they’ll use it as an opportunity to link back to your site. It increases their credibility with their audience.

 

So, before you sit down and start banging out content, answer these three questions:

  • Who is it for?
  • Where will you distribute it?
  • What outcome do you want your audience to take after they’ve read it?

That will help you determine what kind of content to write.

And feel free to contact me if you need help determining what your content goals should be.

 

Content Plan

 

Do you want to implement a content plan but not sure how or where to start?  Do you know that content marketing is essential and have you seen lots of articles on a variety of types of content you can produce but still unsure what this looks like for you? 

Maybe you know that it’s one thing to have a content strategy plan, but another thing altogether to have a plan that’s effective and delivers the desired outcomes. You don’t want to throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks, but sadly, that’s what many businesses do when it comes to content marketing.

So where should you start?

In this blog article, we will discuss three key questions you need to answer to implement an effective content plan. Those questions are:

  • Who do you help?
  • How can you do so in a way that your competition isn’t?
  • How will you know if you’re successful in this endeavor?
First thing’s first: who do you help?

Your Buyer Persona

According to Hubspot, a buyer persona is “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”

These generalized representations of your ideal customer(s) help you internalize the customers you are trying to attract and relate to them as real humans. This will, in turn, help you create content that will speak to them and resonate with them.

But, a buyer persona doesn’t just magically appear. To understand yours, you need to do some homework, such as researching, interviewing and surveying.

For example, you can research contacts in your database to uncover certain trends about them that will help identify traits. And, you can use forms on your website to discover specific information that is critical for you to know.

But, the best way to nail down your buyer persona is to interview some actual customers.

Doing so will help you collect relevant demographic and psychographic information about your ideal customer to help build your buyer profile. But one thing is still missing.

 

Buyer Insight

The buyer insight helps you understand why your ideal customer pulls out their credit card to make a purchase. It goes beyond collecting the demographics.

The Content Marketing Institute says that most marketers don’t delve into their buyer insight, leaving the buyer persona only half done.

Buyer insight details the buyer’s motivations, feelings, and expectations relating to the part of their life that your product or service will impact. It identifies their goals and doubts, and methods of evaluating products or services like yours. It dives deep into the buyer journey, helping you understand some reasonably specific information such as the time of day they buy and under what conditions, the types of marketing they respond to and how long the buying process takes. By having this information and combining it with the demographic information you also collected, your buyer persona will be much deeper and more developed than that of your competition.

 

And you collect that information through interviews.

 

Interviews and Your Buyer Persona

Interviews are crucial in compiling your buyer persona. In your interviews, you can talk with people who recently evaluated your product or service, or one just like yours. If they bought it, great! And if they didn’t, that’s OK, too. Either way, during your interview, ask them questions that will help you understand their entire journey from when they initially considered investing in the product/service to the point where they did – or did not – depart with their money. Guide them through questions, such as:
  • Why were you looking for this product/service
  • What were the results you were hoping for?
  • What are five factors that you consider before making a buying decision?
  • Is someone else involved in the buying decision with you? If so, who?
  • What is your overall process for such a decision?
Once done interviewing, you can take the answers to build your list of buyer insights. You should be able to see both similarities and differences with each question; group those interviewees with similar responses together. You can then sprinkle in the buyer profile information – the demographics – to come up with a kick-ass buyer persona.

 

It’s true this takes time, but understanding the characteristics of your ideal customer is essential. So is knowing how they think, what motivates them and what they do throughout the sales cycle is critical if you want to write compelling content that will convert.

 

What Makes Your Content Different?

Content marketing is a thing. Countless companies are producing content with the hopes of hooking a prospect into becoming a customer. But although that’s the ultimate goal, there’s a lot more to the whole strategy behind your content plan.

We first talked about how to define who your ideal customer is so that your content speaks to him or her. You want to know the nitty-gritty details about who they are, why they want what you offer, where they buy it and when.

Once you obtain this information, you can define your buyer persona and start planning what type of content to produce.

 

Items to Consider

It is true that for some, the purpose of content is simply to provide fodder. They aren’t concerned with SEO and search engine rankings, but rather want to provide their website visitors and newsletter readers with something new. They might not be in a position to invest the time or money to fully develop a solid content plan, and if that’s the case, I’ll argue that some content is better than no content.

But, for those businesses that are going to take the time to dive deep into who their ideal customer is, I say this: when you think about the type of content you are going to produce, also think about why your target customer wants to see it.

According to the website, HostingFacts.com, over 4 million blog posts are published on the Internet every day. Granted, many of those are on small blogs with little traffic, but it helps to make the point that the web is a very crowded place with lots of content. How can you make yours different?

That may seem obvious, but in this era of “content for content’s sake” it’s essential if you want your content to work for you.

This means not publishing the same old same old, or posting on every single social platform.

 

The Case for Case Studies

Along with using interviews to gather information to create your buyer persona, you also can – and should – interview your customers to collect data for case studies.

Writing case studies is a great content tactic you should employ. Why? Because chances are, your competition isn’t.

In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute, only 42% of respondents to theirannual survey indicated talking to their customers was a priority.

Talking to your customers to understand their story – the challenges they faced that led them to your product or service, and the results they experienced – is extremely powerful.

Conveying that information in a case study is one of the most effective ways to demonstrate your value to other customers and prospects. Objective, third-party stories sell.

Plus, they provide snippets that you can use, either as a stand-alone or with a link to the case study, as social media posts.

And speaking of social media…

 

Dare to Be – or Do It – Different

You should have a pretty firm handle on where your ideal customers spend their time online. You should know where and how they get their information, and which social platforms they are active on.

And that’s where you should be, too.

So, just because your competitors are on Facebook if your ideal customer isn’t then you shouldn’t be, either.

Instead, you should post your content where your audience is.

If you find that they spend their time on Pinterest, then consider creating Infographics and other images that speak to the value you provide.

Or, if you discover that your target market spends a lot of time listening to podcasts, ask yourself if it makes sense to launch your own podcast.

The point is, your goal is to cut through the noise and provide value through your content. And the good news is, that although it sounds obvious, not everyone takes the time to do this.

Don’t be like everyone else.

Don’t create content for content’s sake. Seems like a simple rule to follow, but many businesses are so eager to jump on the content train, they’re not sure what they’d like to accomplish by doing so.

That’s why following a content plan is a good idea.

We’ve already discussed the first two essentials for an effective content plan: knowing your audience, and understanding what types of content your audience consumes.

The third element is to outline the goals you’d like to accomplish with your content. After all, according to business guru Peter Drucker, you can’t manage what you can’t measure, and by measuring your goals, you’ll be better able to manage your overall content plan.

Of course, the goal of your content might be different than mine, and that’s OK. The point is, your content should have a goal.

 

What’s Your Content’s Purpose?

OK, so we’ve discussedwho your content is for (your buyer persona), and what your content will look like. Now, it’s time to determine why your content exists.

The overall reason we publish content is to inform, educate and engage our target market. It’s a hook; it’s fodder; it’s to help establish your credibility so that when a prospect is ready to buy, he or she thinks of you first.

That said, what are some goals you can have for your content?

Goal #1 – Brand Awareness

Like Norm on Cheers, we all want to go to a place where everyone knows our name. Brand awareness is a good goal to pursue, especially if you are a small, regional or even start-up business with your sights on growing.

Brand awareness takes time and effort. But if you put out high-quality, high-value content that your target market wants to see, it will pay off in spades.

Goal #2 – Educate

We know that there is plenty of content out there, so gaining eyeballs is a challenge you need to overcome. Providing solid education about your product, service, industry, challenges your target market has, and more is one way you can do this.

When you educate your audience, you empower them with knowledge and help them feel informed. To get started, think about the most common questions you hear from your customers and prospects. These questions are pure fodder for content.

Goal #3 – Engage

When your content compels someone to like, comment or share, you are #winning. Seriously, the point of your content is to communicate with someone on a human level, and those likes, comments, and shares prove that you are doing just that.

But here’s the thing: if someone does comment, be sure to comment back. Continue to the conversation by validating their point or asking questions. The more “human” you can make your brand, the better.

 

What About an Increase in Website Traffic?

It’s only natural to want your content to increase website traffic. And, while that’s a nice benefit of producing sound, engaging content, that should not necessarily be your ultimate goal.

Your audience wants authentic content that they can use. They will not stick around for gimmicks or sales pitches. So, the more authentic you can be, the more success you’ll have.

So now you know what goes into a content plan and how to think about your content, what is your next step? Are you going to update or create your buyer personas and insights? Are you going to figure out what goals and key performance indicators you’re going to pursue with your content? 

Leave a comment; I’d love to know. And, if you need some help on getting started, please feel free to contact me