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®.

5 Fundamental Flaws With Your Brand Messaging (And Ways To Fix Them)

5 Fundamental Flaws With Your Brand Messaging (And Ways To Fix Them)

Storytelling is an art, and when it’s about your brand messaging, it gets a lot more challenging than usual.

You need to incorporate every single detail about your brand into your brand’s message. What you do. Around which beliefs your brand strategy revolves. In what tone you describe your products/ services. Who your employees are. What makes your brand unique when compared with others.

Combining all these blocks, you need to construct a clear yet cohesive message that resonates with your target audience effortlessly, this is what we call a Brand Message.

When you work with multiple content creators, it becomes a bit tricky to infuse the factor of uniformity within your brand messages. When it comes to sending your message across the audience, no matter which content you are working on; an ad copy, web content, calls-to-action or social media, every single piece of writing needs to be consistent and evenly toned. If your brand messages fail to complement your brand story that means you need to work on the architecture of your brand messaging.

In order to tell your brand story the right way, you need to fix all the faults in the style and tone of your messaging. But how do you know that you need to work on it to make it better?

Here are 5 signs that your brand messaging needs to be put right before proceeding further.

1. A fault in your storytelling

Suppose you are a fitness wear brand and your brand message includes only a few inspirational taglines and a couple of ad campaigns involving celebrities. Would it be sufficient to match the standard that Nike has built over the decades? Absolutely not. Nike is a brand that has always made its mark with gripping storytelling. The brand always comes up something so compelling that the audience can’t help but connect instantly with the brand. With their brand messaging they have always strived to induce some kind of positive change in their audience’s mindset. Think of their Equality campaign, that was more than a promotional campaign, a movement that got the audience hooked and connected at a large scale.

Equality for brand messaging

If you fail to offer any of the values that have been described with Nike’s example, that means you have got nothing special and inspiring to contribute. Then why would they be interested in listening to you?

Fix it: If you really want to induce a sense of connectivity, you need to work on the bigger picture rather than just a promotional campaign. You need to articulate a framework based on your values and beliefs. You need to tell your audience what difference you want to make with your brand. You need to craft the stories based on your brand’s principles and come up with the right way to convey your stories.

2. A fault in your address

Before sending your message across, first of all, you need to know the audience you are having a conversation with. You can’t just create a single message for a different set of the audience as every set may have a separate intellect and their needs and personas can be miles apart. Therefore, you need to understand the needs and wants of a particular audience, and then your message should be framed to address those needs.

Fix it: To understand a particular audience, you need to create personas first. You can conduct brief surveys through your web forms or email marketing. The responses gathered from these places can help you understand their goals, fears, needs, and with the help of all the accumulated points, you can tailor your brand message to represent the various segments.

3. A fault in your brand messaging architecture

Brand messaging architecture sounds like complicated terminology. However, it’s a simple concept that once understood, can bring tremendous results in terms of storytelling. It’s a simple framework that needs to be established before you craft a brand message as it helps your team to educate people about your brand and it makes sure that there is a minimum disturbance in your message, as well as completely resonating with a target market.

Fix it: If you are still unaware of the ingredients of an effective Brand messaging architecture, let’s have a look at the elements that you need to combine to make one.

  • Brand’s Position in the Marketplace
  • Value Proposition
  • Punchline
  • Brand Stories

In order to clearly define these elements, you need to gather your creative team members on the same page and make them aware of each aspect that constitutes your brand messaging architecture. Once each of the elements has been articulated, next you need to visualize them so that content creators become aware of the implementation strategy. Not only this, but you should also make sure that your team is familiar with your brand guidelines.

4. A fault in your brand voice

Striking brand messaging is not only about what you have to communicate. It’s about the way you communicate and the way you tell your story. Do you have emotional hooks? Is your voice capable enough to get people connected and involved? If not, then all your brand messaging efforts will be in vain. On a daily basis, we bump into dozens of brand messages which fail to evoke an urge to get involved with the brand. Why? Because they fail to develop a convincing and unique tone/voice of their own.

Fix it: Brand tone and voice are more than just a custom logo design, punchy slogan, and color scheme. The horizons have been expanded and modern-day branding demands a lot of input from the marketer’s end. If you really want someone to become a brand advocate, you will have to bring something that really matters to them.

For example, Dollar Shave Club is a brand which has developed a personality with their eccentric humor and the ability to convey the way it is. Their casual, short and clean copy has been formulated to cater to men primarily, from their web copy to social channels, they successfully maintain the sweet and straightforward tone.

Dollar Shave Club for brand messaging

5. A fault in your copy

Wherever you get the chance to flaunt your brand, you should flaunt your brand. Remember that a commercial is not the only place through which you can show how wonderful your brand is and why people should be connected with this brand. If you are a talented as well as witty content creator, you can create the magic with any piece of copy that you work on.

Fix it: Consider your calls-to-action, your social media bios, as well as your product descriptions, as the golden spots where you can play with the words to insinuate who you are. These are the spots you can get the maximum advantage of conveying your brand impression without having to put in extra effort.

Wrap

Only a well-defined and finely executed framework will help your team curate your branding message in a homogenous way.

There are numerous ways to communicate your brand message to your target market. However, your brand message should always orbit around your brand strategy and each attempt of brand communication should be meant to reinforce the brand’s goals and vision. Remember, without a thoughtfully crafted plan your brand messaging efforts will bring you anything but the desired results.

Guest author: Loius Martin is a Creative Marketing Manager at Invictus Studio, a design company situated in Dallas. He has been guest blogging for quite a long time about design, search engine marketing and branding. You can follow him at @loiusmartin1

The post 5 Fundamental Flaws With Your Brand Messaging (And Ways To Fix Them) appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

Explore the SMX Advanced agenda

Seasoned search marketers like you are attending SMX® Advanced for elite, actionable SEO and SEM tactics that drive real results. We’d love for you to join us June 3-5 in Seattle! This is your guide to everything you can expect at the event. But before diving in, I’ll remind you to register now,…

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

Salesforce will acquire Salesforce.org for $300 million

Salesforce announces $300 million acquisition of Salesforce.org. The deal could drastically redefine the relationship between Salesforce and its nonprofit customers.

The post Salesforce will acquire Salesforce.org for $300 million appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.