Successful content marketing requires consistent publishing – but it can be a challenge to keep your coffers full, especially if you've been publishing for years. Reviewing your existing content is a great way to measure how far you've come and get new ideas.
It's good to step back and take stock of your content situation every few months, or at least once every year. You can find inspiration for new on-site content, inspiration for new off-site content, and even reasons (or excuses) to revisit old content you published months ago.
Here are three ways a content review can help you create more content.
1. Find out what people love about your site, and then give them more of it.
Google Analytics is a solid place to start, but it is fairly basic compared to other offerings (which can be both good & bad). At the other end of the spectrum is Crazy Egg, which will tell you which areas of each page people focus on the most with viral heat maps. We've found the HubSpot platform to be a great way to understand content's impact and make plans for the future – plus, it gives you one stop shopping for social and lead generation conversion statistics.
The important thing when it comes to reviewing your website content is that you know which of your pages get the most views, and which are getting the longest views. It's also important to understand which keywords are drawing people to those pages.
One you understand this, you or your team can create similar content to draw more readers.
2. Give readers more of what they like off-site as well.
Your blog and website content are the first place to start during your content review – and you should definitely publish more of what's working on your site. But you can also use your content review as a chance to re-promote your content. Whether you want to remind your LinkedIn followers of a great post that got attention last year or give your white paper a new spotlight now that you've joined G+, be sure to re-promote your content. During the review process you can identify which pieces worked for you the best and work them into a new social promotion plan.
3. Refresh, revise, and revitalize content that is no longer timely.
One downside of web publishing is that anything you may post to your website could be out-of-date in a matter of months—or even days. But one good thing about this type of change is that it's rarely radical.
How can you take advantage of this “out-of-date-quickly-but-only-partially” nature of the way things work? Easy: schedule regular website content reviews to re-do or re-fresh some of your best content from the past.
This is a great strategy to use on your blog. It gives you a chance to do some deep linking back to content from months or even years ago. It also lets you provide a service to your readers, but alerting them and updating them on any information (how-to, state of the industry, etc.) that needs it.
And if you offer predictions on your blog (whether it's along the lines of “What The Arts Will Witness in 2013” or “What's Going to Happen with Windows 8”), it's always a fun idea to link back to your posts, and then report on the vision versus the reality.
Even if you got things totally wrong, you can still take an advantage. If you can explain why you predicted what you did, as well as what in your thinking (or in the world) caused things to diverge from your predictions, you can develop a reputation for both wisdom and humility. You can also have a lot of fun looking back and laughing at yourself, if that works with your personality and your market.
Do you have a website content review in your near future? If not, there's no time like the present!