Last week we talked about the different ways you can repurpose your legacy content. Not only does repurposing older content allow your team to stretch their content marketing budget, but it also helps increase fan engagement on your content. This week, we’re taking this conversation a bit further by sharing our recommendations on how to best incorporate legacy content into your larger content strategy.
Let’s get it.
Quick note from the author, we wrote this post back in 2019, and since that time, legacy content has become a cornerstone of most brand’s content market platform. To help you maximize your company’s content marketing investment, we’ve added a few more best practices and ideas to this post. These new additions are in bold.
Why Your Brand Needs A Holistic Content Strategy
We’re not going to spend too much time on this, but let’s set the stage for why a holistic content strategy is important in the first place.
Take a look at your various content calendars. Most brands typically have a calendar for social media publishing, a calendar for website content publishing (blogs etc.), and a handful of other calendars for events, promotions/sales, or key marketing initiatives.
One of the many downsides to having multiple calendars is that your all that published content can end up feeling a bit disjointed. The left hand doesn’t quite know what the right is doing and you end up with a hodgepodge of published content. This is doubly true for larger organizations that have multiple teams handling their content publishing needs.
Another weakness of this approach is that you tend to lose out on any cost or use efficiencies. Having separate calendars/strategies tend to lead to having siloed efforts, which in turn, can limit how much cross-collaboration is going on within your teams.
Instead of creating separate calendars and strategies for your content publishing efforts, put a holistic strategy and calendar in place. One master calendar and strategy that guides all other publishing efforts. A holistic strategy not only helps to align your published content across all channels, but it also helps to facilitate the sharing of that content between team members.
Your team can’t publish something they don’t know exists.
How to Incorporate Legacy Content Into Your Content Marketing Strategy
So, where does legacy content fit into a holistic content marketing strategy?
The answer: everywhere! Or at least 25% of everywhere.
As a best practice, we recommend that brands dedicate (at least) 25% of their content marketing strategy to repurposing and reposing legacy content.
A 25% repurposing rate allows you to capitalize on the cost savings and engagement driving benefits of reusing legacy content, while also dedicating ample time and resources to creating new content (that can be repurposed down the road – it’s a cycle!).
1) Identify Your Audience Personas
All good content strategies are built with their audience’s needs kept top of mind. Before you choose what legacy content pieces should be part of your repurposing efforts, take a close look at your audience personas.
If you don’t have personas laid out (or you think your audience is “everyone with a computer”), now’s the time to put pen to paper to identify your audience personas. Go on, we’ll wait.
Once you have your list of personas, prioritize them based on the metrics that matter most to you (contribution to the bottom line, ease of sale, etc.). Chances are that you no doubt have several personas (6 to 10) that you are targeting with your content marketing efforts, but maybe only 3 or 4 of those would be considered high priority.
These are the personas that should be supported by legacy content.
2) Look at Past Content Performance
Chances are your team has already created a plethora of content aimed at these priority personas. Truth is though, not all content for these personas should be reused.
Take a look at the performance of the previous content. Include in your audit:
- Google Analytics Data (Time on Site, Bounce Rate, etc)
- Engagement Metrics (Shares, Comments, etc.)
- Sales Efforts (Leads Generated, Calls Earned, etc.)
Identify which content earned the most engagement and get ready for the content magic to begin.
3) Mix Vetted Legacy Content into your Content Marketing Strategy
Now that you know what specific pieces of historic content drove the most engagement in regards to your priority personas, it’s time to repurpose, reschedule, and repost that content as part of your ongoing content marketing strategy.
Using the rule of 25%, start weaving your legacy content into your current publishing cadence. You can do so by:
- Reposting the content as is (only suitable for your email and social media efforts)
- Updating the legacy content with new stats/best practices
- Remixing the legacy content into a new media format (turn your written blog post into a video or infographic)
- Stitching together two pieces of older content into a brand new piece
Check out our post here for even more great ideas on how to repurpose and reuse legacy content.
4) Incorporate Cross-Channel Publishing Strategies
If all you’re doing is turning old posts into infographics, way to go! You’re already doing a better job repurposing content than 99.9999997% of brands out there (rough estimate). However, you’re missing out on the bigger picture.
Legacy content isn’t just about repurposing blog posts. It’s about capitalizing on all of your content investment to date in order to drive efficiencies and increase fan engagement.
Which means you’ve got to think beyond blog posts.
Take a look at all of your marketing efforts and identify where legacy content can best be incorporated. This could mean:
- Working in #TBT posts on your social channels that link directly to a legacy piece of content.
- Including legacy content as part of your ongoing marketing automation efforts.
- Repurposing a collection of testimonial videos (captured on Facebook) into a new blog post.
That’s right, your blog isn’t the only channel that can produce legacy content. All content you create as a brand can be retooled, reused, and re-promoted to further drive engagement.
Which is why you need too…
5) Develop a Strategy That Proactively Identifies How New Content Can Be Repurposed
Ensure legacy content always has a place in your content marketing strategy by systemizing how you identify legacy content repurposing/publishing opportunities.
Here are just a couple of our key best practices for creating this system:
5a) Include Content Remix Ideas As Part of Your Content Brainstorming Efforts
If you’re brainstorming topics and content ideas, go ahead and also identify how that content can be repurposed in the future. Better yet, schedule that repurposed posts into your long-term content calendar.
5b) Regularly Audit New Content Performance
Don’t just audit your content once or twice a year, instead incorporate monthly performance reviews as part of your ongoing content marketing strategy. Use these reviews to identify recently published content that should be a contender for future legacy posts.
5c) Listen to Your Social Audiences
On top of reviewing the qualitative metrics, be sure to also listen to how your social audience is reacting to the new content. Are they devouring certain topics of new content? Are they engaged and asking questions or leaving comments? Are you seeing more sales or leads coming from social posts that feature that new content?
If you are, then that’s a clear sign that you may have some evergreen content on your hands.
5d) Earmark High-Performing Legacy Content for Future Reference
Regardless of how you identify what pieces of new content should be folded into your legacy content marketing efforts, you need to have a system in place for cataloging these content pieces for future reference.
Create a short-list of top-performing legacy content pieces and share it with the rest of your content marketing team. Make it simple for anyone to identify the content pieces they should be using/thinking about when they are publishing that magical 25%.
6) Classify Your Legacy Content and Integrate It Into Your Sales Funnel
When auditing your legacy content, take the extra step to classify and organize the content into a system that makes it easy for you to locate your best performing pieces.
At a minimum, we recommend tagging and sorting your legacy content by it’s place within your sales funnel. Is the piece best for building awareness? Or was this legacy content created to inform decision-making and drive late-funnel action?
Whether you’re a B2B powerhouse or a consumer-focused CPG brand, once you identify how each specific piece of legacy content can support your sales process, you can look for opportunities to incorporate that content into your existing conversion efforts.
7) Audit and Improve Its SEO Performance
We don’t have a crystal ball, but if there’s any certainty in digital marketing, its that Google will continuously tweak its all-powerful search algorithms.
The good news? Each tweak is an opportunity for you to improve your legacy content’s ranking on the monolithic search platform. If you haven’t updated a blog post or a piece of legacy content in several years, there’s a good chance that your content isn’t as optimized for today’s search algorithm as it could be.
Revisit the physical structure of your legacy content. Are you using all of your H-tags correctly? Is there alt-text in your images? Does your page load quickly on mobile? Do you have schema in place to ensure your piece is optimized to be a featured snippet?
Legacy content already has a leg up in Google. Content age does have an impact on authority – which is a factor in the algorithm. Ensure that your content is set up for ultimate SEO success by keeping its optimization in line with today’s SEO best practices.
Give Your Fans What They Want with Legacy Content
If you’re only publishing net new content, then you’re constantly taking the risk that you’ll produce content that your fans won’t engage with (or worst don’t want at all). By analyzing and reviewing your legacy content, you can focus your net new content creation efforts on creating pieces that you already know will resonate with your audience.
Make legacy content a part of your ongoing marketing strategy to save time and money while also driving more (and better) fan engagement.
Not sure how to start republishing or reusing legacy content? We can help. Learn more by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.