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The Short Lifespan of Content (and How to Extend It)

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For all the weight we place and time we spend on content, its lifespan can be disappointingly short. Take a look at this graphic from Skyword:

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 8.58.48 AM

This is the half life of content, meaning that within 2.8 hours, your Twitter link will have received half of its total engagement. After that 2.8 hour mark, your audience and click-throughs will decrease drastically. This is because every day, and every minute, new content is being created and shared online.

Every minute

  • 571 new websites are created
  • Twitter users send over 100,000 tweets
  • Facebook users share 684,478 pieces of content
  • Email users send 204,166,667 messages
  • YouTube users upload 48 hours of new video
  • WordPress users publish 347 new blog posts
  • Instagram users share 3,600 new photos
  • Brands and organizations on Facebook receive 34,722 “likes”

That’s a lot of blogs, tweets, posts, images, and videos floating around. In this digital age we live in, new content is constantly published online. While the Internet makes it easy for us to find answers to any question we have, it also makes it hard to get your piece to stand out and find an audience. Because there’s so much information available online, the content you have invested your time and money creating won’t thrive organically online. What you post becomes old news in a matter of hours.

You can extend the life cycle of your content by recycling and repurposing it through different channels and mediums. This not only saves you time you would have otherwise spent on creating entirely new content, but it also helps you make the most of your ideas and concepts.

Let’s say you’ve written a book or eBook, and you want to increase its exposure. A book tour or scheduling local speaking engagements is an option, but it’s also time-consuming and costly. A simpler option is to repurpose some of the most salient points in your book in the form of blog posts that you then send to your email list and share on social media on a weekly or monthly basis. This would not only keep the conversation surrounding your book going, but would also help you grow your email list and social media following. 

This is content recycling at its finest. You use a single idea and create multiple pieces of content about it. For example, if you had an excellent response to a Facebook post you shared about what parents need to know about education planning, you can take these essential points and turn them into a slideshow to share on your LinkedIn page. Because the audiences of your Facebook and LinkedIn pages are likely going to differ, this same information will reach different dimensions of your client base. For data-focused articles, transform them into infographics or videos.

Are you ready to extend the life cycle of your content? Here are a few helpful tips for getting started.

Stagger your distribution.

It’s exciting to share your newest blog article with the world, but try to hold back on sharing on every channel all at once. Distributing on a staggered schedule can help you maximize the number of people exposed to your content. Start by sharing your blog article exclusively with your current contacts via email. A few days later, start sharing on social media. Link to the post a few times on Twitter over the course of two or three days, followed by Facebook and then LinkedIn.

Create a list of what pieces can be repurposed.

Most pieces of content can be recycled in some way shape or form. With every piece you curate or create, create a list of how you can recycle it. For an article, you may turn it into a presentation to upload onto SlideShare. For a video, you may break out the key points into an infographic or chart. For an eBook or whitepaper, chop the chapters or sections into individual articles.

Don’t discard; update.

While the financial services industry is evolving all the time, there are key strategies and trends that remain relevant for a few years. If you wrote a piece on tax strategies last year, don’t rewrite it for today’s rules and limitations; instead, update your old post to reflect today’s most important information.

Repackage your less popular pieces.

Did you write a blog, Tweet a question, or share a video that didn’t see much traction? Try changing its packaging to appear more attractive. For example, if an email had a much lower open rate than normal, resend using a different subject line. If a Facebook post didn’t receive any likes or shares, post again with a new description with a more compelling call to action.

Keep an organized schedule.

A schedule is a must for recycling content consistently. Consider using a spreadsheet to manage your content schedule and recycling efforts. For example, for an article on “10 Things to Consider Before Claiming Social Security,” you may transform it into a presentation, whitepaper, and infographic. In January, you’ll post the article on your blog and share it on social media. In February, you’ll publish it as a presentation on LinkedIn. In March, you develop it into a longer whitepaper and encourage email subscribers to download it on your website. And in April, transform it into an infographic and share it on social media and in online forums. One piece of content now has a much longer lifecycle and can hit multiple platforms several times for maximum reach.

We never said content marketing was easy, but it does produce results far superior than most other marketing strategies. Make the most of the content you currently produce and curate, focusing on quality over quantity.

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