Cinderella Makeover Content Marketing: How To Transform Neglected Content

Have you ever started improving a piece of long playing content only to find that you’ve invested more work than you did creating the original?

Yet you keep going because you know that this unloved or under-loved piece of content will reward your efforts with measurable results over time.

Don’t give me that “I doubt it” look!

This piece of updated content will succeed because it meets your content marketing’s documented mission. Further, Vox’s updating experiment showed that content improvements yield positive incremental results.

Even better, with a fresh set of eyes, you see how you can transform it into Cinderella makeover content marketing. As a result, you and your content are both heroes!

This article will explain what Cinderella makeover content marketing is and show you how to give your under-appreciated content a Cinderella overhaul that compensates you with stellar results.


Cinderella Makeover Content Marketing DefinitionCinderella Make Over Content Marketing


Like the fairy tale, Cinderella makeover content marketing contains a gem of an idea but as currently presented isn’t yielding the views, links and shares it deserves.

Like the fairy tale Cinderella makeover content marketing contains a gem of an idea but as currently presented isn’t yielding the views, links and shares it deserves.  #contentmarketingClick To Tweet


At its core Cinderella content:

  • Is core to your documented content marketing strategy.
  • Presents current top search keywords to searchbots.
  • Is a vetted content idea that fits into your hub and spoke model.

It would qualify to become fresh new content except that it already exists.

A piece of Cinderella makeover content marketing can start as a long playing content. When like a DIY fixer-up house, you realize that you’ve got a total teardown renovation. Even though it may be more work than anticipated, it’s worth your time because it meets these 3 conditions.

Beyond low investment content marketing reuse, assess long-playing content candidates for Cinderella makeover potential for these 5 opportunities:

  1. Infuse your content emotion. Distilled’s Mark Johnstone uses emotion to pull audiences in. Copyblogger also encourages story telling.
  2. Include influencers. Orbit Media’s Andy Crestodina and Iconicontent’s Aaron Orendorff believe in getting influential content creation partners. It adds credibility while supporting content distribution.Earned media
  3. Expand into long-form content. Make your content the best in its category. Backlinko’s Brain Dean is the king of skyscraper content.
  4. Transform into Crowd Pleaser Content to attract readers and conversions. Like Austin Keon in Steal Like An Artist, improve on what already exists. Don’t copy other people!
  5. Improve trustworthiness. Add new research and improve user experience since only 16% of smartphone owners read the article (Dejan Data).

    Why smartphone users don’t read your content-Research Chart by Dejan


Why You Should Invest In Cinderella Makeover Content Marketing

Beyond saving you time on content idea generation, Cinderella Makeover Content Marketing is worth your investment of time and resources due to very real information overload causing content performance falloff.

We live in a 24/7 information-stuffed, connected world and that’s without considering your marketing messages.

What happens in an internet minute-Activities broken down by minute-Chart


Digital Media Consumption Chart

BuzzSumo’s Steve Rayson proved that Content Shock is real based on data analysis. It’s no longer just Mark Schaefer’s theory.

Graphic illustration of why content shock is real- Chart by BuzzSumo 

Therefore you must focus your content efforts to make them the best they can be. Since in other BuzzSumo  research,  75% of articles have zero referring domain links and 39 or less shares. Translation: Other content creators don’t consider empty, me-too blog content worth linking to. 

75% of articles have zero referring domain links and 39 or less shares according to @BuzzSumo.Click To Tweet


Content Quality Based on Backlinks and shares-chart

BuzzSumo analysis reveals 75% of articles get zero backlinks & less than 39 shares

As Orbit Media’s Andy Crestodina stated at Content Marketing World 2017:

“You don’t need 1,000 articles. You need 100 great articles!”  – Andy CrestodinaClick To Tweet



Where to Find Cinderella Makeover Content Marketing Candidates

To find content that qualifies for a Cinderella overhaul, audit your existing content.

At least once a year go through this exercise to maximize the power of long playing content (which is one of the 5 core types of content). This previously published content is worth an additional investment of content update or repromotion since it’s less expensive than brand-spanking new content.

The 5 types of Long Playing Content include:

  • Republished content: Needs increased visibility and promotion.
  • Updated content: Requires new data and/or examples.
  • Upgraded content: Adds another content format to reach a broader audience since it’s already performing well.
  • Augmented series content: Is an existing content series where you have the opportunity to add new articles to more fully cover the topic.
  • Curated content: Spotlights existing content with an editorial perspective and commentary. 

5 Types of Long Playing Content Every Business Needs – Heidi Cohen – Chart

While you’re going through this process, also consider Michele Linn’s 5 Data Driven Website Opportunities. Linn’s approach is based on her deep experience as head of editorial at Content Marketing Institute where these options yielded measurable results.

Linn’s 5 Website Opportunities are:

  • Holy Grail Content: Has high traffic, high conversion and high search.
  • Search Opportunities: Has high traffic, high conversion and low search.
  • High Traffic Dud: Has high traffic, low conversion and low search.
  • High Traffic Dud With Search: Has high traffic, low conversion and high search.
  • Conversion Champion: Has low traffic, high conversion and low search.
Long Playing Content

Chart of Michele Linn’s 5 Data Driven Content Opportunities to Yield Increased Results


Cinderella Makeover Content Marketing Case Study To Show Your Boss [If I did it, so should you!]

In 2014, I wroteHow To Curate Content Like A Pro: 8 Lessons (Examples Included). It was a top CMI article for at least a quarter of the year.

Cinderella Content Marketing Makeover

Original Version of How To Curate Content Like A Pro by Heidi Cohen

My inspiration was to get my Content Marketing World Workshop students to curate content. As a result 8 out of 50 students, a high user-generated content ratio, submitted examples.

When Michele Linn asked me to update the post, I agreed.

After re-examining the article, I felt that lacked its initial energy. While content curation remains extremely relevant, it needed an overhaul.

Example of Cinderella Makeover Content Marketing

It was a Cinderella content marketing makeover candidate because it:

  • Required redefining the 8 pro lessons aligned with content curation best practices, not ad hoc examples.
  • Needed new related examples.
  • Required influencer input tailored by lesson rather than one-size fits all.

To be aligned with Content Marketing Institute’s update process I needed 8 points to match the original title.

I could have easily updated the article with fresh examples. Instead I chose to revamp it to create cornerstone content. As a result, I developed a list of 8 content curation tactics aligned with my current thinking and found thought leaders who used each method.

While the high profile influencers were happy to contribute, this required additional coordination at every step of the creation process from input to final, approved 4,000+ word version.

Was it worth it?

Ask Content Marketing Institute’s Lisa Dougherty.

The Cinderella Makeover Content Marketing Conclusion

Cinderella makeover content marketing is worth your time because this content is built on proven ideas that have the potential to become Foundational and/or Crowd Pleaser Content.

Is every piece of Long Playing Content Cinderella-worthy?

The easy answer is no.

Instead assess every existing piece of content against the 3 qualifying attributes and 5 opportunities outlined above. (Sorry, I know you wanted a simple answer.)

If it passes, then do it.

Just because you don’t give it an overhaul now doesn’t mean it won’t qualify for one at a later point in time. This is why you should audit your existing content at least once a year.

Like Cinderella in the fairy tale, everyone loves a happy ending.

Go for it.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.


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