New Versus Existing Content: Which Is Better For You?
To meet their audience’s content needs, marketers face a dilemma: create new original content vs enhance existing content.
With 51% of B2B content marketing budgets expected to increase according to 2016 Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs research, this should be a no-brainer.
Marketers should be able to churn out content to their hearts’ delight without a care in the world. In fact, 76% of B2B marketers expect to produce more content this year.
If it was only that simple!
Marketers are challenged to:
- Create engaging content. Translation: Must attract an audience that reads and takes action. On average B2B marketers create content for 6 different personas (or marketing segments).
- Measure content effectiveness. Translation: Requires results to justify budget. Only 21% of B2B marketers can measure content ROI. This is made more difficult by the use of multiple devices and cross platform use.
- Produce content consistently. Translation: Need content quality and quantity to stay visible. This content must be contextually relevant or it’s never seen.
75% of content ideas are turned into a content asset, published once, and never reused or repurposed again according to 2015 Kapost data. This is the epitome of once and done marketing.
No wonder we feel like we’re drowning in work. We’re always creating more content, like feeding a child that’s never satisfied.
Yet this problem goes deeper:
- 52% of firms frequently miss deadlines due to internal content production processes. These include approval delays, collaboration, and chaos in content production processes. This results in wasted resources that often get hidden in your expense base.
- Even worse, this wasted effort hinders marketers’ ability to be strategic since they’re so caught up in the minutia.
Don’t worry: There’s a solution!
Use a mix of new content and existing content to improve your content effectiveness and maximize your resource usage.
New original content versus enhanced existing content defined
New original content is characterized by these 3 factors:
- Is part of a new marketing campaign or promotion.
- Supports a new product or service.
- Fills a gap in your content offering, often based on a content audit.
Other new content benefits include:
- Is visually consistent. Uses the same visual branding and presentation. It’s visually connected to reinforce different impressions on diverse media platforms.
- Includes the creation of additional elements to atomize content and make it contextually relevant. Plan reuse in advance to maximize budget and resource utilization.
- Is planned as part of a cohesive content strategy. Includes budget and senior management input. Creates content’s first lifetime value.
Existing content is characterized by these 3 factors:
- Updates existing content to ensure its look and information are current and continue to be aligned with your marketing message.
- Up-cycles successful content by taking advantage of the same format or information.
- Re-promotes (including re-publishing) existing content. Of course, take care when doing this to avoid creating duplicate content that search engines dislike.
Other existing content benefits include:
- Is selected based on its track record to-date. Through the use of intelligent content and content analytics, you choose your best performing content.
- Leverages search results to-date. This is important since search optimization takes time to achieve power. Further continuing to update your content keeps it higher on search engines.
- Costs less. Your initial content creation investment is a sunk cost and improving existing content requires less creative and management input.
New original content versus enhanced existing content strengths
New original content strengths:
- Is on message. New content is aligned with your current marketing campaigns and new product messages.
- Has fresh look and feel. Like a newborn baby, it’s new. Your employees, customers and audiences get excited about it.
- Is up-to-date and contextually relevant. Since new content is part of your content strategy, it’s connected to the rest of your marketing plan.
- Taps into influencers. If you’ve used influencers to create your content, they may be predisposed to share it. This is less likely over time since they’ve got other issues.
Enhanced existing content strengths:
- Focuses on the best performing content. You’re selecting to improve content that has already yielded strong results.
- Has reputation, social proof and search signals. You’re helping this content to remain visible and top of mind. Use this information to create new or related content.
- Requires new look and feel to stay fresh. To be clear: enhanced existing content needs budget to keep it visible. Updating existing content is less expensive to transform older campaign messages into current messaging.
- Increases the content lifespan. Targets similar audiences with advertising and retargeting. Also reaches newer members of your own audience since the content was first produced. Find look-alike audiences on platforms where laser targeting is available such as Facebook
New original content versus enhanced existing content weaknesses
Understand the weaknesses of both new original content and enhanced existing content to find ways to reduce their impact on your limited resources.
New original content weaknesses:
- Requires more resources. New content needs more than just creative talent (whether internal or external (agency or freelance)). It needs input from a wider range of employees for strategy, concepts, execution, approvals and promotion. As internal staff, their time often isn’t attributed to these efforts.
- Is unproven. While you can tap into proven content creation formulas, not every piece of content will be a success. Also, depending on your bandwidth and technology use, you may not continue to promote the content (making it once and done.)
- Hasn’t attracted search engine juice. Each piece of content should be optimized for its intended platform and supported with targeted advertising where appropriate.
Enhanced existing content weaknesses:
- Runs the risk of being considered duplicate content. This applies to your audience and search engines. Mitigate this impact by using the same URL on your owned media and referencing the original on other sites. Alternatively, create another version of the content from a different perspective.
- Suffers from marketing fatigue. When customers see your message too often, they ignore it. Similarly running the same promotion over and over yields lower results. Based on Andrea Micheaux’s “Managing E-mail Advertising Frequency From the Consumer Perspective”, anticipating message relevance improves customer response.
- Yields reduced results since it’s not new. This is a general rule of thumb that underscores the need to optimize your content, especially the headline and visuals. Consider the audience where you present your content first.
The bottom line:
Use a mix of new, original content and enhanced existing content to maximize your content marketing budget and yield the best results.
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