In any given day, approximately two million new blog posts are published on the web. In just 60 seconds, approximately 3.3 million updates are posted on Facebook. According to Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 70% of B2B marketers plan to create more content in 2017 compared to 2016.
These stats clearly show that content marketing is now mainstream. But they also highlight a major challenge in using content for inbound marketing: standing out has and will only continue to become a real challenge. We’re now in what marketing influencer Mark Schaefer calls the age of content shock.
As marketers, we need to figure out how to get the most out of the articles, tweets, infographics and other content that we publish.
One promising—but very underutilized—solution is to produce less new content…and double down on the content you already have.
Why optimize old blog posts
I first heard of the tactic of ‘optimizing the past’ when I went to the 2015 INBOUND conference. At one of the breakout sessions, Hubspot’s Pamela Vaughan talked about revisiting blog posts, optimizing them and then republishing them as new.
Here’s Pamela’s explanation of how ‘historical optimization’ works:
Historical optimization means optimizing your “old” blog content so it’s fresh, up-to-date, and has the ability to generate even more traffic and conversions than it already does. By “old,” I just mean posts that already exist on your blog — whether you wrote them last month or three years ago.
Side note: Pamela got the idea of optimizing old posts by looking at analytics and realizing that a 46% of the blog leads came from just 30 blog posts. Thirty! If she could optimize those high-performing posts, she explained, she could boost her lead numbers very quickly.
So how did this strategy go for Hubspot? In one word: incredible. According to Pamela, historical optimization lead to double the blog leads from old blog posts and a 106% increase in organic search traffic to those posts.
With those impressive results, I’d be crazy not to try this tactic for our corporate blog. And so try it, I did…