Ever hear the phrase “time equals money?”
Well, when it comes to developing website content in 2021, I would say that “attention equals money” is more accurate.
In 2015, a Microsoft study found that the attention span of the average person had dropped from around 12 seconds in the year 2000 to 8 seconds at the time of the study - i.e., about one second less than the average attention span of a goldfish.
Yes, you read that right. We have an attention span on par with the world’s most popular aquarium fish.
Whether we want to admit it or not, the hard truth of the “all digital, all the time” world in which we live is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to capture and hold the attention of website visitors.
With so much digital content available, and so little time to consume it, you only have a few seconds to grab a reader’s attention before they are off to digest something that is more inspiring, engaging, and informative. Today, you really need to go above and beyond to both maintain your readership and take new readers away from the competition.
Forget about click-bait and gimmicks - readers see them coming from a mile away.
Instead, focus on some proven strategies for providing your readers with real, tangible value.
Repurpose Articles Into Audio & Video Content
One of the best strategies for breathing some new life into your website’s organic visibility and reaching new audiences is to repurpose your blog articles for use in high-volume audio/video content channels.
While compelling copy will always have a home in the digital world, it’s important to recall that people learn in different ways. Most tend to fall into one of the three “VAK” learning categories:
- Visual (i.e., around 65% of the population)
- Auditory (i.e., around 30% of the population)
- Kinesthetic (i.e., around 5% of the population)
Audio and video content not only bridge the gap between the three learning styles via a diverse range of “on the go” content that stimulates the senses, but, whether you decide to turn your content into a video or piece of audio, you will start the process with a script in hand (i.e., your blog)
Once you have a standalone piece of audio or video content, you can then incorporate it into your original article, attracting more readers and providing your audience with even more value.
When it comes to repurposing blog content for audio, podcasts reign supreme.
In fact, nothing even comes close in terms of reach.
According to the most recent podcasting statistics, more than one-third of Americans over the age of 12 (i.e., 104 million people) are now consuming podcasts on a regular basis.
There are many podcast platforms available for article repurposing. Some of our favorites include:
Not only are podcasts great for explaining highly complex topics in an engaging, conversational, and easily digestible format, but they empower you to use original content as a springboard to engage in broader, more detailed discussions with your audience.
Let’s take our recent blog post on the Keyword Golden Ratio as an example.
In developing this mammoth “how-to” article, we did our best to provide our readers with the only guide they will ever need for finding and ranking for niche keywords. We explained in detail each step of the formula, as well as provided the reader with several examples. And yet, we understand that most people simply don’t have the time to read a 4,000-word blog post.
This article would be a prime candidate to repurpose as a podcast as we could 1) explain the subject matter free from the limiting constraints of a set word count, and 2) expand on the subject matter by creating an entire series dedicated to the topic and its related subtopics.
Each podcast in our series could then be used for its own standalone blog post. We could also link the series to our original post, as well as publish show notes to create additional value for those individuals who have the time and desire to read.
If podcasting isn’t in your wheelhouse, Alexa Skills is another great audio option.
Alexa Skills allows you to use your articles to build custom “how-to” voice tutorials for Alexa smart speakers. Although a technical challenge to build, Alexa Skills provides great visibility with more than 20 different categories. Here is a great guide on how to get started.
People love video.
They love it so much that Zenith Media predicts that the average person will spend around 100 minutes each day watching online videos in 2021.
That’s the equivalent of 25 days straight of streaming.
Global consumption of online video is only expected to continue to skyrocket in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The time is now to repurpose some of your blog content, extend its value across video/social channels - such as YouTube and Vimeo - and provide your audience with the video engagement they tend to prefer in the digital age.
Camera shy? Not to worry.
Even if you don’t have a ton of experience on camera or producing video, it’s rather easy to repurpose your blog content to build a professional-grade slideshow video in a few simple steps:
- First, pick a blog post - look for one that provides value, but didn’t quite have the impact you were expecting
- Second, develop a list of key takeaways from the post
- Third, use your takeaways to draft a script
- Fourth, source some relevant stock images and background music
- Fifth, use a video editor to combine your script, images, and music to create a video slideshow
There are a number of great paid online tools that can help facilitate this process.
One of the most popular is Lumen5. With nothing more than a link to your post, Lumen5 streamlines the video creation process by automatically developing a storyboard and script for your video. Driven by AI and machine learning, Lumen5 expertly sources content relevant to your topic and offers a wide selection of stock photos and music from their media library.
In a matter of minutes, you can create a beautiful video - like this Samsung ad - and highlight it across all of your major channels, including the original blog post itself.
Offer A Helpful Lead Magnet
A second great strategy for adding value to your articles is to offer your readers a useful lead magnet. A lead magnet is a free item or service that you extend to your readers in exchange for their contact details.
Now, before we get into some examples, I need to highlight one important point:
A good lead magnet will convey in the moment value.
While the exact definition of “value” is likely to vary depending on the main focus of your content, you can rest assured that no one cares about your free monthly newsletter. Your lead magnet needs to offer an instant solution to fix a common problem, and it needs to do so now. The potential for repeated use is also a plus, as is a resource that can be regularly updated.
Some popular lead magnets include:
- White papers
- Trial subscriptions
- Free consultations
- Surveys or polls
- Cheat sheets
- Podcast access
- Video tutorials
In terms of effectiveness, video lead magnets appear to perform best. In fact, 47% of the 790 marketers surveyed in a 2020 GetResponse report found video to have the highest conversion rate (i.e., 24.2%) of all lead magnets. This is an important fact to keep in mind, especially as you look to begin repurposing your articles for both audio and video content.
Finally, in addition to providing your readers with value, quality lead magnets also prove highly effective in developing email lists, bolstering content credibility, and building a loyal audience.
Build An Infographic
As easy to digest visual representations of your content, infographics are great for boosting article visibility and improving audience engagement.
Similar to the audio and video repurposing strategies outlined above, infographics can help you supplement your long-form content efforts by providing context to complex and data-driven topics.
While the golden age of infographics has come and gone, that’s probably a good thing.
Rather than the traditional (and some would say cookie cutter) long-scroll static images of 10 years ago, 2021 offers us a wide range of infographic forms. From micro-narratives to interactive and clickable elements, modern infographics have emerged as an effective content optimization option across digital channels.
New to creating infographics? No problem.
You can get started creating an infographic in a few simple steps:
- First, you will need to create an outline. Focus on the heavy-hitting statements, numbers, or facts that drive your long-form content
- With an outline in place, the next step is to pick and structure an infographic template. There are several easy to use and affordable design tools available - including Venngage and Piktochart
- Finally, with your outline and template in hand, the last step is to complete your infographic and repurpose it together with your blog content
A great infographic will not only add value to your original content but will likely improve your backlink efforts (by as much as 178%) if done right. If you want to see some great examples, check out this business infographics board on Pinterest.
Add Content Upgrades To Your Articles
A final strategy for adding value to your articles is to offer your readers a content upgrade.
A content upgrade is a piece of gated information that you offer to your readers in exchange for sharing their contact information. Although similar to lead magnets (see strategy #2) in form, structure, and purpose, they are more specific and provide readers with an advanced level of tangible value.
Think about it this way - while all content upgrades are lead magnets, not all lead magnets are content upgrades.
Unlike lead magnets - which don’t necessarily focus on the topic at hand - content upgrades expand on an article’s subject matter. They are usually offered towards the end of an article once a reader has digested most of an article’s content.
To be effective, you will need to adhere to a few rules:
- First, a content upgrade must substantively complement the article it accompanies (i.e., it must provide value)
- Second, it should be both specific and easy to consume.
- Third, it should be actionable (i.e., you should begin solving your reader’s problem in your article and finish solving it in your content upgrade)
Let’s return to the example of our recent Keyword Golden Ratio post.
The target audience of this post are those individuals/businesses struggling to find and rank for niche keywords. Hyper-focused and at almost 4,000 words, those readers who make it to the end of this piece will do so because it provides them with value - i.e., they learn something.
Does it really make sense to offer our readers a lead magnet focused on ContentOps? Sure, the topics are loosely related, but in the sense that distant cousins are loosely related.
No, in this example, it would make much more sense to provide readers with a gated case study on the topic or a video tutorial showing how to apply the KGR to a specific and relatable fact pattern.
With the ability to add real value to your articles and boost your conversions by as much as 785% (according to SEO guru Brian Dean), content upgrades are a great addition to your content toolbox.
Content Value Drives Visibility & Engagement
Maintaining readership in today’s saturated digital market can be tough. Not only is content fatigue on the rise, but consumer preferences are changing. And yet, there are actions you can take today to increase the visibility of your articles and drive engagement.
From content repurposing to lead magnets, infographics to content upgrades, the strategies outlined above will go a long way in providing your readership with the one thing they truly expect to receive in the digital age - value.
How do you add value to your articles? Let us know in the comments!