Content marketing is a lot of things: valuable, interesting, complex, and volatile, just to name a few. But there is one thing that it is not: linear. As SEOs, marketers, or just content writers, we often get caught up in certain strategies or processes that have worked in the past and stick to them. For example, we might research a bunch of keywords, put them in order, and churn out a new blog every day using just those terms alone. It is better to think of content marketing as fluid and malleable, though. In fact, it is possible to drive shares, build a reputation, and spur engagement by re-publishing old posts. Even though it seems like a sin on the surface, it is actually a very valuable tool if done correctly.
How it drives social media shares
It is no secret that if you have a hit on social media, it can be a big boost to your traffic and web presence. Content on social media can spread like wildfire when it catches on. If you’ve published a popular post, chances are that you have reaped the benefits of it. There is no real harm in going back again and republishing an old popular post with some updates, a new spin, or in a different format (change it to video, perhaps?). If it got all of those shares before, it will again. There is a good chance that it will even catch new people that it missed last time. An interesting study done with Twitter showed that republished posts received nearly as many retweets as the previous ones. It could be due to catching new viewers, hitting the same viewers again, or catching new time zones. The only thing that matters is that it worked.
It can make you an expert
While republishing content in a new light won’t necessarily qualify you as an expert, it is helpful to know that Google ranks your website higher if you are considered an authority on a subject. For example, if you have a site about traveling to Europe, and post quite a bit about London, then chances are that you will be seen as more of an expert on London by the algorithm. If you republish an old post in a new light such as “must-try restaurants on the river” as “must-try restaurants on the river: and the meals you should try”, then you have only increased your clout with Google. Trust and authority matter more with Google now than they ever have before.
Users (and Google!) love fresh content
Ever wonder what drives a fad? Ever wonder why parents spent tons of money on rocks with faces painted on them? It’s because it was the hip, fresh, and cool thing to do. People care about new things and don’t want old news. The secret here is that you are not posting old stuff – you are posting old stuff in a brand new light! Simply having a fresh date will improve your rankings on the SERP. New updates to Google’s algorithm have increased the importance of fresh, regular content immeasurably.
Coming up with something new every single day is not only a drain on brain power and resources, but it is also not always necessary. There are a few reasons why re-publishing can be highly effective if done the right way. You can drive engagement and social sharing, as well as gain a reputation as an authority if you put older content out with a new, fresh look. Make sure to do it right and don’t get spammy or lazy about it. Remember, there is a fine line between right and wrong in SEO.