How Often Should You Provide Content?
This varies widely depending on the government agency. How much new information do you have to share? How much new information can you find to share? Of course, how much content you provide heavily relies on how much time you are able to devote to the task — given all your other responsibilities. Be realistic but as a general rule, post new content as often as you possibly can.
Being consistent is the key to creating and managing content effectively. One way to make sure you are consistent is to stick to an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar is a blueprint for keeping you on track of articles, blog posts, reports or anything else you plan to publish on your site. In short, it’s a place to map out what is going to be produced, when and by whom. Editorial calendars are usually planned out for the next 3-6-9 months and in some cases, even a year ahead.
WYSIWYG: EMBEDDED IMAGE
The editorial calendar for Georgia Interactive’s blog is maintained in a Google spreadsheet.
Some helpful information to keep in the heading of your spreadsheet:
- Deadline / publication date
- Content type (blog post, email newsletter, guest article, etc.)
- Author(s) / editors / approvers for submission
- Target audience
Brainstorm Ideas For Content
It takes some foresight and effort to craft a content plan for your editorial calendar. If you plan on maintaining a blog with some consistency, you need to schedule a brainstorming session. Come up with article ideas that fit your agency and your audience. Timing is important. If you run the blog for the Georgia Department of Transportation, for example, it’s helpful to know when hurricane season is to share emergency plans or when big events are expected to clog up traffic in different areas of Georgia.
There are two breeds of content:
Seasonal content refers to topics that are created and influenced by the time of year. Holidays, back-to-school time or tax season are examples of timing that could inspire article or blog ideas. Taking into account the season when creating and planning content is necessary for your editorial calendar. Leveraging seasonal search terms helps you deliver the right content at the right time — the fundamental law for an effective content strategy.
Evergreen content refers to material that is relevant or needed all year round. Child support laws, consumer news regarding identity theft and statistics for businesses relocating to Georgia are all examples of evergreen topics. Evergreen content makes up the bulk of your website. Case studies, how-to guides, white papers and site pages describing your services are all evergreen content types.
The article that imaginary Bob wrote in 2014 about the top 5 Georgia exports is evergreen content that needs updating. Anyone can search for “top Georgia exports” at any time. However, if they come across an article that is 3 years old, they are not likely to trust it and move on because a 3-year old blog post is considered old news in Google land. The top 5 exports may have changed. But even if the exports have remained the same, the published date is a dead giveaway that the information has not been updated. Credibility is compromised.
With your evergreen content, you may already know which posts or topics have been most successful. Refreshing evergreen blog posts with new information or material is a great way to keep the fire burning with content that has already performed well in the past. (School textbooks update content almost every year. They update the content with new, timely examples, and increase the price.) When updating evergreen content, stay focused on tutorials or tips that will be relevant for a long time.
Repurposing content is finding multiple ways to reuse a successful article or blog post (keyword: “successful.”) If you find that one of your blog posts is showing up in search more or getting more traffic than other blog posts, take advantage of that. Take the content, research or idea and find multiple ways to reformat it. It’s perfectly fine to stretch the contents of your work to produce other unique blog posts, ebooks, guides, infographics, guest posts, social media posts and more.
Let’s say, for example, that your agency conducted original research and compiled it into a white paper. Sure, white papers are not the most exciting read, but you put in a lot of work and have some good nuggets of information on your hands. You could use pieces of data from the white paper to create infographics or blog posts. Turn selected charts into graphics and use those as social media images for an interesting blurb on your findings.
Advantages of Repurposing Content
- Work smarter not harder
- Stretch your resources
- Publish across multiple platforms
- Reach more people
3 Techniques to Repurpose A Blog Article
Summarize or Expand Previously Published Blog Posts
Summarize or expand blog posts you’ve already covered. For example; If you have 10 blog posts on the topic of buying a used car, summarize them into one helpful blog post people can quickly refer to.
People love short, easy-to-quantify pieces of information. That is why so many titles begin with a number. “5 Ways to (fill in the blank)” or “Top 10 Places to Visit in Georgia” and other numbered titles are generally a hit. So, if you wrote a blog post titled “3 Ways to Repurpose Content” take one of those ways to expand on and make it into a more detailed blog post.
Create a Presentation
Recap the highlights of a blog article, add some interesting statistics, some meaningful quotes and some engaging images and you have yourself a slide presentation. Publish the slideshow on Slideshare or Prezi and you have an opportunity to engage with others on social media.
Design an Infographic / Instructographic
It’s been proven that visual content engages people’s attention. Infographics lend well to facts and statistics while instructographics work well with how-to content. Both infographics and instructographics take complex information and break it down into easy-to-understand text and graphics. Learn more about the importance of infographics and how you can implement them on your website with this blog series from our UI Designer.