Do content marketing reruns work?

I’m glad to be back from vacation after a week completely off the grid. Talk about a drastic change in lifestyle, going to a place where devices don’t even work (thus removing the temptation to “just check in”). I recommend it heartily.

Before I left for vacation, I thought I’d run an experiment using reruns on social media to power my social media postings for the week. Instead of my normal routine of a new blog post each day plus a welcome message (2 links back to my website per day), I went to five reruns plus a welcome message (6 links back to my website per day). Each rerun was a link back to a past popular post of mine from the past two years.

Now, going into this, the logical hypothesis would be a 300% increase in website traffic, right? I literally tripled the number of direct links back to my website. In fact, it should be even more, because my audience has changed and grown in a year. Last year on Twitter alone, I had 7,000 fewer followers:

Followers_-_Twitter_Ads

So with an audience that’s bigger and triple the number of links, let’s see what the results were:

All_Traffic_-_Google_Analytics

Cue the womp womp trumpet, please. Yes, folks, you read that correctly. I had 43% LESS traffic this year compared to the same calendar week the previous year. The traffic source that drove the loss? Organic search traffic, where I had half the visitors from last year.

It’s been shouted far and wide that Google loves relevance, freshness, and diversity of content. Re-runs with no new content paint a bulls-eye on your butt for freshness and diversity, and in the world of the content shock, someone will always be creating more relevant content today than content you made a year or two ago.

The bottom line? Re-runs didn’t work for me in this particular test case. My site took a beating on organic search traffic by my taking my foot off the gas for a week. Does this mean re-runs won’t work for you? Of course not – as always, you need to test for yourself. However, go into that test with a modified hypothesis, now that you’ve seen at least one test case where the result fell far short of the hypothesis.


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Out of Office: Vacation

Wollaston Beach

For the first time in quite some time, I’m going on vacation. What’s different about this vacation, however, is that it will be entirely off the grid. I’m going up to northern Maine, to an area that does not have wireless coverage or Internet access, on purpose. (yes, there are still places like that in the world, though they’re increasingly rare)

While I am gone, I’m going to try a little experiment. Instead of new posts pre-written in advance or guest posts, both of which I’ve tried before, I am going to leave the blog as-is and use reruns on social media to see if anyone even notices the difference between old stuff and new stuff besides you, the hardcore fan that checks out whatever’s new every day (and thank you, may you have a restful week too).

All I’m going to do is program a week’s worth of content in Buffer, then see what happens in my web analytics. The 25 posts I will choose will be determined by Google Analytics, to see if there is more value in refreshing older stuff versus constantly creating new stuff. Of course, I will share my findings after I’m back from vacation.

I hope you have a wonderful week, and I will see you back here the week of July 28.


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Jargon is a tell for marketing cluelessness

In the world of stage magic and especially close-up, table magic, magicians can suffer from what’s called a tell. This is an error, a performance flaw in the trick that gives the whole trick away. It’s the egg you didn’t have fully tucked up your sleeve, or the coin peeking out the bottom of your hand. It’s the misdirection that wasn’t convincing enough to draw your eyes away from the pocket. One tell and the illusion crumbles. This gets trickier and trickier the more you perform for other magicians, too – a very minor tell to the layperson becomes a glaring error to a fellow magician.

Darwin_Ortiz_On_Card_Cheating_-_YouTube

The other day, I listened to a vendor’s sales pitch say – earnestly, with a completely straight face – “This is a turnkey solution to future proof against verticalization of the sector”.

Custom_Business_Buzzword_Bingo_

Here’s the basic lesson: corporate jargon is a tell. It’s a tell to the laity – the CEO or VP who may not necessarily know the exact industry terms, but can smell BS. It’s a glaring tell to fellow marketing and sales professionals who not only call BS, but realize that you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing or what you’re talking about if you have to resort to language like that.

As with stage magic, the simpler you can make your show, the cleaner you can make your presentation, the more amazed people will be when you surprise and delight them. If you can’t explain why someone should do business with you in a jargon-free tweet, then you either have a marketing problem or a product problem (and if the latter, you will have a marketing problem too).


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