Most organizations have a stockpile of blog posts from years gone by, some that were written before any premium gated content offers were created. If properly optimized, these seasoned posts are more likely to drive organic traffic than newer posts that are still building up search authority but have yet to yield many conversions. By freshening up archived blog posts and attaching a suitable premium content offer, you'll set the stage to bring in even more qualified leads and inspire more conversions. Follow these five steps to get started:
1. Make a list of top performing blog posts
Start the process off by analyzing your blog posts, focusing on the ones that are already receiving the most views. To do so, export your blog post metrics to a spreadsheet and sort by number of views. Using a spreadsheet will help you stay organized when it comes to the next two steps. Then, confirm whether or not each post is linked to an existing content offer. If they are, take them off the list — they pass the first test. If they aren't, excellent — keep them on there and move ahead!
2. Identify the buyer persona and funnel stage of each post
Once you have your working list (the number of posts you choose depends on your overall bandwidth, so choose an amount that feels right for you. There will always be more posts to update), note the funnel stage and buyer persona associated with each blog post. If you can't distinguish the persona, jot down ideas for how to align the post with your persona. What pain points or goals can you mix into this post to make it relevant? If you're noticing that many of your blog posts fall into the bottom or middle of the funnel, how can you ease back to make the topic more geared toward top of funnel awareness and education?
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for your top performing PCOs
Next, tie in your gated content offers. Maybe you only have a couple premium content offers (PCOs) worth promoting right now, or maybe you have a dozen. If you have a large collection of existing offers, identify 3-5 top performers and default to those when it comes to the next step: matching offers to posts. Make note of persona and funnel stage for your PCOs the same way you did previously for blog posts.
4. Match relevant content offers to blog posts
Once your blog posts and PCOs are organized by persona, funnel stage and popularity, you can begin to decide which offer to promote on each blog post. Consider the topic of each blog posts and PCO. At this point, you should be able to identify the persona, funnel stage and topic of all blog posts and all content offers. If you can't easily discern the topic of a post, make note of how you might edit it to be more valuable and targeted when you update posts later on.
Now it's time to play matchmaker. Match the content offer up to the blog post based on the how contextually aligned they are in terms of topic, persona and funnel stage. For example, if your top of funnel blog post about optimizing content is geared toward your marketing professional persona, then you'd want to promote your top of funnel offer about how conducting a content audit will boost any marketing professional's street cred. ;)
Using your spreadsheet as a map to connect the content offer and blog post, you can then systematically go into the posts and apply the appropriate calls-to-action. Use a healthy mix of image/button CTAs, hyperlinked text and lead flows for maximum effect.
5. Re-optimize blog posts
While you were combing through blog posts, you might have identified a few posts that don't align with a persona, are too focused on your brand (and not the needs of the prospect), or have an unclear focus. It's time to revisit those posts and make updates!
Start with the persona; who does this post apply to and what pain points or goals can be better addressed? Next, look at the topic. Clean up the post to align with a specific persona's pain points or goals and provide details that will ultimately help readers connect the dots between their challenge and the value of your offering. Finally, consider the funnel stage that this asset will represent. Remember that most blog posts serve to bring in folks who are just starting to search for solutions to their problems, so meet them at that stage and then guide and educate them to the point where they're ready to take action. In addition, make sure your post is keyword optimized, employs a sound internal linking strategy and is using blog post formatting best practices to ensure an effective and smooth visitor experience.
Once the blog posts are updated and proudly featuring some of your finest gated content offers, be sure to get them back out there in the public's eye through your social channels and nurture streams. You worked hard to make these post valuable and relevant to prospects at every stage of their buyer's journey. They deserve the spotlight and you deserve the leads!
Interested in learning more ways to optimize your content and conversion strategy? Get things rolling by following our Content Strategy Guide below.