How To Keep Your Content Inventory Fresh And Full
You have a content inventory or at least a content calendar, correct? Ideally, you should have both because they are crucial elements to keeping you and your team organized, focused and on track. They also help prevent last-minute stress and publication delays.
After you establish your content inventory and calendar, what do you do next? How do you ensure a continuous supply of ideas and content?
While there is no right or wrong answer to those questions (it greatly depends on your own situation and needs), I focus on these specific approaches to maintaining a strong content inventory:
- Follow Industry Influencers
- Participate in Online Discussions
- Subscribe to Other Blogs
- Use Evergreen Content
Follow Industry Influencers
When you’re working on your own content marketing without looking outside your own head or business, you’re taking a huge risk. You’re essentially cutting yourself off from the world and missing out on many great opportunities to develop your content inventory.
Why should you use influencers and their activity to build your inventory?
The answer is simple.
Influencers share ideas and advice to help their audience, and you can benefit from this, too. All you need to do is find the influencers that contribute the advice you need in a way that helps you most.
It may seem daunting to search for influencers online, so Onalytica created a 2015 Top Content Marketing Influencers list to get you started.
Once you have an idea for who you want to follow, I recommend creating a list on Twitter. Make your list public and give it a catchy title so that those users you add are able to see they were included.
Do you need help creating a Twitter list? Aaron Lee provides an article on Social Media Examiner on this subject, and he gives you an explanation on how to create lists with step-by-step screenshots.
Find the article here: How to Use Twitter Lists for Business
I’ve created my own screenshots here, as well, to get you started.
When you follow Twitter influencers, you are able to see what is trending and working for others. This gives you a better understanding of what you could create in your own inventory without risking being out-of-date or wrong.
Another great place to find influencers is through LinkedIn Pulse. Many of the leaders writing for this platform are contributing high-quality posts with valuable advice, which you can use to inspire your own inventory development.
Here are some screenshots to help you find these influential people.
Participate in Online Discussions
When you participate in discussions, you don’t just get your name and input out there for others to recognize. You also discover great content tips and strategies, which you can implement in your own content marketing.
I’ve tried two of the leading approaches for this: webinars and Twitter chats. There are other ways, such as Google Hangouts and online forums, which I recommend researching as well.
I get notified of upcoming webinars in my emails from blogs with which I have subscribed. The above webinar by NewsCred is a great example of one to attend for content tips and tricks for better results. You can find out more about this specific webinar and sign up to attend by visiting the NewsCred website.
Sometimes, depending on the subject matter each week, I participate in Twitter chats, which are weekly live-tweet discussions on specific topics. Some of my favorite chats are by Buffer, CoSchedule and Content Marketing Institute.
Buffer has an article to go along with their Twitter chats titled: Twitter Chats 101: A Step-by-Step Guide to Hosting or Joining a Twitter Chat. They provide an especially helpful etiquette list worth checking out before getting started.
Want to get started with Twitter chats? Here’s the info you’ll need for the three chats I attend:
Required hashtag: #bufferchat
Wednesdays – 12pm EST
Required hashtag: #cochat
Thursdays – 4pm EST
Content Marketing Institute
Required hashtag: #cmworld
Tuesdays – 12pm EST
When attending these chats, you might get overwhelmed by all the activity. I use a website called TweetChat because it gives me the option to highlight users and turn off retweets, among other helpful features. It doesn’t let all the tweets appear as they are published if you would rather they come in spurts instead. These features can all help lower the stress of trying to keep up.
If you miss anything during a chat that you wish you could refer back to, most hosts provide a recap afterwards for your convenience.
For Buffer, it’s on Storify under BufferNicole
For CoSchedule, they also use Storify but their account is a little behind schedule.
Content Marketing Institute provides links to recaps on the same schedule page I’ve provided above.
Subscribe to Other Blogs
I’ve always been a huge advocate for subscribing and following other blogs. Reading what others are writing about has helped me tremendously with my idea development and content creation. These are my tips for getting this done right:
- Choose no more blogs to follow than you can handle on a daily basis.
- Check to see how often the blog publishes articles to know how much material you’d get in your email.
- Create filters for all the emails so that they don’t overwhelm your inbox.
… Read more about this process in my previous article: Overcoming Writer’s Block: Subscribe and Discover.
The important part to remember is that the more blogs you subscribe to, the more overwhelming your inbox/folders will get. Be mindful and do your research before subscribing to other blogs.
If you concentrate on specific content in your email, you can develop a long list of your own content ideas for your inventory. For me, I’ve been able to find trending topics to keep me from publishing outdated content. So, I maintain a content inventory that is both fresh and full through the research and reading I do from blog subscriptions.
Use Evergreen Content
I end this article with a more direct, practical approach. Evergreen content is material you can use over a long period of time. It doesn’t expire as fast as regular content because it avoids the types that can limit the length of its relevance. Some things that can prevent your content from being evergreen are:
- Mentioning upcoming events
- Other time-sensitive content
You can learn more about evergreen content in this article by Buffer: The Complete List of Evergreen Content Ideas for Your Blog.
Get Response also provides a helpful article on evergreen content titled: How to Create Evergreen Content Your Audience Will Love.
Both articles can give you the steps you should take to find evergreen ideas and create lasting content to fill your inventory.
- Find influencers you think can help you discover trending and popular content for your inventory.
- Online discussions are great ways to communicate with others and build upon your content ideas.
- Subscribe to other blogs to see what others are writing about, giving you more ideas for your blog.
- Evergreen content can give you content to work with for a long time, easing the time pressure you might otherwise experience.
Read Part 1 of this content series: Prevent Content Drought with the Ultimate Reliable Inventory