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Meghan Payne
May 15, 2017

How to win organic links by revitalising old assets

You'll be surprised how much you can achieve with a creative take on existing content.

If you’re chasing organic links, it stands to reason that you need to build a ‘link-worthy’ asset to begin with. For someone to naturally link to your piece, it needs to offer real value – if they don’t feel their audience will benefit from viewing it, it’s a non-starter.

But what if you don’t have the resource to create something new? When you’re working with old or underperforming assets, you need some go-to strategies for making them valuable again. Below, we’ve outlined some key areas to analyse to check your link building capabilities are at the best they can be.

Give underperformers a facelift

There may be an underlying reason why your content hasn’t hit its link targets, so take it back to the drawing board.

  • Can you reorganise it to give it a clearer focus or message?
  • Visual pieces tend to gain more link attraction. Can you turn it into a graphic or a video?
  • Can you consolidate your content into a single high-value asset?

Easy turn-arounds here include turning text guides into infographics or maps, and turning assets spread across multiple web pages into a downloadable pdf.

Roll back on the branding

In some cases, the asset isn’t the problem. If your original outreach strategy involved requesting generic posts with links to a heavily branded asset, it’s time to try a different tack. Most influencers do what they do out of passion, and do it for a hard-won audience. So being asked to post dull, nakedly commercial content doesn’t usually hold much appeal.

Instead, make your campaign a platform that allows the influencer to do their own thing. Look deeper in to your assets for tailored or unusual angles – highlight facts or statistics that are relevant to a particular blogger, or invite them to write about a personal experience that’s relevant to the topic.

This doesn’t just make you more likely to win a link. It also helps ensure the link is a natural one, within content that genuinely appeals to the influencer’s audience.

Try a new audience

Sticking to one niche isn’t necessarily a bad idea. Niche influencers are often hungry for new content ideas, and can have surprisingly big followings. But branching out into related niches, or even making a play for the mainstream, can do a lot to increase the visibility of your content. If your asset was designed to target drinks bloggers, could you commission some related work from food bloggers? Could your food-themed city guide go out to restaurant and lifestyle bloggers too?

In our experience, the best results often come from a mix of niche and mainstream influencers. So if your original outreach plan stuck to a single niche, widening the net could be a great way to squeeze some new value out of that old asset.

Struggling with your outreach plan? Try our quick guide to finding influencers.

Look beyond the mainstream press 

While we always advocate thinking big, it’s important to seed your content beyond the national press. Where possible, look for niche angles that will sell assets to smaller media and trade bodies.

Pulling regional angles out of maps is an easy win here – tourist boards and local papers are always on the lookout for content that promotes their area, and if you can hand it to them ready-made you’ll often win a link in the process.

Posts with local newspapers may also be syndicated on to other local press sources and if you’re especially lucky, your content may make its way up to the national targets on your original outreach list.

Work on your timing

The best outreach campaigns continue well beyond the initial launch of the content. Keep an eye out for anything that could make your asset topical again – awareness days, festival days and local or national events are good standbys. Journalists will often be looking for stories to hang on calendar events, so think ahead and get your content in front of them at the right time.

Finally, make sure you’ve updated your asset where necessary. If you’re working with older material, a few fresh facts or statistics can be the difference between a brand new backlink and a one-way trip to the trash folder.

Check out the rest of our outreach articles for more on link-building and influencer marketing.

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