Creating valuable and relevant content to engage a clearly defined target audience is what content marketing is all about. But once content has been published, what measures do you have in place to make sure that your content remains fresh and useful in the future?
A lot of effort, after all, goes into creating content in the first place. And if the content you create is intended to have a long shelf life, the focus now becomes the next piece of content. But even evergreen content—topics and formats that have ongoing value to both your content marketing program and your target audience—can show fatigue and needs to be pruned and revitalized from time to time.
With that in mind, we’ve come up with a list of 5 quick reminders to help your content stay relevant.
1. Review your website copy on a regular basis
Your website likely has a fair amount of dynamic content (blog posts, events, news updates, etc.) that keeps it fresh and relevant to visitors. But don’t forget to keep the rest of the more static content (bios, about page, services, projects, etc.) fresh as well. Keep a constant eye on anything with dates and be sure to keep your history timeline current. Look out of staff bios that need to be removed and new bios that need to be added.
What about the homepage? Be sure to swap out featured content on a regular basis, add new photos for sliders and backgrounds and make tweaks to the key messaging. If your website has a project portfolio or case studies, be sure those are kept up to date and feature the latest and greatest work you have to showcase. The point is, your website content likely doesn’t get the same ongoing attention that the rest of your content does, but it should!
2. Make annual revisions to whitepapers and eBooks
Whitepapers and eBooks are fantastic tools for content marketing and lead generation. And depending on the topic, it’s likely that their shelf life is long and prosperous. But even evergreen whitepapers and eBooks can get stale and will need to be revisited for some updating and tweaking—whether it’s the need for a visual update to the design and layout, the addition of a new chapter or the updating of research and statistics. You’ll want to take a fresh look at all the copy and graphics, as well as taking out what might be no longer relevant and add anything that’s missing.
3. Revisit your automated lead nurturing campaigns
Automated email campaigns play a helpful role in the overall process of lead nurturing. And while setting up each campaign requires a significant amount of planning, content creation and programming, once it’s set up, marketing automation takes over. But one of the best things about automated programs (the automation part) can also be one of its biggest pitfalls.
It’s not uncommon to have a “launch it and forget it” mentality when it comes to automated programs—they are intended to be automated after all. But the content in those programs—emails, offers, blog posts, videos—can get tired and stale. So be sure to set up reminders to go back and revisit the content in your campaigns from time to time. You’ll want to make ensure that your campaigns feature content that is still fresh, relevant and effective.
4. Update older blog posts that still have relevance
If you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ll likely see that old posts with evergreen topics still continue to drive traffic. But as with everything else in content marketing, even the most evergreen topics will eventually still need updating. We’ve found that some of our posts that are a year or more old are still on point, but they simply need some facts and figures updated. Or maybe you’ve written a solid 2014-oriented post that still mostly rings true in 2015, but perhaps you’ve got some new things to add and a few things to take away.
Blogging is the cornerstone of content marketing and posts can and should continue to drive traffic for months and years to come, just be sure to revisit the ones showing age and see how you can freshen up the content.
5. Don’t forget about print!
Up until this point, the content that’s been discussed has been digital-oriented, but printed content still has a place and is still used by a lot of companies. Naturally, print materials have a long shelf life, but don’t fall into the trap of allowing your print materials to get old and stale. The truth is, print materials—everything from brochures, sell sheets, business cards, advertorials and booklets—are often overlooked in the whole content marketing mix.
But print still has a place and design and print costs shouldn’t be a barrier to keeping your print materials fresh and relevant. It might mean shorter, digital print runs, but smaller quantities and lower overall expense might just be a motivator to making sure that your printed content is kept current. Just as an outdated website and blog send a less than stellar message to visitors, outdated print materials are likely to make the same impression.
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Fresh and relevant content is obviously an ongoing must-have for attracting and engaging your target audience. So hopefully these reminders will help ensure your company’s content remains on-point and effective.