The importance of content marketing in the digital world is clear, but generating new information at a regular pace can be exhausting. In addition to looking for fresh, cutting edge content, look at the material currently floating in cyberspace. Does the content represent your brand appropriately? Are there mistakes you didn’t catch the first time around that have been sitting on your landing page for a year? You don’t always need brand new material to win at the content marketing game.
Content Refreshing Supports Overall Digital Marketing Efforts
Content refreshing doesn’t mean adding a new title on something old and calling it a day. Instead, it refers to the art of upcycling content to create something new out of something old. The sheer volume of content uploaded to the internet on a daily basis means several thousand pieces fall through the cracks routinely. Unless you have a large, loyal readership (and even if you do), people probably won’t remember much about what you posted six months ago. Content refreshing gives you a “do over” for nonperforming pieces while, hopefully, drawing in a fresh set of eyes.
In addition to driving traffic, content refreshing presents an opportunity to do some SEO housekeeping. When you delve back into old postings, you may also want to check for broken links and change keywords to better reflect changing SEO standards.
How Often Should You Refresh Content?
The easy answer to this question is as often as needed, but that’s not very helpful. In reality, you should update and refresh content when:
- A major SEO change comes up. Mobilegeddon was the most notable example of 2015. In April, Google changed its algorithm to evaluate mobile friendliness. Now, companies that don’t have a mobile friendly website won’t rank as high in mobile searches. Major SEO changes can also serve as an impetus for general updates.
- Your company undergoes a major shift. Update your website and relevant content if you merge, separate, change product offerings, or undergo any other significant change. Your website and content will be one of the first places consumers look for information, and having it readily available is valuable to your audience.
- You run out of ideas for new content. Anytime you have trouble coming up with new ideas for blog posts or articles, you might revisit old content. If you find a new angle or an old concept that bears repeating, use that as a starting point for your current content-posting schedule. Expand on a topic, provide a list of reminders, or restructure the same information with updates.
- It’s been a few years. Websites and profiles need a facelift every so often to maintain relevancy. If you can’t add it to your list of yearly updates and you don’t follow the “as needed” policy, give your main website a refresh every two or three years at a minimum. The main website should include the about section, services, FAQs, portfolios, and other general and frequently used information. Data and content ages quickly in the digital world, and regular updates will ensure your market has access to the right information.
Types of Content to Evaluate for Refreshing in 2016
Not every piece of content is eligible for successful refreshing. Some blog posts are better left in the past, and sometimes a strong “about” section becomes a beacon of steadfastness among a steady stream of change. However, you should consider refreshing the following information:
- Services, product offerings, and product descriptions. Customers expect updated info when they look at an online store or a list of offerings. Content that says “holiday promo: 2013!” listed under your services section raises a red flag. Readers may wonder if anything on the site is updated enough to trust. Product description refreshes can make your product pages stand out in search engine results and on social media purchasing pages.
- White papers, e-books, and other longer documents. If you have an old long-form document that’s not generating much traffic, consider breaking it down. Create a series of blog posts or articles discussing the same content in a new way. The change in format may generate more of a response from readers who prefer short, concise information.
- Short blog posts. Grab some short blog posts that were well received from last year or a few years ago and put them on the schedule for refreshing next year. You can either pull the old article offline or offer the same information in a new or extended format. Either way, leave both up for visitors to reference. You may also want to optimize old blog posts with newfound expertise in a subject area.
- Multimedia. Consider refreshing other types of content outside of articles and blurbs. If your company has slideshows, videos, webinar recordings, and other non-article content online, transfer them to another medium. The ability to view the same piece of content in a variety of ways gives the reader more power over the experience.
- Testimonials and product reviews. Most companies view reviews and other user engagement as part of a reputation management strategy. Highlight the positive information you already have in another format, and encourage users to re-engage with your brand. Generating more activity in comment sections and review pages automatically refreshes the content and encourages consumers to sell your brand for you.
- Social media profiles. Many companies forget to update their social media profiles when they make changes to their main websites or other forms of content. Check that your audience can access the right information about your brand directly from a social media page. An updated profile may help you earn followers and enhance your ability to secure inbound traffic.
Make sure your content strategy for 2016 includes content refreshment as well as new content development. You’ve already invested so much in creating a stream of regular, relevant, and knowledgeable material. Why not use that existing information to your advantage as you expand your digital marketing strategy?
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