New Year, Old Content: Making What’s Old New Again

January 22nd, 2015

You’ve heard the saying “Out with the old, in with the new,” and as we begin a new year, this phrase carries a lot of weight. If you’re an avid blog reader like me, you may have seen a stream of blog topics covering new diets, new exercise regimes and tips on how to reduce stress. Just because it’s a new year, though, it doesn’t mean we have to start all over. This is especially true regarding content.

New Year, Old Content: Making What's Old New Again

You will come across stale content, both on your website and blog and on others. Just because it’s stale doesn’t mean that you have to throw it away—stale content can be rejuvenated.

A previous EVG blog post discussed ways to repurpose content, but sometimes it takes a little more than changing the medium in which you share it. Just as many people rejuvenate their wardrobes with a few new “statement pieces,” content marketers can rejuvenate their content, too! Here are a few simple steps to help get you started:

1. R(evaluate)

Regardless of when your content was created (last year or a few months ago), consider evaluating its purpose as it relates to your organization’s mission, brand and strategic goals. Content auditscan provide content marketers with a methodical process for evaluating current content, be it blogs, reports, images or social media. Take an inventory of your current content and identify gaps for new content. Refer to your organization’s style guide. If there is no style guide, you should develop that before tackling content. Style guides help establish branding elements including colors, fonts, images sizes, etc. It can also define standards for writing style and tone.

2. Consider Your Audience

Identifying and listening to your audience is crucial as you begin to develop or redevelop your content. This is something we learn in grade school when your English teacher assigns you a term paper and you ask, “Who is our audience?” This should continue to be the first question you ask yourself, even years later. Over time, organizations grow by taking on new clients and expanding to reach different markets. As this happens, content marketers need to consider new audience members and mold their messages to such members.

3. Timeliness

What do I mean by timely? Let’s say your company is blogging about a new Facebook feature, but that feature was released three months ago. Not only is your organization late to the game, your credibility is also affected. Stakeholders will take notice of this and begin to doubt your credibility. Pay attention to trends, keep up with the news and know which channel is the most effective in reaching your target audience. You can use web analytics to measure this for page clicks and engagement of social media platforms.

4. Accuracy

You may need to scan through and update old reports, infographics, or other published materials for facts and figures or quotes from industry leaders, employees, etc. For example, you may have published an infographic about social media users from 2008. What’s difficult about publishing this type of information is that it’s basically outdated as soon as you publish it. Regardless of this hurdle, it’s better to have statistics from the current year—or as close to the current year —as you can get.

Images should also be updated. If your company has a new iteration of its logo, make sure it’s updated everywhere. If a SlideShare uses images of an iPhone or other technology, make sure it’s up to date.

Now that you’ve taken inventory, considered your audience, examined the timeliness and updated the facts and figures… you can republish the content!

Keep in mind that the steps outlined above should always be taken into account. Content marketers should always be looking to the future. Trends will evolve and information will become outdated. As a result, you will want to routinely execute these steps in order to enhance your organization’s industry position and credibility with followers.

Bethany Haberstroh is a Content Strategist at Enveritas Group

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