Guess what? We just flipped from 2010 to 2011, and all of your great marketing content now looks one year older to users scanning the publication dates.
It’s not like marketing content has a ‘sell by’ date like a carton of milk. But it does age, and your customers and prospects will be skeptical of content that looks out of date. Particularly in the technology industry, everything changes too quickly to invest time and effort in older content. Readers will be alert for signs of content that’s not worth their time, including:
- An older copyright date
- Industry research that’s more than a couple of years old
- References to events that are no longer fresh
- The lack of references to important new industry factors
From the technology marketer’s perspective, it’s easy to lose sight of the gradual aging of your favorite content pieces – particularly business-focused white papers or sales guides that have performed well for you in the past. But it’s worth taking the time, probably yearly, to survey everything and figure out which white papers, customer stories, solution notes and other content need some refreshing or updating.
- Is the product/company messaging up to date?
- Are there new product/service features that should be included? Any technical inaccuracies?
- Are quotes and research out of date? Old research is a red flag that the content is out of date.
- Are there changes to the format or style sheets that you should integrate now, so the piece looks consistent with everything else?
- For customer stories, can you revisit and refresh the ‘results’ part of the story?
This kind of update can also give you an SEO boost. Search engines like Google reward fresher content and pages that are refreshed frequently
You don’t have to do it all yourself. These tasks can easily be sourced out to a freelancer as long as you flag problem areas and provide the writer with updated messaging or product information.
You can also take this opportunity to look for new ways to leverage existing content. As you go through each project, figure out whether you can spin any of the content into different formats, such as:
- Blog posts
- White papers
- Contributed articles
- Transcripts for webinars (which offer keyword-rich text for search engines)
By taking this extra step, you can turn a yearly content housekeeping chore into a power boost for your inbound marketing efforts.