Despite the promise of parties filled with noisemakers, toasts and holiday cheer (or at least a few quiet days off), many marketers eye the turn of the year with more than a little apprehension. That’s because it’s a reminder that the clock is ticking on the viability of many of their content marketing pieces.
After all, one of the key factors tech buyers look for in information about business technology is timeliness, according to UBM Tech research conducted earlier this year. In fact, almost half (41%) of the 240 business technology decision makers surveyed said they would only consider information that is less than a year old.
Does that mean you need to toss all the content pieces you created 12 months ago and start from scratch? Not necessarily. First, try these strategies to extend the shelf life.
- Take a surgical approach. Read through the content pieces that have performed well for your lead nurture campaigns. If the information is still relevant to your potential customers’ needs, see whether you can refresh the piece by focusing on a few specific areas. Revise the headline and opening paragraph to update the references to more current business technology events or trends; find more recent statistics to replace dated ones; add or replace call outs, a sidebar, a checklist or other “eye candy” to make the refreshed information stand out. Typically, these changes take less time than commissioning a whole new piece. Once the updates are complete, remember to change the publication date.
- Get extra mileage by changing the format. As valuable content begins to age, think about fresh ways to present the same information. A white paper discussing research results, for example, can be quickly converted to a slideshow or an infographic. (This recent infographic is a good example of this approach.)
- Take the ideas social. Look through your content pieces for thought-provoking ideas you can blog or tweet about to engage your prospects or other experts in the field in conversation. If enough people respond, you may end up with material to feed an entirely new piece of content. Or, use the documents as background for speakers on webcasts or at live events.
The key to any successful content refresh is to add new value for your target audience. Updating key details, presenting facts in a new format and discussing issues in new venues are all ways to keep the lines of communication open and the conversation interesting.