Get creative and refresh your content.
This is a good idea for a number of different reasons, chief among them the fact that evergreen content tends to perform infinitely better on search engines than topical, short-lived pieces. There are certain questions that your audience members are always going to have, particularly about how your product or service works, how to extract the most value from it and why your company does what it does in the first place. The answers to those questions never change and, as a result, are the foundation upon which a lot of your evergreen content should be built on.
But not all content needs too be (or even should be) evergreen like this.
In an effort to create content that is as specific and timely as humanly possible, sometimes you're going to have to design something that is short-lived by its very nature. That also comes with the acknowledgement that at some point, to allow that collateral to keep being effective, it's going to have to be refreshed.
If you're wondering whether or not you've reached that particular stage, there are a few key warning signs you'll want to watch out for.
Refreshing Your Collateral: Tips, Tricks and Best Practices
The most obvious sign that your collateral is due for a refresh has to do with the fact that it's just not as effective as it used to be. You've got a particular piece of content that isn't getting as many views, isn't generating as many leads, isn't creating as many conversions, etc. But that doesn't necessarily mean that you need to completely toss it out and start over again. You just have to get a bit creative with things.
Case in point: maybe that very specific 1,000 word blog post you wrote a year ago still contains valuable information, but people have stopped responding to the format. In that case, you might want to take a tool like Visme (which I founded) and convert it into something like an Infographic, instead.
The structure for your Infographic is already provided for you in the story that the blog post was built around. Likewise, you already have all of the research and data points you need to get started. Because these types of tools don't require an expensive design degree and are so easy that anyone can use, you can tear that blog apart, rebuild it as an Infographic and get it back onto the Internet in a minimal amount of time - all while giving your audience something that feels totally fresh and new, even if it technically isn't.
Or maybe the problem is that your old content isn't nearly as visual as modern audiences demand. In that case, you would want to go through every line of text in that blog post with a fine-toothed comb and see which parts of the story you can pull out and tell with pictures instead of words.
If there's a paragraph or two that talks about a particular set of data, consider repurposing it as a graph and adding it back into the blog post. Not only will you strengthen the blog because it's now shorter, but you'll also make it easier for people to engage with because it's far more visual as well.
It's All About That Voice
Finally, you'll always want to go back and take a look at the majority of your content if either your brand or your audience has gone through a major change since it was created. We've talked at length in the past about how the best content is always written for someone specific - buyer personas are always incredibly helpful to that end.
But if your buyer personas change, the voice that collateral is "created" in will need to change, too. If your company has evolved to the point where it no longer resembles the organization you were running a year ago, this is likely the situation you're going to find yourself in. Likewise, if you used to target 40-year-old single mothers and are now going after Millennials, you'll run into similar problems.
You don't necessarily need to start from scratch, but you do need to rebuild all of that content to make sure it falls in line with the voice required to speak to people today and not a year ago. The story you're trying to tell is strong enough to live on - but how you tell that story is the factor that is malleable and, as a result, will need to be refreshed.
About the Author:
Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland digital agency specializing in website design, user experience and web app development.