How to Ensure Your Content Evolves with the Times

“Don’t reinvent the wheel. Just realign it a little.” -Anthony J. D’Angelo, education pioneer

Your content touches everything you do. It is the face and voice of your marketing strategy, the spear thrust of your sales outreach, and the persuasive power of your demand generation. Your brand messaging, customer experience, and market differentiators are only as effective as the content you engage your audience with.

Which is why content strategy and execution is so valuable—and, if we can be honest, so expensive. But with purse strings tightening across the globe as the COVID-19 pandemic casts uncertainty over growth and revenue projections, businesses are taking a closer look at their content strategy to find a way to derive more value from it at a lower cost.

For many brands, the answer isn’t net-new content creation. It’s intelligently re-purposing and updating your existing content assets—as well as your content strategy—to keep up with these changing realities. Whether you want to tap into changing consumer trends or seize newly-created opportunities, content optimization can be cheaper and easier than content creation.

That’s why we want to share some helpful tips and suggestions for optimizing your content with an eye towards greater ROI, faster go-to-market velocity, and lower costs.

Resurface Your Evergreen Content

“O tannenbaum, o tannenbaum…”

  • Traditional holiday carol

Evergreen content is not time-sensitive, and is designed to remain valuable long past its publication date.

But when relevancy is the name of the game, many brands find they need to add a sharper point to their evergreen content to give it a greater impact in today’s world. What’s more, many businesses make the mistake of publishing a piece of evergreen content once (with one big marketing push), and then forgetting about it as it languishes on their website, waiting for a salesperson to occasionally reference it in a prospect conversation.

Instead, we recommend doing a quick audit of your existing content for assets that match your current strategic goals. Once you identify some, a few quick updates are all it takes to transform it into highly relevant content, ready to be published again.

Option 1: Update the content in-line.

Search the content itself for areas to add new time-, market-, or technology-specific language. That can be as simple as doing a Ctrl-F search for phrases like “Now,” “This season,” etc. and changing them to “During the pandemic…,” “Since the release of Version 2.0…,” or “With the current unrest in the region…”

Option 2: Add an update up-front.

News publications all over the world update articles with up-front notifications from the editor, and you can, too. Simply adding a new introductory paragraph outlining the current situation makes your content seem much more relevant and contemporary. You can even be totally transparent about it, including a note like, “UPDATE: With the latest news, we’ve decided to share this content with you again as it is more relevant than ever.”

With just a few short minutes and a few easy clicks, you can breathe new life—and value—into your evergreen content with little to no additional cost.

Reconsider Your Content Cadence and Strategy

“People talk about timing. But everything is perfect in its moment; you just want to capture that.”
-Eddie Huang, writer and restaurateur

Your business likely has some legacy “rules” that guide your marketing strategy. Newsletters go out on Tuesday. Every sales email gets a follow-up phone call the next day. Product announcements never break on social media first. And so forth.

But what if your rules were designed for a world—and a market—that’s suddenly changed?

If your data and analytics are showing your content delivering diminishing returns, it may be time to gather your stakeholders and rethink a few key aspects of your content strategy.

Frequency and Cadence

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic especially, both B2B and B2C customers are spending more time online and in front of their devices. Digital interactions have replaced many in-person interactions, and as a result, they are inundated with too much digital content.

That means that it may be wise to dial-back the frequency of your content creation and delivery. That shiny new blog or infographic may have gotten big clicks when it was one of just five items a customer received in a day, but if it’s getting lost in a crowd of dozens, it’s probably getting ignored. Consider moving to a more infrequent cadence, so each piece of content you share will still catch their attention and get noticed.

Platform and Content Mix

Email may have been your bread-and-butter for years. But if an important news event or economic downturn has your audience spending more time on social media, why not meet them where they already are?

Consider leveraging your various platforms in new ways. Perhaps social media is the perfect place to break product news now. Maybe a video is now a better and more relatable way to share a customer success story than a PDF. Check what the data is telling you, and don’t be afraid to boldly pivot.

These are strange times for everyone. But by efficiently optimizing your content and strategy with the tips and suggestions here, your brand can rise above the noise and enjoy a greater marketing ROI without breaking the bank.

And don’t be surprised if this blog resurfaces next year as a video or with an update!

ABOUT Jason Rogers

A graduate of the College of William & Mary and La Sorbonne, Jason has worked in content marketing all over the world, serving as Director of Digital Marketing for the Chinese Language Institute in Guilin, China. Based in Washington, D.C., Jason covers the National Hockey League as a credentialed reporter and television analyst; he has wordsmithed for high-visibility institutions and companies from the United States Congress to Google. He loves hockey, hip-hop, and original hyperbole.