Are you getting full value out of your old content?

It’s easy to forget that old content has value. Here are a few pointers about how to manage your content archive.

 Are you getting full value out of your old content?

Not everything that is new is good. And not everything that is not new is valueless. This is especially true of digital content.

Evergreen content 

Some blog posts turn out to be golden oldies. They stay relevant to a brand’s audience well beyond the date of publication. Indeed, some posts have a shelf-life that can be measured in years. As a result, they keep attracting visitor traffic, they keep generating leads and they keep their place at the top of Google’s search rankings.

Tip – ‘Evergreen’ content is not the same as ‘most visited’ content. It’s often highly specialist content at the end of a long tail of search terms. Be prepared to do a bit of market research to find your most valuable content pinch points.

Example – Our helpful, informative tech blog for Currys has consistently put it at the top of Google’s search rankings. See Tech Talk

Compounding returns

The backlinks and social shares earned by evergreen content only increase its value for Google, which in turn increases its earned media value once more. A virtuous circle of awareness and engagement is created. In fact, a ‘compounding’ blog post – as HubSpot calls it – can generate the same traffic as 6 ‘decaying’ blog posts. See the HubSpot research 

Tip – Get more value out of your evergreen content by spinning a blog post into an email alert, a tweet, a LinkedIn post, a SlideShare or a YouTube video. Regular promotion of evergreen content is vital to extending its reach.

Example – A human interest story we wrote for Coca-Cola’s corporate responsibility site went viral when we managed to get it retweeted by a fan. See ‘From one fan to another’ 

Reliable forecasts

Once there’s a valuable back-log of evergreen content on a site, the combined effect of many ‘compounding’ blog posts generates useful traffic patterns in Google Analytics. It’s a simple step to project those patterns into the future, model lead conversions and establish robust new business forecasts. The great thing about all this, of course, is that the work has already been done to generate the data set.

Tip – Tag content by customer segment so you can use blog data as a customer profiling resource alongside your other market research tools.

Example – The Sticky Content blog contains hundreds of articles which have helped us understand our customers better. See our blog

Finally, remember that everything is relative. Your content may be old to you. But if someone finds it for the first time and thinks it’s useful or entertaining then, in an important sense, it’s new to them.