Think of your content as a flower. (Stick with me.)
Nurture it, feed it, give it a little trim occasionally and it will reward you with beautiful blooms. Or in the case of your website, more visitors.
But how do you make sure your content is the equivalent of a vibrant violet, a buoyant begonia or a dynamic dahlia?
Why, you become an expert content gardener, of course.
But before I pass on my virtual growing tips to keep your content as fresh as a daisy, why does it matter?
KEEPING THE CONTENT GARDEN ROSY
Let’s stretch the floral metaphor a bit more. (Spoiler alert: I’m not done with this.)
Would you design a beautiful garden, populate it with wonderful plants, and then consider it a job done and ignore it for the next three years?
Of course not.
And the same applies to your content. Great content shared frequently is fundamental to inbound marketing. It helps with your SEO. It attracts new visitors to your website. It builds awareness of your brand and – done well – it positions you as an expert. Customers trust you.
All of which leads to more people wanting to buy what you’re selling.
But – and it is a big but – it works both ways. Content that is stale, out-of-date or irrelevant can have the opposite effect. It diminishes your authority. It makes you look lazy and like you don’t care.
Although that might not matter, because if you’re not sharing regular, insightful content, chances are that nobody will know you exist. Google certainly won’t point anyone towards you.
Which is why I like to think of fresh content as the compost that keeps your virtual garden looking rosy.
BEWARE OF PLANTING WEEDS
All content isn’t equal.
It’s true that regular, well-crafted and valuable content is like nectar to search engine bees. The opposite is also true.
Stuffing your website (or any other channel, for that matter) with more and more content can backfire spectacularly.
Search engine algorithms are pretty clever these days.
Google can spot content for content’s sake a mile off. If what you’re sharing is essentially a pile of superficial manure simply to tick the ‘regular content’ box, you’ll find yourself off the top spot quicker than you can say “where are my customers.”
So before we get into how you keep your content fresh, bear in mind that more certainly isn’t always better. Regular is important. Valuable is essential.
Keeping content fresh isn’t rocket science, though. A few simple tips will keep things smelling of roses.
#1: GIVE IT A TRIM
In other words: audit your content. Yes, it sounds dull. I can think of about 800 things I’d rather do first.
But it really, really matters.
Your content is your window to the world. When prospects read your content, you’ve got a few seconds – six, apparently – to hook them in or lose them. Nothing will send them skipping off to your competitors faster than content that’s no longer accurate or relevant.
If you really want to nail your content, a good audit should go beyond just checking whether what you’ve got has gone stale.
Do it well and you’ll have a fantastic insight into what works and what doesn’t. Knowing which topics get your audience excited is gold dust when it comes to planning future content that will keep them coming back for more. (And bring a few new ones along, too)
Yes, it’s a boring task.
But if you want your content to do the business – by which I mean engage your prospects so they trust you and want to buy from you – then it’s a must.
#2: REUSE AND RECYCLE
One for the fact fans: did you know that updating and republishing an old blog post with new content and images can increase organic traffic by 111%?
So why wouldn’t you?
Let’s be honest. Even the most beautifully crafted content goes off the boil eventually. It simply gets old or the world just moves on.
Either way, your content audit should shout that you need to do something about it. But old content doesn’t necessarily need to be confined to the great content bucket in the sky.
Keeping things fresh doesn’t mean constantly churning out more and more ideas. Which is good, because you’ll eventually run out of ideas and you’ll probably come up with some howlers as it gets harder.
Instead, take the best of what you’ve got and refine it or find a new angle. Keeping the content you’ve already got alive and relevant is a brilliant – and easy – way of keeping things fresh.
If it was great when it was produced, chances are it could be great again.
#3: THINK OUTSIDE THE SHED
I really love words. Like, really. A beautifully crafted bit of copy can make my heart sing and bring a tear to my eye.
Even so, I know great content isn’t just words. In fact, words should only be one part of the mix. Think visual: images, infographics, videos. In fact, a third of marketers rate visual content as more important than written.
Now I’m not entirely convinced by that – I am, after all, a words gal. But it’s a handy reminder that a good mix of content keeps things fresh.
Put simply, think creatively about what form your content will take. Think outside the shed. (See what I did there?)
#4: DON’T DO ALL THE DIGGING YOURSELF
I like to think I know a thing or two about content and branding. I know I’m not the only one who does, though.
I also like to think I’m pretty interesting but again, I know I’m probably not the only interesting person in the world.
Which is why here at The Creative Copywriter, we use lots of different voices in our content.
If I say so myself, we’re a rather amazing bunch with a wealth of different skills and expertise. Involving the team in our content means lots of different ideas put across in different ways.
Which all makes for lovely, sparkly, fresh content.
It’s not just our team, too. We’re good – but we know there are others out there who are just as good. (Almost.)
Collaborating with others in the industry, for example when we interview an expert, is a double win. Content that is genuinely useful and adds value, and it helps keeps things fresh and tasty.
(There’s an SEO bonus because you’ll probably get a backlink, too.)
#5: USE YOUR BLOG
Yes, I meant to shout. No, I couldn’t find a good gardening analogy – sorry.
When it comes to content, your blog is a gift. It’s possibly the easiest way to position yourself, to build trust and to get more people interested, all the while keeping your content shiny and new.
You just NEED TO ACTUALLY DO IT.
Sorry. Shouting again.
Nothing infuriates me more than a blog that isn’t used. It’s such a massive, huge, monumental missed opportunity.
As a potential customer, nothing says “I can’t be arsed” more than a company whose last blog post was a review of these hip new mobile telephony devices which apparently experts say we might one day all have.
I won’t go on. But if you take one thing from this post about keeping your content fresh, make it this: USE YOUR BLOG.
You reap what you sow with content.
The more you provide shiny, new, insightful content, the more you’ll be rewarded with followers, trust and, eventually, sales.
So don’t let the grass grow under you. Dig deep, grasp the nettle and follow my tips to keep your content fresh as a daisy.
What do you think? How do you keep your content fresh? Have I exhausted every gardening metaphor known to humankind?
Let me know in the comments below.