Content marketing is a long game. To attract, engage, and retain customers with content, a business must publish or broadcast regularly for weeks, months, and even years. This inevitably means that some of the content created will get old or outdated.
Fortunately, a marketer can inject new life into old content, making it valuable again while preserving existing links and search engine authority.
New Life for Old Content
Update. The first, and perhaps most obvious, way to inject new life into old content is simply to update it.
Imagine that you are the content marketer for an online retailer selling electric bicycles. Electric bicycle laws and requirements differ by state and, sometimes, by county or city. So three years ago, you released a massive state-by-state article of electric bike laws.
The problem is that the article is now outdated. Electric bicycle laws have evolved, requiring an update. The article should benefit from the age of its URL and standing in search engines while still providing updated information to your audience of customers and prospects.
Similarly, if you were the content marketer for an online store specializing in kids’ clothing, you could update your 2018 “back to school” guide, taking into account the coronavirus pandemic or other impactful changes.
In some cases, updating content amounts to rewriting it, but other times you need only to make some minor changes to inject new life.
Google Analytics, SEMrush, and Ahrefs, as examples, could identify content that once received a lot of traffic but has since tapered off. This content may be a candidate for an update.
Merge. You may, over the years, have created similar content.
For example, the content marketer at an online store selling kitchen utensils and appliances might have produced articles such as:
- “How to fry an egg?”
- “10 tips for frying the perfect egg,”
- “15 mouth-watering fried egg recipes,”
- “19 amazing ways to cook an egg.”
As time passes, traffic to one or more of these similar posts may start to wane, or maybe each post always underperformed. To boost traffic, you could merge them, combining their best parts.
The merged article should be more informative and authoritative than the separate versions. Better content will attract a larger audience.
You will then redirect all of the articles into one URL, consolidating link authority and, hopefully, improving the organic search ranking for the merged piece.
Converge. An alternative to merging (combining) old articles is to converge them on a newly created hub page.
A hub page — which is similar in concept to a topic cluster — is an overview of a specific topic but then links to more in-depth and specific articles. In this example, those in-depth articles are the old content you’re trying to revitalize.
The hub page content could rank highly in organic search results while driving new traffic to your older, established content.
Convert. You could transform old content by moving it to a new medium. For example, you might repurpose an excellent article from a few years ago into a video, an on-demand webinar, a live stream, a podcast, or a few dozen social media posts.
You could use a good how-to article to generate a frequently asked question page, develop a guided selling section, or create an interactive tool that will help someone complete a task or learn a skill.
Similarly, the content marketer at the kitchen utensil and appliance store described above could collect 50 of the best recipes the store has published over the last five years and publish a cookbook.
In other words, identify the most popular content you’ve created and look for new mediums to distribute it. Each of your new manifestations could link back to the original work, thus, injecting it with new life and fresh traffic.
Content marketing is a long-term, on-going approach to attracting, engaging, and retaining customers. It takes patience and persistence.
As you publish content you will have the opportunity to update it, merge it, converge it, and convert it. In each case, you will benefit from the work you have already done.