The following post was submitted by Scribit, a Platinum Sponsor at Elevate 2012, the upcoming Pardot User Conference. Elevate 2012 will take place October 23-25 in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information on this event, please visit elevate.pardot.com.
When developing your content marketing strategy, quite often one word dominates the content conversation: Recency. It seems logical. In this high-speed world, who doesn’t want to be fresh, hot, new? Sounds a lot more appealing, frankly, than stale, old, and out of date, right? But don’t be mislead, because the opposite of recent doesn’t have to be old. Think evergreen instead.
There’s More Than One Means to Quality Content
When you’re developing a strategy for content, don’t focus so intently on the most recent content that you overlook the value of “evergreen” content with staying power. Evergreen content doesn’t go out of style, and it won’t be overtaken by new developments. If smartly optimized, it can maintain value for a long time to come and is integral to scaling your website for increased authority as a valuable source of information for your target customers. Evergreen content should be a mainstay of your content stream.
Aim for a balanced diet by pairing fresh, hot content with sticky informational pieces from credible sources that will be of perennial interest to your intended audience. Think “how to” guides, checklists, in-depth analyses, and FAQs related to central issues in your industry—quality, useful, knowledge-based material that will remain relevant and be a topic of interest for your visitors for years to come. This content doesn’t require frequent updates, which means it’s a low-maintenance, high-value proposition. Once you’ve got it, it earns its keep by retaining value at little to no ongoing cost in terms of time and attention invested in revisions to stay current.
Keep It Relevant
A well-rounded content stream of fresh material and evergreen resources means you’re on the right path, but you’re not done. Everything you publish, regardless of source, should be relevant as you define it—to potential customers, to your industry, to your brand, across all platforms. Be vigilant about maintaining your focus, and don’t sacrifice relevance for recency or any other criteria. No matter how great the content is, your customers have to care about it, or it’s just wasted space.
Don’t Forget to Check Your Filter
It’s crucial to filter your content stream to ensure it’s always aligned with your message, goals, and intended audience. In addition to being relevant to your market, it should match your brand values and the image you wish to present. Create a defined set of criteria matrix with pre-determined values so your team is on the same page and you have flexibility in assigning content monitoring tasks while ensuring consistent standards.
So in the end the debate shouldn’t be about recency vs. relevancy. The truth of the equation looks more like this:
Recency + Relevancy + Authoritative Evergreen Content = Quality Content
A matrix of high-quality, relevant content bolsters your visibility and authority with customers. Maintain a balanced, consistent content stream across all platforms, with fresh content to leverage recency for high social visibility. Take advantage of evergreen material to grow your authority. And, as always, keep your market and your brand in mind.
Read Best Practices for Content Curation for information on leveraging your time to build and share more, quality content.
Submitted by Gregg Freishtat, Founder and CEO for Scribit, which empowers online marketers to curate from the web’s best content and publish directly to their social media and website, increasing engagement and sales. Freishtat has more than 17 years of experience in venture management and venture investing, including founding three successful start-ups.