B2B brands have realized the enormous benefits of keeping a regular blogging schedule. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute found that 80% of B2B marketers are using blogging as part of their content marketing strategy, and over half agree it’s their most critical tactic. That means many brands have amassed a considerable amount of content over the years that may or may not still be valuable to their customers.
With this in mind, we’ve asked B2B blogging experts whether brands should focus on old blog posts and if they had any tips for refreshing stale content.
Should You Forget About Old Blog Posts?
“Blog content is the backbone of any brand's digital footprint,” said Pam McBride, director of product marketing at StackAdapt. By adding new content, brands continue to build up SEO, brand awareness and their overall authority within an industry. That’s why many brands focus on consistently publishing new blog posts, but they often fail to understand the best strategy for maintaining or removing their older content. “Unless posts are grossly outdated or inaccurate,” continued McBride, “pulling down old blog content does more harm than good.”
However, Jason Lavis, managing director at Out of the Box Innovations, doesn’t think that’s always the case. “Actually, sometimes stale blog content should die, perhaps it's low quality, or covering a product or trend that's now irrelevant,” he said. “The worst pages might have no inbound links, do not offer a good user experience, and have never had traffic,” continued Lavis. If a potential customer’s first interaction with your brand is one of these pieces of content, it may drive them away. That’s why doing a content audit to understand which pages offer value to your business and customers is crucial.
When reviewing blog content, the experts generally categorize blog posts as either event-based or evergreen posts. “Marketers can rank blog value with an audit that labels and categorizes which posts are evergreen based on topic or theme,” McBride said. That way, marketing teams can identify the best blog posts to resurface or provide additional exposure to through social media channels.
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How You Can Revitalize Stale Blog Content
If your brand decides a particular piece of content is worth revitalizing, here are some tips for driving new traffic and interest in this content.
Consider the Publish Date
“Remove the published date on your evergreen posts,” suggested McBride, “which makes them truly evergreen.” You can then promote them through social media the same way you do for new content. “Remember,” added McBride, “nobody but you knows that they are from last year or even the year before (and there is no date to identify its original publication).” But you should still keep the date for timely or event-based blog posts because this provides context for the reader.
Create a Linking Strategy
“Build internal links to these posts inside newer articles,” recommended McBride, “this is a bit of a vicious cycle but well worth the effort.” This can get more value out of these older posts that you put effort into producing in the past, and maximize the ROI of your content.
Include in Newsletters and Roundups
“Do a roundup post based on an overarching theme,” McBride said, “and link to external articles, new posts and older ones to get them fresh attention and traffic. She says you can also create a new blog series or email newsletter to refresh stale blog posts. “Leverage a tent pole event, like Christmas or Summer Holidays, as a reason to curate posts and share them sequentially during the timeframe of the event.”
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Revamp your website
“Use real estate on your website to drive visitors to relevant posts on your blog,” McBride suggested. If the design of your blog’s landing page only displays the latest content when a visitor arrives, then older content will get substantially less traffic. “Add a Featured Stories section that you can curate to surface any/all of your blogs, regardless of age.”
Use analytics tools
“In an audit,” Lavis said, “we use analytics software to find out which pages offer value.” You want to look for pages that have inbound links or had high traffic in the past. “The pages to focus on first are the ones that previously received traffic and that gradually tailed off.” That’s because better or more recent content probably pushed your blog posts down in the search results. “It could be that an update, with extra text and media is enough to put you back on page one,” said Lavis. In other cases, social media or paid promotions could be all it takes.
“It's more effective to update a page that has dropped,” Lavis concluded, “than to create a new winning page.” That means many brands should focus on revitalizing their stale content to get the most out of their content creation efforts over the long term.