Six Steps to Keep Your Content Marketing Squeaky Clean

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Posted: July 13, 2012 | Content Marketing

I have been working on a project to clean up our content at Marketo and the idea for this blog post leaped to my mind! Well, to be fair a co-worker’s mind, BUT I was obviously the better person to write the post since I am Marketing Program Manager for all things content. Creating content is a fantastic way to fuel your inbound marketing methods, but too often companies focus primarily on creating content, and not enough on cleaning it up. You should be making sure that your content is relevant, current, and easy to find. Definitely a daunting task for any company that focuses on content as the big rock to their B2B marketing efforts.  You will want to determine what to keep, what to update or repurpose, and what to get rid of.

To help you with your efforts, I have compiled a few steps to guide you through the process:

Step 1. Determine how you will want to keep track of your content.
Many companies have no way of keeping track of content in the first place. It is created and then it is forgotten about. It is always a good idea to have someplace where everyone on your team or even the organization has access to the latest versions of your assets. This list can live as a spreadsheet, in Salesforce content, or even in a 3rd party tool like Kapost. And some companies even have a combination of the two. If you already have one of the 3, you will want to have that available so you can update and mark what to keep, update, and trash (or archive). If you do not currently utilize one of these methods, you will want to decide how you want to organize your content. You will need the have the method determined before you tackle the cleanup.

Step 2. Look at download and conversion rates.
Assuming you have been tracking each piece of content, you will want to take a look into your analytics to determine what is being downloaded the most. If it is a current and new asset, awesome–maybe push that to the top of your resource list. If it is an older asset, maybe you should invest time into updating it.

Step 3. Determine what to keep.
This should be the easy part. You will want to keep the assets that are new, being downloaded, and being shared on social networks. You also might want to decide if you can re-use these assets in a campaign or if you can work on a repurposing the content into blog posts, webinars, or even an infographic. Think about whether or not it may be possible to breathe some new life into these content pieces. Remember to mark them on your content spreadsheet as keep or promote. Something we often do at Marketo is update some of our popular content pieces which allows us to run an entire promotional campaign around the updates.

Step 4. Decide what to update.
This is the tricky part of updating resources. When does an asset need updating vs. keeping or throwing it away? The best way to make that decision is to check traffic, conversion rate, and if the assets are still relevant to your content themes. Sometimes you will find that some core, basic pieces of content will need updating–meaning a redesign and/or updating copy and statistics. These assets are important to find since they are often your basic one-sheets, checklists, and whitepapers that explain very simply what the value proposition of your product or service is. You may have written these first as part of your early content marketing strategy, so they will likely need to be updated. You want to make sure they have the latest branding and that they communicates your newest messaging.

Step 5. Decide what to throw out or archive.
It is tough to say goodbye to a piece of content. But, sometimes you have to make the call. If you have an archive section, it is good to add these assets there, as that is less commitment than throwing them away. It is a good rule of thumb not to have any assets showcased on your website that are more than a year old. Your customers and prospects will be looking for thought leadership about the current industry climate, and they will be looking to you for up-to-the-minute information.  Industry reports are an example of an item you want to make sure is current. You don’t want reports from 2007 lurking around in your resource section. Instead, you can create a section that has links or tabs to old industry reports. For other older items you will have to assess if it is worth updating them based on traffic and conversion rates.

Step 6. Reorganize!
Now that you have a clean resource section, you will want to make sure it is well organized and easy for the prospect, customer, or even employee to navigate. Bucket the items based on subject and also consider bucketing the items based on asset types. Maybe a prospect wants to only see lead nurturing whitepaper content–make it easy for someone to quickly find what you have.

A content cleanup is a large undertaking, as I am currently figuring out, but it is necessary to ensure that visitors to your website know where to look and what to look for. Make sure everything is easily digestible and not overwhelming. By having a clean resource section you will find that your content marketing conversion rates will go up much higher!

Do you have any more ideas on some best practices for a content cleanup? I would love to hear them!

Dayna Rothman is the Director of Content Marketing at Everstring and previously led content for Marketo. She is the Author of Lead Generation for Dummies. Dayna has extensive experience in content marketing, social media, marketing automation, and inbound marketing. She has an MBA from Golden Gate University and lives in Oakland, CA.

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Six Steps to Keep Your Content Marketing Squeaky Clean

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