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Organize & Simplify Your Content Marketing
As I was cleaning out my closet as part of my annual spring-cleaning fiesta, it dawned on me that I need to apply the same thought process to my content as well. If you think about it, creating content for your company or yourself is like buying clothes; you can’t keep adding to your wardrobe without assessing what you already have. Some clothes can be worn differently and still look stylish. Some are simply out of date and need to be thrown out. The same analogy applies to content management. You can’t keep creating without cleaning your website once in a while. Some content pieces probably need to be updated or repurposed. Some (especially product-specific non-evergreen content) simply need to be removed or deleted. Plus, keeping your content current sends good vibes and helps with SEO and paid search.
Content Spring cleaning shouldn’t always be one person’s job. If you work for an enterprise, it requires teamwork, which usually involves webmasters, subject matter experts, paid-media, social media and community managers.
It’s challenging to rally the team at the last-minute, especially since everyone is already busy and focused on tasks at hand. The best way to incorporate content spring cleaning into your annual editorials: Let everyone know in advance that this is coming!
Here are several steps to follow:
- Content cleaning is part of editorial planning
Call out content marketing spring cleaning on your editorial calendar. It doesn’t have to be in the spring. Sometimes, it makes sense to do the cleaning before the annual planning starts or after holiday or product launches. Make sure that it’s not at a particularly busy time for your company.
- Team up with your digital or web marketing team
The web team may have a rolling calendar to refresh or update specific pages or product sites. Be part of their efforts!
- Allow 2-4 weeks in your editorial calendar
Give stakeholders time to get this done. Note: It doesn’t mean that your webmaster or subject matter experts are expected to work full-time for 2-4 weeks. In general, it will take about 3-8 hours of their time (depending on how many pages they need to review).
- Follow-up, follow-up and follow-up
Send out kick-off and reminder e-mails with an easy to use template. It can be as simple as the template below. You can also use solutions like Formstack to allow people to enter information so that you can consolidate without copying and pasting data from different sources.
- Allow 2-4 months to update and refresh
Getting feedback is the easy part. In addition, deleting content from your website is fairly simple. The hard part is finding content replacements and updating content with new product information. In a way, these content requirements need to be evaluated and prioritized as part of your content planning. Some may be easy to refresh, others may require budget and headcount to get them updated.
Content cleaning needs to be done on a regular basis. This can be led by a content marketer or the web team. Allocate time to “just do it”.
On a personal note: my spring cleaning list is fairly comprehensive from roof/gutters, windows and carpet cleaning to getting rid of “stuff” in each room. In the past several years, I have added digital spring-cleaning, which includes deleting files and organizing photos from my phone, tablet and laptop. My spring cleaning can easily last until autumn. Sigh…