How do you develop a strategy to refresh content?
12 steps to keep your content fresh:
Many techniques can be used to keep your content fresh, but it all must start with a clearly defined strategy. Too often, content is left as an afterthought, and even more often, a plan to update the content and keep it relevant and fresh is completely overlooked. The first step to prevent this is to begin by creating a content strategy. This can be achieved as follows:
- Define the brand objectives and the end viewer’s needs for the content. These sometimes differ, so it is important to consider both vantage points to plan content that will be effective at lunch and over time.
- Leverage the brand’s marketing calendar if available to determine key dates and life-spans for important messages that will be communicated over time.
- Ensure you are using a solid CMS solution that has the ability to play many types of content like the following for example:
- Layered content (video with layered imagery and copy elements)
- Dynamic content/RSS feeds
- HTML5 support
- Determine different life-span content types to deliver on these objectives and needs:
- Ever-green content – Content that does not have a pre-determined expiry date and can be scheduled for a longer period of time.
- Seasonal content – Seasonal can imply many things but in this context it is related to a campaign season. Like in other forms of advertising a campaign will typically have a set duration and when it ends it will be replaced by the next seasonal campaign. This type of content usually lasts several months.
- Promotional content – Promotions typically run for much shorter periods of time than campaign content. This type of content however can still run for several days or even weeks.
- Daily content – Some types of content can be refreshed every day for example “today’s specials” in a retail context or “today’s rates” in a financial context .
- Live content – Sometimes the ability to pull external feeds or dynamic content sources is available and this type of content can be refreshed very frequently sometimes every day, every hour or even every minute.
- Determine content complexity levels for each type of content type. Complexity levels typically relate to the production time that will go in to creating each content type. Some content types will have various complexity level variations as content is rarely exact from content spot to spot. Laying out a guide that pairs complexity levels with content types will help to map it out and plan ahead.
- Determine the costs associated with complexity levels and the production associated with each. This will help to plan a budget for the creation of ongoing content.
- Establish different play-lists that incorporate various blends of the different content types. This can help establish predictive models for content groupings that can ideally match different times of the year that coincide with the brand’s marketing calendar.
- Once a short term and long term budget is established for content creation and refresh, divide the budget to allow for maximum content pieces in order to have a larger library of content available. In theory the more content you have the more frequent you can update it the fresher the content mix will be.
- Build content that can be versioned or personalized to maximize the amount of content spots that you can build from common themes or types of content.
- Create templates that have variable content elements that can be updated frequently that contain ever-green elements to gain maximum output of content pieces without the need to overhaul the entire template.
- Ensure your content is nicely designed and interesting to viewers. If the content is well created even if it has been seen a few times it is less likely to be de-selected.
- Finally, don’t sacrifice quality for cost. The most important part of any digital experience is the content. It makes no sense to invest in the hardware, software, integration and roll-out of digital experiences if the content spend is not available.