Front page of an old newspaper called, "The Old News," with a blank front page.
PHOTO: o_a

Everyone is aware of the importance of content. Content creation has become so essential that it’s a central focus of most marketing strategies. The fact that so many people are generating content also means you can’t create just any kind of content and expect it will be enough.

At this point, if you want to cut through the clutter, you have to make high-quality content — and not just initially, either. Over time, even good content will lose value due to a lack of relevance to current readers, which leads to the question: should you delete or repurpose your old content?

The Dilemma of Outdated Content

There are many ways to gauge the effectiveness of a content marketing strategy. For instance, the AI-infused content marketing platform MarketMuse outlines three key areas to focus on when conducting a content evaluation. These are:

  • Topical authority: The amount of content (and its relative success) you’ve published on a specific subject.
  • Competitive advantage: The benefit that you do or do not have based on your topical authority.
  • Personalized difficulty: The challenge required to achieve SEO success through your content based on your topical authority and competitive advantages.

Together, these three filters help content creators discover if their existing and future content will line up with past success.

The interesting thing is that, when gauging how your content performs based on this system, the resulting recommendations usually focuses on two things:

  • Choosing what new topics to select in the future.
  • Updating existing content either with relevant topics or that are semantically related to future subjects.

This may sound simple, but it begs the question already posed in the introduction. If the ability to update content is one of the two key factors that go into quality content creation, how do you go about updating existing content?

How can you maintain the value of old content without deleting it (and losing its established SEO power in the process)? The answer is to repurpose it.

Related Article: How to Repurpose Content for Social Media Strategies

5 Ways to Repurpose Your Outdated Content

The goal with repurposing your old content is to reclaim the lost value that it had in the past. There are many different ways to do this. Here are a few of the best options to get you started:

1. Add an Update Section

The easiest way to repurpose old content is to add a quick update.

Say, for instance, you have a high-performing blog post, and the information included in the text is still solid and applicable. Simply add a disclaimer at the top of the blog or page. Say that you’ve reviewed the information and possibly add a little tidbit related to current events on the topic.

As an added bonus, consider putting “Updated [current year]” or something similar in the title.

2. Add New Info

At times, you may have content that was recently relevant but has already started to lose its edge. When that’s the case, look for strategic ways to update it with information without rewriting anything. As customer experience agency Blend notes, refreshing a blog post can help boost SEO as well.

Start in the comments section. Did anyone provide feedback on something that was missing from the original post, blog, etc.? If so, use that as inspiration to add something more applicable to the existing content.

3. Make an Evergreen Overhaul

When you have a piece of content with high value that is tethered to a specific point in time, you may want to conduct an evergreen overhaul. Evergreen content is perpetually relevant (within a reasonable time frame) and optimized for search engines.

If you have outdated quality content that is losing its relevance fast, consider turning it into an evergreen post. Identify the information that has enduring value and then reword the text around it to avoid referencing anything time-sensitive.

4. Create Case Studies

There are times when content can have high short-term value while lacking long-term pertinence. When that happens, consider making a case study out of the information.

A good example of when this would apply could be if you have a roundtable event with customers, host a live conference, or engage with people on social media. When the information is fresh, look for ways you can codify it into a piece of statistical information that can continue to serve your organization as a case study in the future.

5. Translate Content Into a New Media

Sometimes the best way to reutilize old content is to turn it into a completely new form of media.

For example, you can turn a successful webinar into a series of YouTube videos. These could focus on things like highlights, social media-friendly snippets or “how to” segments.

Another example could be turning an old blog post into initial research for a podcast episode. You could also dissect successful blogs and turn still-relevant sections into social media posts with pictures.

Conclusion: Enhancing Value of Known Marketing Asset

Whatever way you go about it, repurposing outdated content is always a good idea. It enhances the value of a known marketing asset. It also often streamlines the creation process for new content.

So start with an evaluation of your brand’s content. Look for areas where there is plenty of value, but it’s started to slip over time. Then use the tips above to breathe new life into the content so that you can continue to leverage it for your brand in the future.