In this post, we’ve compiled information to help tech teams on a budget weather the Covid-19 storm through creative marketing efforts. To simplify navigation, we’ve added these handy links to help you jump to the section you desire:
Covid-19 has dramatically changed life as we know it. Many businesses are being hit very hard by the crisis — some are being forced to shutter their doors indefinitely. Others are having to entirely reinvent themselves.
Even for those who are weathering the storm fairly well, most businesses are taking a deep look at their spending. And more specifically, where to cut spending.
This is normal.
In times of crisis, it’s human nature to enter into survival mode behaviour — adopting or curtailing certain practices in order to survive.
The Temptation of Marketing Cutbacks (And Why You Shouldn’t Go There)
In the business world, marketing is often one of the most tempting areas to cut spending during a crisis. Yet, as counter-intuitive as this may sound, marketing is the last area that should be cut during tough times. In fact, cutting marketing spending can actually make bad financial situations even worse.
And there is good data to support this. Back in 1927, advertising executive Roland S. Vaile followed some 200 companies through the 1923 recession. As published in the Harvard Business Review at the time, Vaile reported that those companies that maintained their marketing activities during the downturn were 20% ahead of where they were before the recession. Further, those companies that cut their efforts were 7% below their pre-1920s revenue.
During nearly every recession since then, the results have followed a similar path — businesses that cut their marketing efforts during a recession did worse both during and in the years following the downturn.
Getting Creative During a Crisis
Taking all of the above into consideration, we also know that many tech companies are very stretched right now. With the end of the pandemic still uncertain, many small-to-medium businesses simply can’t spend as much as they normally do on marketing.
So then, how do you keep up your marketing efforts under tight budgets?
The answer is creativity.
We recently wrote a piece that outlined 5 simple marketing strategies for tech teams on a budget. In that post, we looked at easy hacks that your team can start today to keep your marketing efforts flowing without breaking the bank.
Of those strategies, the blog refresh (where you update and republish old blog posts), is one of the easiest low-budget marketing strategies for tech companies to implement right now.
Here’s how you do it.
How To Perform a Blog Refresh & Republish Old Blog Posts
The purpose of a blog refresh is to increase the ROI of the previous efforts you’ve poured into your blog.
And the best part? It’s easy and quick to execute.
Here at TPM, we follow a process called ‘ROPS’ when we refresh and republish old blog posts:
Look for opportunity to refresh: CTAs, links, images, research + data, voice, etc.
Is the blog ranking and you can increase it? Is there opportunity to re-optimize for better ranking?
Keeping content at the top of your feed makes them accessible and top-of-mind.
We developed a distribution checklist so that we were finding personas in the right place at the right time.
This process takes us through the evaluation of which blogs are ideal for updating, followed by our publishing, and dissemination practices.
The first two steps (Rework and Optimize), are the core of the blog refresh and help us to identify which of our (or our clients’) posts are most worthy of updating based on actual performance metrics.
During this evaluation, we look for the following criteria to help us pick which posts to refresh:
- Posts with high views or high conversion rates
- First page ranking on a search engine
- Posts containing keywords with high search volume / or the potential for high search volume
- Posts with outdated information (e.g., old research data, dated technology, etc.)
- The average time spent on a page (i.e., do pages have high views but short average time on page?)
Going For Evergreen — Making Content Last
Once we’ve identified the posts we’re going to update, our next task is to update our posts to ensure they won’t go out-of-date (or will at least have a long shelf life). During this process, we evaluate the following and refresh as needed to extend the longevity of the post:
- Title: revamp as needed
- Voice and tone: evaluate to ensure it’s still keeping up with the current brand standards
- Images: update as needed
- Research data: update outdated numbers and statistics
- Links (both external and internal): check all links to ensure they’re still relevant.
- Content refresh: add new relevant content as needed
- CTAs: update CTAs to point to other high-performing content, such as other blogs, landing pages, ebooks, and more.
Blog Refresh Best Practices
We hope this post has sparked your interest in the value of a blog refresh. Before setting off to perform your own, we recommend following these five blog refresh best practices.
- Keep The Same URL: We recommend editing in the existing post and keeping the original URL — this is especially important if the original post had a high view and conversion rate. Be sure to change the publish date so that the post will be pushed to the top of your blog line-up.
- Editor Note: For transparency, we recommend adding a short editor note at the top of the refreshed post that notes when the original post was published, when it was updated, and why.
- Rework The Dated: Remember that a blog refresh is all about optimizing your existing blogs to make them of value to your readers. To get the biggest bang for your efforts, be sure to:
- Remove content that is no longer relevant
- Replace outdated content
- Add new links and CTAs
- Optimize the post’s meta-description and Google snippet
- Republish and Share: Now that the refresh is done, it’s time to tell the world about it! When you republish old blog posts to your site, be sure to send an email to your followers that the blog has been refreshed as well as promoting it on your social channels.
- Track and Compare: Once the new post is published, track its progress and compare it to the performance of your original post.
- Strive For Balance: A blog refresh isn’t a ‘one and done’ effort. Instead, think of it as an ongoing process within your marketing efforts. Every other month take a look through your blog to evaluate if you have any posts worthy of updating. The goal is to balance the old with the new.
And there you have it, our tips for performing a blog refresh for tech teams on a budget. If you need help getting started on your blog refresh, or need other ideas for marketing on a budget, we’re here to help. Reach out to us today.