endlessPublishing content online is simple; maybe too simple. When you click publish, share or tweet, do you instantly forget about the information you just shared? In a social media culture where the hunt for the next big trend constantly exists, putting aside published content to move on to the next topic is a natural reaction. This mode of thinking makes all of us online publishers often forget one very important thing: Online content is forever.
A notebook can get thrown in the trash, and a digital document can sit in a crowded folder and be ignored forever. Blog posts, tweets, ebooks, Facebook updates, and all other content published online, however, doesn’t go away. It continuously reappears in search results across different sites. Even if you delete content that was previously published online, odds are that it is still cached somewhere on the web or has been copied by someone and placed on another site. While this may seem a little scary to some, it is also one of the key factors that has helped level the marketing playing field.

Why Forever Is Great for Marketers

With traditional marketing like direct mail and print ads, your content was disposable. Once the next trade magazine issue came out, your message was in the trash. Because of this, the only way to keep a constant flow of messages in the marketplace was to keep spending money. This gave the power to large companies with bigger budgets. In online marketing, it is much less about marketing budgets or company size; the main success factor has become agility. In online marketing, you have to be able to create content your customers want and publish it quickly.

This gives the leverage to companies that are agile. If your business takes a month to approve a tweet, then a smaller startup can easily compete in the world of online marketing due to their ability to create content and engage with customers more frequently. Because content is forever, the effect of being able to create high-quality content regularly quickly snowballs and creates more and more leverage as each month ticks by.

3 Steps for Leveraging Forever

When you are a marketer, forever is your friend. The fact that content is forever helps you build a vault of online content that new and existing competitors won’t be able to overcome. Whether you are a marketer who is new to online marketing or a veteran who is looking to squeeze out every ounce of your marketing investment, then consider these three pieces of advice.

1. Conduct a Hard Drive Audit - Set aside some time and look at the documents, videos, and other types of content that are filling up your hard drive or that might be hiding in a marketing folder on a server somewhere. As you are looking through content, think about which items could be posted online that could help you target keywords, generate search traffic, or help answer prospect and customer questions. Odds are, you have at least a few items that can help with this but have never made their way onto the web. Work to add them to your blog or corporate website.

2. Make PDFs Friendly - Marketing departments are PDF-creating machines. The problem is, while PDFs provide some search engine opportunity value, the same content presented in a different way would have a much stronger, long-term benefit. Use content that is in PDF form when possible and move it to an HTML page where you can have control over the page title, headers, and other factors that can improve on-page SEO. You don’t need to do this with all PDFs. For example, if you have a PDF download behind a landing page for lead generation, that is fine. However, if you have a PDF of a product manual, that content would work much harder for your marketing team if it was no longer in PDF form.

3. Promote Past Content - Content that is old to you isn’t necessarily old to a prospect just learning about your company for the first time. We have explained some best practices for promoting evergreen content in the past, but it is worth revisiting the issue. If you write 50 blog articles a year, it is likely that many of them aren't time-sensitive. Take this evergreen content and reintroduce it to social media subscribers who may have only begun following you in the months following the publication date of that blog post. Promoting existing content is a great way to improve thought leadership and leader generation without dedicating the time needed to write a new article.

How do you leverage forever?

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