How to Keep Your Content Fresh By Predicting The Future


How to Keep Your Content Fresh By Predicting The Future

Google loves fresh, relevant content and has been favoring websites that offer a steady stream of timely content since 2011 (read their post on the subject).

Your social media audience loves it as well, getting a significant percentage of their daily news from content shared by accounts they follow.

When I say timely content, I mean that it’s fresh (recent) and focused on current events or trends. “Timely” refers to relevance, in the moment, and if your content speaks to the current moment effectively. In contrast, evergreen content is the opposite, designed to attract more links over time (thereby increasing search rank) by providing value that doesn’t diminish over time (hence “evergreen”).

Where evergreen pieces tend to be long, dense, and time-consuming to create, timely content is easy to create by comparison and can gain attention quickly -though is unlikely to retain attention or position in search results (SERPs) long-term.

The key to producing effective timely content is to have your proverbial ear to the ground about your industry and the key trends where your offerings are most relevant. When the opportunity to generate awareness reveals itself, you need to be in-the-know, and agile enough to take advantage before the moment passes.

Identifying topics that are already trending is easy to do, but not terribly useful. Being able to act on emerging trends, before the competition has a chance, is a different matter entirely. Timing is everything. You need to be able to identify topics gathering momentum before they catch fire.

This approach only works with topics that evolve. There has to be new news to comment on; waxing philosophical about known knowns just doesn’t cut it. Compelling headlines are shocking, or concerning, or exciting. They’re definitely not rote or redundant.

The formula for success with this approach requires three ingredients, in equal measure:

  1. Advance knowledge (or the ability to predict) a future state of affairs.
  2. Credentials that demonstrate unquestionable authority in the subject matter at hand.
  3. A differentiated point of view that garners respect and raises the audience’s awareness of you (and the brand you represent).

That’s “it”. Simple, if you’re lucky enough to A) know something everyone else doesn’t, B) be an expert in the subject, and C) be able to produce a smart response that neither offends nor makes anyone feel stupid.

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