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5 Steps You Can Take Now To Make Future Content Updates Easier

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5 Steps You Can Take Now To Make Future Content Updates Easier

You’ve probably read lots of advice on how to refresh, reuse, and revise old content. The first step is almost always the same: Conduct a content audit.

Frankly, some marketers see that advice and move on. After all, a content audit takes a lot of time – from figuring out how to do it to the actual execution.

But what if refresh, reuse, and revise didn’t require a full-fledged content audit. What if you already knew what to do? You probably would be more likely to do it.

So how do you get to that point? The solution is rooted in advice on forming good preparation habits.

Study this list of tips from Apartment Therapy on how to make leaving the house on time easier, for example:

  1. Set a designated space for keys.
  2. Pack your work bag the night before.
  3. Organize your closet by what you’re wearing.
  4. Make your breakfast ahead of time
  5. Set out your morning products at night.

Can you detect the theme?

Each tip (from designating a space for keys to organizing the closet by what you wear) requires looking ahead and preparing today for what you’ll need in the future.

You can do the same with your content. So instead of looking backward with a content audit, form new forward-looking habits that will make your content operations more efficient down the road.

You won’t need a backward-looking #content audit if you adopt forward-looking content habits today, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent @semrush. #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet

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1. Tag dated content

Timely references in content often offer good context – until they’re no longer timely. Then, they become a negative, indicating to your audience that the piece is outdated (even if all the other information is still valid) and your brand didn’t notice (or worse, didn’t care.)

When you write, record, or edit content that includes moment-in-time surveys, studies, etc., add an internal tag, such as “dated” or another trigger word. You could do this on your content planning calendar or your content management system. If you wanted to get even more granular, you could list the specific, timely mentions on your tracker so future reviewers can go directly to that line.

Then, you can search for the tag, go through the timely mentions, and update as appropriate. If you can’t find a current reference to replace the outdated one, rework the rest of the content so it’s still valid.

TIP: Establish a regular frequency (at least annually) to revisit content you’ve tagged for updating.

Tag #content with time-specific references on your calendar or in your CMS. Review those pieces annually (at least) to make any needed updates, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent @semrush. Click To Tweet

2. Use the actual year

This tip doesn’t require any additional work after the piece is published. Instead of saying “this year” or “last year,” specify the actual year. That way, audiences who consume the content in the future will know which year it refers to.

The same advice goes for “yesterday,” “today,” “this week,” “last week,” etc.

One caveat: You can skip this tip if you craft content designed as a news vehicle, where the current-focused language is appropriate. It won’t matter if readers see the content as not timely down the road because it should be outdated by then.

Avoid phrases like this year, last month, where possible. Write (or say) the actual year or month, so you won’t have to go back and update those references later, says @AnnGynn via @CMIContent @semrush. Click To Tweet


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3. Craft smarter calls to action

The most powerful calls to action often have an “act-now” message designed to motivate people to take action right away. However, time-centered CTAs (i.e., for an upcoming event) or campaign-related CTAs (i.e., a new e-book release) usually expire long before the content does.

If your time-centered event repeats (every year, for example), craft a CTA that can work in any cycle.

For example, let’s say you’re creating a registration CTA for your company’s annual summer event. Create a forward-thinking CTA that won’t become out of date after the event, such as, “Register now for the best rates for this summer’s Big Brand Event.”

TIP: Work with your events team to ensure the website address remains the same year after year.

If you must create a time-specific CTA, follow the same advice for tagging content – track which CTAs need to be updated and when. Then, add those updates to your scheduling calendar.

4. Ask your sources for help

Content often incorporates the names, titles, and employers of quoted sources. But we all know any of those three identifiers can change. Of course, tracking every source in your content isn’t an easy task. Instead, use these two tricks – one for external and one for internal sources.

External sources: Ask sources for their LinkedIn handle. Include that link when they’re referenced in your content. Then, even if they move jobs, the audience can click and find out their current role. You also can ask sources to send updates if they change their name, title, and employer. (I realize this is less likely to happen, but it’s worth a shot.)

Internal sources: It’s easier to track sources within your company’s ranks. More than likely, these people get quoted or published more than once. Set up a way to pull the content they created or contributed to. (Think byline links for authors that showcase all pieces of content they contributed.)

5. Set up the right shot

People change more than their titles and names. They change their appearance, too. Whether they now wear glasses, have different hair color, or are five years older, they may not look like their headshot forever. So they get a new headshot, but they never share it with you.

To keep headshot images current, use a photo-imaging API tool like Gravatar. Ask people to set up their own accounts and share the associated email address with you. If you’ve integrated the Gravatar tool into your site, any time someone changes their headshot, it automatically updates on your site, too.

Move forward from the beginning of your content process

If you dread hearing the phrase “content audit” as a solution to refresh, reuse, and revise your content, take preventative measures now. A forward-thinking process will let you quickly find content to update or eliminate manual involvement altogether.

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All tools included in the article are suggested by author. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or ones that you have used). 

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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SEO Recap: ChatGPT – Moz

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SEO Recap: ChatGPT - Moz

The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

We’re back with another SEO recap with Tom Capper! As you’ve probably noticed, ChatGPT has taken the search world by storm. But does GPT-3 mean the end of SEO as we know it, or are there ways to incorporate the AI model into our daily work?

Tom tries to tackle this question by demonstrating how he plans to use ChatGPT, along with other natural language processing systems, in his own work.

Be sure to check out the commentary on ChatGPT from our other Moz subject matter experts, Dr. Pete Meyers and Miriam Ellis:

Video Transcription

Hello, I’m Tom Capper from Moz, and today I want to talk about how I’m going to use ChatGPT and NLP, natural language processing apps in general in my day-to-day SEO tasks. This has been a big topic recently. I’ve seen a lot of people tweeting about this. Some people saying SEO is dead. This is the beginning of the end. As always, I think that’s maybe a bit too dramatic, but there are some big ways that this can be useful and that this will affect SEOs in their industry I think.

The first question I want to ask is, “Can we use this instead of Google? Are people going to start using NLP-powered assistants instead of search engines in a big way?”

So just being meta here, I asked ChatGPT to write a song about Google’s search results being ruined by an influx of AI content. This is obviously something that Google themselves is really concerned about, right? They talked about it with the helpful content update. Now I think the fact that we can be concerned about AI content ruining search results suggests there might be some problem with an AI-powered search engine, right?

No, AI powered is maybe the wrong term because, obviously, Google themselves are at some degree AI powered, but I mean pure, AI-written results. So for example, I stole this from a tweet and I’ve credited the account below, but if you ask it, “What is the fastest marine mammal,” the fastest marine mammal is the peregrine falcon. That is not a mammal.

Then it mentions the sailfish, which is not a mammal, and marlin, which is not a mammal. This is a particularly bad result. Whereas if I google this, great, that is an example of a fast mammal. We’re at least on the right track. Similarly, if I’m looking for a specific article on a specific web page, I’ve searched Atlantic article about the declining quality of search results, and even though clearly, if you look at the other information that it surfaces, clearly this has consumed some kind of selection of web pages, it’s refusing to acknowledge that here.

Whereas obviously, if I google that, very easy. I can find what I’m looking for straightaway. So yeah, maybe I’m not going to just replace Google with ChatGPT just yet. What about writing copy though? What about I’m fed up of having to manually write blog posts about content that I want to rank for or that I think my audience want to hear about?

So I’m just going to outsource it to a robot. Well, here’s an example. “Write a blog post about the future of NLP in SEO.” Now, at first glance, this looks okay. But actually, when you look a little bit closer, it’s a bluff. It’s vapid. It doesn’t really use any concrete examples.

It doesn’t really read the room. It doesn’t talk about sort of how our industry might be affected more broadly. It just uses some quick tactical examples. It’s not the worst article you could find. I’m sure if you pulled a teenager off the street who knew nothing about this and asked them to write about it, they would probably produce something worse than this.

But on the other hand, if you saw an article on the Moz blog or on another industry credible source, you’d expect something better than this. So yeah, I don’t think that we’re going to be using ChatGPT as our copywriter right away, but there may be some nuance, which I’ll get to in just a bit. What about writing descriptions though?

I thought this was pretty good. “Write a meta description for my Moz blog post about SEO predictions in 2023.” Now I could do a lot better with the query here. I could tell it what my post is going to be about for starters so that it could write a more specific description. But this is already quite good. It’s the right length for a meta description. It covers the bases.

It’s inviting people to click. It makes it sound exciting. This is pretty good. Now you’d obviously want a human to review these for the factual issues we talked about before. But I think a human plus the AI is going to be more effective here than just the human or at least more time efficient. So that’s a potential use case.

What about ideating copy? So I said that the pure ChatGPT written blog post wasn’t great. But one thing I could do is get it to give me a list of subtopics or subheadings that I might want to include in my own post. So here, although it is not the best blog post in the world, it has covered some topics that I might not have thought about.

So I might want to include those in my own post. So instead of asking it “write a blog post about the future of NLP in SEO,” I could say, “Write a bullet point list of ways NLP might affect SEO.” Then I could steal some of those, if I hadn’t thought of them myself, as potential topics that my own ideation had missed. Similarly you could use that as a copywriter’s brief or something like that, again in addition to human participation.

My favorite use case so far though is coding. So personally, I’m not a developer by trade, but often, like many SEOs, I have to interact with SQL, with JavaScript, with Excel, and these kinds of things. That often results in a lot of googling from first principles for someone less experienced in those areas.

Even experienced coders often find themselves falling back to Stack Overflow and this kind of thing. So here’s an example. “Write an SQL query that extracts all the rows from table2 where column A also exists as a row in table1.” So that’s quite complex. I’ve not really made an effort to make that query very easy to understand, but the result is actually pretty good.

It’s a working piece of SQL with an explanation below. This is much quicker than me figuring this out from first principles, and I can take that myself and work it into something good. So again, this is AI plus human rather than just AI or just human being the most effective. I could get a lot of value out of this, and I definitely will. I think in the future, rather than starting by going to Stack Overflow or googling something where I hope to see a Stack Overflow result, I think I would start just by asking here and then work from there.

That’s all. So that’s how I think I’m going to be using ChatGPT in my day-to-day SEO tasks. I’d love to hear what you’ve got planned. Let me know. Thanks.

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What Is a White Paper? [FAQs]

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What Is a White Paper? [FAQs]

The definition of a whitepaper varies heavily from industry to industry, which can be a little confusing for marketers looking to create one for their business.

The old-school definition comes from politics, where it means a legislative document explaining and supporting a particular political solution.

(more…)

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HubSpot to cut around 7% of workforce by end of Q1

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HubSpot to cut around 7% of workforce by end of Q1

This afternoon, HubSpot announced it would be making cuts in its workforce during Q1 2023. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing it put the scale of the cuts at 7%. This would mean losing around 500 employees from its workforce of over 7,000.

The reasons cited were a downward trend in business and a “faster deceleration” than expected following positive growth during the pandemic.

Layoffs follow swift growth. Indeed, the layoffs need to be seen against the background of very rapid growth at the company. The size of the workforce at HubSpot grew over 40% between the end of 2020 and today.

In 2022 it announced a major expansion of its international presence with new operations in Spain and the Netherlands and a plan to expand its Canadian presence in 2023.

Why we care. The current cool down in the martech space, and in tech generally, does need to be seen in the context of startling leaps forward made under pandemic conditions. As the importance of digital marketing and the digital environment in general grew at an unprecedented rate, vendors saw opportunities for growth.

The world is re-adjusting. We may not be seeing a bubble burst, but we are seeing a bubble undergoing some slight but predictable deflation.


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About the author

Kim Davis

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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