Thursday Buzz: Old Becomes New With This Evergreen Content Strategy

The news site Vox plays around with its older published posts and offers up some useful lessons in the process. Plus: Build an effective marketing presence, even without a huge budget.

The young news startup Vox has already put the hard work into explaining the news.

Its newest goal? “Refreshing the evergreen.”

Since launch, the website has relied on a series of card stacks that answer basic questions on larger news topics and has updated those throughout the year, when needed.

But back in December, Vox tried the same basic idea, except on steroids: It looked at older stories, figured out which of the evergreen pieces were due for an update, and fine tuned the articles. Headlines were changed, facts were corrected, and newer information was inserted.

The results were impressive.

“In a five-day period, we ran 88 of these stories, and collectively they brought in over 500,000 readers,” Vox Executive Editor Matthew Yglesias wrote in a blog post. Some older posts had lackluster traffic the first time around, but after the refresh, the updated articles turned into traffic winners.

There is sound reasoning behind repurposing, reusing, or updating a published post: It allows writers to allocate efforts elsewhere, bring fresh attention to an issue, or add additional context to regular news coverage.

So many other organizations—nonprofits, associations, businesses, and companies—can look at Vox‘s experience with evergreen content and steal some of those ideas. You might be sitting on an untapped traffic goldmine.

Marketing on the Cheap

Times can get tough when on a tight budget. Organizations have to keep pushing their missions and continue their work, even with stressful financial constraints.

But all’s not lost. Marketing “certainly doesn’t have to be expensive,” explains SocialFish contributor Sam Peters. He has a few ideas for growth without cash flow.

Social media is an easy go-to with the many free social networks associations can use. Peters suggests experimenting with Snapchat and YouTube to change things up.

Another low-cost and quick marketing tool is passive signage. That doesn’t mean billboards. Instead, imagine your group’s name, mission, or slogan on your car or your friend’s shopping bag.

Peters also suggests teaming up with other groups as a strong way to gain numbers for your organization. Sponsor or fund an event and collaborate with another association.

Any other ideas on the cheap you’d like to share?

New Tools for Everyone

Need volunteers? Social network VolunteerMatch has new profiles, improved mobile access, and stronger search capabilities to help organizations nab superb volunteers.

Building an online community? Choose the right topic, Katie Bapple writes at Socious. It needs to be unique, refreshing, and capable of grabbing a sustainable audience, Bapple says.

Need help translating? Google Translate is your best friend—and it just got better with some wicked cool new features: real-time translation and signage text translation. Neat, huh?


Patrick deHahn

By Patrick deHahn

Patrick deHahn is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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