Killing Your Darlings – Why You Must be ruthless with your content strategy

October 20, 2022

A content strategy is only as good as the material you have to work with. That’s why it’s so important to apply a critical lens to your existing content on a regular basis and determine what needs to be kept, killed or cured. This may not be the most glamorous side of content strategy, but it’s essential if you want to achieve a positive ROI and long-term benefits.

Repurposing content is an art form in itself, but it’s also important to know when to retire (or kill) outdated or under-performing content. With that in mind, here are three questions you should ask yourself when assessing your material:

Is this still relevant?

Has its usefulness expired?

Is there another piece of content that covers this topic better?

If you can’t answer “yes” to all three of these questions, then it might be time to let go. Here’s a closer look at each question.

1. Is this still relevant?

The first question you should ask is whether the material is still relevant to your audience. Just because something was popular a year ago doesn’t mean it will still resonate today. Times change, trends come and go, and your audience’s needs evolve over time. So it’s important to make sure your material is keeping up.

2. Has its usefulness expired?

The second question is about expiration dates. All materials have a shelf life, after which they start to lose their value. The key is to try and extend that shelf life for as long as possible by regularly refreshing and updating your content. But even the best-kept material will eventually reach the end of its usefulness. When that happens, it’s time to let it go.

3. Is there another piece of content that covers this topic better?

The third and final question is perhaps the most important one: Is there another piece of content out there that does a better job of covering this topic than the one you’re currently using? If so, then it might be time to consider retiring your current material in favor of something new.

Content strategy isn’t always about creating new things; sometimes, it’s about knowing when to let go of old material that no longer serves a purpose. If you can’t answer “yes” to all three of the following questions—is this still relevant?, has its usefulness expired?, is there another piece of content that covers this topic better?—then it might be time for some tough decisions. But don’t worry; killing your darlings can actually be good for your bottom line in the long run.”