Marketers have been touting the fact that content is king on repeat for a decade now. But just because content can have value doesn’t mean it does have value.

On the contrary, bad content can shift from an asset to a liability. Even if your content is air-tight when it’s published, over time it can become irrelevant or — even worse — incorrect.

Here are a few of the worst ways that outdated content may be holding back your business.

You’re Missing Out on Unrealized Value

Any marketer knows that content isn’t free. Even user-generated content requires a significant amount of time, effort, resources, and creativity to repurpose for the benefit of your brand.

Part of the reason content is so expensive to create is because it has a lot of inherent value — value that can continue for a long time if it’s maintained. Often, when companies allow content to become outdated, they miss out on the latter portion of this inherent lifespan of their content’s value.

One of the best ways to figure out if outdated content on your site is worth updating is by assessing its unrealized value. Content audit tool MarketMuse defines this as “subtracting the Current Value from the Potential Value” of a piece of content.

If you find that your unrealized value is significant, you may be missing out on the ability to capitalize on marketing investments that you’ve already made. One of your primary goals for your website content should be to increase your topical authority. Topical authority is one of the top criteria that Google uses to identify useful content.

You’re Undermining Your Own Authority

It’s no longer acceptable to merely create content as part of a good marketing strategy. Everyone is doing that. If you want to stand out, you also need to cultivate unique perspectives and demonstrate your command of your craft.


All of this ultimately translates to brand authority — an element that is essential in the modern, information-heavy world. As explained by the Forbes Communication Council, the biggest value of brand authority is that it cultivates consumer trust.

When you allow your content to become outdated, it sends a bad message to your audience. If your content is offering old information or even flat-out incorrect information, it will ingrain in their minds that you aren’t a good solution for their problems.

You Look Out of Touch

Relevance is everything. As the customer relationship management platform SugarCRM puts it, “Consumer expectations change over time […] which is why the establishment of a transparent relationship with customers is so crucial.”

That “transparent relationship” requires continual refining of your understanding of the customer. You need to canvass their input and respond to their feedback.

Outdated content undermines your ability to be accessible, relatable, and relevant to your customers. If a consumer reads an outdated blog or watches a video and gets information that is clearly irrelevant, they aren’t going to feel heard. At that point, don’t expect them to take the next step in a sales funnel or click on a CTA.

Outdated content is a serious concern. With every company in every industry pumping out content as fast as possible, the threat of generating outdated information is very real.

If you know that your content is falling behind, it’s important to take steps to improve it. From providing cutting-edge updates to making SEO-related edits, put the time into maintaining your content. That way it can remain squarely in the assets column of your business both in the past and in the future, too.


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