The content lifecycle: Archiving
You’ve started developing a content strategy and are getting a better grasp on the content lifecycle. But what do you do about older content? It’s not as relevant as your most recent content, but there are still times when it proves useful. Your archiving approach is an important part of your content strategy and is often overlooked.
If you are moving from one content environment to another, you only want to convert what’s necessary. Archiving and organizing your content will help you decide what legacy content you want to convert. Here are some things to keep in mind when putting a plan in place for archiving content.
Organize content according to its place in the lifecycle
Archiving involves securely storing inactive content for periods of time. Archiving your content allows you to free up space, keep your content secure, and maintain compliance. In order to reap these benefits, you need a strategic plan. Develop some rules so everyone knows what constitutes outdated content. Consider the following questions as a starting point:
- Can the content be retired completely?
- Does the content need to be preserved for regulatory/legal purposes?
- Can it be used as a baseline for newer content?
Once you’ve determined where each piece of content falls within the lifecycle, you can decide how to archive it.
Consider non-destructive archiving
You may not know if older content could become relevant again. Plan to keep a backup of your source files, delivered files, and the system/configuration needed to rebuild the files, rather than just the final deliverable. Have a plan in place for extracting legacy content if you want to use it again. Converting from PDF files is painful and expensive; holding on to the source files is likely worth the minimal additional storage.
Archiving after a merger
What does archiving content look like after a merger? The companies that merge will likely have completely different archiving practices and requirements. You may also find that there are no archiving plans at all. Regardless of the situation, aligning archiving practices is important to ensure consistency across the entire organization. Prioritize legal and regulatory requirements as you begin to put a plan in place. If both companies have archiving processes already, cherry-pick the best features of each to create a new process.
Implementing a plan for archiving content has long-term benefits such as remaining in legal compliance, keeping your records in a secure location, and providing improved search results for your organization’s current content. Additionally, archiving policy gives you clear reasons for saving and deleting content.
If you aren’t sure where to start with archiving, contact us.