posted in Content marketing
Evergreen content: its enduring power and how to use it
The term ‘evergreen’ describes useful, researched, static content that doesn’t date, but instead provides perpetually valuable information to which people can return, time and time again. Good examples include recipes, ‘how-to’ guides and frequently asked questions.
Why you should publish it
We’ve blogged previously about the biggest reasons to publish evergreen, namely that it can:
Essentially, it’s a hugely powerful tool for any growing or established brand, provided each piece is well-written, researched and pitched at the right market.
Case study 1
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away – June 2011, to be precise – Matt (the boss) wrote an instructional article on his website, entitled ‘How to set up Apple TV Wi-Fi when you forget your remote’. To date, this piece has received over 50,000 views, garnering an average of 4,000 hits per month.
What’s remarkable about this, however, is that traffic volumes peaked at 6,650 views in December 2012 – a massive 18 months after the article was published. That’s quite an achievement, wouldn’t you say?
Indeed – but why have people continued to access a blog that is a year and a half old, when most articles date and become inaccurate within a few weeks? What possible trickery is contained therein that is still of interest to so many?
In short: nothing. No tricks, no magic. Quite simply, the piece was evergreen.
Matt’s piece is not the only such article to retain, if not strengthen, its super-powers over time; that’s just the nature of evergreen content.
Case study 2
SEO-expert Emily posted a blog for Vertical Leap in August 2009. In 2012, it was crowned our most viewed article. That’s three years after it was written. The evergreen blog has been accessed so much, that it currently ranks number one on Google for the phrase: ‘how to tell what links a website has’ – impressive, huh?
Case study 3
Another piece on the Dordogne climate, written for a travel client in December 2011 remains the site’s second most-viewed blog a year later. Get the gist?
That’s the enduring power (and secret) of evergreen content: it’s always relevant.
How to be evergreen
There’s a lot out there to write about, but not all content will stand the test of time. To create pieces that are truly evergreen and requires little or no maintenance, it’s important to:
Choose a timeless topic
Write about something that people will still be searching for in 12 months or three years’ time, such as ‘how to cook the best Yorkshire Puddings’ as opposed to ‘2012’s best iPhone4 apps’.
Take your time and research well
If this piece is to be continually valuable, it needs to be accurate. Therefore it’s crucial to spend some time getting the article factually correct.
Make no reference to specific time periods
‘Research published last week reveals’ will date the piece but ‘research reveals’ keeps it in the present.
Revisit and tweak the article
Even evergreen trees require some pruning once in a while and so too could your content. Go back and add updated information where appropriate or remove any (unforeseen) irrelevant text.
Leveraging your evergreen content
It’s not enough simply to write an outstanding guide or ‘top tips’ piece if no one is going to see it. It needs to be shared and referenced.
Ensure sharing buttons are provided alongside the article, to allow for easy tweeting, liking, pinning and emailing by your impressed readers. Promote the piece via your social media channels and highlight it on your website. Don’t forget to mention it in your monthly email newsletters too.
Due to its longevity, it’s possible to link other subsequent, related news or blog pieces to the original evergreen content. This will help attract that steady flow of traffic mentioned above and demonstrate that you are so very up-to-date with industry events that you already have this topic covered.
…you know that content is an important marketing tool, that’s why you’re reading this blog in the first place. If you’re looking for content that holds its value, continually attracts a good flow of traffic and engages consumers, then enduringly powerful evergreen is it.
Plus it doesn’t need any watering.