The ‘why’ and ‘how’ of using evergreen content

As a marketer, it can be tempting to fill any content schedule with only the ‘hottest’ forward looking topics. After all, if we stay still while the world (and perhaps more importantly, our competitors) moves around us we will surely be left behind. “Innovate or die” as the phrase goes. However, in business there can be a danger of investing too heavily in new projects at the expense of losing focus on core proposition.

This kind of discussion may seem more synonymous with business strategy and growth, but the same issues apply in content marketing. Producing ‘future gazing’ content or discussing the hot topics on the fringe of your proposition may well help position your brand as a thought-leader, but the content that will continually give you the best return on investment will be that which is at the core of your business - the real cornerstone of your knowledge. And of that content there will always be a number of evergreen themes that will consistently resonate well with your audience and pull in the greatest traffic volume (through both SEO and inbound lead generation) and generally stand the test of time.This is why it’s essential to get some evergreen content into your marketing mix.

So how best can you bring evergreen content into your marketing strategy? Here we put forward a few important considerations which could help along the way.

Consider a sustainable approach

Evergreen content tends to be considered as something which doesn’t date, but there are a couple of different types. Some evergreen content will remain pertinent despite the passing of time, but some will lose relevance over time if not updated with some frequency. Expert guides are generally recognised as being a great way of producing evergreen content, but while a guide to19th century art is unlikely to need amending every year, a guide to social media advertising will need tweaking every couple of months! For the appropriate audience, both can be considered evergreen, but the latter (which is probably more relevant to readers of this post) will benefit from a sustainable approach whereby content is updated with some regularity.

Consider the most appropriate form of content

The best evergreen content will appeal to readers across all points of the buying cycle, but arguably it will have greater appeal to those in their first foray into your market. This is where “how to” guides, beginners series’, best practice guides, checklists, top tips, definitions and lists tend to work well. Another great format to consider is that of case studies - something which tells a practical story of your service and how it overcame the challenges of a client. Think about the objective of your content, who you are talking to and how they may prefer to digest their content and the format to go for should become more clear. This Econsultancy post provides a great list of content options to consider.

Consider why people should read your content

There’s lots of content ‘noise’ out there, but tick a few of the basic boxes and you may find readers are drawn to your content over that of a competitor. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you providing actionable advice and insight? Make sure your readers find it useful and can walk away with action points which they can apply right away.

  • Is it clear and easy to understand? You may be in a technical or complex sector, but to be effective this type of content must simple to read and leave the customer with no doubts as to what you meant.

  • Is your writing style and tone friendly? Of all content types, evergreen pieces should be written in a friendly form that makes the reader feel comfortable. Remember you’re not producing an academic paper here.

  • Is it easy to access. Think about your website’s navigation and how it performs on mobile and tablet devices.

Consider your content’s shareability

The best evergreen content lends itself perfectly to being shared across social media. Some social platforms may be fleeting, but they can certainly offer great audience reach when it comes to content which is absolutely not a passing phase. Consider creating ‘shareable’ clips when producing your content. The nature of this type of content should mean it is relatively easy to grab relevant stats, top tips or engaging quotes to use via your social channels of choice.

In this post we’ve looked at the ‘why’ by identifying the popularity of evergreen content and the importance of including it as a major part of your activity. We’ve also addressed the ‘how’ by drawing attention to some of the key considerations when looking to weave evergreen content into a marketing strategy.

It'd be great to hear any special methods you employ or tips you have when working evergreen content into your marketing strategy.