Tips for Creating Evergreen Content

by | Jul 7, 2016 | Marketing

There are few things more frustrating than spending time on a blog, social media post, or email marketing campaign and having the content become obsolete as quickly as last month’s most tweeted meme. While frequently creating new content allows for more SEO opportunities, evergreen material can actually be more effective than constantly churning out new content. Evergreen writing can be more impactful than the material that targets the latest trending hashtag because it can be written once and enjoyed by many readers over time. Not having to create new content as frequently also allows for necessary employee downtime, or can free up your and your team’s schedule to focus on matters other than content creation. Remaining relevant online is important no matter the industry you’re in or the content you produce.

Types of Evergreen Content

  1. How-To. “How to” content is some of the most widely searched on Google. When creating guides, however, avoid making the subject of your “how to” article solely technology-focused. Technology can change frequently and tech-based “how to” articles on yesterday’s software or devices will be of use only to antiquarians. Business topics often stay relevant for a longer period of time. Rather than writing a narrow blog about how to perform tasks using software, focus on larger business processes and discuss strategy, management, and organizational tips.
  2. Interviews. Interviews are timeless, allow for a great deal of flexibility, and can provide information as well as insight to readers. Interviews also represent a win-win:you generate content for your website and the subject of the interview gets a little more cachet and an SEO boost for their site. You don’t need to interview celebrities to create this type of content. Identify somebody that can provide a unique perspective into topics that interest your clients. Interviewees can include industry experts, clients, and social media influencers.
  3. Introductory Material. Content that introduces the basics of your specialty can be particularly useful material. Introductory pieces can educate potential clients about the products or services you provide. If the essence of your business is providing expert assistance to clients, introductory content is a way to display your mastery of the field without giving too much information away for free. Finally, the basics of your product or service are likely to remain fairly constant over time.
  4. Opinion Pieces. People have a nearly insatiable appetite for commentary and opinion. Opinion pieces that take a surprising or counterintuitive position can attract attention. But not all opinions are evergreen. Avoid making predictions about the future of your industry or addressing newsy topics, as these opinions can become stale or outdated.
  5. Lists. Top 10 lists and resource lists are usually reliable evergreen material. Lists provide helpful content to users and can be updated in the piecemeal fashion. For example, rather than having to create an entirely new blog, a top 10 list can be revised by deleting out-of-date entries for more current ones.

How to Create Evergreen Content

  1. Address fundamental issues, rather than niche concerns. Evergreen topics tend to address fundamental questions. For example, businesses are constantly asking how to become more efficient, rethinking strategy, looking to increase growth, and seeking to minimize risk. Build your blog around these broader concerns, rather than trying to address a niche area. Most readers are not inherently interested in a blog about cloud-based project management platforms; they are interested in software that can help them become more efficient. Similarly, there likely aren’t many small business owners dying to understand the rules governing the classification of workers as employees but all small business owners want to identify potential liability that could result in a lawsuit. Make sure that your blog addresses core concerns (what your audience cares about), rather than starting with your particular solution (what you care about).
  2. Create comprehensive material. One way to create continued interest in online material is to make it a useful go-to reference. You’re going to want your content to be self-contained so that readers continue to read through your material, rather than clicking off to another site that can fill in gaps in their knowledge. Provide necessary background so that less informed readers can understand what you are trying to convey and avoid the use of jargon.
  3. Update your content. Occasionally, your evergreen content will need updating and maintenance. With blogs that list a number of tips or several potential solutions, you may want to substitute out an item that has become less relevant with a timelier tip or solution. You’ll also want to go through your existing material and make sure all your links are still working. In addition, change any wording, definitions, or descriptions as needed.

Writing evergreen material for your blog, social media networks, and marketing campaigns not only saves you and your team time; it can provide your clients and readers with informational, descriptive, timeless content as well.

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