August 8, 2016
Content which is relevant to your audience right now is good. Content which will be relevant this time next year is even better.
If you need to boost your content’s visibility in search; or have ever had a team member leave without giving a full handover, or you want to improve your content’s ROI, then you need to create more evergreen content.
In short, evergreen content is so versatile and useful that it should be a key part of your content marketing strategy.
Evergreen content should be part of any marketing plan. Examples of evergreen content which are probably already on your website include an “about” page or a list of your services. Introductory blog posts, or video tours of your office are more examples.
But you can always create more evergreen content. And here’s five reasons why you should:
Your team members can’t be on deck all the time. When staff get sick, or leave, or even just take a holiday, workloads increase, as does pressure on the rest of your team. There’s not always time for a full handover. Having high-quality content already in the bag can make all the difference in a staffing emergency as you work out a longer term plan.
Whether it’s a major holiday or event, something is always coming up! Deliberately creating evergreen content for times when you’ll be under pressure not only solves the immediate problem of pushing content out the door, but also banks content for your next busy period.
A/B testing is the accepted best practice in email and web design. We don’t see a lot of it in content A/B testing, and I think that it’s time to change. By tweaking the same content and comparing it to a benchmark, you can continuously improve.
For example, would a blog post on holidays perform best in January (when it’s grey and people are slogging through unread emails from the Christmas break), or in July (when many people are about to go on holiday, and might be in the mood to read about them)? The only way to really know is to try it and see.
Let’s face it: content is a massive investment. Reusing content helps get the most bang for your buck.
Evergreen content is content which will be relevant for a long, long time. “Fresh content” is an often-cited SEO-gold-standard. But evergreen content can still boost your search ranking. Because it’s relevant for so long, people will continue to find and read your content, Google is more likely to tag it as “relevant” and float it to the top of search results.
When do you use evergreen content, and when is it best to create something new?
As always, relevance is key. There’s no point in serving people content which is irrelevant to their needs. It will be at best ignored, and at worst could hurt your brand’s reputation.
Everything you offer should have value, whether it’s useful, or just entertaining. And good content really is timeless.
I recently received an email from a company I used to work at… that I had written and sent over a year ago. I had created a number of evergreen emails which the team is still making use of.
With typical email open rates of about 20%, and churn rates of 25%, the chances of any customer viewing an email they’d already seen was fairly low. And even if they had already read it, that particular email was themed around “seasonal recipes” and was just as relevant as the day it had been written.
When creating evergreen content, it’s useful to think in templates, rather than expecting content to be reused word-for-word. In this particular example, the bulk of the email – the header, introduction and creative elements – was the same, but one of the “seasonal recipes” was swapped out with a newer one, which refreshed the content with very little effort on the sender’s part.
One of those biggest worries around evergreen content is that it will get stale. But as anyone who’s ever reread a novel or rewatched a TV show can tell you: good content is timeless.