How to Create Evergreen Content and Make It a Productive Marketing Tool
Wouldn’t it be great if you could create content once and have it serve your marketing needs for years to come? Well, now you can!
Actually, you always could, and my jokey late-night-information come-on notwithstanding, getting the most out of your content should be something you’re doing anyway. More on that in a future post.
Today, though, let’s talk about evergreen content and how you can create it once and reap its rewards for seasons to come.
What Is Evergreen Content?
Evergreen content, in case you’re new to the content marketing game, is content that holds appeal year after year, rather than being topical and timely. Frequently these are the veritable truths of your industry, things that change little or not at all over time. (Or whose changes are measured in generations rather than years.)
Examples of evergreen content include how-to guides, terminology glossaries, and process checklists. For example, at Andigo we might publish articles, videos and templates like
- How to Secure Your WordPress Website
- Everything You Need to Choosing a Website Host
- Essential Website Planning Documents
What to Do with Evergreen Content
Once you have it written, you promote it of course, but then you can aggregate it into even more useful tools.
Content Hubs that provide an overview of a broad topic, with each evergreen content element diving into more detail.
Summary / Roundup posts or videos that also refer to topics that are related in some way.
Volunteer Evergreen Content borrows a term I learned from my wife, who is an avid gardener.
In gardening, a volunteer is a desirable plant (as opposed to a weed) that is growing without having been planted on purpose.
You may find, among your content, some items that attract a steady stream of attention over time even though you didn’t plan on them having that kind of staying power. You’ll find these happy accidents if you regularly review your analytics data, and can make the most of them by determining what long-tail keyword they are suited to and developing more content along the same lines.
You may also want to use content that is attracting a lot of attention as a gateway to other content, an introduction into a deeper dive, as we’ve mentioned with content hubs and roundup posts mentioned above. These can also take the form of a special series, that either uses the original piece as its front door for a broader look at the issue under discussion, or that dives deeper into the sub-topics you’ve mentioned in the original piece, expanding each into its own post, video, infographic, or podcast segment.
If you’re just getting started with evergreen content, you almost certainly have some sprouting under your nose already, so seek it out and make use of it as we’ve outlined above. And as you do so, you’ll begin to see opportunities for creating more evergreen content on purpose.
Don’t forget perhaps the most important part of evergreen content – or any content marketing: make sure you have a strong call to action built into each piece of content. Ask your audience to subscribe, offer them a downloadable resource that dives more deeply into the topic, or find another way to provide value while building relationships that help you create a strong funnel and positive ROI on your content marketing efforts.
Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured?
A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms encourage audience engagement through solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either.
His work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components, and he has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events. His writing appears in various online and print publications.
Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")