One of the problems of the internet is how disposable it makes everything feel. A tweet is old news 45 minutes after it’s posted; every article is breaking news. It feels as if everything is antiquated almost immediately. But it’s not true; in fact, one of the keys to a great digital marketing strategy is to create evergreen content — content that patiently waits for just the right search terms to call it up and put it to good use.
Evergreen content is information with extreme longevity in its relevance and usefulness to your target consumer base. It won’t become out of date or inaccurate within a short time frame, and it provides a renewable platform for linking to new, related content and can be promoted over and over again for its lasting value and appeal.
Some examples include the “Support” or “Mac Basics” sections of the various Apple websites; the recipes and food guide sections of the Whole Foods site; or the “Things to Do” areas of a tourism website like Arizona’s or Maryland’s (or any state, city, or town, for that matter). It’s important to remember that evergreen content doesn’t necessarily mean you can post it and forget it; but it does imply content that can endure with very little upkeep and occasional sprucing.
The Value of Evergreen Content
But how does it add value to your site? We’re glad you asked:
- It’s endlessly linkable. Any time a relevant news item, event, or public interest topic begins trending, you can write a quick post to your blog and/or social media channels that connects back to the original article. Plus, you can build a base of essentials for your visitors and refer back to them from all new, more targeted articles. Same content, new relevance.
- You can update it as necessary. In the print world, a guide to a far-flung destination or a review of the latest word processing software is only as lasting as the accuracy of its content—once a featured resort closes or the software releases a new version, it’s value shrinks. But online, you can constantly amend and update a story to keep it current and relevant.
- It can foster dialogue. When users are truly engaged with content, they are more likely to post comments and ask questions. Posts that cover valuable how-tos, trouble-shooting, or product-use recommendations might provoke further questions from readers; use this as an opportunity to engage and convert.
Great Examples of Evergreen Content
So what are some stellar examples of content that stands the test of time?
- How-To Guides Chances are, you have at some point in your life begun an online search with the phrase “how to…” Insert essentially anything after (“recycle batteries,” “clean an oven,” “calm a crying baby,” “make sangria”) and you are bound to find at least one solution. People turn online for answers and ideas, so capturing your company’s expertise in the form of simple-to-follow, useful information is a sure formula for content that keeps delivering.
- Interviews This post category provides great flexibility (you get to choose the questions, so pick according to your customers’ interests), and the content will always be engaging to some segment of the population. Interviews offer the added bonus of double the promotional power—it’s likely your subject will want to spread the link around his or her circles as much as your company will.
- Tips and tricks People love lists; it’s a basic truth. Share your company’s expertise in its field with content that helps people be happier, more efficient, more effective, more informed—more anything!
- Resources Gone is the heyday of the hulking phonebook as the go-to resource for finding a professional or company to do just about anything under the sun. Today people look online for service, product, restaurant, hotel, brand, and store recommendations, so share your knowledge on the subject. The more local your focus, often, the better. Say your business is home remodeling. Some great evergreen content would be to compile a list of your go-to stores for interior lighting, high-quality furniture, carpets and rugs, paint supplies, hardware and plumbing, and remember to include keywords targeted to your location (for example, the best lighting supplier in Montclair, New Jersey).
- Recipes This falls under the “How-To” category, but food-related content is such a surefire traffic driver, it warrants its own item. If your company has any direct or indirect association with cooking, sharing recipes is a worthwhile investment. With the popularity of Pinterest, your content could end up taking on a second life within the virtual recipe boxes of thousands of users.