Content now has a compounding effect on every business whether you're choosing to create it or not.
Content marketing is not just about scrapping together an industry agreed upon minimum of words, hitting publish, and watching it fade into what has become the overstuffed, abysmally bad editorial abyss.
Content marketing needs more than that. As a marketing strategy, every business should learn how to build a content library that is long-lasting and effective.
Leaders within the Marketing industry like Rachel Parker of Resonance Content and Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute are releasing studies about what's to come regarding the state of Content Marketing in 2017.
The results are not good. In 2017 we are going to see even more content. But not more good content. The quality is projected to decrease, and listicles of the Top 10 something or other just aren't going to cut it.
Incorporating evergreen content within your strategy ensures your words (and brand) stay top of mind. Allowing consistent distribution as the topic remains relevant and the points therein provide value.
Evergreen content is comparable to a faithful consideration. It adds weight to your platform, creates traffic, buzz, and potentially even trends. We won't forget about it generating leads.
How Do You Know What Evergreen Content Isn't?
Evergreen content is not:
- News articles
- Weekly, monthly, annually, etc. “state of union” content
- Statistics on digital topics
- Event-based coverage
- Award announcements
- Product launch announcements
- Trending topics
- Annual holiday-themes
- Recaps of the month or year, etc.
How to Create Evergreen Content
Evergreen content should be the foundation of your editorial calendar.
In between the articles that provide flair and even a bit of controversy, are your trusty, traffic driving evergreens.
To create truly evergreen articles, you must first be aware of your buyer and understand them through specific levels.
What are their goals, barriers, pain-points, who do they follow, how do they prefer to communicate and on what channel(s)?
This detailed profile of your target audience is a buyer persona you or your content strategist should build before even attempting to plan your content.
Understanding what your target personas need will be at the foundation of the content that you create.
Place yourself in their shoes and be as granular as possible. Some marketer's assign them names, job titles and provide a summary of what their typical day looks like.
The more personality you can provide, the deeper the look you will get in sparking a connection between your prospects and your brand.
Incorporating Evergreen Content into Your Marketing Strategy
Now that you have an understanding of what evergreen content is, below are some tips on how you can incorporate it into your marketing strategy.
- Write for a Broad Audience
A resource library should be mapped out long-term in order to bring your readers on their preferred journey while resonating to a broad yet still targeted audience.
While your personas may be exceedingly specific, writing for too niche of an audience may cause you to miss out on a category of prospects you were unaware of.
2. Optimize Your Content
SEO is a crucial part of your business’ online presence.
While you should first serve the organic needs of your audience well by creating content that is rich in information those are seeking, you should still be looking for the low-hanging fruit; short and long-tail keywords that will bring all the prospects to your yard.
Incorporate these naturally as long gone are the days of keyword stuffing.
Here is a comprehensive list of tips on SEO fundamentals and tools that will help you on your way.
Google Penguin has got us all and it's algorithm updates are thankfully forcing us to get even more innovative in our approach to content.
3. Set Refresh Dates
Evergreen content should always be refreshed.
You need to be updating and supporting your points with the latest information while using some outdated data as a reference that you can integrate with the new for comparison.
4. Repurpose Timely Content
It’s essential to re-incorporate timely content into your strategy.
What was relevant for businesses during the last quarter of the year where evaluations are reaching completion and plans for next years budgets are being finalized - will maintain merit in the years to follow.
I always tell my clients to think of content marketing as a garden.
Seeds are planted, watered, fertilized and with enough consistent care and maintenance, they will reap the benefits of their harvest.
Think of evergreen content not as the showy flowers that draw the oohs and ahhs from those that stop by your garden for a fleeting moment.
But the less glamorous, native perennials that naturally occur in your region that provide value year after year.