The evergreen tree is a tree that maintains its leaves throughout the year. It is always green, unlike other types of trees that go through seasons and various shades of color.
You may be wondering what a tree has to do with your content marketing. The evergreen tree has everything to do with your content marketing.
Have you ever poured hours of time, thought, and energy into crafting the perfect blog post about the most recent major news announcement or trend in your industry? This work of art is well received...for the first few weeks. But you soon find that this particular piece of content stalls out as time passes. Traffic falls on that post, and it is soon forgotten and useless in your overall marketing strategy.
That content is not evergreen. If we want to be technical and continue the tree analogy, that content is considered deciduous as it looses its leaves and unfortunately never gains them back. This content has a short shelf life, and while it may contribute to a temporary boost in traffic and engagement, it will not contribute to a sustained content strategy overall.
Defining & Creating Evergreen Content
First, evergreen content is not the only kind you should be creating. There is absolutely nothing wrong with creating news pieces and trendy information. But be aware that next year, your 2015 trends post will probably not be driving just a whole lot of new traffic to your website.
Content marketing is about creating a consistent balance. The trouble is that you may be in a fast paced industry, so creating evergreen content all the time just isn't a possibility, or the best solution.
But there are some topics that will definitely get more mileage than others.
While one presents the top trends for a specific period of time, trends that may or may not be applicable to your company's vertical or social strategy, the other presents a thorough "How To" that is specific and a less dated.
Both of these posts drive significant traffic to our website. Both of these posts are well received. And both of these posts were written within a month of each other. But I am 100 percent positive that the first one will drop off as we approach the end of 2015, and we will eventually have to write about our predictions for 2016.
The second one is information that is a bit more timeless. Although it was posted last September, it still reflects the expertise of our company in the social media realm. While I have revisted it probably twice since I wrote it last year, I have not made any major modifications to it. The information is still relevant and useful, and we still gain leads throught that post to this day. It is a post that will not die easily.
Seriously, you'd be surprised how many people still don't understand how to use hashtags, much less for their businesses.
These are the sorts of topics that will gain traffic and provide value. Taking a moment to turn your trendy information into a more timeless and classic piece can result in a better ROI on your content creation.
Here's a few examples to help you identify your evergreen content:
Examples of Evergreen Content
- How To's
- In-depth, informative posts (guides, best practices)
- Historical topics (how it got started, evolution, origins)
- Resources (lists, tips, curated information)
Examples of Non-Evergreen Content
- Statistics & Trends
- Opinion pieces
- Event & Holiday posts
- News & Updates
Just remember that evergreen content is important, but it is definitely okay to have a healthy mix of both types of content in your marketing strategy. Creating a wide range of quality content will help draw new prospective leads to your website.