This post is part of a series on growth hacking (How our startup is growth hacking its way to success… and how you can copy us!)
It’s astounding just how quickly content moves. Because of this, content marketing can be quite intimidating, and sometimes feel like a waste of time.
One can be excused for wondering what the point is in creating something so profound, only to attract readers for a brief amount of time, then have it prove irrelevant shortly after.
Well, luckily all content is not so short-lived. Evergreen content can attract readers for years after it’s been published, and still be relevant. It’s not necessary to always create content that’s newsworthy, on-trend, or instantly popular: the alternative is for content to be relevant, useful, and sustainable.
You’ll notice that evergreen content has a very subtle approach, much more so than content that’s designed to be posted and quickly shared. Because it’s more timeless and sustainable, you can use evergreen content to build the foundation for your content strategy, at the same time growing your client base and business.
In this post you’ll learn:
- what is evergreen content
- how to write it
- and our results with a piece of evergreen content
The Definition of Evergreen Content
The best way to describe evergreen content is ‘timelessness’. Other types of content are usually timely, i.e. they pertain to a current event; or else they’re time sensitive, i.e. their relevance only lasts for a specific period of time. Timeless content is useful on launch day and just as useful up to 6 or 18 months down the track. Timeless content is designed to capture as many readers as possible as quickly as possible, resulting in a rush of viewers, which very quickly declines. On the other hand, evergreen content has a much longer life. The goal with evergreen content is to offer a definitive, sustainable resource for readers; meaning that evergreen content will see an initial spike, and readers will gradually increase over time.
An exemple of evergreen content is this series we wrote: The Growth Hacking Experiment which included this post.
It’s Important to Invest in Evergreen Content
It’s true that evergreen content will help boost your search results, and this is the general reason given for why evergreen content should be created. However, there are also other very important reasons why investing in evergreen content pieces will ultimately impact on your business’s bottom line.
Customer Trust and Loyalty
Evergreen content should be definitive. Ensure that your readers and customers have no need to search elsewhere for information on this topic. Once your customers understand that the information you provide is rich and valuable, then they’ll trust you with their business.
Most consumers are happy to purchase from a brand that offers a meaningful and truthful content experience, so once your evergreen content has been published it will continue generating leads for months, perhaps even years. It will continue working for you by promoting your brand to new consumers and providing them with resources.
When you offer valuable, definitive content it positions your brand as an industry thought leader. Experts and other brands in your industry will become aware of your brand, which could lead to so much more – increased sales right through to industry speaking gigs.
Buffer is the perfect example of a business using evergreen content to grow its brand authority. When Buffer was first founded the owners struggled with brand awareness, so over 800 guest posts were written to try and get Buffer’s name front and centre of people in the social media arena. This was a huge success in increasing their industry authority, plus it landed Buffer its first 100,000 customers.
How to Write Evergreen Content
Now that we know evergreen content builds your business, how do we go about actually writing evergreen content? To begin with, narrow down your topic, and outline your expectations.
What Does Your Audience Want?
If you are going to spend your resources, time, and money on creating a fantastic piece of content, you must ensure you’re covering a topic you know your readers will be interested in. It doesn’t have to be complicated or really in-depth to determine the topics your audience really wants to read more about, but you should at least sense-check your ideas.
- Ask your readers for feedback in blog comments and blog articles, and also through social media platforms;
- Check your website’s analytics to see which content pieces have been the most popular. Perhaps you could expand on these topics?
- Ask your sales department or customer service representatives which questions they are most often asked;
- Have a look at other evergreen content pertaining to your industry.
Do Your Research
Once you’ve narrowed it down and you understand what topics your readers could be interested in, do your research to determine how you might be able to take a new or unique angle on that topic.
- Have a look at what’s already been written. What do industry experts advise on this topic? This will give you some idea of what’s already ‘out there’, plus it will provide you with useful information you can use later.
- Identify information that hasn’t been said: your readers want something unique and different – they don’t want to be reading repetitive information. This doesn’t mean you have to create something hugely profound or new; just use a well-covered topic and take a different approach or angle to it.
Narrow Down Your Topic
Normally evergreen content will cover quite a narrow, specific topic, thus allowing you to be very detailed in your content. It’s true that this content should be narrow, but it doesn’t have to be micro-focused. If you narrow it down too much you won’t have enough to write about.
Create Comprehensive Content
The most defining characteristics of evergreen content are that they’re comprehensive, definitive, and exhaustive. Once you’ve read an evergreen article you should have no need whatsoever to look anywhere else for further information. Because you know your topic must be definitive it can also help determine just how far to narrow your topic down: if your subject is too broad you’ll have to write a lot to make sure it’s comprehensive.
Create Timeless Content
Evergreen content is timeless; therefore it should be as relevant the day it’s posted as it is a year down the track. It’s important to remember that you should periodically update your evergreen content, although if your content requires frequent updates in order to stay relevant there’s a good chance that it’s not an evergreen topic.
Make your evergreen content as timeless as you can, but remember that it will need updating from time to time. By updating any outdated details and changing your old examples for new ones, readers will always find your content relevant.
It’s predicted that content marketing spend will grow at a rate of 10.2% per annum, meaning that opportunities will continue to increase: however it also tells us that the market is becoming more competitive and more crowded. By using evergreen content as part of your content strategy it allows you to create great content that will last longer in what is now a very quick growing market.
Basically, evergreen content will be of enormous assistance in growing your business by establishing customer trust and loyalty, improving your brand authority, and promoting lead generation.
After 5 weeks of The Growth Hacking Experiment being online, we generate dozens of signups on a daily basis.