If your business is actively content marketing, chances are pretty good that you've run across a few dry spells and rough patches in conjuring up new content. After all, constantly churning out brand new quality content that appeals to your target audience can be quite a challenge. Do you want to save yourself some time and a migraine this weekend, while creating content that will drive visitors to your website forever and ever? Master the art of creating evergreen content.
What is evergreen content?
Evergreen content is content that is permanently useful, relevant, and timeless. For example, an ebook of recipes will be useful for the rest of the foreseeable future. An ebook about how to use Facebook Live, however, while useful at the moment, probably wouldn't be relevant for the rest of the foreseeable future. While the first example is good information on a subject that will not change, the second example could change in a day. Things that are constantly changing, such as technology, are great topics to write about. They are not, however, evergreen content that will remain useful to your audience forever.
Why create evergreen content?
Creating evergreen content can save your team bucket loads of time down the road. Instead of continually producing brand new content every day, investing in evergreen content can save your valuable time by allowing you to repurpose content that you've already created.
When you share content on social media, for example, according to Facebook, your posts are only organically seen by 16% of your followers. That's a staggeringly low number, my friends. On the flip side, however, it means that you are able to re-post the same content multiple times without risking people feeling overwhelmed by you over posting. [This has to be done well, however - don't repeat the same post! When posting about content that you've previously posted about, make sure your new post is fresh and brings out different aspects of the content that you haven't previously mentioned.] This way, you get the most bang from your buck, and maximize the content that you've already spent time on.
In addition, evergreen content boosts your SEO. By creating content that people are going to keep searching for forever, you're setting yourself up for unlimited hits on your website. Evergreen content, in other words, is one of the best ways to drive consistent traffic to your website permanently.
So, now that we know what evergreen content is and why you need it, let's jump into the good stuff.
How do you create evergreen content?
When creating evergreen content, there are a few things to consider. First, what keywords are both profitable and relevant to your business? What things do you want your website to come up for? Consider basing your content around those keywords - subtly, without banging your audience over the head with it. Then, make sure you narrow your ideas down, and make sure each piece of evergreen content is specific. If your focus is too broad, you may lose a good portion of your potential audience. People want to know exactly what they're going to get, and they don't want to waste their time with things that aren't what they were looking for. Last, write your piece with authority. If you state something as fact, make sure you've clearly included the evidence to back it up, or your audience may grow wary and skeptical. If they're going to go spend the time going through what you've got to say, they want to be certain that it's foolproof information that's worth their effort. Time is money, and there are roughly 103,324,122 things vying for your audience's attention when they come across your article/blog/ebook/etc.
There are several types of evergreen content that are fairly simple to create. Here are four of them:
- How-to's: No matter what it is that your company does, there are a plethora of how-to's that would be interesting to your target audience. Hair salon? Write a how-to on caring for split ends. That's something that people will be searching for forever (curse you, split ends!), it will drive people to your website, and your followers will definitely want to read it. Electricity company? Write a how-to on preparing for a power blackout. Whatever your business is, there are plenty of timeless things your audiences will be googling from now until the end of Google.
- Checklists: People like lists. Create them as a blog post, or as a downloadable content offer. Either way, people will want to read them. Travel company? Create a list of "What to pack on your trip to Bermuda". That's going to be a timeless list that probably won't change much (if at all), and there will be a never ending pool of people who have never been to Bermuda that will definitely want your list.
- Regular Lists: People are always googling things that will inevitably lead to "list" - type content, even if they don't realize it. For example, just a handful of the things I've personally googled in the last few months that led me to incredibly helpful "list" posts are: "Best veterinarians in Fort Worth", "Best drugstore mascara", and "Best queso in Dallas." And what did I get, when I googled these things? I got lists. Some of them, I noticed, were years old. Had the information changed? Nope. Was I happy to have found these lists? Oh, yes.
- History of__: If you weren't a fan of high school history class, I have great news! Your evergreen "History of..." posts can - and should - be interesting. Again, the goal is to find topics that your audience would actively care about, and write about that. Do you own a bar? Write about the evolution of beer. Include some mouth-watering visuals (and sprinkle in some humor, if it fits your target market), and boom: more evergreen content that will never change, and will always be interesting.
Don't get discouraged if it takes a minute to build up your arsenal of evergreen. Remember, this content is going to be around a while, and will very likely be some of the most viewed content you ever publish, so quality is better than quantity. The Sistine Chapel wasn't built in a day!