I’m pretty sure when most of us hear the word “evergreen,” we don’t think of it at all in terms of content marketing.
We think of dreary winter days and how the splashes of color of evergreen trees stand out even in the darker winter months. Maybe we imagine snow on the green-leafed branches or a pop of color on a grey background.
“How is this related to content marketing?” I hear you say. Good question! Before we get into that, let’s get down to defining what “evergreen” really means.
What is Evergreen?
What is the real meaning of evergreen? We all know the trees, and some of us know the song, but how do we really define evergreen?
The Merriam Webster dictionary will tell you this: “having foliage that remains green and functional through more than one growing season.”
Next, to that, you will find something that is perhaps more relevant in the digital world: “retaining freshness or interest,” or “universally and continually relevant; not limited in applicability to a particular event or date.”
Some synonyms would include timeless, perennial, abiding, enduring, endless. Basically, something evergreen is something that sticks around for a long time and doesn’t get old, even as current trends ebb and flow.
What Isn’t Evergreen: Seasonal or Time Sensitive
If you consider that evergreen means to be timeless, it will make sense that the opposite would be something that is seasonal or affected by the passing of time. Something that isn’t evergreen would be popular for a period of time, as the trends lean towards it, and then poof, it would be gone again.
In a digital world, stuff that isn’t evergreen comes with a sense of urgency to get things done, to make an impression. It could be talked about for months, or perhaps weeks, or maybe only days before it fades and new content takes over.
The Definition of Evergreen in Business
It’s all fine and well to be talking about this in a general sense, but what does evergreen mean when it comes to business?
In business terms, what it means to be evergreen is to be keeping up with the latest trends, and doing business things in accordance with them. That may sound rather vague, but stick with me – we’ll be going through some of these things in more detail.
Have a look at some of these more specific definitions of business-related evergreen things:
What makes content marketing effective? Well, a few things, but one of them is the ability of the marketing plan or idea to last – that is, to provide great results time after time.
So then, what is evergreen content marketing? The simple answer is this: Evergreen marketing is creating and using content marketing strategies that will produce long-term, repeated results across a variety of platforms and formats.
Benefits of Utilizing Evergreen Content Marketing
When you look at it, there really is no downside to this type of marketing. It transcends whatever fads are the thing of the moment, it doesn’t die with current trends and it continuously provides results, whether they be:
- More clicks on your content
- New clients on your list
- More products sold
Your content marketing efforts should be aimed towards creating evergreen marketing campaigns, digital marketing (your own website and social media) and content that stands the test of the time.
Marketing is a varied enough field to really get creative in, and creativity is an essential element of evergreen content creation.
Evergreen Niches & Markets
What about evergreen niches and markets? The longevity of a niche depends largely on marketing trends. If you aren’t sure what marketing trends are by definition, Business Dictionary provides a nice, concise meaning here.
It is important to realize that evergreen markets and profitable markets are not necessarily the same. What is lucrative today may be gone tomorrow, and the key to evergreen business ideas is that they do not grow old or simply pass with the trends.
Some niches will always be popular, due to their consistent demand, constant traffic and long-term potential for making a profit. These are the ones to really invest in if you’re interested in long-term success – the evergreen niches.
Evergreen Companies or Brands
What is an evergreen company and how do you build one? There are a few key things to focus on:
Your brand is the thing that sticks with people. Whether it’s a logo, a catchphrase, or a jingle, your brand encompasses what you stand for, your ideals as a company and is the foundation on which you can build something strong and lasting.
Richard Branson defines branding as something that “exists to highlight the family likeness between products and services.” Think of Apple, think of Microsoft, think of BMW. These companies are brands that are known, respected, and evergreen.
What makes them evergreen? That family connection that links their old products and services to the new, as they evolve. Continuity, as they move with the times. The brand stays the same – their products and services evolve.
Your target audience is the key focus here. You must be familiar with your audience – know who you’re talking to, in order to understand how market trends affect them, and how their needs change as this happens. If you place your focus on helping your target audience overcome problems, you can’t go wrong.
As their problems pop up, you offer a solution. By knowing your readers and their interests, you can anticipate problems and get a head start. This is crucial when it comes to becoming an evergreen business – the ability to provide people with solutions to their problems consistently.
The definition of evergreen content is basically content that remains relevant for a long period of time. If you’re targeting the right audience, your content should continue to bring in organic traffic long after it’s been published.
So, what are the benefits of producing evergreen content? This should be quite clear by now:
- Sustained interest in your content
- More products/services sold
- Constant output of value to your audience
- A growing audience
Why does evergreen content matter? Well, good, relevant content presents you as an expert in your niche which in turn gets more eyes on your content. Evergreen content continues doing this long after your post has been published, or your picture was shared, or your video uploaded. It continues to get hits, clicks and positive responses, and isn’t that what all bloggers or online businesspeople want?
So the question to be asking yourself is: “does your online content have an expiration date?”
If it does, how can you create evergreen content of your own?
Evergreen Posts and Articles
The key to writing evergreen blog posts is offering information that people can continue to use as time goes by. How-to guides, case studies, statistics, and resource lists are all good examples of stuff that people will be looking up and using for years after you publish your blog post.
Evergreen Video Content
I would venture a guess that all of us have been on YouTube at some point to find out how to do something. Producing evergreen video content is not much different to blog post content – relevant, long-lasting info needs to be presented in a manner that leaves an impression and is fairly simple so that it transcends any trendy stuff going on at the moment.
Infographic type videos with a bit of animation produce good results, as do videos of people talking through particular subjects. This will depend on what exactly your content is about and what your target audience responds to best.
What other evergreen content types work for you? Let us know in the comments below!
SEO is and always will be a huge part of digital content and being found by search engines. Keywords relating to evergreen topics are naturally going to continue to be searched for consistently in the years to come. These will vary by industry.
This ties in closely with evergreen keywords. Your title should have your keyword in it, and as long as your content is something that helps solve a problem for your loyal followers, then you’ll be good to go.
What does evergreen mean in journalism? Hint: it isn’t breaking news. In fact, it’s content that’s always relevant. So what is the difference between hard news and evergreen features?
Hard news is up-to-date, to-the-minute current news and events, while soft news refers to background info that is less relevant. In terms of what we see on the news these days, things like crime, politics and economic information are considered hard news, while entertainment and lifestyle stories fall under soft news.
Feature stories and human interest stories are usually evergreen -something inspiring or thought-provoking never goes out of style. These evergreen news stories are used to buffer up the spaces in between hard news stories.
This falls under branding and means that design (of a website, logo, etc.) doesn’t rely on the latest trends in the industry to make it fresh and interesting. A good design is simple, sleek, eye-catching, and gives the viewer a pleasant experience.
Evergreen Promotions & Ads
Ad campaigns are one of the most successful ways to drive traffic, but what are evergreen campaigns? A couple of things work better than others when it comes to ad campaigns.
- Awareness Campaigns
Whether you’re a roaring success or a brand new startup, there are people out there who don’t know about you. Awareness campaigns aim to change that and are a platform for you to tell your brand story.
People spend money on goods produced by businesses they feel connected to. If they like what you stand for (and you keep consistent in your ideals), you can expect customers to be loyal to you. Awareness campaigns are the first date of advertising campaigns, and as there are always new people out there to introduce yourself to, this is a pretty evergreen way of advertising.
- Lead Generation Campaigns
People have an idea who you are, but have they interacted with you? These campaigns are designed specifically to get that engagement going. How it works: you offer something of value in return for contact info. This is the first point of contact between you and a potential client or customer, so offering something that solves a problem for them is a great first transaction.
This can be something like an ebook, a how-to guide, a resource list, or anything else that is more data-rich than just another blog post. This gives them something valuable and gives you that point of contact to start building up some sort of relationship between brand and customer.
Evergreen Digital Products
What are evergreen products? Simply put, things that solve people’s problems.
- An ebook on “10 Ways To Handle Intimidating Business Meetings.”
- An online course on learning to destress using natural products instead of chemicals
- A compiled list of resources for someone looking for information on how to get rid of boils
Anything that will solve an issue, give people new ideas on how to fix problems in their life, or inspire them to take action to do these things themselves will be popular. Problems are never-ceasing, so problem-solving products will always be evergreen!
Evergreen Social Media
What are some good ways to produce social media content that is so broad that people would want to share it? This relies on great social media marketing, and once again, sharing content that is evergreen.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you can’t share content that is trendy and current. But a good social media marketer knows that you need a good stash of evergreen stuff to bolster up your brand.
A Facebook ad campaign that keeps bringing new leads, an evergreen tweet that keeps being retweeted, or an Instagram post that continually invites engagement. These are evergreen social media posts. Social shares for the win!
Search engine optimization is a tricky beast. What are people likely to be searching for at this very minute? Current news and trends will be a big part of SEO, but once again, there are some topics that search engines will always be churning out for people.
An SEO expert is, at their core, a problem expert, and what this means is that they have a very good idea of what the needs of the audience are. Things like on-page optimization and link building are all geared towards one thing – helping your target audience.
Keeping your SEO evergreen is all about consistently providing solutions to your people’s troubles.
Evergreen Content Strategy
Providing timeless, fresh content is one thing, but in order for this to work most effectively, you need an evergreen content strategy.
You may have a well-rounded idea of various content types and how to evergreen them up, but if you don’t have an effective strategy for presenting your content to the world … You’re going to come up short.
A content marketing strategy is basically a plan of how you’re going to take all the wonderful content you have (evergreen and time-constrained) and distribute it in a logical, effective, and consistent way. The goal here is to provide constant value to grow your client base and keep business ticking over.
Your content marketing strategy needs to merge with whatever other types of marketing you’re doing in your business. Uniformity and consistency of the brand are key.
As a reminder, if you’re keen on turning some of your content from current fluff to evergreen, here are the two main criteria you should be aiming to fulfill:
Long Lasting and Timeless Content
Your content should not be swayed by current trends. An article on “How To De-Stress Using Physical Exercise” should be just as relevant in years to come as it is right now.
Information shared as a means of helping people doesn’t go out of style. Content focused on solving problems will always be of long-standing use, even as time passes.
Google’s definition of “relevant” is “appropriate to the current time, period, or circumstances; of contemporary interest.” If you merge this definition and the idea of being evergreen together, you get content that is appropriate to many different periods of time and circumstances.
What is relevant today may not be relevant tomorrow, but your goal as a producer and marketer of evergreen content is to create stuff that will be as relevant today as it is in five years’ time.
What is your biggest concern regarding evergreen content? Let us know in the comments below!