What is… evergreen content?

December 5, 2016 11:30 am

If you’re an avid reader, you might keep up with the hottest titles on the New York Times’ best-seller list. But you probably also have a handful of favourite classics you return to occasionally to re-read and re-enjoy.

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The same holds true if you’re a movie buff. Maybe you make a point of seeing all the year’s biggest hits or Oscar nominees. But it’s likely you also have a few DVDs or downloads you never tire of re-watching.

Even in the fast-paced and ever-changing world of content marketing, you can find an analogy for such classic works: evergreen content.

Like the name suggests, this is information that doesn’t go out of season but remains appealing to your audience year in and year out. And making sure at least some of your content is evergreen is a great strategy for keeping your audience interested, engaged and growing… not just today, but every day and for the long term.

No matter what industry you work in, you should always be able to find some topics that will make for great evergreen content. Think about the fundamentals in your business. What are the essential concepts every first-time reader should understand? Are there long-established cultural standards or best practices everyone in your audience should be familiar with? What about basic dos and don’ts, or must-know industry landmarks?

Be sure to write a strong and attention-getting headline, too. Econsultancy, for example, recounts how one evergreen piece from 2013 with the appealing title, “24 beautifully-designed web dashboards that data geeks will love,” succeeded in generating between 5,000 and 10,000 pageviews every week for a year.

And don’t think of text alone when trying to come up with ideas for evergreen content. A set of insightful charts, a really well designed infographic or a slideshow or free PDF download can also be magnets for steady, long-term traffic to your Website or social media pages.

This Content Marketing Institute article – itself a good example of an evergreen piece – offers several key suggestions for ensuring your content has durable appeal. Such pieces, Al Gomez writes, should be clear, useful, comprehensive and shareable, as well as mobile-friendly so they appeal to readers across platforms. They should also be revisited from time to time to make sure the odd bit of information or helpful link hasn’t gone out of date. (And by clearly noting each update with a new time stamp, you keep your content relevant and fresh for both readers and search engines.)

It’s also important to ensure your evergreen material remains easy for your audience to find, no matter how long ago it was first published. The Search Engine Journal recommends several ways in which you can do this: Post prominent ‘Start here’ links to your top evergreen posts, list them in an easy-to-find resource guide, identify them as ‘top posts’ on your blog or even re-publish them occasionally to bring them back to new readers’ attention.

“From a blog management standpoint, evergreen content is more effective than date-oriented content, as it can be written once and enjoyed by many different readers over time,” the Search Engine Journal notes. “At the same time, evergreen content benefits readers by providing basic information that’s crucial to understanding and enjoying other articles posted to the site.”

By now, the benefits of evergreen content should be clear. If you don’t yet have a strategy for producing such content on a regular basis, you should consider starting one soon so you can start reaping those benefits yourself.

Finally, we couldn’t miss this opportunity to point you in the direction of one of our own evergreen posts from 2012.

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