How to Create Sustainable and ROI-Boosting Evergreen Content
Content marketing is an ROI gold mine. A few hours of creating online content can drive traffic, generate leads, and start more people on the path to the buyer’s journey. If you create the right type of content, you can continue to reach these goals for months at a time. Content that is relevant, visited, and shared long-term is called evergreen content.
Evergreen content can drive engagement for months after they are published, and often hold the weight of the rest of your content. Hubspot refers to their evergreen content as “compounding posts.” Compounding posts only make up 10% of their overall blog posts, but are responsible for driving 38% of their blog traffic. Most of these blog posts don’t need to be touched for a few months, but provide content, links, and information that generates leads and interest in your business.
Your blog’s most successful and sustainable posts may be the result of an accident; content marketers want all blog posts to do well, but when one continuously proves to be a success, it may come as a surprise. Once you start to understand the basics of producing popular evergreen content, you can work these pieces into your overall content marketing strategy.
What Should You Write?
Evergreen content can take on many forms. If you regularly post on a blog, you should create a collection of evergreen blog posts. eBooks are essentially longer blog posts that you can continue to share through email and other forms of content in exchange for contact information.
When you are thinking about the format (and later, the topics) of your evergreen content, think back to your goals and the buyer personas that can help you reach those goals. If you want evergreen content that brings new consumers to your website, you might write a different post than if you want evergreen content that introduces leads to what makes your product stand out from your competitors. The great thing about evergreen content is that you don’t have to choose one over the other. While you are spending time producing content for one section of your audience, your evergreen content is meeting your goals with another section.
Evergreen content doesn’t just have to be written text. A video tutorial on how to use one of your most popular products, for example, can continue to pay off as more and more people become interested in that product. Mix in visual content to give website visitors something more engaging to enjoy.
How to Choose Relevant Topics
Evergreen content drives the most traffic because it continues to be relevant for long periods of time. Content should be timeless despite changes in your industry or to your business. When you are thinking of topics for evergreen content, think about the questions that you get time and time again from people who match your targeted buyer personas. Answer these questions with your content.
Blog posts can take on many different forms, including:
- Reflections on current events
- Industry updates
- Statistics and facts about your industry
- Explaining the basics of different concepts
- How-to guides
The types of blog posts that produce evergreen content seem more obvious when they are laid out. A how-to guide, for example, is certainly going to be more relevant after six months than a post that was about current events. Industry updates become less relevant as more updates come up, but the basic concepts of your industry are always relevant for new website visitors or customers. Statistics are great for about a year, but will not be useful to users after the year has passed or more recent statistics are produced. (If you are producing content with statistics, make sure to be very clear about when these statistics were produced, and how they were gathered. When you provide this information, readers will be more comfortable using and sharing the information with others.)
There is certainly a use for other types of blog post content; remember, Hubspot’s compounding posts only make up 10% of their total blog content. But when you are looking to build content that you can continue to link to, share, and drive traffic, lasting relevance is key.
Spend Extra Time on Evergreen Content
If you are writing content that you want to be relevant for years to come, you will have to do more than just outline the basics of the topic. Two million blog posts go live every day; there is bound to be a blog post (or ten) that go up speaking on the same topics as your evergreen content.
Go more in-depth with your blog posts; if you have even more to say, consider writing an eBook on the topic as well. Consumers are willing to make a little more effort (or exchange contact information) for unique information that answers all of their questions. If they think they can get the same information instantly on another website, they will leave your website.
The work to make a longer blog post will certainly pay off. When Hubspot looked back at all of their compounding content, they noticed a trend; longer posts were more popular over time. Posts that had over 2,000 words generated 4.3x more shares on social media than blog posts with 501-1,000 words.
(Blog posts with over 1,800 words are also more SEO-friendly, but we’ll talk about best practices later.)
Businesses with a strong and unique brand have an easier time at producing evergreen content that stands out among other content. A blog post that is written with quirky humour or a sassier tone, for example, is more likely to grab attention, clicks, and stay higher in search result rankings. Don’t write blog posts that sounds awkward just to stand out; make sure that your evergreen content is written in a branded voice.
How to Keep Your Evergreen Content Relevant
Once your content has been produced and published, you can sit back and relax – for the most part. Optimising content and setting it up for long-term relevance requires putting this content in the limelight time and time again. Luckily, having this content already written or produced saves you time in the long run – all you have to do is find your evergreen content and share it.
Optimise Your Post
Blog posts are only going to generate backlinks and rank consistently on Google if they are optimised. Even though SEO best practices may change slightly over time, the basics remain consistent. Use the correct keywords in the right places, create a seamless user experience, and answer the questions that consumers ask about your industry, business, or products. An optimised blog post only takes a few extra steps of setting up your posts for success, so be sure to invest that time and effort for a high ranking.
This goes for landing pages that link to eBooks and long-form evergreen content. If these landing pages are optimised and can lead more readers to more useful content, you will generate more leads.
Backlinks to and from other blog posts will help to boost your overall rankings and lead visitors through your website. Remember to include internal and external links throughout your blog posts and website copy.
Keep a list of your most popular posts and evergreen content in a file while you are writing content. Before you publish, double-check to see what content you can link to and what evergreen content you can embed or promote. Only promote these posts if they are relevant to what you are writing.
Share on Social
Evergreen content will be relevant if you make it relevant. If you are stuck thinking about ideas for social media content, find some evergreen content to post. The idea behind evergreen content is that it is timeless, so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding a reason to share this content.
If you are writing content on LinkedIn Pulse, consider repurposing, republishing, or publishing a small excerpt from your evergreen content. The content will look fresh on LinkedIn’s publishing platform, but will not require the effort of creating an entirely new piece of content.
A blog post that was published last week has a better shot at being more relevant than a blog post that was published three years ago unless that last blog post has updates from last week as well. Run through your evergreen content every few months and see if there are any relevant updates or links that you can add to keep the post fresh.
Create a Sustainable Content Marketing Strategy with Digital Squad
A content marketing strategy won’t be successful unless it involves the creation of sustainable content that continues to drive fresh traffic and generate fresh leads. If you spend time constantly churning out blog posts that bring results for a week at a time, you will exhaust your team and your resources. When you are creating a content marketing calendar, consider the sustainability and long-term potential of your content.
At Digital Squad, we treat every client like a partner. We put sustainable success as a top priority while we talk content, boost SEO, and optimise website content to drive conversions. Learn more about how you can develop a strategy long-term growth with the content marketing experts at Digital Squad.
Megan Okonsky is a copywriter and content marketing specialist with Digital Squad. She is originally from Philadelphia but has landed in Melbourne after traveling for eight months in Southeast Asia and New Zealand. She also teaches vinyasa yoga online.