May 17, 2017
Somewhere along the line, people started interpreting “content is king” as a green light for flooding their online space with as much content as possible, sometimes at the expense of quality. There are few things as frustrating as investing time, energy, and resources into cranking out lots and lots of content and having little to show for it, and yet that’s exactly the situation so many content marketers find themselves in. So, if the problem is creating too much of the wrong kind of content, then what exactly is the right kind of content? The answer to that question and the solution to the problem of wasted content creation is, in part, evergreen content.
If you were to analyze the top results in response to search queries, you’d find that most of them are a couple of years old, 2-3 to be exact. This shows that users gravitate towards the same pieces of content that most adequately answer their questions and provides the information they need. The creators/owners of those top ranked pages have created an evergreen piece of content that lasts long after the date it was published on. From there, they can periodically update the page for accuracy and comprehensiveness and stretch the utility of just one high performing piece of content for years.
This is exactly why creating evergreen pieces should be a focus of your content strategy. When “content is king” became the mantra of SEOs/content marketers, there was a tendency among people to interpret that as “create tons of content all the time.” But because users already have access to so much information, it’s not really about having more content as much as it’s about having the right kind of content. This ends up being better for content marketers as well because it requires them to work smarter, not harder. If you’ve been putting a lot of time and energy into constantly cranking out articles with minimal return, then it’s probably time to shift your focus to producing evergreen content.
Even though creating evergreen content typically requires more work on the front end than just any old piece of content, you’ll ultimately get way more out of it in terms of value and shelf-life. Even so, it can be hard to know what ideas will make for a really great piece of evergreen content and what the production process will look like.
A little brainstorming and inspiration is always the best place to get started on content ideation and a great resource for that is this article:
The article is full of ideas and examples of evergreen content and different formatting, topic, and production ideas. Different content styles may perform differently across industries, so in reviewing this resource be sure to keep an open mind about what kind of format/topic your audience will find most useful for the long haul.
It’s good to start focusing on producing content with a longer shelf-life and bigger ROI, but what if you already have some pieces of evergreen content? If you monitor the performance of your content, then it’s likely you’ve already identified some of your existing pieces as being high performing or constant traffic generators. In that case, you want to optimize that existing evergreen content to get as much value out of it as you possibly can.
Reposting and upcycling old content are things we’ve covered before and are considered best practices for any blog’s top performing content, ideas, and formats. Another great resource for optimizing evergreen content is this article:
It’s a thorough guide with ideas, tips, and spreadsheets to help you analyze and optimize your best content pieces. Remember, the goal is not to flood the internet with content produced at a spam-like rate, but rather to produce lasting content that your brand can continue to benefit from long after it’s created and published.
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