B2B and B2C blogging have their individual intricacies, but a mix of content that addresses the needs of your audience is the core of a great blog plan for both types of businesses. Timely content that capitalizes on search and social trends is certainly helpful for attracting new eyes and expanding your reach. Evergreen content has its place too, and an important one at that.
Both Lee Odden and Mike Yanke have touted the benefits of evergreen content here at Online Marketing Blog. Mike cites the SEO benefits of content that builds links and engages readers over a lengthy period of time. Compelling, engaging, original content satisfies visitors and search engines alike.
It’s also critical for creating marketable assets that convey your company’s key messages designed specifically to attract, engage and convert new business, says Lee. Businesses need to use evergreen content in concert with more timely pieces, creating a layer of information you can refer back to, repurpose, and otherwise use to build your digital footprint over time.
What is Evergreen Content?
I think we can all agree that evergreen content is good and that it should definitely be a part of our business content arsenal, particularly on a company blog. But what does it look like? What it is, exactly, that makes a piece of content evergreen?
Evergreen content has a number of universal characteristics, regardless of your niche or industry:
- It will remain relevant to your audience over a period of time.
- It answers a question, describes a process, offers a definition, or otherwise provides information your readers find valuable.
- It is original and of high quality.
- It is your definitive resource on a topic that might be revisited or referred to countless times in the future.
While creating an editorial plan for your blog (I know you have one!), use the tips below to ensure a portion of your content is purposeful, helpful, and likely to live on for years to come.
Tips to Make Your Content Evergreen:
Stop! See what I did there? I can’t assume that each person who reads this post will have read Lee’s previous post, Core Content SEO Tools: Keyword Glossary and Editorial Plan. I can’t properly explain what an editorial plan is, or how to create one, in this post if I’m to deliver on what I promised you to this point. Yet each month, about 4,400 people search Google for “editorial plan.” I linked to his evergreen editorial planning resource to offer assistance to those looking for more information on the topic.
Now, for those tips:
- Remove any timely elements from your post. There is a time to refer to a recent study, share news, or tie your post to a trending topic, but this isn’t it; this can quickly make it appear outdated.
- Invest time in making it awesome. If you really want a piece of content to be a source you’ll refer your readers back to for the foreseeable future, don’t do it halfway.
- Incorporate multimedia elements like photos from Flickr, SlideShare presentations or videos embedded from YouTube. Images and video can be helpful in explaining concepts and add visual interest. Plus, each is searchable in its own right and when linked, can lead visitors from those properties to the helpful resources on your blog.
- Optimize each piece for search engine discovery and social sharing. This is best practice for any type of content, but especially important to keep it living after the initial buzz of a newly published piece dies down.
How Does Evergreen Content Fit Into Your Content Plan?
Now that you know what it is and how to create it, when should you use evergreen content?
Make a concerted effort to work it into your content plan; there’s no optimal percentage or density I can recommend. In a lot of cases, your audience will tell you – perhaps not in so many words – where they would like more information or advice. This is where your web analytics, social listening and competitive research all come into play, to inform opportunities to create resources that answer a specific need.
Get creative and try a few of the following:
- Create topic pages that introduce a narrow, specific idea and curate your best content, with a description and link to each. For example, a fashion blog could create one post on “Fit” and link to their ten best resources on properly fitting and tailoring clothing.
- Make a How-To post that compiles posts you’ve written on each step of a process and guides new readers through from start to finish.
- Define terms and concepts in one post that links to your lengthier posts on each one.
- Make a timeline of industry events.
- Share a compilation of statistics or factoids for a period of time, ie.: a specific month or year. These can be evergreen if you offer information from a variety of sources, making your post a valuable resource to refer back to in its own right.
Even Evergreen Content Needs Upkeep
Revisit your evergreen posts monthly or bi-monthly to refresh your content and add updated information. Remember to link back to these posts wherever relevant so they aren’t sitting dormant in the underbelly of your blog for all eternity.
The process of maintaining evergreen content is far simpler if you plan for it. Set calendar alerts for future dates to check in on specific post topics, or add each post as you write it to a list you’ll access again in a year’s time.
Build out your arsenal of evergreen content to keep the pageviews, social shares and leads coming. How important is evergreen content in your company blog strategy? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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