Content marketing is a fundamental pillar of digital marketing today. Indeed, it concerns Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), and a plethora of other practices. Even after successfully promoting content and ensuring conversions, among its various challenges lie content longevity and value retention. Of course, eventual content updates are nigh inescapable – but near-timeless content can undoubtedly ward off this need for longer. That is what marketers call “evergreen content”; content that remains “green” or fresh, standing the test of time. But what exactly is it, and how does one go about writing evergreen content? Let us find out.
Defining evergreen content
As highlighted above, evergreen content is content that firmly retains its value over time. Multiple factors converge to make such timeless content retain its value, including:
● The subject
● Factual accuracy and depth
However, perhaps due to the relative vagueness of the term, confusion over it sometimes ensues. Therefore, let us strengthen this definition more.
What evergreen content is
First and foremost, evergreen content is very rarely genuinely timeless. In most cases, the term simply refers to content with notable value retention due to its focus on unchanging subjects. Examples of such content may include:
● How-to articles on timeless subjects
● Case studies
Naturally, most such types of content can fit into blogs. A blog is always a good idea marketing-wise, to begin with, and even more so if it hosts evergreen content. However, even these types of content may warrant updates in the future. Absolute timelessness is likely an unrealistic goal in most cases.
What evergreen content isn’t
Finally, many types of content can’t be evergreen by definition or by nature. These may include:
● News articles
● Time-bound listicles
● Articles on fashion, trends, and other contemporary subjects
That is not to say that such content holds no value by any means. Such content can do wonders for SEO and visibility, PR, conversions, and more. It is not, however, evergreen content in any sense, nor can it be.
Tips for writing evergreen content
Having made these crucial distinctions, let us delve into how you may write evergreen content.
#1 Focus on evergreen topics
As highlighted above, some formats and subjects qualify for evergreen content, while others don’t. As such, the very first step of content creation should focus on ones that can yield timeless content. Here, consider the following:
● How-to guides – guides on unchanging processes, such as cleaning premises, caring for new pets, or using a product.
● Infographics – visualized data of any kind related to your niche. Notably, these also offer to create backlinks with less risk of being disavowed, generating referral traffic.
● Case studies – deep case studies on product usage and benefits or other subjects related to your business or industry.
● Glossaries – consolidated lists of terms and abbreviations related to a specific subject of interest to your audiences.
Of course, other topics and content types may also fit your brand, but the above offer generally safe choices.
#2 Address beginners
Understandably, most of the above may frequently interest beginners. They may, by all means, interest advanced users, experts, and professionals as well. However, the former group often has predetermined knowledge sources and will search for fewer how-to guides or glossaries – if any.
Thus, addressing beginners likely offers a safer approach to evergreen content. This does not mean weakening your content’s depth and thus diminishing its value, but simply catering to beginners as well. Here, consider some simple practices to do so:
● Use full terms at least once before abbreviating them
● Define your terms if need be
● Elaborate on more complex topics
Finally, you may also try more nuanced practices, such as linking to explanatory articles where appropriate. In this way, you can also promote other evergreen content, such as glossaries, for mutual benefit.
#3 Simplify your language
Similarly, on the subject of readability, most audiences do not appreciate overly complicated language and technical jargon. Some may be necessary, but the needlessly complex language may discourage audiences, and especially beginners.
In this regard, consider the following:
● Keep sentences at a maximum of 20 words
● Avoid run-on sentences
● Avoid archaic language
● Minimize technical jargon and hyper-specific terms
● Avoid repetition
Unfortunately, this is a rather tricky metric to gauge correctly. However, content engagement, reactions, and negative comments on social media on this subject should help identify the restrictive content language.
#4 Showcase your expertise
However, neither catering to beginners nor simplifying language should entail producing shallow content. SEO rightfully holds that “quality is king”, and this certainly applies to evergreen content. Such content must offer immense value from the start to be effective at retaining it over time.
Therefore, when writing evergreen content, you should showcase your expertise in any way possible. You may, for example:
● Go for length – long-form content performs better for search engines and gives you room to fully cover the subject.
● Go for depth – infographics, case studies, links to authoritative sources and your past work, and other material can enhance depth.
Of course, ideally you would want to combine the two. Length for length’s sake does not resonate with audiences, and depth requires length to expand appropriately.
#5 Stay on point
Finally in terms of content creation, audiences value precision. There are two distinct ways to apply this term here, so let us explore both.
Your content cannot stray from the topic at hand or needlessly include information on other topics. Audiences will often perceive this as a way to artificially pad out your content for length.
Your evergreen content needs to focus on a specific aspect of your main subject or offer specific tips. For example, “how to choose a smartphone” is not specific enough. “7 steps to choosing a smartphone” or “Experts’ tips on choosing smartphone processors”, however, are.
#6 Update your evergreen content
Content creation aside, this final tip hinges on rehashing an initial point. Evergreen content is not truly timeless content but only long-lasting content. Therefore, it will eventually need updates, even if at a lower rate than regular content.
Thus, you will need to update your content with new information to ensure factual accuracy and relevance. To use the above example on smartphone articles, a revolutionary processor manufacturing technology might eventually emerge. Where regular upgrades wouldn’t necessarily warrant an update on such content, such a development would. In this case, when writing evergreen content, you will need to update your content if need be to ensure it remains evergreen.