‘Tis the season for evergreen trees, but this article is about evergreen content.
The lifeblood of digital publishers is traffic. Online searches, social sharing, and paid digital advertising bring visitors to your site. This audience expects topical and timely content. But is it necessary to stick to trending news to get loyal readers?
In fact, the most successful content strategy includes a mixture of recent stories and informational articles with a long shelf life. The latter – the “evergreen content” – will always be relevant and attract readers, over time racking up page views and expanding readership. Savvy content creators combine what’s hot and new with what’s always of interest to readers.
What Is Evergreen Content?
Evergreen content remains useful long after it was first published. Depending on the subject area, a piece may remain evergreen for several years or even decades. How-to articles that give basic life advice, such as how to boil an egg, won’t change much, and people will continue to look for them.
Historical information, like notable Academy Award speeches and lists of past winners, will remain static but still attract curious browsers. In sectors where information evolves quickly, such as technology, any informational piece that remains relevant for a year or two might be termed evergreen.
How Does Evergreen Content Offer ROI?
Evergreen content enhances “stickiness,” or the amount of time a visitor spends on your website and the likelihood they will come back. It’s an important step toward changing visitor habits so they will become regular consumers of your content. Over time, frequent readers develop a brand affinity with the website and trust its information, leading to a greater number of shares through social networks.
Inbound links from other sites enhance a publisher’s authority with search engines. Increased authority leads to higher ranking in search results. As a piece of evergreen content continues to attract readers and links, its position on the search results page will go higher, creating a snowball effect of more hits, page views, and inbound links.
Most importantly, evergreen content adds value to a paid digital membership. You need to think carefully about what evergreen content you put in front of a paywall versus behind it to balance traffic with monetization.
Evergreen content can be produced once, and monetized multiple different ways: in print, in a digital edition, on your website, as part of a “best of” product, part of an event presentation, on television, in a podcast, etc.
Developing Effective Evergreen Content
Evergreen content must remain valid, with updates added as they become available. Marketers should remain diligent, so that their older content does not become outdated and therefore irrelevant. This holiday season, you don’t want to chop down the tree, bring it inside, and forget to water it.
Incorrect or aging content not only fails to attract new visitors – it also reflects poorly on the trustworthiness of the site overall. The good news is that it’s relatively straightforward and inexpensive to update digital content. No need to re-print!
For publishers who regularly post trending news, evergreen content can provide more in-depth information to keep visitors engaged. It can also be reused several times if it relates to different trending stories. For example, a news story on toxic drinking water could be coupled with an evergreen piece on filtration methods for municipal water supplies or voting records of state officials on environmental issues.
The objective is to offer content that will be read multiple times and shared across multiple channels. As it is cited as a reference, scanned out of curiosity, or distributed through networks, digital publishers receive more pageviews and brand identification.
Creating evergreen content may seem time consuming and laborious, but in fact, is rather simple. The key is to offer information that is unchanging but will always spark the interest of readers and demonstrate that the publisher is dedicated to offering trustworthy content. It is not only essential to building a brand, but one way the investment in digital content pays off through ad and subscription revenues.
How The Sterling Woods Group Can Help
We grow content creators’ digital revenues to over 50% of their total business by leveraging their existing content, brand, and audience.
We all know the digital world is messy and confusing with many competing technologies, integration headaches, and the recognition that today’s solution might not work tomorrow.
The Sterling Woods Group provides clarity. Our TrailBlazer™ platform is like a smooth path through the woods. It allows you to seamlessly build a digital membership product around your content. Our job is to transform what is chaotic, complicated, and expensive into something that is smooth, easy, and attainable. We get your digital revenues growing faster, cheaper, and with less risk.
We understand technology without a strategy doesn’t get you anywhere. That’s why we guide you through our proprietary TrailMap™ framework which includes:
- Developing a compelling strategy for digital success,
- creating a consistent marketing plan using strategies and tactics that are proven to work,
- leveraging our world-class TrailBlazer™ technology so we can launch fast and see how real customers behave, and
- optimizing the program going forward.
We also offer training and speaking at corporate events and conferences.