Creating Marketing

What Is Evergreen Content? A Guide to Content That Towers Above the Rest

What Is Evergreen Content? A Guide to Content That Towers Above the Rest
Written by Angela Tague

What is evergreen content? Evergreen content elaborates on foundational concepts, core products or background surrounding your company’s subject matter. It’s a necessity for every marketer. Evergreen content works daily, across all campaigns and promotions, as a support system to showcase knowledge about your industry, products and services.

Much like the always-green pines, spruces and cedars of the forest, evergreen content stays fresh and vibrant through all seasons of your marketing — from festive holiday campaigns and everyday blog posts to new product launches. Evergreen content is perpetually relevant, relatable and educational. It rarely needs pruning of outdated details because the timeless information doesn’t change year to year.

Think of evergreen content as the foundation of your content plan, providing background information for readers who may be new in your niche or looking for a refresher.

As a fellow word-nerd, I’d love to dig a litter deeper into the nuances and meaning behind the word evergreen. The Arbor Day Foundation refers to evergreen as the “bones of the landscape,” always creating visual interest even during the gray days of winter when flowers and grass have died down. Yep, that sounds about like evergreen content. It continues to garner attention, even when holiday content or trends posts are off-season and getting few views.

Evergreens are “solid and unchanging” as they provide windbreaks for the more delicate plants nearby and refuge for birds and mammals, according to The Tree Center, a 40-year plant supplier that also has an awesome blog featuring  you guessed it  evergreen content related to landscaping.

Evergreens also thrive in poor-quality soil, grow in almost every region of the world and come in a variety of sizes, including petit dwarfs or small bushes used in residential landscaping. Evergreens are anchors in the forest, on groomed lawns and in your content marketing strategy.

What is evergreen content?

I’ll put my gardening gloves down for a moment and get straight to it. Evergreen content elaborates on foundational concepts, core products or background surrounding your company’s subject matter. It’s a necessity for every marketer. Evergreen content works daily, across all campaigns and promotions, as a support system to showcase knowledge about your industry, products and services.

As a full-time freelance writer, I create evergreen content in the health/wellness, pets and home space often. It’s a sound investment for my brand partners because evergreen content pads their content arsenal with words and imagery they can repurpose and share over and over again.

Evergreen content can be…

Whether you’re a writer or a marketer, by now, you know evergreen content will be on the task-list at some point. It’s critical infrastructure to your overall marketing, popping up in multiple forms.

Here are the most common evergreen content requests we freelancers see here at ClearVoice:

Top of Funnel (TOFU)

  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • Explainer Videos
  • Infographics
  • Photography
  • Product Descriptions

Middle of Funnel (MOFU)

  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • Case Studies
  • Customer stories
  • Explainer videos
  • GIFs

Bottom of Funnel (BOFU)

  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • Customer Testimonials
  • Ebooks
  • Guides
  • White Papers

You might be wondering what’s not evergreen in the world of content. Push-notifications, current events news stories, ad copy for time-sensitive social media posts, email content, special offer landing pages, promotional copy for a temporary service, timely trends pieces and press releases are typically not evergreen. If you view these a year from now, you’d instantly have a flashback moment or feel like the content is outdated.

I'm learning about content creation and the importance of evergreen content. This article from @AngelaTague may be helpful for you too! #contentmarketing #WebWritingAdvice Click To Tweet

Why content marketers produce evergreen content

Efficient time management and resource-creating marketers know the value and versatility of crafting evergreen content. I asked my marketing friends on Twitter if they’d share their reasons for intentionally creating evergreen content, and Jose Moreno, Head of Marketing for the performance management tool Hirebook offered great points for a newbie marketer, writer or person who’s been assigned marketing tasks in addition to their managerial or sales role.

“Evergreen content is the one that will still be valid and relevant 10 to 15 years from now,” he explained of how this content can maximize the long-term ROI of content marketing efforts. “Evergreen content is likely to provide you a growing steady flow of visitors over the years, in contrast with traffic spikes from other types of content.”

So which evergreen content types does Moreno produce most for his business? Blog posts and written guides  hands down.

Marketer Si Quan Ong at Ahrefs, an SEO software suite, explains in a company blog post that evergreen content is the secret sauce when building a blog that generates organic traffic, backlinks and ranks for industry keywords. The evergreen topics selected trigger consistent interest, amping up the search volume of keywords you’re working hard to rank for on search engines.

What evergreen content looks like

You’re sold on the need for and benefits of evergreen content, but you might be wondering how it actually presents itself in content marketing. Let’s dive into content length, presentation and linking strategies of evergreen content.

First, written evergreen content can be any length. It’s up to you and/or your organization or publication to determine what your audience enjoys.

For organizational and planning purposes, the marketers at ClearVoice have created four separate categories for their written content creation:

  • Short form: up to 500 words
  • Standard form: 500-1000 words
  • Long form: 1000-1500 words
  • Extra long form: 1500+ words, generally over 2500 words

Next, these evergreen documents are often supplemented with visuals, such as photography, infographics and design elements such as GIFs, charts or graphics. These help engage readers and break up long blocks of text, especially in lengthy ebooks or product descriptions.

Finally, most evergreen content serves as a host for links to additional related content. Backlinks placed on keywords that link to additional evergreen content are common and helpful for readers who are consuming content for educational purposes  and part of that secret sauce to traffic growth, according to Ong earlier in this article.

You can essentially move consumers through the sales funnel, from curious to considering, by way of linking to enticing tangential evergreen ebook content, customer testimonials or a helpful video.

Evergreen content examples

Let’s take a closer look at all of these parameters working together to create timeless online content. Below, I’ve highlighted an evergreen infographic, standard form blog post, testimonial and extra long-form article.

Example of an evergreen infographic

Evergreen infographic: The Do’s and Don’ts of Doggy Dental Care

Funky dog breath is a thing, and it’s here to stay. So, animal product and service providers love to create timeless content that helps pet owners best care for their canine companions and their… *drumroll*… canines.

This infographic from pet food and treat maker Blue Buffalo addresses veterinary check-ups, tooth brushing habits and fun dental facts that pertain to all dogs and won’t become outdated because dental care is an ongoing concern for pet owners.

Standard form evergreen content example: 5 Common questions about milk, answered

Standard form evergreen content example: 5 Common questions about milk, answered

When I was commissioned to write this blog post for a2 Milk Company™, the purpose was simple: educate consumers.

Milk has been a staple in households basically forever, and adults will always have questions regarding its nutrition, processing and production. This evergreen blog post will never go out of date since milk-producing cows are very unlikely to go extinct. Backlinks to recipes on the blog help keep readers on the company’s website longer, boosting brand recognition and loyalty.

Testimonial evergreen content example: Better Batter

Testimonial evergreen content example: Better Batter

Glowing words from happy customers create relatable content. When the testimonial discusses your core products or services, such as this raving review from a bakery about a gluten-free flour blend from Better Batter, you’ve got evergreen content.

If the review chatted about a specific employee (who may not work there forever) or holiday special  it wouldn’t be evergreen!

Extra long-form evergreen content example: How to plant deciduous trees

Extra long-form evergreen content example: How to plant deciduous trees

This planting guide in article form explains how to prepare for and add deciduous trees to your landscape. A checklist, photography, bolded text and subheadings make this lengthy content from The Tree Center easy to consume.

You’ll also find ample backlinks to related, helpful content regarding how to create a windbreak or privacy screen using plants, which may be the overall purpose for planting the trees. Trees will always exist on our planet, making this information timeless, useful  and evergreen.

Creating an editorial calendar? Need examples of evergreen content to fuel your own creativity? Check out the four content pieces shared in this helpful marketing article. #contentmarketing Click To Tweet

4 do’s when creating evergreen content

As you put what you’ve learned into practice, keep these guidelines at the forefront of your busily typing fingers while creating evergreen content.

1. Do keep the content timeless.

Focus on crafting content that speaks to your keywords, core niche, industry, and anchor products or services. Brainstorm which aspects of your business and customer needs will never go out of style, and focus on those.

2. Do anchor the idea with facts.

Evergreen content provides ample details, tips, advice, and information that will last forever. Skip the opinion pieces because ideas and thoughts shift over time.

3. Do have a target audience in mind.

Who is your ride-or-die buyer persona who will always support your industry or brand? Speak to them in your evergreen content. Chat to the fringe interest groups in trends or niche content.

4. Do make the content substantial.

The evergreen content you create will be working for you for years, or until you make a major shift in business service, products or model. Make the content high-quality, filled with respectable sources and well-balanced discussions.

4 don’ts when creating evergreen content

It’s always helpful to also keep a list of things to not do when strategizing your next batch of evergreen content.

1. Don’t lead with current events or trends.

Evergreen content doesn’t hinge on newsmakers. If you want to write about events and trends, that’s fine. Just don’t expect it to fill the role of evergreen content in your editorial plans.

2. Don’t keep it high-level.

Short snippets, quick takes and snackable content have a purpose, but not when crafting evergreen-level. Instead, focus on more in-depth, informative content that a reader might share or bookmark for later use.

3. Don’t be general and speak to everyone.

This is a common mistake. When creating something long-lasting, you may want to customize the messaging to all people who might be interested. Don’t. Target one buyer persona who aligns with the sales funnel stage the content is serving.

4. Don’t be stingy or hurried.

Add value by incorporating extra content elements (infographics, imagery, backlinks, photos, charts) and using authority-boosting tactics like direct quotes from interviews, sharing additional online resources and offering a free download at the end of the piece.

Ways to maximize evergreen content

After creating robust content, get the most out of it. The most common way to squeeze every bit of goodness from the words and imagery is to repurpose it into smaller pieces of content.

  • Use a paragraph for a Facebook post
  • Use an image on Instagram to tease the piece
  • Grab a quote and make it into a meme for LinkedIn
  • Create a bullet point checklist of key takeaways for Pinterest

Finally, all good things require maintenance.

Just like the arborist who manicures lawns and turns fluffy green bushes into well-coiffed hedgerows, evergreen content needs TLC too. Over time, all content decays. Some angles or facts may not have the same impact they once had.

For example, think of how you’ve shifted content production since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Leading with colorful language about groups of people gathering or navigating a crowded theme park are no longer relatable. People have reservations about doing those things. Sometimes a simple rewrite of a lede or updating of an example is all it takes to keep your evergreen content fresh and flourishing.

Does your marketing team need extra help crafting evergreen content? Browse the Talent Network at ClearVoice to discover which industries and types of creatives you could teamlance with on your next content project.

About the author

Angela Tague

Angela Tague writes SEO marketing content for major lifestyle, business and pet brands including Tom's of Maine, Kaytee and Sleep Number. She earned a degree in Journalism & Mass Communications from the University of Iowa and has been creating photographs and written content for newspapers and freelance clients since 1998.

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