We’re going back to basics! Liz explains the concept of evergreen content — content that’s relevant long after it’s been published. She explains why this matters and how to create evergreen content for your business.
What Is Evergreen Content?
Sandro Welcome back to Liz and Sandro’s Marketing Podcast. We are the podcast that helps companies and marketing departments control their business, control their brand and get the word out. Today we are taking it back to basics. Today Liz is going to explain what evergreen content is and why it matters.
Liz Thanks Sandro. That’s right. Evergreen content is obviously one of these super jargony terms that we use in the marketing industry. So if you are a recent grad or a newbie to the industry this is definitely a concept that you’re going to want to get up to speed on. Evergreen content is content that’s always fresh and relevant. These are concepts or ideas that are still accurate long after their initial publication date.
Liz For example, if I wrote an article on the importance of creating audience personas for your marketing, I could have written something five years ago, I could have written something five days ago. Generally going to be pretty evergreen, pretty relevant all the time. A CPA could write an article or publish a video on the importance of good bookkeeping in your business. Again, that’s a concept that’s always gonna be relevant. An attorney could write an article about maybe the three staple components of an estate plan or something to that extent.
Liz So yes, evergreen content is content that’s, no matter when you when you pick it up and read it or listen to it, it’s still applicable. Content that isn’t evergreen would be things like news articles or press releases with a company announcement such as a new hire. Very timely. It’s gonna be old news pretty quickly. Maybe it’s a blog or a social media post about something that’s happening in pop culture. Again, very timely and relevant. Not what we would consider evergreen content. Under the umbrella of evergreen content I actually place several different things. I include social media updates, blog articles, videos and podcasts.
Liz I know we’ve experienced this on the podcast. We have some episodes that we published what, a year ago? That still perform very well in terms of downloads and they are ranking very highly on Google. Meaning the transcription on our website is ranking very high. So yeah, these are, these can become really good staple pieces for your marketing.
Why Does Evergreen Content Matter?
Liz Which ties into my next point of why evergreen content even matters. So from an SEO perspective, if you can create a timeless piece of content that has legs and generates authority and builds visibility, that’s a really important step in your sales marketing and lead generation process. Again, it is probably the first step. Ranking on Google, getting some visibility and some traffic is step one. You know, then you gotta get them there, further educate them, move them through the funnel with an appropriate call to action.
Content Can Be Blogs, Podcasts, Videos and Social Media
Liz But I do, I feel strongly, evergreen content’s important. I really think every business should have evergreen pieces of content, whether that’s blogs, podcasts, videos. Again, I also lump social media, some social media posts under this bucket as well because I find the pace of social media, as we know, it’s constant. You know, if you want to be visible you have to be publishing pretty consistently and sometimes that’s a lot. And sometimes life happens, business happens, and it’s great to go to a repository of 10, 20, 30 posts that are always going to be relevant. Always going to be timely to share. You know, could be advice like I said about buyer personas in my industry. Could be the CPA sharing a bookkeeping tip. Again, having that content ready to go I think is really, really helpful.
Sandro And you never know when people will be on, say, Twitter. If you’re the estate planner you can schedule that on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, a year from now you can still reschedule a tweet saying, ‘Hey, three things you should know about estate planning.’
Liz Absolutely. And some of that we just kind of do automatically for clients. Like again we have this for the driving school that we work with. I think we have like 30-some general tips, general good driving tips and they’re just kind of always in our content rotation at any given time. So yeah, kind of fills in the holes when you want to be visible.
It Helps You Build Authority
Sandro And the better you rank for things the more you’ll become an authority on that. Our podcast, our website, we still rank really highly for…
Liz Uh, Mail, is it MailChimp versus Constant Contact? Yes.
Sandro Yes. And they’re still around. That’s kind of evergreen that still people are always looking for that kind of content and we’ll be updating that soon.
Liz Yes. Yes. So when we were prepping for this episode and taking a look at what we rank for, that was an episode we just, you know, we did it, we didn’t think much of it. And here we are a year later, it’s still ranking so well and so now what we want to do is further leverage that and maybe do a comparison of like, ‘MailChimp versus Constant Contact List Management.’ MailChimp versus Constant Contact, you know, the Visual Builder. You know and some of the actual pieces and functions within each of these separate tools and how they compare and just continue to build on this piece of evergreen content that we’ve created.
Sandro Because we’re in, we’re becoming authorities in Google’s eyes on Constant Contact versus…
Sandro Mailchimp. So why not add to that? Yeah. So if you find your evergreen content’s doing really, really well or find the evergreen content that is doing really well you may want to build on that for future blog posts or future content.
How Do You Create Evergreen Content?
Liz Videos, podcasts. Yeah. And so that’s kind of a good segway into, OK, so how do you do this? How do you actually create evergreen content? So I think first and foremost, you’ve got to know your audience and where they are at. Maybe what they’re struggling with and what you can do to educate them. I think you need to brainstorm a bunch of timeless topics. And I realize that this can be a challenge at times because once you’re, once you’re knee deep, neck deep, eyeball deep in an industry, you forget that other people or your prospective clients don’t know all of the things that you know.
Evergreen Content is for Prospective Customers/Clients
Liz It’s funny to me because I’ve had friends and family listen to this podcast and they’re like, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” And I’m like “What? Like we’re just talking marketing. Doesn’t everybody know this?” But they don’t. So really thinking through what some timeless topics are and making sure it’s easy for your readers to understand. So write for your audience. Don’t write for your fellow industry professionals. They already know it. I believe evergreen content really is for prospective clients, prospective customers. Really helping to educate them and solidifying that authority status. So yeah, avoid jargon, don’t get super technical. I don’t want to say dumb it down because that sounds mean. But keep it simple and be, you know, be direct and to the point.
Sandro Yeah, you may even want to consider, what are the questions you get a lot of from a new customer. What are basic questions they always have that you hear regularly? I was looking up how to do my own brakes because I need brakes, and somebody wrote to me, on Reddit I asked, “Where is a good place to get brakes around here?” Somebody was like, “Just do them yourself.”.
Sandro And I watched three YouTube videos and was like, holy cow, it is pretty easy to do. But they all used brake lube which I had never heard of. And like why, what’s the difference between brake lube and some other kind of mechanical lubrication product? And I couldn’t find the answer to that. I kept saying, looking up, “what is brake lube,” “why do I need brake lube?” And there is something called brake lube, can I use a different kind of lube? I don’t know.
Batch & Block Out Time to Efficiently Generate Content
Sandro I’m saying lube a lot, Jeff would be…
Liz Jeff is gonna flip out. So the company that manufactures that should have an article explaining what that is.
Sandro Why you need it instead of some other kind. Yeah. Yeah. So it led me to that question. That’s a question I have. Why aren’t people answering that question? So maybe consider, take it back a little bit. Just don’t tell me I have to use brake lube, tell me why or tell me what’s so cool about it.
Liz A couple of other thoughts to help you out. I’m a big fan of batching and time blocking in general. It’s one of the ways that we very efficiently generate content for all of our different client accounts. So sit down and brainstorm a bunch of topics. You know, spend an hour and then block off another couple of hours to actually write that content. I mean, depending on how many topics you create, it could be many, many hours. But you get my point. Block off a couple hours and create 30 evergreen social media posts and just have them ready to go. Get it done, get it off your plate and get it scheduled. I think that’ll help tremendously.
Over Time, Some Evergreen Content Needs Updating
Liz The other thing I want to point out is that sometimes evergreen content will need updated. Perhaps your business shifts and maybe you’re making some slightly different recommendations. Perhaps the market changes and you have some new recommendations. So how do you handle that? You know, how do you go back and and keep things updated? And Sandro actually did some research on this and found that simply just updating old content is an effective way of doing this.
Create New Content or Update Old Content?
Sandro Yeah. On some of the SEO Facebook groups I follow the same question keeps popping up every now and then. Should I create new content or should I just update my old content? I’m already ranking for that old content. And what we’re seeing is, just updating that old content, saying, ‘Constant Contact versus MailChimp 2019’ or ‘2020.’ And updating it with all the new features. That is the way to go instead of just creating brand new content from scratch. So we’re seeing that and we also see it in news publications.
Sandro Our local alternative weekly, when they say there’s a new restaurant coming in August, they don’t create a whole new post when it opens, they just update the old one saying, ‘It’s now open and you should check it out.’ ‘Some of the great things to order are such and such.’ So if you’re debating whether to create a brand new piece of content, it seems to be better to update the older piece of content. It’s already ranking.
Liz And I think also from a content management perspective that’s smarter too. I know with some of the blogs we manage for clients, there are hundreds of pieces of content at this point. It’s a lot. So I did a little bit of digging and we pretty much work exclusively in WordPress. And so WordPress obviously displays the publish date, that’s a default. I did do some reading and there is a plugin that you can install that would also show the last updated date which I think helps, you know, if you’ve got regular readers on your blog or if you have a page that’s ranking on search engines, I think that’s tremendously helpful.
WordPress Plugin Helps Update Last Modified Date
Liz I did learn that in the metadata of a page, Google and other search engines, they will know if a page has been updated. Even whether, separate from this plugin, but I think having that on the front end is a good way to visually show followers and potential fans, followers, customers that hey, like we’re keeping our content updated on a consistent basis.
Sandro Yeah, I just did a quick search for plugins that do that and there’s more than, there’s a couple, at least two or three free, so.
Liz I can’t remember which ones I was researching or which one in particular. So bottom line, evergreen content in marketing is really important. I think it’s great for SEO and credibility. It’s great when your business gets slammed and you still want to keep your social channels updated. There’s a lot of benefits to exploring this & I would encourage you to look into this and incorporate some of this into your marketing.
Sandro Yeah, and one of the great things you can do is go back and look at old content. See what’s ranking in your Google Analytics or in your downloads and use that as posts or evergreen content or build on that. All this is great stuff, Liz. Thanks so much. And thank you for joining us. You will find us wherever you find your favorite podcasts. If you like what you hear, we’d love a review. You will also find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. If you have a question, our email address is in the show notes. Send it to us, we’ll give you a shout out and a link to your website. Thanks again & we’ll see you next time.