According to Forbes, 2012 was the “year of growth” for content marketing. 2012 was the year that business owners stopped asking the question “why content marketing?” and they began asking “how?”. The old digital montra of “Content is King” is just as relevant as ever and is not losing steam. Marketers in today’s modern landscape are trying to find ways to get above the noise. With the abundance of social networks, social bookmarking sites and the reinvigorated rise of blogging content is everywhere. It is up to marketers to help consumers find the content they are looking for. Sujan Patel wrote an insightful article on SEJ recently that details out the basics of what Evergreen Content is and I would encourage you to become familiar with it if you are not already.
For those of us that are familiar with evergreen content, I wanted to make an argument for why evergreen materials should be incorporated into every content strategy. Many can fall into the trap of only trying to produce as much content as possible in order to continually stay top of mind and on the first page of their target websites. Don’t get me wrong oftentimes the name of the game in content marketing is volume and consistency, but if your content development’s sole focus is fresh content, then there is potential for your content strategy on a whole to feel hollow to consumers.
Build a Foundation
The primary benefit to evergreen content is that it provides a foundation that your messaging can build on. Evergreen content is developed to stay static and to anchor your website with your brand’s core messaging. The broader content marketing effort will take a variety of forms and cover an abundance of relevant topics, however you never want to lose site of your company’s core services.
Evergreen content is generally focused around the most fundamental aspects of your industry. You want to make sure that the topics covered with the evergreen content are stable and do not experience rapid change.
For example, SEOmoz.org provides some of the most effective evergreen content in the market today. SEOmoz sells a variety of SEO tools for SEOs and small businesses, and so their evergreen content is focused around helping potential customers develop basic SEO strategies. Check out their "Beginner Guide to SEO" to see an example. This anchors a robust content strategy that involves blogging, social media, video, whitepapers, etc. and covers a wide range of topics within SEO from beginner to professional. The evergreen content allows a space for every type of visitor to feel comfortable on the site and it provides a clear path that all subsequent content can build upon.
Position Yourself as an Industry Leader
In addition to building a foundation, evergreen content when executed properly can help position your company as an industry leader. Users are going to engage with your evergreen content after being pulled in by some other form of inbound marketing, so you know that their attention has already been peaked. After a visitor has interacted with your first piece of content the rest of your content helps paint a picture of what your brand’s voice truly is. This is your chance to reinforce the breadth of your company’s knowledge and expertise.
Develop evergreen content that:
- Teaches core principles
- Helps clear-up commun misunderstandings
- Is a step-by-step guide
Another reason to utilize evergreen content is that it can help consumers build confidence in your brand which will eventually lead to sales. If your site is simply a compilation of services, contact information and employees it can feel shallow to a consumer. Modern consumers want to get to know the brands they purchase from. Social media has changed the conversation, and given consumers more power than they have ever had before. This evolution of the consumer mindset creates an environment where consumers want to have access to as much information from and about your brand as possible before making a purchase.
Once consumers are pulled into your site they will ideally be looking through your service offerings, but oftentimes they need a final push before making a purchase. Evergreen content is a great tool for encouraging the purchase. If the user is ready to buy and has decided your company’s services match their needs evergreen content can act as a validator for their decision. It reminds them that your company is qualified and capable. It can reassure them that the product or service they are buying has been developed by a company that not only says they are a leader but that showcases it as well through their top-notch content.
Evergreen content is an essential piece to any robust content marketing strategy. Please remember to consider this foundational content in whatever content based strategy you are implementing now or in the future.
If you have experience with evergreen content I would love to hear your feedback on Twitter @adamwagner4 or on Google+.