The dos and don’ts of creating timeless evergreen content
Anyone want to talk about “Pokemon Go”? Didn’t think so.
If this was a “Pokemon Go” article, the chances of you reading it are about the same as the game still being installed on your smartphone. That’s why in this dos and don’ts tutorial we’re going to instead discuss how to create high-quality evergreen content, that stays relevant to your users for years to come.
Don’t: Focus on topics with a short lifespan
One of the first mistakes content marketers make when creating content is being lured by topics that are hyper popular, but won’t last long.
“Pokemon Go” is a good example of this – its popularity dropped off almost completely within three months of the game’s release, according to Google Trends data.
– What can I use short-lived topics for instead?
You can use short-lived ideas strategically for quick bursts in traffic or for engaging social media chatter:
- Quick traffic bursts: Try using fads, events and holiday buzz when you need lots of viewers in a short time. For example, if you release a new service and want to draw attention to it, tying into a highly popular topic can get more eyes in your direction and help you drive a successful promotion.
- Social media: Social media is your two-way direct line to your customers, and engaging with on-trend topics is a great way to highlight that you’re plugged in and human. This may come in the form of using a popular meme to give people a laugh, taking pictures of your staff holding the latest gizmos, or offering unique deals based on the holiday season.
Do: Create valuable content that isn’t time-specific
Evergreen content marketing consists entirely of value-driven articles, videos and so forth that are helpful, educational and interesting, but aren’t tied to the time period in which they are written.
– How do I create timeless pieces?
Follow these instructions carefully and you’ll find creating timeless content a breeze:
- Figure out what your customers are asking: You can do this by talking to your sales team and getting a list of common FAQs, or by using a tool like BuzzSumo, Answer the Public or Google’s suggested search terms.
- Identify the questions most relevant to your target keywords and services: With your list of questions in hand, whittle it down to those most relevant to the keywords you’re trying to push, and of course, the services you actually offer,
- Answer these questions directly with content: Now create content that directly addresses these questions. This could be how-to pieces, list articles, video tutorials, even podcasts – whatever you can make that will give direct value to your target audience. Just remember: Don’t rely on anything time-specific, or it’ll date.
- Read the rest of this article: Finally, the next two points in this article are highly relevant, and we encourage you to skim through before going it alone.
Don’t: Stick with the same medium over and over
Blog article. Blog article. Blog article. Blog article. It’s pretty repetitive, isn’t it?
Sticking with the same medium over and over makes it easy to get into a rhythm of creating new content, but it’s boring. Instead, keep an eye on the latest content marketing trends to see which channels are growing more popular for users, what new Google features you can leverage, and what new marketing trends you can adapt for your own business.
- For example: In 2011, Snapchat didn’t exist, but come 2016 it was generating 10 billion video views per day! Now it’s one of the most popular social apps for businesses around the world.
You will likely find that your content strategy could expand from just blogging to include whitepapers, live Facebook videos or podcasts, infographics (which aren’t as hard to make as you think), Snapchat stories, and whatever else your imagination can come up with.
– How do I keep an eye on marketing trends?
At first light on the fifth day, look to the east.
Or, more helpfully, set up Feedly or a similar content aggregator and keep an eye on websites like these:
- Moz blog
- Google Webmaster Blog
- Facebook/Twitter/Snapchat (etc.) official blogs
- Castleford blog!
- Search Engine Journal
By staying abreast of the industry’s updates, you’ll be ahead of your competitors when it comes to jumping onto new ideas.
Do: Create 10x content
Content marketers sure ramble on and on about the enormous value of 10X content. But why?
Well, it’s because it works! “10x” refers to making content that is 10 times better than your competitors. For instance, when another website releases a text-heavy article on “the history of snooker”, we could swoop in and create an interactive infographic – this is more easily shared on social media, and more likely to drive engagement.
– How do I create 10x content?
If your content hits all three of the following, chances are it’s 10x:
- Valuable: Your content presents key takeaways and intriguing new information, not common knowledge or fluff. Remember to answer user queries so you directly target their needs, problems and desires.
- Unique: It’s hard to replicate, and delivered in a different way than competitors. In our example above we fired back against the “history of snooker” article with an interactive infographic, because people generally prefer pictures to heavy text.
- Accessible: The content is easily accessible no matter the device. It’s no good deploying a sweet infographic if mobile users – who make up about half of all internet users, according to data from Statista – can’t read it easily. Content should have fast load times, legible text and great UI.
– But what if I don’t have the budget for 10x content?
We get it. When everyone and their mum is doing 10x content, it’s hard to compete in anything other than a war of budgets. However, you might actually find you still drive results using a 2x content strategy.
You can read more about 2x in our article titled “Stop your 10x content strategy! 2x can be better”.
— Castleford (@castlefordmedia) November 14, 2017
If you want to create timeless evergreen content that is as relevant now as it is in five years, your production team must focus on avoiding time-limited fads or trends, and push value through answering users’ questions, needs and problems.
If you can present this detailed information in a unique, engaging format, your content will shine today, tomorrow, and long into the future.