A topic that pops up a lot in PWR-world is the value of evergreen content. We work on loads of event-based projects here: microsites, newsletters, even videos crafted to show off your successes to the C-suite. And that’s all great – content with a short-term goal can be an effective way to move organizational goals forward. But evergreen content has a unique ability to generate sustainable traffic and engagement that lifts your brand for months and years.
Sound good? Great. Let’s talk about how to craft evergreen content that will work for your brand. First, evergreen content should answer relevant questions and be accurate, useful, and interesting for years beyond the publication date.
Here are three things to keep in mind as you consider some evergreen content of your own…
- Know your audience: If you’re going to answer a question that’s important to your audience, you need to understand that audience. What keeps them up at night? What can they do that would wow the boss? What problem do they have that you’re uniquely situated to solve?If you can answer these questions, you’re on your way to creating content that connects and lasts.If you can’t, it might be time to consider building an audience persona to help you get to know your audience better. Personas usually include things like demographics, dreams, needs/challenges and online habits and trends.
- Keep the writing engaging: Simple ways to make your text more readable include avoiding technical jargon and acronyms; keeping sentences short; and breaking large chunks of text into smaller pieces like short paragraphs and bullet points.If you want to find out how readable your writing is, try using a Flesch Kincaid reading level test. Here’s one we like: https://www.webfx.com/tools/read-able/. Remember, most people enjoy reading at a 4th or 5th grade level. Even Hemingway wrote at this level, which may be be why this handy app that analyzes your work and feeds you read line information is named after him: http://www.hemingwayapp.com
- Pick a valuable topic and flesh it out: We sort of covered this one above – to create engaging evergreen content, you have to focus on your audience and what you know they’d like to hear about it. Here are a few content ideas that lend themselves to long-lasting value:
- Case studies, especially of the what went wrong/right variety
- Original research, especially when turned into a well-designed whitepaper or infographic
- How to guides for beginners or advanced users
- How to checklists
- Listicles of useful resources such as top influencers, tools, or tips.Once you’re clear on your topic, make flesh to it out with eye-catching quotes, stats, images and visualizations. A few years ago, Neil Paten did some research and found that the three types of images with the highest number of shares were animated graphics, hand-drawn images, and infographics. That means those are the kinds of assets you might want to roll into your evergreen content.