The Benefits of Evergreen Content and How to Manage itAnita Kirkbride
I hate gardening. I know that’s very strong language, but I cannot think of anything I would enjoy any less than digging weeds, planting flowers and trying to figure out what can grow where, and why that tall, scraggly twig isn’t producing leaves! But I know gardening is a pretty essential part of home ownership, so I determine the absolute least I can do to maintain a decent looking landscape, clench my jaw, and just get through it as quickly as I can.
One of the ways I keep the work down is by using perennials like hostas, astilbe, Jacob’s ladder and wild geranium. They grow like weeds, need very little care and they come back every year! Once in a while I need to prune them, or divide them, but the return on investment is much more rewarding than annuals. Things like pansies and marigolds look beautiful in a garden, but they have to be purchased every year and replanted. I don’t like the investment of money nor time!
Maybe you’re looking at your social media the same way I look at gardening? You absolutely hate social media, but you know to have a successful business in today’s marketing landscape you most likely have to have a minimum social media presence.
If you’ve been using annuals in your social media marketing I want you to consider how you could switch out to perennials, saving yourself time, money and frustration! The perennial version in content strategy is called “evergreen content”, which, perhaps not so ironically, is named for evergreen trees like pine and spruce, which stay green…well…forever! EVER. GREEN.
Let’s see how this relates to your content strategy and social media marketing.
What is Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is simply any content that remains relevant over time. It’s always green lighted. It always works, no matter the year, day, month. A recipe for chicken dinner is a great example. You can make chicken any day of the year and a recipe posted in 2003 is just as relevant today as it was in 2003.
A recipe for eggnog, however, isn’t fully evergreen. It’s only relevant for a portion of the year, say November through January 7. However, it is reusable year after year.
A piece of content about a specific event is probably not going to be evergreen. People only want to read about past events for so long and then it becomes stale. So while I wrote posts about attending Social Media Marketing World a few times, I don’t keep posting them because the information is out of date. Content about trends, predictions, breaking news, platform changes, etc, probably don’t fit the evergreen content mold because they are dated. Nobody wants to see a tweet about the latest Facebook Business Page changes only to find out the post is five years old and all the features have changed again and the info is out of date.
The Benefits of Evergreen Content
Lots of people are creating evergreen content and simply don’t have a name for it, and don’t use it to its full advantage. Perhaps when you go back and look through your content you’ll find you have lots of evergreen stuff you can look at through a new lens. Here are the reasons I love creating evergreen content as much as possible.
- Use it again and again – If it’s still good next year, why not tell all your new fans about it? Repost your evergreen content regularly.
- Requires little updating – Some articles will require a bit of tweaking to update graphics, screenshots, quotes or prices, but for the most part, a little update is quick and easy.
- Can be scheduled – If it doesn’t matter when something gets reposted, why not invest in a good scheduling program to do the heavy lifting?
- Saves time – All of the above mean you will save tons of precious time and energy, which you can then put back into other parts of your business, or into creating less frequent, but more awesome, pieces of unique content.
- Content that keeps people coming back to your site month after month, year after year, is FANTABULOUS content in Google’s eyes, so it’s great for search engine optimization.
How to Maintain Your Awesome Evergreen Content
Once you’ve taken the time to create your awesome content and determined that it is, indeed, evergreen, you’ll want to do some regular maintenance on the content to keep it working for you. Kind of like pruning back the hedges or adding bark mulch to your flower beds.
When it becomes outdated you can either pull the content completely or simply update it. I’ve done both on this blog, depending on the topic. Sometimes you need a major overhaul to get it up to date and other times you just need to update the Facebook logo to their new design. Take a good, critical look at your content on a regular basis and decide what needs to be updated and what needs to go. You know…for the good of the garden.
You should also consider how you can repurpose it! If you wrote an epic blog, don’t forget to chunk it down into other types of content and post about it in a variety of ways. If you started with a podcast, consider cutting out clips and using those to promote the main episode. Repurposing your evergreen content is a great way to leverage the hard work you’ve already done and save time in the long run. Just because you posted about it one time doesn’t mean all of your fans saw it…and even if they did, chances are they’ll have forgotten it.