Every site that wants people to view their content, utilize their services, or buy their products needs marketing of some kind. Otherwise, how will people ever know you have something to offer? The word mostly evokes thoughts of advertising like banner ads, email lists, or even telemarketer calls. Unfortunately, people are mostly numb to overt advertisement these days. They’ve just seen so much of it, that the banner ads are never clicked, commercials are fast-forwarded, and telemarketers might even have callers just hang up on them before the initial pitch is finished. Inbound marketing is a subtler approach, one that causes clients to want to come to your website and maybe stay for a while.
It may be a little more difficult at first, because inbound marketing is about making yourself interesting, but in the end, it builds a much deeper connection with potential customers than traditional marketing. You know who you want to draw in, so you can work from there, going to social media sites your prospective audience frequents, creating content they would find interesting or intriguing. No ads necessary, no sponsored spaces or time required.
Now, more than ever before, what’s popular and interesting changes rapidly. Today’s hilarious meme will be boring next week. This is where the “evergreen” part comes in. Just like the trees for which they’re named, evergreen content is something you can post that’s always fresh and new, so even if someone looks at it next week, or next year, it’s still as relevant as the day it was posted.
So, what makes content evergreen? One easy way to separate out things that will never count are items that are dated, either literally or figuratively. You can put a date on your content, of course, but things that are meant to be “timely”, like news articles, content regarding particular days of the year (holidays), content regarding fads of culture or fashion, are not evergreen. Just look at what was “in” last year that no one cares about anymore. Avoiding that is the first step toward evergreen content.
Evergreen Content Is Accessible
You’ve probably noticed a lot of clickbait links pointing to lists of the top ten or fifteen something or other. Content developers make lists because people like to read them. Now, lists of the top ten most influential actors in Hollywood are certainly not evergreen, but you may have a list of things relevant to your site that most certainly qualify. Anything that gives your visitors useful information and allows them to learn something in an entertaining fashion, is more than likely evergreen content.
Have some interesting information about your site or what you have to offer? It’s good evergreen content, if you can write it up on a way that captures the attention. Likewise, if you have any good reviews from satisfied customers, put them up there. It’s the best possible kind of marketing, and someone’s good opinion of your site or product is a permanent ad that will never become dated.
Evergreen Content Is Easy to Find
Any old hand at internet advertising is very familiar with search engine optimization, better known as SEO. Search engines look through the internet for certain words and find relevant websites. The trick for the inbound marketer is to find words that people are likely to search for, so their sites pop up on the first page, if not on the top of the list. Most people don’t bother to look past the first page or even scroll down to the bottom, so if you want your site to be found and visited, you’ve got to pick some really great keywords, and put them into your evergreen content. This goes beyond simply making sure you have the proper ratio of keywords in your pieces – put the words into your social media sharing widgets and the alt text of any images you happen to have.
Evergreen Content Is Universal
Shakespeare’s plays were written more than 400 years ago, but people still find them relevant. They address themes of love, corruption, revenge, joy, and fun that are just as relatable to people now as they were then. Now, your website doesn’t have to be of Shakespearean quality, but it’s a good idea to strive for those same basic themes that will never go out of style.
Look at some things that people have been dealing with throughout recorded history, like interpersonal relationships.Parents/child relationships, romantic relationships, or just plain friendships are always important to people and always will be. Or consider that fact that we all need to eat (and most of us enjoy doing it). Cooking tips, recipes, and other such topics are good bets for evergreen status. Just as basic is the need for financial stability or prosperity. Any content that lets one save or make money is probably in the evergreen category. Even if your website isn’t specifically about any of the aforementioned subjects, you can certainly find something similar to put into your content to make it evergreen.
Author: Shariq Toor is Content Strategist and Outreach Expert at The Marketing Zen Group. He loves discovering the latest trends in Technology, Social Media, and Health. In his off time, he practices landscape photography and keeps up with his favorite sports. Follow him on Twitter @Shariqtoor.