Hayley Fell promoted to new Head of Client Services role
One of the things we truly believe in when it comes to achieving great things for clients, no matter the sector, is evergreen content.
Much like evergreen trees that have lush, green leaves throughout the year, evergreen content is timeless. It isn’t bound by seasonality or a certain period, and instead appeals to your target demographic at all times.
Essentially, the topic never goes out of date.
Great evergreen content is shareable, informative and ranks well in the search results. It’s the type you bookmark and come back to, sharing with your friends, family, colleagues and peers. So, you need to consider it within your marketing strategy.
If you aren’t, it’s time to start.
This type of content is vital, and here’s why:
If you put the research in and your campaign boasts high-quality, relevant information, that post is likely to rank higher. Google values authoritative, industry-leading content, after all. This then places you in a better position of connecting with your audience.
On the back of that, detailed content will always perform better during outreach. If your content is well-researched and backed up with quality data, it’s likely that publications will be more inclined to feature your work and link back to your site as a valued, trusted source.
Take one of our pieces for client WhoCanFixMyCar, revealing the least and most expensive cars to maintain. Using their data, we studied models from the past 15 years and identified trends, with some interesting results. This piece resulted in coverage in The Express, iNews and many more.
It’s an insightful, relevant and relatable piece and an interesting resource that we can always evolve over time with data on new models etc.
As well as being crucial for building brand awareness, evergreen, quality content also has an increased chance of generating more high-value leads if it ranks well for relevant terms, as you’re placing your brand at the forefront.
In turn, this will drive the right kind of traffic to your site, encouraging those users to convert.
Now you know the basics, it’s time to start creating.
The below steps are some of what we follow at Evolved when it comes to producing content. We’re not going to give the whole game away (of course), but these steps never fail.
Of course, you need to know your audience before creating content to ensure the piece is relevant. You might like your potential topic but, if your audience doesn’t care or it doesn’t add any value to them, is it worth producing?
Speaking to your client is always a good place to start. Do they have personas on their customers they are willing to share? Do they know what their ideal customer looks like? If they don’t, check out Google Analytics (GA) and you can segment demographics by age, gender and interests. You can also research the buying trends in GA to create campaigns that tie into the months when your customers are most likely to buy.
This, most likely, goes without saying. But, the topic for your content is key. Take the example, ‘how to save money’. As you can see below, the trend over the past 12 months has been positive and steady.
However, there are notable spikes in December and August which can help lead your outreach strategy. Potentially, these spikes could be due to people saving money for Christmas in December, and students looking to save money in August before moving to uni in September. So, you can plan to target publications with relevant content around these dates.
You can also use this to create supporting content for a potentially larger content project – such as ‘money-saving tips for students’, ‘how to save for a house deposit’ etc, which can only help to strengthen the original piece.
Two words that set every content marketer’s heart on fire (believe me) is keyword research. Part and parcel of creating effective evergreen content is knowing your audience and your topics and to do that, you need to fully establish search volume.
Use the likes of Searchmetrics and SEMrush to establish the popularity of the term, and whether your idea actually has legs.
So, for example, if your customers are interested in DIY and people are searching for this and related terms consistently, you have potentially struck gold. And, from studying the related keywords, you’ll know what areas to target for supporting onsite content and to help pad out any topical hubs.
For instance, if people are searching for ‘will a kitchen island add value to my home’, this question could be used to produce a guide and support the content marketing with additional info that can be linked to and add more authority.
Another important aspect of ideation is to check the target publications and ensure the topic is something they will cover. Do they write about the topics you are looking at consistently? Is your story relevant to their readers?
Following on from the above example, you know your audience is interested in DIY and the search volume is high, but are your target publications going to want the story? Have they produced something similar before? If so, why and what data did they use? Can we add value to their publication with our information?
Journalists receive hundreds of emails per day and are often measured on engagement. As our Senior PR & Outreach Manager, Ruth mentioned in her recent blog post, some journalists are under pressure to produce 10 articles per day.
So, if it’s not useful to their readers, they are not likely to take your story.
At Evolved, we have our very own ideation process for each idea so that we know the ins and outs of every content piece before we start promotion. But, most importantly, we get everyone involved. That means the content and outreach team, designers, account managers, and if we had them, office dogs (we are still hoping).
Getting everyone involved helps to cover all bases and answer any questions that might pop up during the production or promotion period.
Forget, ‘too many cooks can spoil the broth’, it’s always best to have too many ideas, which you can then shape and mould to fit the objectives and any remaining ideas can be added to an ongoing content calendar.
Now to the fun bit. Actually creating the content. But, there are a few things you need to think about.
First, how are you going to better what is already out there? If this topic has been written about before, how was it done and how can you improve the story? You must be able to add more value or add a different take on the conversation.
Look at the format. Can you embed videos or provide design elements to publications to encourage them to link? As journalists get so many emails per day, you need to stand out – and a video/images will help to do that. It’s also another reason for a journalist to link.
Try not to date your content either. If possible, avoid putting timestamps on the piece – unless you are planning to revisit it each year to check the information and amend where needed.
Expert quotes for outreach can also be beneficial and add authority to evergreen content pieces where relevant. If you can source case studies, it takes the pressure off journalists and encourages them to use your story.
When you do get to this point, it’s important to have a good few angles for your campaign to test which one is the most successful. Different publications will also have different readerships, so you need to ensure each angle is tailored towards their audience.
That’s also not factoring in news jumping. So, if there is a topical news story during the time you plan to outreach your story, you can look and see who is reporting similar pieces and contact those journalists to see if they would be interested in your story like we did here:
Our multi-award-winning Dark Web content piece for client Money Guru has performed well thanks to news jumping, taking advantage of news stories around the Facebook data breach, for example.
To avoid the “Google Graveyard”, keep on top of your content. Google’s aim is to provide the most relevant, informative content for a search query. So, if your piece now contains outdated data and broken links, you could start dropping down in the rankings.
To make sure you stay at the top of your game, measure the success of your article. With that info to hand, you can refresh the piece and cite up-to-date sources to ensure your content stays relevant.
And, remember quality over quantity – just as my colleague Bekki mentioned in her blog post about link-building. Rather than post 20 blog posts per month with little information, opt for quality and answer the important questions. You’ll soon start to notice the change.
If you do want to enquire about evergreen content or overall Search Marketing strategy ahead of 2020, feel free to get in touch to see how we can help.
Alternatively, you can check out some of our summer coverage book here, which features, you guessed it: loads of evergreen content examples!
Hayley Fell promoted to new Head of Client Services role