“Always-on” comms offer longevity, SEO benefits and brand reinforcement.
It’s a paradox: Evergreen content is often the lifeblood of a marketer’s content ecosystem, yet it can be overlooked as a revenue generator. While it often lives in the shadow of its more glamorous content siblings, when carefully cultivated, it can more than hold its own.
How so? Let’s look at the key elements of a typical content marketing program:
- “Tentpole” programs that attract significant funding and attention.
- Periodic campaigns that come in waves.
- “Always-on” marketing communications that form the foundation.
It’s in the “always-on” stream where you’ll find evergreen content, along with ongoing client and prospecting communications, e-newsletter and webinar programs, educational and sales literature. We define evergreen content as information on foundational subjects that are always relevant to a brand’s core audience or reflective of the brand’s essence. It’s the cashmere sweater of marketing: timeless, classic, always on point.
Yet unlike cashmere, evergreen content is often neglected. And that’s a miss because it can be one of the best-performing types of content available when it comes to:
- Improving SEO results.
- Providing education on foundational concepts particular to the business or sector.
- Creating connections with customers that reinforce the brand.
Longevity + Optimization = Outperformance
Longevity is one of evergreen content’s biggest strengths. Instead of appealing to recent news or trends, it satisfies universal needs that audiences have year-round. This timelessness also means evergreen pieces have the potential to be SEO powerhouses, answering frequently asked questions and being more likely to appear in search results and to deliver organic and paid traffic to your site.
To maximize SEO benefits, do your keyword research due diligence. Check that meta tags and other important search engine indexing components are optimized on each evergreen page. Then, monitor the engagement of pieces delivered via social channels and keep close tabs on traffic regularly via Google Analytics.
Alignment to Audience Needs
Another reason evergreen content yields high ROI? It aligns to customer needs. The customer is looking to learn something new or solve a problem. Information brands provide about their products or services, or the business in which they operate, tends to be evergreen.
Healthcare and financial services are flush with good examples. Most financial services providers deliver education on financial fundamentals (as seen on this page from Fidelity) or market volatility (seen here at MFS Investments). These concepts are key for their audiences to understand how many financial services products work, and for understanding certain fundamental characteristics of the capital markets — and none of them change significantly from year to year.
Similarly, many healthcare providers offer content on basic concepts like good nutrition (like this heart-healthy diet page from Humana) or health conditions (like Kaiser Permanente’s Health Guides page) that stay unchanged year over year.
Once your marketing program has invested in that content, you can be assured that it will be relevant to your audience because it explains your offering, your business or your sector, and it will help position your solutions more effectively.
Reinforcing the Brand
Lastly, evergreen content is ideal for telling your story: Who are you? What do you stand for? The best brands have a strong sense of identity, and they deliver on their brand promise through every interaction with their customers.
Some brands choose to bring their stories to life in different formats. If the company has a strong brand that’s managed well, the message of those stories doesn’t change because it reflects the essence of who the company is and what it stands for. NY Life has a good example of this with its Love Takes Action series.
Evergreen content creates an opportunity for a deeper connection with the customer. When they see the brand come to life more fully, it provides a chance to engage more deeply, creating a more loyal, stickier relationship.
Continued Attention Can Yield Excellent Results
Once you’ve got some evergreen content in market, don’t just put it on the shelf and leave it. Whether recently published or collecting dust, you must look after it. Take full advantage by regularly evaluating it against the following criteria:
- Can any key information be updated with more recent data?
- Is the piece properly tagged for search engine indexing according to the latest best practices?
- Do the keywords need to be updated? Especially the long-tail keywords?
- Can you re-promote using any of the existing product/service communications?
- Can you use any existing evergreen pieces to reinforce the brand?
If you answered “Yes” to any of the above, you have everything you need to achieve higher ROI now. Grab that cashmere sweater from your marketing closet, and put it on. It will look great the next time you wear it.