“Content marketing is the only marketing left.” Seth Godin
We read this online somewhere and it’s a great analogy: Some content is like a sugar rush. It is good for a short burst of energy (or in blog terms, lots of traffic in a short period of time), but in the long run, it lets us down. It fails to satiate hunger for information for any greater length of time. This is why we gave up sugar a long time ago for something more green — “evergreen” to be specific.
Because it remains relevant over long periods of time, evergreen content is far more effective than splashy ephemeral content. It is particularly appealing to marketers because it can significantly reduce the content production workload. These types of posts can be repurposed and reused at various future intervals while still providing value to a growing cadre of readers.
There are two essential characteristics of evergreen content:
- It remains relevant to your audience
- It provides them with some kind of value — it is useful to them
Common types of evergreen content include “how-tos” and tutorials, resource lists, calculators, industry definitions, buying guides and frequently asked questions. For the most part, these kinds of information will remain unchanged over time, though some light updating may be useful periodically.
How to develop evergreen content
When it comes to creating content, evergreen is an excellent choice as it’s the kind of investment that pays off in dividends for years to come. However it requires a different approach to your brand than many marketers are used to.
Traditionally, marketers ask, “What do I want to communicate to my target audience?” and proceed to craft messaging using a “look how great we are” approach. Creating quality evergreen content requires pivoting to a truly customer-centric approach. The question then becomes: “What does my target audience almost always want or need and how can my brand provide that?”
To be clear, this shift is not always easy, but it’s worth putting forth the effort if you want to utilize this powerful marketing tool to grow your brand. This line of thinking requires a deep and clear understanding of your target market — the ongoing issues that they face, the problems they want to solve and their ongoing needs.
The proof is in the pudding
Here at Bitesize Bio, we’ve seen this incredible evergreen phenomenon first hand. When Nick Oswald began writing back in 2007, he had a very simple aim which continues to this day: to help life scientists in the lab. Over the course of his studies and then in his career he observed that the same questions keep surfacing over and over again. Cohort after cohort would encounter the same obstacles in the lab year after year. To address this, he simply began writing pieces aimed at answering some of these questions and helping to solve some of these perpetual dilemmas.
This approach is the essence of evergreen content — it provides value year after year to students and life scientists who continue to need it and regularly find it useful. Over the years, the blog has grown into an entire platform capturing a larger and larger audience, all of whom are looking for the same answers. In the process, it’s also gained an enormous amount of search engine authority.
Here are three examples of evergreen content published on the Bitesize Bio platform at various intervals and their subsequent lifetime traffic:
|Year Published||Article||Length (no. of words)||Avg Session||Monthly Avg Traffic (unique)||Total Unique Visitors (lifetime)|
|2007||5 DNA Ligation Tips||Just under 500||3 min||500||27,000|
|2008||How SDS-PAGE Works||1,258||5 min, 7 sec||15,000||217,000|
|2013||The Luciferase Reporter Assay: How it works||Just over 500||4 min, 30 sec||4,000||80,000|
The 2007 article was the first article to be published on Bitesize Bio. Along with the 2008 article, which is currently the top performing article on the Bitesize Bio platform, both started out attracting a modest few hundred visitors per month. As time progressed and the Google algorithm matured, the search engine authority of Bitesize Bio grew greater and greater. The compounded result is that today, evergreen articles like these published on the Bitesize Bio platform take off even faster as illustrated by the Luciferase article that skyrocketed to popularity almost as soon as it was published in 2013 and continues to attract 4,000 visitors each month on average.
Make the most of your evergreen content
If you’ve put the time and energy into crafting excellent evergreen content, don’t make the mistake of keeping it to yourself and don’t simply rely on organic search for traffic (although search engine authority certainly does help and evergreen content will boost that over time).
Don’t bury your best content on your website. Highlight the top stories, top posts or most popular content in the sidebar or use a “start here” directive to guide readers to the most helpful evergreen content right away even if they entered your site onto a more time-sensitive piece.
Be sure to re-run your top posts periodically in high-visibility places on your website, social media or blog to keep your target audience coming back and to continue to capture new audience members who need the same information. Get a spike in visibility by purchasing sponsored or branded placements for these pieces in publications or platforms where your target audience is already consuming reliable information.
Evergreen content is a smart marketing investment
When considering how to best invest your time, energy and marketing dollars, evergreen content makes the most sense. These long-lasting pieces may take some effort to research and produce, but they provide the absolute best return on your investment for your brand. Like some of the oldest pieces of content on the Bitesize Bio platform, readers will continue to return to them, click on them, share and respond to them. These pieces can be used and reused repeatedly with little to no updating, making that initial investment all the more valuable to your brand.
Creating and executing strong evergreen content takes some serious work — trust us on that. If you’re ready to move your brand forward with this valuable asset, now’s the time to get started. Bitesize Bio is a peerless platform with incredible SEO authority where you can post some of your best content. If you’re ready to get started with a successful, long-lasting marketing strategy today, click here to contact our Marketing Outreach Manager, Stephanie Larae.