Evergreen content is currently a buzzword in content strategy, and it’s considered as a key success factor for content providers.
Definition of evergreen content
In the simplest definition, an evergreen content is a piece of content which does not expire in the short term. But here you can find a more elaborate and formal definition of the evergreen content:
Evergreen contents are attractive because of driving more traffic, having a lower maintenance cost, getting higher SEO rank and receiving more social shares for a prolonged period.
Guidelines for creating an evergreen piece of content
Although every content without the expire date can be considered as green, there are many hints, guidelines, and statements about properties and characteristics of an evergreen piece of content:
- Evergreen content can’t include news, statistical reports, seasonal topics, and current trends (Wordstream)
- Evergreen content shall preferably aim at narrow beginner topics. BeginnerGreen content is the best choice for creating an evergreen content (Blogytyrant)
- Evergreen content should seek for higher stay time (or long click)
- Evergreen articles are typically longer (Contentmarketinginstitute)
Examples of evergreen content types
Here you can find some examples to have a more clear picture in your mind:
- Most of the definitions are evergreen articles (e.g. definition of longform content, definition of complex systems, definition of content strategy, etc.)
- Resource lists are the other popular type of evergreen content (e.g. list of content strategy blogs, list of technology blogs, leading thinkers of the technology age, etc.)
- Checklists are another kind of evergreen content which are attractive both to your beginner and expert readers.
- How-to articles can be easily designed in an evergreen format and can be helpful and engaging. You can just take a look at the following topics:
Evergreen content as a gap filler or as a component of the content strategy?
Every content provider has a portion of evergreen content in its content portfolio. Just check any newspaper and you will find a mixture of green and non-green content that in most cases are not selected deliberately.
Reading any newspaper, you will find a mixture of green and non-green content that in most cases the ratio is not chosen deliberately and on purpose.
Most of the newspapers and news companies fill their content gaps with evergreen content. These companies would prefer to talk about the last night blasts, and there is not any hot new available,
These companies would prefer to talk about the last night blasts, and when there is not any hot news available, fill the gap with a report about an ancient and forgotten place in the suburbs of the city!
However, for some content providers, evergreen content is something beyond a gap filler.
Content providers who deliberately include evergreen content in their content portfolio fall into two categories:
- Evergreen content businesses such as IMDb or Study.com
- Other businesses which use evergreen content for SEO purposes and as a driver for inbound traffic
Guardian serves as a good example for the second category.
Besides publishing up-to-date news articles, Guardian considers publishing evergreen articles as a permanent part of its editorial content calendar.
While the articles such as successful content strategy and dos and don’t of content marketing are outside their expected scope, Guardian insists on publishing such articles regularly in order to drive traffic into its website.
Most of the universities serve the same purpose with publishing part of their educational content as educational resources and proudly provide them free of charge to every website visitor.
While providing evergreen content as a traffic driver in the content strategy is more costly than direct advertising in the short run, this approach pays off well in the long run because of better rank in search engines and lower content maintenance cost.