In Issuu’s Year in Review, we identified 10 Content Marketing and Publishing Trends of 2021 that would be integral to marketers in the coming year. Claiming the #3 spot is Evergreen Content: Long Form Lives Forever.
You have probably heard the term “evergreen content” thrown around, especially by marketers, but what exactly is it?
Just like an evergreen tree, evergreen content is content that is always green. “Green” meaning that evergreen content will continue to be relevant and “fresh” to customers long after you publish it. Evergreen content stays relevant to customers with search traffic only continuing to grow over time. And as the search traffic grows, so does the content’s value to your website.
Not every piece of content will carry value over time on your website, so you want to have some pieces of content that will stay evergreen, with minor tweaks here or there to keep current. This ensures your content marketing strategy will stay just as good tomorrow as it is today.
Have you ever gone back and watched a political comedian’s set from a year or two ago? You’ll probably get many “oh yeah, I forgot that even happened” and “who are they talking about?” vibes. Content which was incredibly relevant at the time will often go over everybody's heads the following year. Just like a dated joke, content can go out of style very quickly. When planning your content strategy, it’s important to keep in mind the types of content that will come and go, fall out of favor and recollection, or even disappear entirely out of search history.
Seasonal content (Think holidays, sporting events, seasonal outfits)
Announcements (product and otherwise)
Posts that answer important questions or have useful information: like how to change a tire, up your productivity, export a PDF, or get a good night’s sleep.
If you’ve been in business for a while, chances are you have content that could use some updating. A little spring cleaning now and then can help content stay or even become evergreen.
How-to guides that may have outdated steps
Listacles whose companies or products have upgraded or pivoted
Content that is still relevant, but just needs a little refreshing
The best kind and consistently best ranking kind of evergreen content is long-form content. Some marketers consider long-form content to be anything over 700 words, while others only consider an 1800+ word count to be long-form. Whether you subscribe to one length or the other, the fact of the matter is that Google prefers content rich sites. Your content is generally going to rank better with long-form content sprinkled in regularly. This doesn’t mean you should add word count simply for the sake of word count, but it does mean that you may want to rethink consistently short posts. A healthy mix of both long and short-form content is what you’re going for.
Long-form content helps establish your business as an authority on a particular topic. Evergreen content helps customers find you when they search topics in your industry or questions you’ve answered. Both long-form and evergreen content work together to make it more likely for you to appear higher up in search results. There are of course many factors in search engine optimization (SEO), but for now focus on building a repertoire of useful information and quality evergreen content.
Having difficulty thinking of evergreen topics that will work for your business? Here’s a comprehensive list to get you started.
How-To Guides for Beginners
How-To Guides for Advanced Users
How-To Make - guide on how to build or make something yourself (DIY)
Buying Guide - everything you need to know about a product or service (know before you buy).
Everything you need to know about X
Commonly searched how-to’s in your business category
FAQs - frequently asked questions from your customers
Onboarding guide - similar to FAQs, things new customers of yours need to know when using your product or service.
Resource or Product List
Best Free and Paid Tools to Do X
Good Books to Read for Goal X
Lessons Learned or a Unique Viewpoint from an Industry Influencer
Common mistakes in your industry
Do’s or Don’ts in your industry
The history behind a product or business
Let’s say you publish a seasonal catalog with the new Spring lineup, the latest color palettes, and seasonal trends. You can write about specific designs and materials you are selling, embed videos, and even link directly to your store so customers can purchase the items they see on Issuu. But products included in the magazine are only valuable to your customers for as long as you sell them, or during that particular season and style trend.
You may be thinking, how can I make a catalog evergreen? Here are a few ideas to consider writing about: How to get a stain out of a silk scarf, a beginner's guide to accessorizing, building a wardrobe around a few statement pieces, and evolution of the modern dress. You can even reuse content from your magazine published to Issuu, by easily transforming sections into Article Stories or Visual Stories, to create bite-size pieces of content to use on social media.
Now that you understand what evergreen content is, why long-form content helps you build visibility, and have a few ideas to get you started, get to it! We look forward to hearing about your progress!