The leaves started changing color and falling weeks ago, which is much earlier than normal. I guess you don’t have to be a weather geek to trace this back to a hot, dry summer in New Jersey.
Before long, those leaves that bloomed maybe six months ago will be raked, shredded, bagged and hauled away.
Imagine if your business blog’s content had the same lifespan. That could very well happen if every blog post is about current events, hot trends and new data.
Now don’t get me wrong. There are serious business advantages to be gained by capitalizing on the latest buzz in a business blog.
It helps establish your expertise and authority. It positions you as a source of new information. It shows you’re paying attention to what’s going on in your industry. It allows you to state your position, take a stand, and engage your audience. It can even lead to media attention.
For example, I wrote a blog post for a law firm about the recent deadline for switching from magnetic strip payment cards to the new EMV cards with computer chips. A month later, a reporter who read the post requested an interview with one of the attorneys to discuss the topic.
One of my most popular blog posts discussed the statistics that make the bulletproof case for business blogging. About eight months after the post was published, I found out that it was cited as a source in a book about social media for small businesses.
As effective as these blog posts have been, they have a limited shelf life. In the not too distant future, EMV cards will be old news. You could argue that those statistics in my post are already dated.
That’s why evergreen content needs to be part of your business blogging strategy.
An evergreen tree doesn’t have leaves that die every year. It stays vibrant and fresh month after month, year after year. Evergreen content doesn’t become irrelevant after a month or even six months.
Evergreen content is sustainable and remains valuable long after it’s published.
Evergreen content tends to have more meat. More usable information and practical takeaways that your audience can apply to their lives or businesses, now and in the future. As a result, evergreen content can be shared and reposted on a regular basis.
Because evergreen content has a longer lifespan, it can have a high search ranking for a much longer period of time than content that may be more time-sensitive. For example, when I Googled “blogging for business,” I saw articles that were three years old.
When was the last time you used a marketing tactic that drove traffic to your website for three years?
If buzzworthy content is a Suburban, evergreen content is a Prius.
So how do you get the most mileage from your investment?
Use evergreen content to educate.
Show your audience how to do something. Explain a concept that’s directly relevant to their lives and your business. Explain the pros and cons of different strategies that can be used to achieve the same goal. Warn them about things that can prevent them from making their lives or businesses better.
Evergreen content typically includes foundational information that you can link to in future blogs. Instead of adding more words to explain a term or concept in a new post, link to your evergreen content. This gives your new content more substance without adding length and brings new eyes to your existing content.
Keep in mind that there are different levels of evergreen. A post about how to make a pumpkin pie from scratch might be valuable and accurate for the next 50 years. A post about SEO best practices might be relevant for the next two years – or until Google makes a major change to its algorithms. Of course, there’s no rule that says you can’t update old blog posts to make them current.
Either way, evergreen content isn’t about short-term boosts in traffic and social shares. Evergreen content is about delivering substance and long-term value to your audience, both of which benefit your business.
Again, those short-term boosts have value. Writing about recent news, trends and data has value to your audience and your company.
The key is to develop the right mix of evergreen content and buzzworthy content to position yourself and your company as a trusted expert and authority, today and over the long haul.