The Ultimate Guide to Evergreen Marketing for Entrepreneurs
As an entrepreneur, you know you have to put much effort and money into marketing. The best thing is to find something that sticks, something that is there for a long time, convincing your prospects to buy a service or product from you rather than from your competitor. Enter evergreen marketing and evergreen content.
In this blog, I explain evergreen marketing and list 10 evergreen marketing tips. As evergreen content is the best-known component of evergreen marketing, I am focusing on that for the remainder of this blog. I have written a blog about evergreen content before, but in this blog, I explain why it matters, list requirements as well as 4 useful tips for creating evergreen content. At the end, I even list 49 blogging ideas for evergreen content. I hope that, after reading this blog, you have some tools to maximize the results of your marketing efforts and to minimize the time and budget you spend on marketing.
Evergreen marketing explained
There is little information about evergreen marketing on the internet, but Marketing Artfully has managed to come up with a definition: “evergreen marketing is implementing the marketing concepts and practices that transcend the latest fad and providing long lasting, duplicable expertise, which will work across a variety of marketing platforms and mediums.” The site lists four concepts of evergreen marketing: great branding, your logo, your keywords and your products.
What is evergreen marketing not? Evergreen marketing is not Pinterest or Facebook, having a blog or a website, the latest mailing or postcard, your shopping cart, an email campaign or anything else that is a changeable, uncontrollable aspect of your marketing. They do not mean a thing if you do not have a rock-solid product line, solid lead generation tools and a follow-up system that gives you new customers. Evergreen marketing is also not online or offline. It is a sincere focus on your brand, and it is about how you intend to present that brand, product or service to the world.
Kevin Harrington describes an evergreen marketing tool that most entrepreneurs overlook. We are all online now as entrepreneurs. The internet is a visual and aural medium. However, humans have three other senses to work with. While you are not likely to do much with smell or taste (outside of food service or cosmetics), touch is a huge part of everyone’s lives. This is where the promotional product comes in. When you put something useful into the hands of people who could become your customers, you are connecting with them in a way that no one on the internet can. They know that you exist, and that you solve their problems for them every day. When you have got them convinced of that, making the sale is easy. The dark side of promotional products is that a useless or cheaply made piece of junk is going to sour them irrevocably on your brand. So pay attention to what you hand out!
10 evergreen marketing tips that work
Jimmy Rodela offers ten evergreen marketing tips. These are great for getting started.
- Think inside out. Establish your website first.
People tend to be very judgmental. If they visit your site and see that it is poorly designed, chances are good that they will find you less credible and not worth their business. Therefore, before you think about telling others about your website, you have to make sure that it has already been completed or perhaps established to a certain extent.
- Start guest posting.
Guest posting is so simple to do there is no reason why you should not do it. There are reasons why you should: it helps you establish your credibility as an expert in your niche, which breeds trust, bring tons of traffic to your website and to increase your chances of converting these viewers to paying customers.
- Do not use all the social media platforms you can get your hands on.
Social media marketing is not free. Keeping your account active and networking costs a lot of time and resources. If you are spending your resources on social media platforms where your target audience is not prevalent, then your marketing efforts would have been little to no avail.
- Do not compromise your web content’s quality.
Thinking that you have to produce fresh content daily is a common misconception that business owners fall for. The key is to give your readers what they want. People read because they have a problem that they want solved. Your job is to determine what that problem is and to solve that problem by publishing something that answers it. The more problems you solve, the more credibility you build as a business.
- Create a LinkedIn account. Start connecting and prospecting.
This is a great place for you to market, connect and establish yourself as an authority by giving expert advice to others. This is especially true since LinkedIn just recently released a feature where you can now publish long posts. With this feature, you can start sharing in-depth advice to your target market and position yourself as an expert in the field. First read my blog on digital sharecropping though!
- Allow others to republish your post.
This will not get your site penalized, if you tell them to use a rel canonical tag that would tell the search engines to credit the original source of the content, which is your site.
- Comment marketing.
Make sure that the post/content you are commenting on is relevant to your target audience. Make sure that the website you are commenting on has a decent amount of monthly visitors. Make sure that your content provides value to the readers. Finally, make sure the readers want to contact you after reading your comment.
- Join groups and forums where your target audience hangout and network.
You need to show genuine concern for others if you want to succeed in networking. Instead of downright pitching your services, ask about their needs first and talk about how you can help them.
- Transition your social tribe’s mindset from being a reader to a buyer.
The main challenge is usually to shift the mindset of your viewers from simply browsing and consuming content, to making them want to buy. Using a landing page coupled with a strong sales copy is the perfect solution for that. It is important to note that a strong sales copy’s purpose is to get your readers to buy and not to entertain them.
- Repurpose your content to increase its mileage.
Because producing quality content can be expensive, you need to get as much mileage out of your published contents. Turn your written content into videos, Infographics and slideshow presentations (among many others). Then publish them on different platforms to increase your business’ visibility on the web.
If you want to see examples of successful evergreen marketing campaigns, you can visit Brandanew’s blog. I think the best-known component of evergreen marketing is evergreen content, so I would like to focus on that from here on.
Why does evergreen content matter?
Scott Yates says that “creating evergreen content does not mean that your blog should never post up-to-date information, or that it always has to educate, inform, or help your audience. Nevertheless, blending in posts that show you recognize their needs and want to help with reliable information for today and many days and years into the future is the best way to create evergreen content that will pay off for your company.”
Fresh, relevant content offers a variety of benefits, Shanna Mallon says, both in terms of SEO and business growth:
- Better search rankings
High-quality, timeless content performs better in search engines than short-lived articles. When your website has evergreen content that is well optimized for search engines, it ranks higher in search results.
- Website traffic
Higher search rankings mean increased traffic as Web users search for terms that bring them to your site. More importantly, because evergreen content stays relevant, it keeps bringing you traffic well into the future, creating a continuous traffic stream that benefits your brand.
- Lead generation
Increased web traffic means increased opportunity for lead generation. Optimize your evergreen content to generate leads — by adding calls-to-action for your newsletter or mailing list for example — and as more visitors come to your site, your leads grow.
Requirements evergreen content
What are the requirements that make content evergreen? According to Studyweb.com, evergreen articles are not easy to compose: “Many blogs publish short-term content, such as news stories, which simply will not bring in readers once the topic is old hat.” To be evergreen, content must tick one or more of these boxes:
- Highly ‘Google-able’: should answer common questions that are constantly relevant to searchers
- Interesting long past its publication date
- Pull in traffic consistently over months, or years
- Lacking an expiry date
Studyweb.com thinks that if done right, evergreen content is the best investment one can make. It bolsters Search Engine Optimization (SEO), helps with link building and ensures Google sees your blog as a source of quality information.
4 useful tips for creating evergreen content
We are convinced we need evergreen content. Now we want to get started. What do we do? Yates lists four tips for us.
1. Think sustainable vs. timeless
There are two types of evergreen content: content that remains pertinent, regardless of passing time and changing culture, and content that loses relevance and importance over time if it is not tended to and updated to reflect changing trends and technology.
Some examples of content considered evergreen are “How To” Guides. Guides on how to tie your shoes will not change over the next 50 years, but a guide about how to upload photos from your iPad to Facebook will. The latter will remain evergreen as long as the information is updated to include changes made to Facebook, or the iPad.
2. Social is fleeting, but a vehicle for evergreen
There are certain aspects of your social media marketing that will probably not change over time. Establishing your presence in social channels, paying attention to your audience, engaging with people, and responding to comments and ideas should all be forms of evergreen social marketing.
Social media is not only a great way to show the human side of your brand, but by sharing evergreen content with a longer shelf life, your content can be shared more often. Even though content on social networks must be engaging, it is important to remember that every business has a different target audience. An effective evergreen social campaign should focus on strategy first and execution second.
Creativity works when it comes to creating evergreen marketing content. Even when your business is not the most captivating one out there, a little bit of imagination in your content can go a long way. It makes sense to push the envelope a little bit just to give people a reason to share your posts on social media. So have some fun!
3. Let your content flourish
Many businesses fill their blogs with quality evergreen content only to see it being buried by the influx of new blog posts. You must make an effort to call out these evergreen posts so that they are immediately obvious to new visitors. You could call attention to these posts by creating a ‘Top Posts’ section of your blog. You can also use your existing blog content to squeeze out a little more forgotten evergreen content. Update your posts, add new information, and re-post them.
4. Evergreen has many forms
Chances are that your blog or website already has a supply of evergreen content that you have never thought about much. Evergreen information does not just have to be written articles. It can come in the form of videos, images, or infographics.
49 blogging ideas for evergreen content
As Studyweb.com said, coming up with ideas to populate your evergreen content calendar is not easy. To help, they have compiled 49 evergreen content ideas.
- Review the services you use every day. Other businesspeople want to know whether services are worth using, so share your experience and tell them.
- Publish top tips that will help people understand your industry. Your aim is to gear these tips towards customers – people that will eventually buy from you – not your peers.
- Use Google Trends and find topic ideas that are on their way up – not declining. While trends are time-sensitive, some are on a journey to becoming evergreen. Catch them early and build on that traffic potential. An example is my blog ‘6 reasons why you should not post inspiration quotes.’
- Think of niche topics. These will attract a steady flow of interest, and you will have very little competition for the keywords.
- Define acronyms that are common in your line of work. Your customers are probably wondering what they mean.
- Cover a relevant historical or cultural subject in detail. Everyone needs facts and figures in a hurry, which is why everyone knows about Wikipedia.
- Write help documents. Select keywords carefully so that your help content will appear in Google searches for those products and services. Keep it relevant to your business, too. An example is my blog ‘Tips for entrepreneurs and CEOs to become social media-savvy.’
- Serialize a tutorial over several posts. Serializing content is a great way to build internal links.
- Define technical terms. Your readers may struggle with other pieces of content without definitions, so a technical definitions blog is a great way to gain links from your own blog and other people’s.
- Write about evergreen videos. Choose something relevant from YouTube, embed it and add your own spin in a blog post. Funny cat videos are one of the best examples of evergreen content on the web.
- Cover the history of a sporting event. It will bring in traffic for years, and will not date if done right.
- Publish a podcast that will stand the test of time. Audio content is relatively easy to produce; just avoid chatting about current affairs.
- List helpful resources for fellow businesspeople. List posts are always very readable if structured correctly, and people will bookmark a well-structured post.
- Write Frequently Asked Questions about your business or industry. Get inspiration from social media posts and existing users or customers. I offer a FAQ page for both customers and translators on TranslationWebshop.com. As a result, people do not repeatedly ask me the same questions, and I can refer to the page when one of those questions does come my way.
- Publish a post about yourself and your skills. People are inherently curious and will enjoy finding out more about you.
- Take inspiration from non-evergreen topics. If you want to build traffic, blogging about the news is not the best way, but publishing an analysis after a big event can bring you evergreen traffic.
- Write about annual events that will come around year after year. While seasonal blogs are not evergreen in the short term, they will bring spikes in traffic every time that date rolls around in the calendar.
- Publish client testimonials. Testimonials are a great way to inspire trust in your products and services, and they can be a great source of long-tail keywords. Indeed, my feedback page is one of the most visited pages of my website.
- Research and write a killer biography. Make it relevant to your business by choosing an industry legend or trailblazer.
- Write glossaries of terms. These are another type of list post, and they can be great for incoming links as well as organic search traffic. Just try to write a little content about each glossary definition to bulk up the post.
- Curate a list of several blogs on a niche topic. If this helps to build an audience, you can make it a regular feature.
- Answer your new clients’ questions in a blog. Often, we write fantastic content in emails that should be published for everyone to enjoy. An example is my blog about the question I regularly receive whether I am a native speaker. In addition, I have written a blog about customers not paying their invoices (in Dutch), which helps me when new customers are hesitant paying my 50% advance.
- Write a case study. It is best to promote your relationship with a client that you work with long term so that the content never dates. An example is my blog about prospects trying to lower the price when certain words are used multiple times. I elaborate on how that would work out in practice.
- Create a list of useful resources for a newbie starting up in your industry. Helping others is a great way to build trust and get shared.
- Write strategies for common problems. Saving money, losing weight, switching jobs and balancing business budgets are all great topics. An example is my blog on no budget marketing.
- Write about product or service features in detail. This can help to reinforce those valuable long tail keywords.
- Reveal the way you work and your strategy for being productive. Many businesses stall because people lose momentum, so motivational blogs can help draw traffic from a wide audience.
- Write about other timeless content that might be useful to your readers. Cookbooks and reference books are good examples.
- Publish humorous insights into your industry. Blogs that make people laugh are great candidates for social sharing.
- Serialize your e-book. Break the content out into separate blogs, each with a link to the PDF version.
- Tell the story of your company’s biggest achievement. Self-promotion is no bad thing.
- Think of an on-going offer to promote, such as a free gift or a coupon code. People are always searching for discounts and offers prior to making a purchase.
- Publish a recipe (if it is relevant to your business!). Recipes never get old.
- Write about those jargon terms that your new customers struggle with. Explaining the background behind the jargon helps it to sink in. An example is my blog ‘SEO, SEM and SEA – Explanations for the entrepreneur.’
- Write an annual post on a topic that can be updated in every year that follows. One good example is an annual staff survey, industry report or piece of research.
- Publish a customer survey with no closing date. This can be very useful for getting feedback from potential customers.
- Create a training course on Udemy and link to it from your blog. People love learning independently online, particularly if the course is free.
- Bust myths about your industry. You have unique insider knowledge – so use it! An example is my blog ‘Machine translations for your website: not always the answer!’
- Write about ‘known errors’ with devices or equipment that you use in your job. If you have a workaround, you will bring in traffic from people with the same problem.
- Publish an interview with a thought leader in your niche. Try to put an editorial spin on the interview so that it reads like a magazine article, rather than a questionnaire.
- Write about your favorite ‘life hacks’ for getting work done faster. Increased productivity is a topic everyone loves to read about.
- Have at least one how-to post about Christmas on your blog. Even the most obscure Christmas topic will get hits as December approaches.
- Rethink a common viewpoint. Publish your own unique opinion on a topic that has been covered in depth by others. You will probably be linked to, providing you are honest about your views.
- Offer 10 ways to do something. Numbered lists are great for evergreen content ideas, and readers love them because they know exactly how much time they will need to invest in reading the post.
- Compose beginner tips for novices. People who need help with something may eventually choose to hire you to do it for them. An example is my blog ‘Consequences of a poor translation for your company,’ in which I offer tips on what to watch out for in addition to the consequences.
- Embed presentations and magazine content with your own viewpoint and commentary. SlideShare and Scribd are both great resources.
- Link older related posts together so they become evergreen as a group. For example, time-sensitive posts can become more useful if they track a situation as it evolves.
- Edit old posts on your blog. If you have published articles that have gone stale, edit the articles to retain the evergreen content while discarding anything that is old news. In a way, this blog is my update on ‘How to write evergreen content.’ I offer a different take on evergreen content and newer sources.
- Write quality content. When it comes to blog posts, there is no point rushing to create masses of thin content. Publish posts that people really want to read, like and share.
What can I do for you regarding evergreen content and marketing?
I can help you reach a bigger audience with the evergreen content you create. You have researched exactly who your customers are and you know how you can best reach them across a multitude of channels. This has resulted in you (or someone you have hired) writing high-quality content for them. Language is one of the techniques that marketing uses to make an impression on customers. It is therefore likely you will need your high-quality content in more than one language.
Since 2011, I am CEO of Dutch translation agency BudgetVertalingOnline for affordable translations into English or Dutch. In addition, if you need a translation in another language pair, you can find a professional translator at TranslationWebshop in only three steps. I have just launched the platform a few months ago and we already offer nearly fifty language combinations!
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