Can’t See Forest for the Blog? Plant Evergreen Content

Some things are just so nice you have to use them twice…

Or three times, or more.

Let me not just run the risk of repeating myself – let me actively encourage it. If you’ve got it, flaunt it – at least when it comes to content. In fact, you may already have some Evergreen Content – it just might need a little, uhm, sprucing up (sorry, terrible pun).

To go all amateur botanist on you, an evergreen tree is one that retains its foliage year-round. In Canada, we’re blessed with an abundance of pines, firs, spruce, and cedars – some of which find themselves as Christmas trees.

And, like Christmas, for a corporate communicator, those evergreen content items are gifts that can keep on giving.

Ideally, we all want to have a dense, rich virtual forest of blog posts and content – for brands, you want to frame a path through which your customers will merrily traipse en route to the twin cities of Brand Advocacy and Product Purchase.

But some trees are really spectacular – and worth seeing again. And, let’s be totally honest here, sometimes the source of those posts (your blogger’s mind) is a little less-than-fertile.

In both cases, repurposing old blogs makes sense.

Here’s how:

  • React to the news of the day: Maybe there’s a breaking issue in your field. Perhaps someone’s asked a question on a Twitter feed. If you have already addressed this in a blog post, feel free to share that link. In many ways, the older the better -- you're establishing your bonafides as having answered today's question in the past. It's a nice way to show you're attuned to the ever-evolving marketplace.
  • Update with new information: The times, they are a-changin’ and sometimes your older blog posts can fall out of date. Revisiting older posts and updating them referencing new technologies, new learning from your experience, or event ‘mea culpas’;
  • Lists: Web readers love lists – just check sites like Mashable and Ragan for their abundance of “Top Five” and “Top 10” articles. The topics likely will stay the same, but emerging technologies, new statistics, and updated best practices can give you the opportunity to update your content;
  • Tutorials: Showing your customers how to properly use your products isn’t just good customer service – it’s excellent brand-advocacy building. After all, if people are frustrated with your product before they can even use it, they’re not likely going to be spreading positive vibes through the Internet. And this can be a good way to engage your customer base – asking them how they creatively use your product. But be careful. Some people are crazy. Don’t post things that could result in injury (don’t laugh, I once worked with a company that regularly received customer suggestions on how to use its cleaning products to wash household pets…);
  • Reviews and Testimonials: A one-time expression of joy can resonate long into the future. This is particularly effective on product pages.

Evergreen content doesn’t need to be restricted to blogs. You can repurpose videos, white papers, FAQ content, Wikis, and other items that have not suffered from obsolescence.

Videos, in particular, are a great medium for engagement. And a simple blog post asking for your customers’ ideas, thoughts, and feedback can result in a tonne of user-generated content. In essence, you’re planting the seeds for future evergreen content.

Now, like any healthy forest, you shouldn’t plant all of the same content. A blog filled only with evergreen content will quickly die out. And if a great blog idea falls in this type of forest, chances are no one will be left around to hear.

But done correctly, with evergreen posts becoming a part of a much-larger collection of unique and dynamic content, this can foster an environment rich in valuable content and customer satisfaction for years to come.

Do you use evergreen content? If so, how? Comments are open.

Questions Answered

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