This post originally appeared on Newswire.ca
The primary goal for any content marketer is to generate leads. The process starts by creating compelling content — easier said than done. This content must be useful, fresh, shareable, SEO-friendly, appealing to audiences and topped with a grabbing headline. And don’t forget the multimedia!
Corporate content should also be lasting. Unless your marketing team has unlimited resources, the content you develop for your marketing program needs to be somewhat timeless or, evergreen. Investing in evergreen content is extremely worthwhile as it achieves higher search engine ranking, drives more traffic and can continuously generate leads, until the next budget cycle at least.
Here are a few tips for writing effective evergreen content:
1. Write for beginners, not experts
Although you’d probably think that evergreen content should be written for experts, it’s really quite the opposite. Evergreen content is often sought out by beginners, so make sure your content reflects this. Your content must effectively communicate your expertise without it going way above your audience’s head. This means writing in plain language; use pronouns and active language instead of prepositions and passive language. Like any form of writing, it all comes down to knowing your audience and catering to their needs.
2. Write the right kind of content
Evergreen content falls under an umbrella of content types, which include:
- Lists (i.e., Seven Tips for the One-Person Social Media Team)
- Top tips/Best Practices (i.e., 6 Tips Before Buying Media Monitoring Software)
- Instructional “How-To’s” (i.e., How to Create an Editorial Calendar)
- Encyclopedic/Informational (i.e., Social Metrics Defined: Engagement & Reach)
- Resource Lists (i.e., The Importance of Grammar as Part of Communication)
- Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (i.e., What Does a PR Professional Do?)
- Interviews (i.e., The New Rules of Marketing & PR: An interview with author David Meerman Scott)
In order to be considered evergreen, your content should remain relevant at least one year after publication. This means avoiding content that has dates or “trends to watch” themed pieces.
3. Make it comprehensive
Writing evergreen content requires thorough research and a full understanding of the topic at hand. From an SEO perspective, longer content tends to outperform shorter pieces on search engine results pages. In fact, articles over 2,000 words are being highlighted on Google as “in-depth articles,” which will increase page ranking.
Don’t mistake this advice as permission to write a novel of corporate content! Always aim to write succinctly just be sure not to miss any critical information.
4. Narrow down your topic
Although it’s okay to be lengthy, don’t make it broad. Writing about a broad topic, or writing broadly about any topic, makes it hard to get key points across. You don’t want your readers to tune out and move onto something better. Narrow your focus and really dig in. (i.e., “How to increase Twitter engagement” vs. “How to increase social media engagement”).
5. Link posts together
If it’s difficult to say all you want on a topic with a narrow-focus approach, consider creating a series of related pieces. Not only is it great for your SEO, but linking posts together gives your audience a solution to their immediate problem while pointing them to solutions to what might be their very next problem. CNW’s Meet the Press, Canadian Content We Love and PR 101 seriesgroup together common themes and queries into useful evergreen content.
6. Update & repurpose your best work
Revisit everything you’ve already produced on a regular basis. Even the best evergreen content can get boring after you’ve trotted it around for a while. Sort through your old infographics, news releases, presentations and case studies and see if it can re-purposed for a new evergreen blog or reformatted as an ebook. Check out this guide for finding more content opportunities.