There is no secret ingredient for successful content strategy, but there is a tried and true recipe. To create brand authority, increase conversion and promote participation from your readers, you have to make sure that you have the right balance of evergreen and timely content.
What are evergreen and timely content?
Evergreen content is the powerhouse of your Web presence. It stands the test of time, and remains relevant for months or years after its creation with little effort on your part. This type of content answers important questions, solves common problems and lends your brand the authority it needs to comment on more timely issues. It can come in many forms, from an infographic to a white paper, resource guide or even a blog post.
Timely content, on the other side of the spectrum, is based in trendy subject matter. It is your springboard for commenting on current events and subjects that don’t hold as much weight long-term, but are highly relevant in the here and now. Timely content can be a great way of engaging your audience, and encouraging healthy conversation and debate. It allows you to keep your website fresh, and serves as an excellent vehicle for driving traffic to evergreen resources. It also helps you move your audience through the conversion funnel, based on their individual interests.
How do I find my content sweet spot?
The most important part of finding your content balance is to make sure you have enough evergreen content to anchor your timely content. For instance, if you publish an article on a recent home insurance fraud scheme that has been dominating the news, you are ideally going to want to have several guides or whitepapers that explain home insurance rates, how your audience can make sure they are getting the best rate possible, and how they can avoid falling victim to insurance scams.
By covering your content bases, you are not only positioning yourself as an authority that is qualified to comment on the subject, but also guiding your readers down a content path that will deliver them to the most relevant information your site can offer. Odds are, if your audience is interested in a timely piece they will also be interested in your evergreen content, and possibly in being a future customer.
When in doubt, look to the “big guys” for guidance
It can be very hard to come up with fresh ideas for timely and evergreen content, especially if you’ve been in the game for a while. When searching for inspiration, why reinvent the wheel? Verizon, CrazyEgg and Adobe all do a wonderful job of balancing timely and evergreen content, mainly because they pay out the nose for talented marketing departments. If you own a small business that doesn’t have unlimited resources, take a cue from the big guys. Verizon uses timely blog posts and evergreen resource pages to hook their audience, and you can sometimes get great ideas by building on what others have done before you.
By diversifying the types of content your brand has to offer, you not only improve your chances of attracting organic search traffic, but also of providing enough quality content that your audience will actually want to stay on your site and explore. Whether your goal is conversion, building an engaged online community or just improving your sites general flow, finding your content sweet spot is the first step.
Clair Jones is a business strategy and marketing specialist who helps entrepreneurs refine their online brand. She loves to write about social media trends, career tips and the bests and worsts of online marketing. Follow her on Google+, or check out her other posts on BusinessBee.com.