Can you think of some things that have stood the test of time?
For me, the first things that come to mind are morning coffee runs, board games, and dogs as man’s best friend. What do these things have in common? People derive a sense of routine or an emotion from them. They associate them with certain memories, experiences, and feelings.
Now, can you think of some things that faded over time?
The crocks fad came to mind instantly for me. So did cupcake shops – small cupcake shops popped up a few years ago everywhere in my hometown and then seemed to all vanish at once. Same with many frozen yogurt stores, while ice cream on the other hand has stood the test of time.
In tech marketing, you need to produce two types of content – 1) Content that will capitalize on current trends, fads, and new technologies, and 2) Content that will stand the test of time and benefit your potential customers for years to come.
There are always new trends and media cycles, but some things are built to last. Some things will continue to be relevant despite seasonal fads. Evergreen content should be a backbone of your content creation strategy. It will keep your organic web traffic flowing even when there are lulls in your active engagement with potential clients, and it will still gain traction years after it is posted.
And given that Google’s SEO algorithm prioritizes older content, you need to produce content that will continue to be useful later on.
To play right into the metaphor, think of your content like a forest – your evergreen content is the deep roots and the tall trees that will be there for years. Your timely content is the leaves, creating a canopy over the treetops that changes color with the seasons. Timely content adds flair, inserts your brand into important conversations about current trends, and beautifies your collection of content. But like the leaves in our metaphor, it tends to fall off seasonally as people’s attention shifts to new things.
You need both timely and evergreen content, but due to the rapidly advancing and innovative nature of the tech industry, marketers in this field often overlook the importance of evergreen content.
In tech marketing, investing time in evergreen content versus timely content presents an interesting conundrum. Technology today is advancing fast. How can you produce evergreen content when you are trying to promote the latest technological advancements in your industry, which is by definition timely?
The solution? A hybrid model. Why not get the best of both worlds? Be a part of the conversation about current trends and make sure you’re showing off how your brand is keeping up with industry changes while also building a strong foundation of content that will continue to flourish when the next cycle or latest piece of tech comes around.
If you’ve developed your inbound marketing strategy at all, you likely have some great pieces of timely content. Make sure you’re supplementing that with evergreen content as well.
Say you’re a SaaS company writing a case study on how you used the most up-to-date best practices to help a company migrate to the cloud. This is a great timely topic –it advertises a service that you offer, reflects a knowledge of the most up-to-date technology and practices, and shows off that you’ve successfully done it before. This would be considered a timely piece, as it revolves around a service with details that may change with new technological advancements in coming years.
Evergreen pieces are typically longer, do not include any current trends or statistics, and are aimed at a more beginner level. An evergreen piece on a related topic could be an alphabetical glossary of key terms in your industry related to cloud migration. This could include terms such as Data Migration, Big Data, Vendor Lock-in, Cloud Application, Cloud Backup, Amazon Web Services, Cloud Washing, Data Migration, DevOps, Elasticity, Host Machine, etc.
Note that these terms range in complexity – this is because you want your evergreen content to appeal to people with beginner-intermediate levels of knowledge about a topic. Also be sure to explain why a reader should care about these terms. For example, you could talk about why it’s important to have a baseline understanding of these terms so you can be more informed before hiring a company to do your cloud migration.
We’ve noticed anecdotally that most tech marketing content is timely. This makes sense – the pace of technological advancement is quickly accelerating in the 21st century and there are always new technologies to talk about. Also, it’s critical to include timely case studies of instances where your company has been successful.
But don’t overlook the value of evergreen content. It can be a powerful backbone of your marketing platform. It stands the test of time and keeps organic traffic flowing to your site despite current trends. You’ll see a higher return on investment if your content has a long shelf life and can continue to serve your audience for years after it is posted.
The sweet spot is a hybrid model incorporating both timely and evergreen content.
We suggest using a hybrid method moving forward, and auditing your old content and updating it as needed to boost your search engine rankings. Not sure where to start with evergreen content?
To start, think of some things in your industry that have stood the test of time – things that people will always have questions about or need more information about.
In coming up with a topic, my advice is to think about two things – 1) What makes your product or service desirable at its core, and 2) What are the questions in your industry that people will never stop asking?
Let’s use cybersecurity as an example. New technologies are constantly emerging and you’re selling the latest and greatest technology, but at the core, you’re selling security. Write an evergreen piece about that.
What can I do to protect myself or my company from cyberattacks right now? Showcase your company’s expertise on this topic – tell your readers the specific steps they can take to feel more secure.
What are some high-profile instances in the past of major security breaches that people should know about? What did the industry learn from such cases?
How has the way we approach cybersecurity changed over time? This could be an interesting historical lesson. If you’ve worked in cybersecurity for years, you can probably provide some valuable insights about the industry!
The bottom line is that you should answer questions that people will always be looking for answers to.
Be a bit longer than your typical SEO-friendly 1,200-word post
Be aimed at specific beginner-intermediate level topics
Not include any current events, news (unless you’re writing a history piece), or trends
Cite high-quality sources to back up any claims that require evidence
“How To” guides with detailed steps
A list of resources in your industry that have stood the test of time
Articles that answer persistent and common questions
A history lesson about an important shift or movement in technology
Glossary of definitions – give your reader a list of key term in your industry and corresponding definitions
A list of key tips
A reflection piece on something you’ve successfully accomplished in your industry (or something you’ve failed at and learned from!)
A list of what you’re reading or listening to – give your readers insight into the books, blogs, or podcasts that you go to for answers about a topic
Podcasts – a podcast can be a great piece of evergreen content
These are just a few examples of ideas for evergreen content that tech marketers can use. Evergreen content is often overlooked in technology marketing, but we view it as essential to any robust inbound marketing strategy. Creating high-quality evergreen content is one of the best long-term investments you can make in the future of your company.
A good evergreen article will still gain traction and start conversations with potential clients years after the day it was posted. Having content aimed at the beginner-intermediate level that answers common questions people will always have about your industry will help establish your brand as an expert in your field. This builds trust with potential clients.
You can start to boost your content creation strategy today by planting an evergreen forest of content around your brand. Not only can this help you rank higher on search engines, but it will also serve as an important long-term investment in your business and establish your brand as an expert that people go to for valuable resources and advice.
Evergreen content is a critical piece of your marketing toolkit that can create a towering online presence for your brand and help generate leads. It’s a great way to optimize your website and improve your inbound marketing strategy.
If you want additional tips for optimizing your website, see our previous blog post with key insider tips for creating a killer website. You can also check out our copywriting page for more information on our writing services. As always, feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions.