The Public Relations BlogDigital PRContent & InboundEvergreen Content PR Strategy: Forever Is a Great Time

Evergreen Content PR Strategy: Forever Is a Great Time

Still, the PR industry struggles with the idea.

Cover photo: @jerrysilfwer

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Evergreen con­tent is the gift that keeps on giving.

Instead of strug­gling to push out news­worthy inform­a­tion daily, focus­ing on pub­lish­ing long-last­ing con­tent has many benefits.

Evergreen con­tent is also the worst-kept secret in the world of online content.

Still, the PR industry struggles with the concept.

Here’s why (and how to get it right):

Evergreen Content vs News Content

Evergreen Content

What’s ever­green con­tent? For a piece of con­tent to be ever­green, it must sus­tain its value over time. This means the con­tent must be rel­ev­ant today, tomor­row, and the fore­see­able future.

While news con­tent might have a more sig­ni­fic­ant short-term impact, ever­green con­tent accu­mu­lates over time.

There are dif­fer­ent ways to lever­age ever­green con­tent. I recom­mend a few axioms for Evergreen Content:

  • Two years. To be con­sidered ever­green con­tent, con­tent must be rel­ev­ant and valu­able for at least two years. It’s an arbit­rary time frame, but if an organ­isa­tion can pro­duce con­tent last­ing two years, it will typ­ic­ally last much longer.
  • Actual interest. To be con­sidered ever­green con­tent, there must be an exist­ing volume of search engine users look­ing for the inform­a­tion. The con­tent will nev­er be ‘ever’ without ‘green’ search volumes.
  • Gentle garden­ing. Evergreen con­tent will only stay ever­green if you tend to it occa­sion­ally. To check if everything’s work­ing, add some­thing help­ful if needed, and per­haps clean out some unne­ces­sary stuff. It’s a bit like garden­ing, I find. 
  • Personal touch. It’s dif­fi­cult to pub­lish some­thing unique. However, adding your brand’s ton­al­ity and flair to the con­tent is always pos­sible. The object­ive is to estab­lish trust and author­ity, so a touch of per­son­al­ity matters.

Evergreen con­tent is an inbound approach to build­ing core mes­sages, con­tent themes, con­tent pack­ages, deep con­tent, and con­tent sky­scrapers.

Learn more: The Evergreen Content PR Strategy: Forever Is a Long Time

Evergreen Content + Deep Content = Boom

I might be knock­ing down open doors here, but:

Search engines gen­er­ally have no prob­lem with “old con­tent” — as long as the con­tent per­forms well, Google will likely see the con­tent as good. And if your ever­green con­tent is excel­lent, it’ll have more time to attract links from oth­er platforms. 

However, the most obvi­ous bene­fit is that the ever­green approach will allow you to build deep con­tent over time:

Spin Academy | Online PR Courses

Deep Content

Above is an example of an online con­tent struc­ture that’s five levels deep. In the example above, five lay­ers of ever­green con­tent are stacked:

  • Level 1: Articles
  • Level 2: Content Upgrade
  • Level 3: Resource/​Lead Magnet
  • Level 4: Ebook
  • Level 5: Online Course

Deep con­tent is centred around provid­ing increas­ingly high­er qual­ity to engaged users. ideally, the user­’s engage­ment should determ­ine when the inform­a­tion need has been ful­filled, not the lim­it­a­tions of the web­site’s avail­able content.

  • The few who reach your content’s call to action (con­tent diver = click­ing ver­tic­ally) are more valu­able than those who only scan its first head­line (con­tent surfer = click­ing horizontally).

As for the import­ance of struc­ture and depth, the logic is the same as that of ice­berg pub­lish­ing and con­tent themes.

Learn more: The Deep Content PR Strategy: Win By Going Deeper

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PR + Evergreen = Ouch

So, why is the PR industry strug­gling with a basic concept like ever­green content?

The answer is simple:

Traditional PR pro­fes­sion­als are hard­wired for news.

New = Great for PR
Old = Unusable for PR

Our fix­a­tion on news­wor­thi­ness is help­ful in tra­di­tion­al media rela­tions but a han­di­cap in digit­al PR.

There are oceans of know­ledge read­ily avail­able for pub­lish­ing with­in many organ­isa­tions, but no one is con­tem­plat­ing mak­ing all of this valu­able inform­a­tion avail­able on the inter­net. Why? 

When I bring it up, I’m told, “Who cares about this stuff? It’s old!”

I used to counter with, “It might seem old to you, but it’s not old to every­one.” But it has been a weak argu­ment befall­ing deaf ears.

The Online Wisdom Argument

So, how do you pro­mote ever­green con­tent to a seasoned PR pro­fes­sion­al who sees the world through the lens of newsworthiness?

I find that it works to talk about search engines:

First, I ask them if they use search engines. When they say yes, I ask them how often. When they say often, I ask them how often they search for news. When they say not often, I ask them what they search for — if it isn’t news.

Turns out also seasoned PR pro­fes­sion­als use search engines primar­ily to find ever­green content.

Then I ask them if they want people seek­ing ever­green know­ledge only to find com­pet­it­ors. They don’t.

Then I say, “What if mak­ing tried-and-true wis­dom avail­able online could be a power­ful strategy?” This sort of argu­ment hits home every time with seni­or pro­fes­sion­als. No sur­prise, right?

Signature - Jerry Silfwer - Doctor Spin

Thanks for read­ing. Please sup­port my blog by shar­ing art­icles with oth­er com­mu­nic­a­tions and mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sion­als. You might also con­sider my PR ser­vices or speak­ing engage­ments.

PR Resource: Content Themes

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Content Themes

Let’s use a fic­ti­tious example of an IT com­pany. First, they decide on a core mes­sage for their con­tent strategy:

Core mes­sage: We make IT easy to understand.

Then, the IT com­pany breaks their core mes­sage down into four busi­ness-crit­ic­al con­tent themes:

Q1 Content Theme: We make people under­stand the Internet of Things (IoT).

Q2 Content Theme: We make people under­stand busi­ness auto­ma­tion.

Q3 Content Theme: We make people under­stand cloud com­put­ing.

Q4 Content Theme: We make people under­stand man­aged services.

For easy plan­ning and boost­ing SEO with con­tent sky­scrapers, you can cre­ate con­tent pack­ages for each theme.

Using con­tent themes comes with sev­er­al upsides:

  • Planning. Using con­tent themes makes it easi­er to plan your mes­saging for the year.
  • Visibility. Search engines love it when you pro­duce and pub­lish related content.
  • Growth. You’re provid­ing valu­able and ever­green con­tent on a niche topic.

Learn more: The Content Themes PR Strategy

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PR Resource: Inbound vs Outbound

Jerry Silfwer speaking about inbound marketing
Jerry Silfwer (Doctor Spin) speaks about inbound marketing.
Spin Academy | Online PR Courses

Inbound vs Outbound

The inbound mind­set is a fun­da­ment­al shift in the PR- and mar­ket­ing industry.

Historically, many PR- and mar­ket­ing depart­ments have argued:

Why should we spend our PR- and mar­ket­ing budgets on ‘already acquired’ audi­ences?”

The truth is — it’s the oth­er way around.

Instead of “spam­ming” non-exist­ing audi­ences, pub­lic rela­tions and mar­ket­ing can do much more with exist­ing online pub­lics. 1Silfwer, J. (2015, June 11). The Publics in Public Relations. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​p​u​b​l​i​c​s​-​i​n​-​p​u​b​l​i​c​-​r​e​l​a​t​i​o​ns/

Drawing a line between those who know you and those who don’t know you is noth­ing new:

  • Pull mar­ket­ing vs push mar­ket­ing
  • Hot leads vs cold leads
  • Permission mar­ket­ing vs tra­di­tion­al marketing
  • Internal com­mu­nic­a­tions vs extern­al communications

This inbound shift is the online equi­val­ent of draw­ing the line between those who know you and those who don’t know you:

  • Inbound com­mu­nic­a­tions vs out­bound communications

If your Inbound Shift PR Strategy is good, you might not need to pri­or­it­ise out­bound PR strategies — because your inbound audi­ence will attract out­bound publics.

Learn more: The Inbound Shift PR Strategy: Beauty From Within

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PR Resource: More PR Strategies

ANNOTATIONS
ANNOTATIONS
1 Silfwer, J. (2015, June 11). The Publics in Public Relations. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​p​u​b​l​i​c​s​-​i​n​-​p​u​b​l​i​c​-​r​e​l​a​t​i​o​ns/
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwerhttps://doctorspin.net/
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at Spin Factory and KIX Communication Index. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.
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The Cover Photo

The cover photo isn't related to public relations obviously; it's just a photo of mine. Think of it as a 'decorative diversion', a subtle reminder that it's good to have hobbies outside work.

The cover photo has

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