The PR BlogDigital PRContent & InboundThe Evergreen Content PR Strategy: Forever Is a Long Time

The Evergreen Content PR Strategy: Forever Is a Long Time

Still, the PR industry struggles with the idea.

Cover photo: @jerrysilfwer

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. Meaning: The con­tent must be rel­ev­ant today, tomor­row, and the fore­see­able future.

While news con­tent might have a more sig­ni­fic­ant impact short-term, ever­green con­tent instead 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, I think the 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 for two years, it will typ­ic­ally last for much longer.
  • Actual interest. To be con­sidered ever­green con­tent, there must be an exist­ing volume of search engine users look­ing for the inform­a­tion. Without search volumes, the con­tent will likely be ‘ever’ without the ‘green’.
  • 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.

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:

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 con­tent divers since they’re more valu­able than sur­face browsers.

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

Learn more: The Deep Content PR Strategy

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?

Please sup­port my blog by shar­ing it with oth­er PR- and com­mu­nic­a­tion pro­fes­sion­als. For ques­tions or PR sup­port, con­tact me via jerry@​spinfactory.​com.

PR Resource: Content Themes

Content Themes

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

Promise fil­ter: 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 each quarterly con­tent theme, they pro­duce con­tent pack­ages. Each con­tent pack­age could con­tain the following:

  • Infographics
  • Blog Articles
  • Whitepapers
  • Social Media Updates
  • Landing Pages
  • Lead Magnets
  • Swipe Files
  • Template Files
  • Content Upgrades
  • Online Courses
  • Podcast Episodes
  • Livestreams
  • Email Send-Outs
  • Events
  • Case Studies
  • Webinars
  • Video Tutorials
  • Interactive Quizzes
  • Press Releases
  • E‑Books
  • Testimonials
  • Influencer Collaborations
  • Mobile Apps
  • Slide Presentations

Learn more: The Content Themes PR Strategy

PR Resource: Inbound vs Outbound

Inbound vs Outbound

The inbound mind­set is a fun­da­ment­al shift in pub­lic relations.

Instead of focus­ing on try­ing to spawn non-exist­ing audi­ences, PR can do so much more with exist­ing online pub­lics. 1See also The Publics in Public Relations (Doctor Spin).

If your inbound PR strategy is good enough, you might not even need an out­bound PR strategy.

Jerry Silfwer speaking about inbound marketing
Jerry Silfwer (Doctor Spin) speaks about inbound marketing.

Read also: The Inbound First PR Strategy: Beauty From Within

PR Resource: More PR Strategies

1 See also The Publics in Public Relations (Doctor Spin).
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.

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