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
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:
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:
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:
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?
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PR Resource: 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:
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.
Read also: The Inbound First PR Strategy: Beauty From Within
PR Resource: More PR Strategies
Doctor Spin’s PR Strategies
Make sure to explore a wide variety of PR strategies for every different type of situation and challenge:
Learn more: How to Create a PR Strategy That Actually Works
|1||See also The Publics in Public Relations (Doctor Spin).|