The PR BlogDigital PRContent & InboundEvergreen Content is Forever

Evergreen Content is Forever

Still, the PR industry struggles with the idea.

Cover photo by Jerry Silfwer (Instagram)

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 needs to sustain its value over time. Meaning: The content must be relevant today, tomorrow, and in 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 that will last 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. If there are no search volumes, the content will likely be ‘ever’ without the ‘green’.
  • Gentle gardening. Evergreen content will only stay evergreen if you tend to it now and then. To check if everything’s working, add something useful 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 that no one has published—or will publish. 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.

Read also: Evergreen Content is Forever

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 is performing 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

Here’s an example of an online content structure that’s five levels deep:

In the example, 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.

Read also: 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 typically met with, “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?

Thank you for reading this article. Please consider supporting my work by sharing it with other PR- and communication professionals. For questions or PR support, contact me via [email protected].

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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