With voice gaining momentum through Alexa and Siri and the keywords war heating up, senior brand and digital consultant at Orchard Mikaela Crimmins (pictured below) explains the value of ‘evergreen’ content.
In an industry where the word ‘content’ is on everyone’s lips, I appreciate that ‘evergreen content’ could be a slippery slope to other marketing clichés. But trust me, it’s not.
Evergreen content is informative and answers the burning questions that people keep asking about a particular topic. It remains relevant in the long-term and does not have an expiration date.
Far from a passing fad, evergreen content offers Australian marketers a valuable alternative to traditional content strategies, addressing timeless and recurring themes.
As voice starts to gain traction in households, a reflection is needed on how best to plan for evergreen content as online research is increasingly shifting from keywords to whole phrases.
The benefits of going Evergreen
For good reason, Australian marketers are increasingly creating topical and timely content in order to generate immediate interest.
However, with 85 per cent of Australian marketers stating that their organisation is focused on building an audience through content, it is increasingly hard to stand out from the crowd.
Evergreen content offers an alternative and longer-term approach that, if implemented efficiently, can deliver significant return on investment.
Consider the amount of consumers’ search queries that are repeated over and over again.
Successful evergreen content strategies are designed to look at these long-tail search queries and develop high-quality content that will provide a relevant answer or information to consumers, ultimately positioning your brand as part of their search journey.
This type of content marketing may not be reactive or fame-building, but it is hugely valuable.
One of the best outcomes for such strategies is to appear on Google Quick Answer’s box.
First introduced in 2014, its purpose is to source what it deems ‘the most relevant’ content that will answer a consumer’s specific query, and then features it as a snippet or quick answer.
Some formats are naturally adapted to fit the Google Quick Answers’ criteria, including answers to FAQs and how-to guides.
As a brand, you need to think about upcoming trends or topics that your potential customers are likely to research extensively.
A great example of this is work we completed for an animal health care brand and the publishing site that we created as a result.
We started the process by looking at the long-tail keyword search terms that may have had little to do with the brand specifically, but which were recurring in relation to pets.
We found that people were consistently searching for dog name generators and so we decided to include this type of content on our own publishing site to drive traffic and lead generation.
As a case study, the name generator has been on the customer’s site for the past 12 years.
If the content is informative and helpful enough, it may make it to the Quick Answers box at the top of the Google SERP despite not necessarily ranking as the number 1 search result.
Playing the long (tail) game
Evergreen content marketing is an investment in content that will remain relevant for years to come.
In developing a strategy around this type of content, you also want to take into account the shift in how people research information, especially with the increasing use of voice research.
Users don’t engage with voice-activated devices in the same way that they would research information online, and in both cases, people are increasingly using sentences rather than keywords.
The keywords war is changing. Google, Alexa and Siri need to be able to interpret entire sentences and understand grammatical context in order to provide relevant answers.
Marketers helping to create these technologies also need to understand how customers are verbalising something in both written and voice research.
For too long we have been keyword junkies, but marketers are beginning to realise that this approach doesn’t always pay off in the long-term.
It is an expensive marketing strategy and game to play – one which relies on guessing what end users are looking for and what they want, instead of making truly informed decisions.
Getting into the practice of developing evergreen content now will set marketers up for success well into the future.
After all, evergreen content may not be trendy but it is timeless.
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