We hear quite a bit in content marketing circles about evergreen or timeless content. There are some good examples out there (like this or this). And we’re big fans too, whether creating for clients or training them to create.
Make no mistake, timeless content isn’t the same as avoiding using a time stamp. One prominent member of the content marketing aristocracy (there is such a thing!) does this. And it sucks.
No, evergreen content keeps on giving month after month. Sometimes you’ll benefit from a refresh of a piece but these are items that are well-indexed and pieces that you and audiences will go back to again and again over a long period.
This isn’t about SEO tactics. Sometimes this is about keeping the long term in mind when creating.
Back in the dot-com boom, the media company I was working for went to interview the CEO of a well-known and high-flying online travel company. It was to be a short video Q&A and it was just before Christmas.
Why is that relevant? As we stood in the company’s reception after exchanging handshakes, we pointed out that if the piece might look silly in a few months if we had Christmas decorations in the screen shot.
To their credit, this company hustled and took down the seasonal bunting straight away. The interview was a success and had a long shelf life.
It would have been easy for this company not to care. We needed the interview more than they did and why should we have expected them to get the whole idea of evergreen content?
The most important stage to creating evergreen content is in the planning. The content won’t always prove evergreen or timeless – in that respect it’s a little like the younger sibling of viral content, which is notoriously impossible to plan (or we all would) – but give it the best chance possible.