When it comes to creating content for your marketing, it’s common for business owners to feel lost. Whether the overwhelm is caused by having too much or not enough to talk about, building a content plan can make all the difference. And the recipe for success here is to include both topical and evergreen content!
Introducing my clients to the benefits of evergreen content is always a lightbulb moment. It can totally transform the way you approach everything, from blog posts to social media.
So, let’s break down the difference between evergreen content and topical content, explore examples of each and talk about why including both is so important.
What is Evergreen Content?
Definition of evergreen: “a plant having foliage that remains green and functional through more than one growing season”; or “universally and continually relevant: not limited in applicability to a particular event or date.” [Merriam-Webster Dictionary, October 2022]
As the definition suggests, the term “evergreen” refers to trees or plants that remain green throughout the year. They don’t change colour, or lose their leaves – they are consistent regardless of the season or weather. When used in marketing, then, evergreen refers to content that behaves in the same way.
Evergreen content can be shared over and over again without ever becoming out of date. It never loses its relevance. Whether someone reads your blog post the day you upload it, or a year down the line it will a) make sense and b) help answer their question.
Examples of evergreen content:
- “How-to” guides on how to use your product (provided this doesn’t change over time!)
- Explainer posts on the fundamentals of your business/industry or your process
- Mentions of your business in the media
- Reviews, testimonials, case studies or FAQs
Benefits of evergreen content:
- this content generates for you a never-ending pool of re-useable social media and blog posts. Not only is this a huge time saver, but a great way of maximising content across all of your marketing channels.
- when approached and optimised properly, these blog posts can generate traffic for years. Imagine that! It’s extremely satisfying to build up such a strong organic platform, reaching people years down the line thanks to a well-written, evergreen post.
Where does it best fit?
Evergreen content fits nicely on your blog or website. This means it’s there for anyone to find when searching your platform. It also means it’s easy to share links on social media further down the track.
What is Topical Content?
Definition of topical: “referring to the topics of the day or place: of local or temporary interest.” [Merriam-Webster Dictionary, October 2022]
Hopefully, it is already clear to see where I’m going with this! Topical content is current, linked to the moment, and this means it is unlikely to make sense to share it again and again. These posts will quickly lose relevance and are time-sensitive!
While this sounds like a negative, there are lots of pieces of topical content you’ll want (and sometimes have) to share. Just because something is able to be reshared in the future, doesn’t mean it’s more important!
Examples of topical content:
- Commentary on current topics.
- Starting discussions with your audience.
- Sharing relevant third-party content
- Fun stuff & behind-the-scenes
- Promotional content for events you are hosting or attending
- Nominations for awards
Benefits of topical content:
- showing the person behind the business – topical content is a great opportunity for your audience to get to know you better. And people connect with people!
- it also creates opportunities for you to engage with them. Topical/current stories are great for generating comments, so this sort of content is likely to help you strengthen your rapport with your potential customers.
Where does it best fit?
Topical content is best suited to faster-moving platforms. Posting to let customers know about an event you’ll be attending next month on your blog won’t be relevant once the event is done. You don’t really want that to be there when someone is searching your blog for tips a year down the line! So spaces like Instagram stories, your email newsletter, or even a batch of printed flyers can be a better place for this content.
Why it’s crucial to include both…
Creating a content plan is one of the fastest ways to get control of your marketing strategy. Knowing what to post and when is a lifesaver! When you sit down to write your plan, take note of which of your posts are evergreen and which are topical. It’s key to include both when you’re creating your content.
Evergreen content maximises the results you can get from one piece of work. Think how long it can take you to put together one blog post – hours, if not days depending on the topic! Researching your subject, sourcing your images and writing the copy; it all takes time. Uploading it to your blog, sharing it once on social media and never returning to it would be a travesty!
It’s also an important time saver – creating new content from scratch every day is impossible! By now, I have over 200 posts on my blog. Resharing them is a key part of my strategy. I know that no matter how much time passes, people will still be on the lookout for marketing tips. So, I ensure my posts are written to reflect that.
Topical content, however, is engaging in the moment! It allows you to join in on current conversations, and highlight your industry knowledge. It also shows that you care about staying up-to-date and having your finger on the pulse. Sharing a relevant meme about something that happened in your industry this week might not be shareable again down the line. But it might get you a huge spike in interaction there and then, which can lead to new followers and, potentially, to new customers!
Anything to watch out for?
When it comes to creating good content, there are no strict rules. You have to do what works best for your business! But there are some general guidelines which can help you navigate the minefield!
When thinking about evergreen content, clients have asked “how soon is too soon?” for a repeat post. While there is no set rule, try to avoid repeating content too soon on social media. A couple of months, especially if you post at least 3 times a week, is a good baseline to work with.
The other thing to keep in mind is that every now and again, it’s worth checking over evergreen posts to ensure they’re still as relevant as possible. This could mean updating out-of-date links, adding in new sources or referencing industry changes that have taken place since a post was first written. It just makes sure the content always feels fresh.
And in terms of topical content, when it comes to behind-the-scenes content, have fun and share whatever feels right! But with trending topics and news, consider your audience and avoid irrelevant viral bandwagons! It’s easy to be dragged into a trend that, on reflection, doesn’t really fit with your demographic. Just because you’re seeing it everywhere, doesn’t mean you have to join in.
If you are interested in reading more about this topic, have a look at these:
Why Creating Engaging Content is Crucial for your Business
How to Add Personality to Your Social Media Marketing
4 Types of Social Media Content You Should Focus on
Why You Should Focus on Your Social Media Engagement