Balancing Your Evergreen and Trending Content
ep 254

Balancing Your Evergreen and Trending Content

Imagine constantly feeling like you have to create something for your business: a new podcast episode, a video, emails, opt-ins, blog posts, social media posts… All because you either don’t have a content strategy or plan or because you want to stay on top of timely topics and post on the fly.

You’re trying to stay relevant, but the pace of creating new content is relentless. That’s the challenge of dealing exclusively with trending content or wanting to always post “on the fly” or “when inspired.” It’s a rush, but it’s also fleeting. And exhausting.

In this week’s episode, we’re talking about a topic that’s a lifeline for business owners like you – the balance between evergreen and trending content. This is about finding your footing in your content strategy and content creation. It’s about understanding the enduring value of evergreen content, the backbone of your content strategy, which, like the perennials in your garden, remains relevant and engaging over time.

Listen in to learn why a blend of evergreen and trending content is crucial for a well-rounded content strategy. We’ll talk about the enduring benefits of evergreen content – how it drives consistent traffic, boosts your SEO, engages your audience over a longer period, and establishes your brand authority.

Mentioned in This Episode Podcast

Transcript:

Welcome to The Content Experiment Podcast, a podcast for service-driven business owners who are ready for some real talk when it comes to marketing.

There’s so much buzz out there about marketing and content strategy, from people who aren’t actually doing the work themselves. And there’s us…the true small business owner who is simply trying to make an impact in their own small circle of influence.

I’m Abby Herman, fractional marketing officer, content strategist and podcast manager for business owners who want to make their marketing feel easier and more streamlined so they can get back to serving their clients and making those sales. Here we talk about REAL marketing strategies for those who are in the weeds and doing the work, not outsourcing it to big teams. You’ll hear from real business owners just like you who are marketing on a budget, looking for easy-to-implement strategies, and want some guidance from people who are accessible and real.

Thanks so much for being here!

The last couple of episodes I’ve talked about there being different types of content to create for your audience. Today we’re going to talk about two of them: Evergreen and trending or time-sensitive content.

What does this mean?

Evergreen content refers to content that remains relevant, useful, and interesting to your audience regardless of the passing of time. It’s like the “perennials” of the content world – it stays fresh and continues to attract readers, viewers, or listeners long after it’s been published. This contrasts with time-sensitive content, like news articles or trend pieces, which might draw a lot of attention initially but quickly become outdated.

Trending, or time-sensitive, content refers to material that is highly popular or relevant at a particular moment in time, often due to current events, industry developments, recent innovations, or cultural shifts. This type of content capitalizes on current trends and is typically characterized by its timely nature, immediate relevance, and ability to attract a significant amount of attention in a short period.

It’s important to have both types of content in your business because they serve two completely different purposes. When I talk about creating a content plan, this is most often done with evergreen content.
But let’s talk a little bit more about the difference between the two types .

Evergreen content is important in building a solid foundation for your online presence. Some of the benefits include:

  • Sustained Traffic: Evergreen content can drive consistent traffic to your website or platform over time. As it remains relevant, it continues to rank in search engine results, attracting new viewers consistently.
  • SEO Benefits: Because of its lasting relevance, evergreen content is beneficial for search engine optimization (SEO). It keeps your website fresh in the eyes of search engines, helping maintain and improve your rankings.
  • Audience Engagement: Your evergreen content addresses fundamental questions, problems, or interests of your target audience. This helps keep your audience engaged with your brand, giving them value over an extended period.
  • Resource Efficiency: With evergreen content, you get more return on your content investment. Once you create it, it doesn’t require frequent updates to stay relevant, freeing up resources to focus on other aspects of your content strategy. AND you can repurpose it to extend the life of the content.
  • Brand Authority and Trust: Evergreen content often covers topics in-depth, showcasing your expertise and knowledge. This helps establish your brand as an authority in your field, building trust with your audience.
  • Lead Generation: Because of its ongoing relevance, evergreen content can be a great tool for lead generation. It can continually capture leads as new audiences discover and engage with the content.
  • Content Foundation: Evergreen content should serve as a foundational pillar for your content strategy. It can be repurposed, updated, or used as a springboard for more timely content, making your overall content strategy more robust and versatile.

I think your evergreen content should start with your pillar content, which is the content that you own. That’s your podcast, your blog, your YouTube channel. Every business needs this to start.

Examples of evergreen content relevant to various industries.

  • How-to Guides and Tutorials: Detailed guides on fundamental processes relevant to your industry. For instance, a digital marketing agency might create a comprehensive guide on developing a content marketing strategy.
  • FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions): A compilation of common questions and answers that your target clients might have about your services or industry. This can be an ongoing resource for clients seeking quick information.
  • Case Studies: In-depth case studies showcasing how your services have solved client problems. These not only highlight your successes but also provide insights into your approach and effectiveness over time.
    Whitepapers and Research Reports: Deep dives into industry trends, challenges, or opportunities. These documents can position your business as a thought leader and go-to source for industry insights.
  • Educational Blog Posts: Articles that cover fundamental concepts, strategies, or best practices in your field. For example, a cybersecurity firm might write about basic cybersecurity protocols for businesses.
  • Checklists and Templates: Practical tools like checklists, templates, or worksheets that help your clients in their day-to-day operations. A financial consulting firm, for instance, might offer budgeting templates.
  • Expert Interviews and Round-ups: Interviews with industry experts or round-up posts where multiple experts share insights on a particular topic. These pieces often remain relevant as they contain expert opinions and advice.
  • Product or Service Reviews: Though these can border on being time-sensitive, a well-structured review or comparison of tools and services in your industry can remain relevant for a long time, especially if they cover foundational features.
  • Industry Glossaries: A glossary of industry-specific terms can be a timeless resource for professionals in your field, especially those new to the industry.
  • ‘History of’ Articles: Articles that explore the history and evolution of certain aspects of your industry. These can be intriguing and informative for a wide audience over time.
    Best Practices and Standards: Content focusing on best practices, standards, or ethics in your industry. Such content remains relevant as these foundations often don’t change rapidly.

Segment 2: The Power of Trending or time sensitive Content

Now let’s talk about trending or time-sensitive content and how it can boost engagement in the short term.
I don’t create a lot of trending or time-sensitive content, for a few reasons. For my own business, the shelf life is shorter and it becomes irrelevant much more quickly. And in the online marketing space, there are definitely new trends, but many of them lose value quickly. Take Clubhouse, for example. I like to see the overall lifespan of a new tool or trend before I really share my thoughts and learnings about it. I know a lot of people who really jumped in feet first with Clubhouse only to watch it drift off everyone’s radar.

When it comes to creating trending content for clients. Well, hiring someone to create trending content for you is tough. Your marketing team might have some insights about what’s going on in your particular industry, but if you want them to create content around it, you’ll need to really educate them about it. It might need to be a team effort. And it totally can be, but you have to understand that YOU are the person with the insights; they have the content creation ability.

Here are some examples of successfully leveraging trending topics or events.

  • Industry News and Updates: Articles or blog posts that cover the latest developments in your industry. For instance, a legal services firm might publish content about new legislation affecting their clients’ businesses.
  • Market Research and Analysis: Sharing insights on recent market research or providing analysis on emerging trends. For example, a B2B marketing agency might analyze the latest digital marketing trends and their implications for businesses.
  • Thought Leadership on Current Events: Opinion pieces or analysis from company leaders on current events impacting the industry. This could include economic changes, technological advancements, or significant global events.
  • Live Webinars or Q&A Sessions: Hosting live discussions or training sessions on current topics of interest. A cybersecurity firm, for example, might host a webinar on recent cybersecurity threats and prevention strategies.
  • Social Media Posts on Trending Topics: Engaging with current hashtags or topics trending on social media platforms. This could be anything from industry-specific trends to broader business or economic discussions.
  • Podcasts Featuring Industry Experts: Episodes that discuss current events, trends, or hot topics in the industry, featuring guest experts who can provide up-to-date insights.
  • Infographics on Recent Data or Statistics: Visual content that presents recent industry statistics or survey results in an engaging format.
  • Case Studies on Recent Projects: Sharing recent success stories or case studies that tie into current industry trends or client challenges.
  • How-To Guides for New Tools or Technologies: Providing guides or tutorials for the latest tools, technologies, or methodologies emerging in your field.
  • Blog Posts on New Regulations or Compliance Issues: Content that addresses new regulatory changes or compliance issues that impact your clients’ businesses.
  • Video Content on Trending Discussions: Creating video content that tackles trending discussions or debates within your industry.
  • Email Newsletters Featuring Industry Highlights: Regular newsletters that curate and comment on the latest news and trends in your industry.

If you choose to create both evergreen (a must in my book) and trending or time-sensitive content, how do you balance both?

Easy…AND simple. In my opinion, of course.

Your evergreen content is the content you develop from your content calendar. It’s what you plan for. It’s what you batch create, because you already know it’s coming.

You can also plan for some of your time-sensitive content if your business is seasonal. If you have more sales at certain times of the year or your business has certain deadlines, like in some financial businesses.

You can also create your evergreen content and then share it in a way that’s more time-sensitive. So if I’m sharing about the importance of building a 90-day content plan, my emails and social media can talk about it in a more timely manner. Then I can reuse the evergreen content over and over again.

Risks of Leaning Too Heavily on One Type

Risks of Overemphasis on Trending Content:

  • Short Shelf Life: Trending content can quickly become outdated, meaning its value diminishes rapidly over time.
  • Neglecting SEO: Focusing too much on the latest trends can lead to neglecting SEO, which is crucial for long-term online visibility.
  • Brand Dilution: Excessive focus on trends can dilute your brand’s core message and expertise if not aligned with your overall brand strategy.
  • Risks of Overemphasis on Evergreen Content:
  • Missed Opportunities: Ignoring trending topics can mean missing out on opportunities for immediate engagement and relevance.
  • Perceived Irrelevance: Exclusively evergreen content might make your brand seem out of touch with current industry developments.
  • Engagement Plateaus: While evergreen content is stable, it may not always spark the same level of immediate engagement as trending content.

What if you want to share more trending content in your business?

Staying updated with trends and rapidly creating relevant content, while incorporating both trending and evergreen content into your editorial calendar, involves a proactive and strategic approach. Here are strategies to help you achieve this:

Strategies for Staying Updated with Trends

  • Set Up Alerts and Feeds: Use tools like Google Alerts, Feedly, or BuzzSumo to track industry news, keywords, and topics. This ensures you’re alerted as soon as relevant trends emerge.
  • Follow Industry Influencers and Thought Leaders: Keep tabs on social media profiles, blogs, and publications of key industry figures. They often signal emerging trends and provide valuable insights.
  • Participate in Industry Forums and Groups: Engage in industry-specific forums, LinkedIn groups, or professional networks to stay in tune with current discussions and developments.
  • Regularly Review Analytics: Analyze your content performance data to identify which topics resonate most with your audience. This can provide insights into trending subjects within your niche.
  • Attend Industry Events and Webinars: Participating in industry events, whether online or in-person, can keep you abreast of the latest trends and talking points.
  • Customer Feedback and Surveys: Regularly gather feedback from your clients or audience about what topics or issues they find most relevant and intriguing.

Incorporating Both Content Types into Your Editorial Calendar

  • Balanced Planning: Allocate specific slots in your editorial calendar for both evergreen and trending content. A common approach is to have a higher proportion of evergreen content while leaving room for trending pieces.
  • Flexible Slots for Trending Content: Keep some flexibility in your calendar to accommodate trending topics. This might mean occasionally rescheduling evergreen posts.
  • Theme-Based Approach: Organize your content around broader themes that can encompass both evergreen and trending topics, providing a cohesive narrative over time.
  • Seasonal and Event Planning: Anticipate seasonal trends, industry events, or notable dates where specific topics may become relevant and plan your content accordingly.
  • Regular Reviews and Adjustments: Continually review your calendar to ensure it remains relevant and adjust as needed based on audience engagement and industry changes.

By adopting these strategies, you can ensure your content strategy is dynamic, responsive, and well-rounded, effectively balancing the depth and longevity of evergreen content with the immediate relevance and engagement of trending topics.

Having a strategic content calendar will allow you the flexibility and freedom to respond to trending and time-sensitive content regularly, without feeling like you’re even more pressed for time than normal. You have content already mapped out, so you can then respond to something more time-sensitive in a way that feels good for you.
It starts with your content plan though; that’s the first step to creating content that your audience needs and wants.
If you’re ready to start building your 90 Day Content Plan, you can get a private mini podcast with an accompanying workbook, at a tiny offer price, at thecontentexperiment.com/shop. It’s ready for you right now!

If you found value in what you learned here today, I would be so honored if you would leave a rating and review. And don’t be shy about sharing the episode with someone who might need it. The more you share this podcast with others, the more we can get it into the earbuds of more business owners, just like you, who are looking for easy-to-implement strategies, and want some guidance from people who are accessible and real. That’s what you’ll find here. Thanks for being here.

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