Content marketing is a relatively new phenomenon, and we are constantly learning and adapting to trends and SEO novelties.
Just a couple of years back, most businesses viewed content as a mere side project. Today, we know better.
As this young phenomenon matures, companies are starting to see the relevance of crafting a thorough content marketing strategy. According to the Content Marketing Institute, more than 60 percent of the most prosperous content marketers have a documented content strategy, which includes knowing different types of content and understanding their relevance.
One of the debates we can encounter online is whether you should put more focus on evergreen or timely content. The truth is that both have a place on a business’s blog. But how to find the right balance? Together, we’ll try to get to the bottom of this.
Three types of content to wrap your head around
It is essential to get a deeper understanding of them and to see where is their place on your blog, and how can they contribute to your overall marketing strategy.
- Evergreen content has no expiration date. It covers topics and information which will probably never change. It is a useful piece of the puzzle we call strategy because it is easy to link to, not only for you but for other bloggers as well. Some of the great ways to cover evergreen content are lists, tips, DIY tutorials, videos, and informational articles.
- Timely content cannot stay fresh for long, but it positions you as an authority in your industry because you are someone who knows what is going on and when. It also makes Google favor your blog. Timely articles are usually done through specific season articles, trending stories, statistics reports, articles highlighting a current trend, and breaking events.
- Ephemeral content is a type of timely content which is taking over social media, and we all know the relevance of social media for businesses. It is usually a photo or video content which is available for a short time (most frequently 24 hours). It creates a sense of urgency and greater engagement.
Why do you need all of these content types?
It is imperative to realize that there is no Sophie’s choice here. All the types can and should be implemented to your website. Here are a few examples if you are, let’s say, in the business of making clothes.
- “The enduring presence of the Little black dress” – in this article you can write about the history of the dress and reasons why it is always in vogue. Link to the little black dress you have in your offer, and voila, you have an article that readers can always return to.
- “The fashion trends you can pick up from this year’s Fashion week” – this is pretty self-explanatory.
- Instagram calls-to-action can be excellent examples of ephemeral content (e.g. post your best street fashion moment and you can get valuable rewards).
Can content be planned ahead (and if not, what is the use of having a content marketing strategy)?
As we mentioned before, any company which is serious in its intent to succeed must have a content marketing strategy. The easiest part of planning is choosing and creating timeless (evergreen) content and timing it correctly.
Timing is everything because of the search engine indexation which can take some time to index your content. This can be easy when you know which events are particularly important for your industry (e.g., the Fashion Week). A very useful tool you can use for that is Google Trends which allows you to see when a particular event is popular and when it achieves its peak interest.
This is also a clever strategy to use when it comes to timely or ephemeral content because when something big is happening that can affect your industry, you know that you need to be on top of the news and trends.
Buzzsumo is also a tool you can use to find out which topics are the most shared right now but also to analyze the performance of your content.
How to make all of your content relevant?
Evergreen content is always relevant, right? Well, yes and no. If you are covering a timeless topic, it should always remain up-to-date. While this claim is true, you should periodically review your old articles in case that some links or photographs have expired. It can also be refreshed with new findings.
As for the timely content, try to keep it related to your industry. If you take things too broadly, you will turn your website into a newspaper edition, and you can’t compete with the news websites.
Ephemeral content should be able to catch and hold the attention of users, and all that within a couple of seconds. It’s all about getting straight to the point.
The idea that should guide your content marketing concept is that you should write quality content and create enough of it to motivate the audience to come to you when they want a good read and fresh info.
Find the right balance
Finally, the rule of thumb for most business blogs is to have 80 percent of evergreen content and 20 percent of timely content.
This rule will enable you to strategize, but also give you a break when it comes to creating content because timeless content can be created earlier and then scattered across your marketing timeline, while news, trends, and events from your branch can be shared real-time.
Timely and evergreen content types are not at the opposite sides of the battle for audience’s attention. On the contrary, they complete one another as allies. Every business should have both (plus ephemeral) to provide the users with the full picture of what is going on in the industry and to position itself as the authority in the branch.
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