What does Evergreen mean and why does everyone keep talking about it? Ask one expert content marketer and they’ll tell you, at its core,evergreen means long-lasting. Like an evergreen tree, it’s content that continues to provide results for years after it's posted.
Ask 34 experts and you’ll get the roots, branches, and pines to that evergreen tree, filling out a more realistic definition.
From the responses of the 34 experts I asked, I’ve broken down Evergreen Content into 3 categories & highlighted some non-evergreen examples as well. Here’s the breakdown:
Each category is ordered by most commonly mentioned to least.
It’s important to avoid anything that can fade quickly when building evergreen content, but how do we make content that doesn’t fade? Let’s break it down.
That’s an overview of what evergreen content is, but let’s follow our own tips here and discuss a method of making evergreen content.
Now you have some strong content that will last you forever, right?Maybe…
There’s one potential component to Evergreen Content that still garners mixed reviews - Updates. Do I update my content frequently to keep it alive longer, or will it survive on its own?
While some people believe updating your content often is what keeps it evergreen, others believe true evergreen content needs little-to-no updates ever! Evergreen trees live long without maintenance, but content may be different - my belief is that it depends on the topic.
There are tons of ways to combine components, topics, and formats to build awesome Evergreen Content, and that content (whether updated or not)can have a long-lasting impact on its readers! However, advertising is a whole different story - so how do we apply the same Evergreen Content framework to our advertising efforts?
Evergreen Advertising involves taking the same approach to ad creative as we do with the components of content. The goal is to build creative that provides performance results for months or even years!
There are two ways to do this. One way is with an idea that’s so good it captures the hearts and minds of humanity, completely shifting behavior of the average person.
Those ads are once in a century ideas.
Assuming your ideas are good, but not culture-shifting good, there is another way. The second way: make a good ad better over time. Make a strong tree and grow it stronger year over year!
I've talked about howto improve your top-performing creative before, but this is a little different. While the process is similar, it's more about the content than the creative.
Let's dive in.
For starters, you can’t directly apply all of the evergreen content components to your evergreen ads by nature of the medium, but there are interchangeable aspects between the two that need to be mentioned.
Following this component framework, you’ll be able to build better creative and continue improving it every time you make more.
Here’s a general method of applying that framework:
That last piece is key. Where there’s debate on how frequently content should be updated, it’s no question in advertising. Ads need frequent updates. Though ad ideas are evergreen, designs are trendy.
Concepts are evergreen. Designs are trendy.
Take the 'diamonds are forever' ad above. Look at how de Beers changed their creative over time:
Though the ad idea was exactly the same in every iteration, the creative changed drastically. That's how you make an ad work for 50+ years.
Looking back at what makes content and creative evergreen, there’s one main factor: customer awareness.
This tying factor was mapped out over 60 years ago by Eugene Schwartz in his Levels of Awareness model.
If your content or creative has the ability to take a total stranger to your brand from complete unawareness all the way through to actionable knowledge and purchase- congrats, you’ve made something evergreen.
But that's just my perspective.
Below, you can read 34 unique, expert perspectives on evergreen content.