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Thanks to “Snowpocalypse” (famously documented by Seattle transplant Daniel Silvermint), my Eastern Washington neighborhood is still blanketed in snow and ice. On the other hand, I’m starting to see signs of spring – squirrels and birds playing tag, confused flowers shooting up prematurely, and that warm golden orb in the sky. The only things that haven’t changed across the landscape: those big pine and fir trees.

I realized that trees and content have a lot in common. In order to stay evergreen, they need to be robust, relevant across a diverse landscape, have healthy roots linking it to that landscape, and have authority to stand up against the competition.

If you haven’t read my previous post, An evergreen (content) state of mind,” it makes a case for evergreen content in marketing (i.e., continuous content that resonates as your audiences and priorities shift, paired with the expertise and ability to tune it to meet future needs) and how to determine if it’s right for your marketing efforts. But if you have read it or you’re already working toward evergreen content practices, here are a few tips to help you keep your content relevant and resonant:

  1. Keep your links alive: For your content to be evergreen, the content you reference needs to be evergreen, too. Third-party websites and resources, even those from longstanding, respected organizations, can change URLs, be moved, or taken down for myriad reasons. Do yourself an easy favor by periodically auditing your content for dead or inaccurate links. It will help you substantiate your insights and support better SEO at the same time.
  2. Ensure your insights are current: Are the stats in your content a few years old? Are you referencing a regulation or law that has recently changed? Are you quoting an official or public figure who is no longer reputable? A lot can change in the course of a few months, let alone a few years. Make time to review your existing content – or better yet, ask someone else knowledgeable to review it and recommend changes – to keep it current.
  3. Make it easy to read/watch with strong writing: You publish a whitepaper, eBook, or infographic thinking it’s well written, only to revisit it later and find it lacking a clear voice, messages, structure, consistency, etc. Is the premise still sound? And is there a need for your content in the market today? If yes and yes, then it may be worth investing in revisions to the writing for a better, longer-lasting story.
  4. Make it easy to access with convenient formatting: In addition to publishing content that wasn’t as well written as you thought, maybe you published it to a site that isn’t responsive, mobile-friendly, or fast-loading. Even if the content is relevant and captivating to read or watch, if customers can’t get to it fast, it won’t be evergreen for long. Testing the user experience – from social promotion to web navigation to seeing and reading the content itself – is key to boosting your content’s staying power.
  5. Confirm it’s still authoritative: Perhaps most importantly, does your content still answer a meaningful question or address a key challenge in the market? Is it still offering a unique, helpful view that’s well substantiated? Is it still practical and actionable? If the answer to any of these is ‘no,’ then you have an opportunity to regain that authority. Reference other authoritative content to strengthen your points. Collaborate on a revision with a relevant, reputable organization to boost credibility. Whatever it is, if you want your content to be evergreen, make sure it’s authoritative.

I know I promised 5 tips, but… if you can check all these boxes, are you doing enough to share your great content?

Leveraging it as part of your regular social efforts, submitting it to industry publications or communities, and integrating it into sales interactions are all ways to turn evergreen content into ongoing return on content investment. And isn’t that the point?

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