Hi, I’m Duncan Jones and I lead Strategy & Growth at Web Profits.
Today I’m going to talk about Evergreen Marketing and why I think it’s a secret weapon to exponential ROI growth that you should be focusing most of your time, money and efforts on.
Firstly, what is evergreen marketing? Well, essentially it’s marketing, which is not affected by time and won’t expire – meaning if someone sees the marketing now versus in two years time it should still be relevant and still have the same effect.
There are a lot of everyday marketing activities that you can make evergreen – for example here’s a few channels and how you could turn a time-based approach to your marketing into an evergreen one:
Instead of writing a piece of content on industry news you could write a piece of content on how to improve an issue that people will still be having in a few years time.
Instead of scrambling to send out a weekly newsletter you could create an evergreen series of weekly emails which will always be relevant and which are triggered once someone joins your database, buys something or takes some other action.
Instead of constantly launching new remarketing ads and banners to promote one-off campaigns you could segment your audiences by days since they visited and then setup an evergreen series of ads and offers to show them as they progress down the funnel.
Instead of launching a brand new competition every month with a new landing page and new ads you could launch an always on, evergreen competition that has a prize drawn every month without needing to redo all the setup work.
Instead of running a new webinar each month you could record an evergreen webinar and use software to make it look like it’s live, but which only requires a one time effort to record, create landing pages and ads rather than starting from scratch each time.
To give you a real example of what evergreen marketing is and to see the differences let’s look at one of our clients, Aussie Broadband.
We publish a lot of content for them, two of the pieces we have published were a look at “7 Technology Trends for 2017” and an article on “How To Check Your Internet Speed and Improve It”.
Both pieces required around the same amount of research, writing, editing and then publishing and promoting. But how did they perform?
Well, ignoring the traffic numbers as they are for two different target markets let’s take a look at the graphs.
As you can see the time-based content had a big spike as soon as it was launched as it was topical and interesting content, this then trickled down until the end of 2017 when it became irrelevant.
On the other hand, the evergreen piece on improving your internet speed started slowly bringing in less traffic than the time-based content in its first month.
But then? Traffic grew and has continued to grow for two years straight as its organic rankings improved and as more and more people searched for the solution.
By focusing our time and effort on an evergreen piece of content we built an asset that has no cut off date and will keep delivering a return after we’ve stopped working on it. Last month alone the evergreen piece delivered thousands of views and quite a few conversions – the non-evergreen piece – none at all, as it’s no longer relevant.
Let’s take a quick look at a graph of what would happen if your focused ALL of your efforts on evergreen marketing which is what we’re now doing for Aussie Broadband and other clients.
Company A creates one piece of content every week, which is timely about industry news and this gets them a decent 1,000 views on each piece of content in the following seven days before it is no longer relevant.
On the other hand, Company B creates one piece of content every week, which is evergreen and will still be relevant in the future.
Because it’s not as interesting right then and there they only manage to get 100 views in the seven day period.
Check out what happens over time – Company B who spends their time creating evergreen marketing assets sees their content views explode as they build more and more evergreen content whilst Company A is still having to churn out content every week to get their views.
The best part? Company B through focusing on evergreen content has created assets that will work in the future whether they create more content or not – they could literally go on holiday for a month and their content would keep getting read, whereas for Company A views would fall off straight away.
Of course, this is just a simplified example and assumes everything is equal between the companies, but it’s a pretty clear look at the different approaches.
There’s also a few other major benefits to using an evergreen approach to your marketing, they are:
By focusing on evergreen marketing you will free up a lot of time, yes for holidays but also for working on things like optimising and improving your marketing, brainstorming strategy or working on other higher priority things on your task list.
Launching a new piece of content or a new competition every month and going through sign-offs from legal again and again is time-consuming, painful and it’s not a good use of your time. Through evergreen content you can get one time sign off and then re-use that content without repeating the approval process.
If you’re planning on paying an agency to do your marketing you need to make sure the majority of their work is evergreen – that way for every dollar you spend with the agency you’ll be getting that much more out of them saving you a lot of money.
Evergreen marketing goes hand in hand with automation and if you can make your marketing evergreen and then automate it so it is promoted or sent out without you spending another second on it your ROI will be even better and you won’t need to keep thinking about the same thing each week.
So how do you make the marketing that you’re doing evergreen?
It’s actually pretty simple:
- Select topics, offers or themes that you predict will still be relevant two years from now.
- Don’t mention any times, dates or other things that will identify when the content or ad was written.
- Don’t include any offers, products or other business related content that won’t be still relevant two years from now.
- Regularly review and improve your evergreen content – although it’s meant to last forever over time you’ll still be able to make small tweaks and improve it.
So why do I think that evergreen marketing is your secret weapon to exponential ROI growth?
Quite simply, it’s because if you focus your time, energy and money on evergreen marketing you’ll build more and more assets that will keep delivering a return.
This will mean that every hour and dollar you put into work now will pay you back for years to come rather than for a set, limited time period.
To be clear before I finish, even with all of these benefits I am not suggesting 100% of your marketing has to be evergreen – of course eCommerce stores should still run sales, of course you should put out thought-provoking content about a current affair.
All I’m suggesting is that from today you shift more of your focus to evergreen marketing than you’re currently doing, over time your ROI from every dollar and every ounce of effort you put into it will be that much more.
That’s it for now, thanks for watching.