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Eight reasons why evergreen content has boosted Ebner's digital audience

In 2012, watchtime.com launched a new content formula that has since become the Ebner Evergreen Strategy. The impact of that strategy is dramatic, in some cases we have seen yearly audience growth rates of more than 100 per cent, even 200 per cent. The total audience of WatchTime alone has grown by 900 per cent since 2012. One of the elements of our new content strategy is evergreen content. Here's why...

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1. Evergreen content delivers consistent growth over a long period of time 

The Ebner Media Group hosts a large content universe with a plethora of news, reviews, reports, whitepapers, podcasts and videos. Sometimes it’s very difficult to justify the expenses for one content format over the other, often news will lead to traffic peaks on certain days but will fall short on others. Videos are expensive to produce and their audience effect ranges from minimal to fantastic, while whitepapers mainly are produced to generate leads. Evergreen content on the other hand promises to build a substantial amount of audience traffic consistently over a long period of time. Thus it’s easy to justify the expenses and assign resources accordingly. We’ve created a large evergreen schedule for watchtime.com with hundreds of content pieces for myriads of topics that cover every available watch perspective, from content for new watch collectors to advice for billionaires who already have large watches portfolios.

2. Evergreen content aligns great with social media

While writing evergreen content is a great and satisfying task for our team, it’s the social media dimension that adds a depth of user engagement that we’ve never seen before with news or standard content. When we share and re-share our evergreen content across all our social media channels, users react: they comment, like, forward or re-post the evergreen content up to 10-times as often as standard content. And the best thing is: they do so even if we’ve only updated the evergreen content with minor details. And they do so consistently, up to the point where our team is able to forecast user engagement metrics for the most popular evergreen topics.

3. One evergreen video generates ten pieces of additional content

Have you ever thought about the many content dimensions of a video? There’s a text which you can transcribe, a photo slideshow derived from still images taken from the video, an audio podcast based on the sound stream of the video, illustrations that have been used and can now be shared as separate images on social media, great quotes or important facts that can be turned into new content elements. If your team thinks of videos as mini evergreen content universes, then suddenly your video library really is a resource with thousands of content elements that can generate a large evergreen content database. Whenever I think about a video I now think about at least ten ways to turn that one video into many content elements.

4. Evergreens deliver great mobile growth

While the evergreen strategy has led to an increase in desktop and tablet audience traffic, it’s the mobile traffic that has skyrocketed. That’s not a surprise because our evergreens are written in a way that’s easy to read on smartphones. Because mobile content gets shared more often than desktop content on the Ebner websites, we’ve benefitted in two ways from the evergreen strategy: more Google traffic and more social media traffic on mobile devices.

5. Our evergreen formula: publish and repackage instead of print and forget 

When your team publishes an evergreen the life of that content has only just begun. An evergreen has to be updated many times per year, with new information, new photos, videos, important facts, relevant details and other elements that will make users want to read, like, share or comment the content again. 

6. Evergreens are editorial marketing platforms

Turn your editors into content marketeers: an excellent evergreen about an important topic will help the editor to promote your media brand, will elevate his persona, and will lead to an increased reputation for the whole team if you play this marketing perspective wisely. Share the evergreen content smartly on platforms such as LinkedIn or Slideshare, let your advertising partners know about it and publish press releases via your PR team or PR agency about evergreens that merit a broader B2B distribution.

7. The best five evergreens have more readers than our best 100 news

Yes, that’s true, and it not only works like that on watchtime.com. Many of the Ebner websites now generate more traffic with one evergreen than they do with the 20 best news. 

8. Ebner’s evergreen strategy makes content planning very easy

All it takes to launch your own evergreen strategy is: Google Trends, an SEO/SEM keyword search database like Searchmetrics or Semrush.com, Excel, a searchable database of existing content tagged with keywords, and a dedicated evergreen editor. Once that editor has identified trendy keywords that deliver constant monthly or annual searches then the team can turn existing content for such topics into evergreens. They will update these evergreens based on the new evergreen schedule and will share them again and again and again via newsletters or social media. That’s it, there’s nothing more to it. All it takes are the aforementioned services and a consistent approach based on a coherent content strategy.

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