Good content is considered digital real estate: You invest time and resources to build it. It then ideally pays off for years with a constant flow of new visitors to your site.
However, not all content becomes an asset. Some get lost in the billions of posts and articles that will never see the sun again after a few initial shares. For pure SEO sites, you might get almost no visitors at all if your post doesn’t crack the top-10 search results for keywords with search volume to them.
And if you want to create evergreen content, you want to understand which content can turn into an asset. And which types get lost forever.
Brian Dean and his team analyzed 3.6 billion pieces of written content. Here’s what they found out.
- Lists and how-to posts tend to become evergreen most often. Whereas presentations, press releases, and infographics are the ones with the shortest lifespan.
- Podcast episodes create a buzz early on. However, only a small percentage of them receive shares and links in the long run. Naturally, podcast platforms promote new content, causing old content to deprecate quickly.
Engagement on different channels
- Content with a high level of engagement on Reddit is more likely to keep receiving visits, shares, and links over time. This is because the platform has a fair share of users interested in timeless content.
- Shares on Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook do not correlate with a high chance of becoming evergreen.
- Posts with the year in the headline tend to receive shares and links over time. Surprised? Well, to begin with, depending on when the piece is shared throughout the year, it can have many months ahead. Second, a post with “2021” in the title might have been shared in 2017. Many create posts and simply update them and change the date/year as needed.
- Content focused on the “best” has the highest evergreen score: “The best home decor ideas, according to designers”. Readers value content that curates the best products, apps, videos, and so on.
- Guides have a high chance of staying relevant in the long term as well.
- Amongst the publishers analyzed in the study, Social Media Examiner, HBR, and Mindful are producing some of the most timeless content.
- Content about technology, marketing, and health has the highest evergreen score.