Inbound marketing for universities and colleges is a highly effective tool for drawing potential applicants to your website. Incorporating “evergreen content” in your marketing strategy can take your campaign to the next level. In this post, we’ll explain what evergreen content is and how you can use in your campaign.
What is evergreen content?
Evergreen content refers to a blog post, ebook, infographic, podcast or photo that stays relevant to your users’ needs and interests over time. Here are just few evergreen content examples will retain value for a long period of time:
- Frequently Asked Questions – Answers to common questions students are asking.
- How to Guides/Tips – Tips for Undergraduate Applications, How to a Apply for a Graduate Assistantship
- Study Tips for Entrance Exams – Study Guides for GRE, LSAT, Etc.
- Case Studies – Past Applicants, Selecting a Program
The main criteria for evergreen content is timelessness and continued value over time. Therefore, these types of posts are not considered evergreen:
- Monthly/Year Statistics/Data Reports: “August 2013 University Enrollment Statistics”
- Monthly/Yearly Best of’s: “Best MBA Programs for 2012”
- Trends: “Current In-Demand Majors”
Up-to-date information found in these types of posts is crucial for audience engagement and shouldn’t be ignored. Time-sensitive content will definitely educate your readers, but it will become irrelevant in a short amount of time. Use blend of evergreen and non-evergreen subject matter for optimal results.
How does evergreen content benefit colleges and universities?
Now that you know what makes content “evergreen,” it’s time to understand why it can be extremely valuable for inbound marketing for universities and colleges. Here are three major benefits that evergreen content can bring to a marketing campaign.
- Saves Resources: If you offer a large amount of evergreen content on your website, you won’t need to spend time and money creating new content on a weekly/monthly basis. Creating quality, timeless content can be time-consuming at first, but your investment will pay off over time.
- Great Performance in Search Engines: Search engines value quality, well-written content and will reward evergreen content that’s properly optimized for SEO. Evergreen content will typically rank very high in search engines.
- Never stops generating leads: Effective evergreen content will contiue to drive search engine traffic to your website for months or years to come. If you properly optimize your calls-to-action on an evergreen post, you can expect to generate leads for the lifetime of the content.
What are the best practices for creating content?
Now that you understand the benefits, it’s time to start creating some evergreen content for your website or blog. Fortunately, for colleges and universities, many of the questions students are asking rarely change over time. Try to hone in on the fundamental issues or problems affecting your current or future students. Once you’ve identified an appropriate topic, keep these three tips in mind when writing your post or ebook.
- Understand your audience’s needs: As we mentioned before, evergreen content should solve common, timeless problems students have. Try to answer questions thoroughly and effectively in your content. Your evergreen content should be a resource for current or potential students that doesn’t have an “expiration date.”
- Focus your content: Don’t cover several topics in one post or ebook. Narrow it down to solving one problem or issue.
- Optimize for search engines: Always keep keywords in mind when writing your post. Make sure your title contains keywords that will attract users from search engines.
How can we market evergreen content?
Once you’ve created some awesome timeless content, how do you make sure it’s getting seen by a large number of the right people? Simply posting content is usually not enough to get attention. Try these methods of promoting your content over time.
- Promote through multiple channels: Use social media or email marketing to spread the word. Make sure you continue promoting the post especially if you make any changes or updates.
- Link back to it on other posts: Make sure you link to your evergreen content on any other related blog posts. This will increase traffic and help with boosting your SEO.
- Keep it Updated: If anything in your post could change in the future, make sure to update it. If a blog post is losing momentum, turn it into an ebook!
Remember, not all content has to be evergreen. Always mix it up to keep your readers active and engaged. Have you tried using evergreen content as a part of your inbound marketing campaign? Let us know in the comments.