Typically, customers most value timely content that relates to what is going on today. If you’re an asset manager, your investment commentary helps inform financial advisors by explaining what is driving the market this month. If you’re a financial advisor, your explanation of newly finalized tax rules helps clients understand its relevance to them.
But there’s a place for evergreen content, too—and not just tucked away in the “resources” section of your website. Sometimes, you can connect a piece of evergreen content to topics in the news, which gives you something to work with when you can’t quickly crank out new content in response to something happening.
For example, say Congress just passed a new estate tax law. Say you’re a marketing manager at a wealth management firm. If you can’t quickly get comments together about the legislation itself, consider a LinkedIn post along these lines:
Congress just finalized the new estate tax regime, and the President is expected to sign it. With this level of change, it’s wise to revisit your existing plans. As always, the process starts with your estate planning goals. Here are five questions to help you identify what’s most important to you. <link to your evergreen content>
Granted, this is not as satisfying as commenting on the legislation itself. Ideally, you’ll circle back and do so. (And if you can do so quickly enough, you may be able to share that content with the media as well as with clients.) But in the meantime, you’re demonstrating to clients that you are paying attention. And you’re making use of evergreen content that might otherwise just sit on a shelf.
Here are some suggestions for refreshing evergreen content—and for crafting evergreen content that’s easier to refresh in the first place.
- Historical perspective. Say a financial advisor writes a bylined article about current market volatility. If that article contains historical perspective, you might be able to strip out some of the current-market content and create an evergreen piece about volatility in general.
- Attribution. Say you’re a wealth management firm and your in-house market strategist—who works with clients across the firm—writes a piece on inflation. The attribution to the strategist continues to offer benefits when you adapt the article to become evergreen, because the strategist’s expertise is relevant to all your financial advisors. Now say the original article is attributed to a specific financial advisor—someone unknown to clients of your other advisors. In that case, it may be practical to remove the specific attribution when you adapt the article for evergreen purposes. A general firm-level attribution may mean your various advisors are more likely to share as “their” or “our team’s” view a post you make on your firm-level social media accounts.
- Length. Evergreen content can be useful to your customers—and support your SEO efforts—across a wide range of lengths, from short blog posts to long white papers. Length is largely irrelevant with respect to connecting the content to current happenings via e-newsletters and social sharing. However, as you develop your evergreen content library, keep in mind that a greater number of articles gives you more flexibility. Given time constraints, you may want to develop, say, one or two longer articles and several shorter articles rather than just a small handful of longer ones.
- Easy to update. Figure on revisiting evergreen content about once a year. If a data point would need updating more often than that—for compliance or contextual reasons—consider cutting that data if the piece can still hold together.
Now, here are a few suggestions for what kind of content makes good evergreen content. All the preceding points apply throughout these categories.
- Calendar-relevant. Content that relates to dates or seasons can often be used as-is or lightly adapted in future years. When drawing up a content plan, the calendar is a useful tool to building it out. In general, you want your subject-matter experts to drive your content production. That is, focus on the topics they are thinking about and working on. Their expertise will naturally point your content toward what matters to your audience at any given time. That said, you already know some things that will matter to your audience—and exactly when. So, get ahead of graduation season by writing content for new professionals just starting out. Plan for a year-end tax tips article (for November or early December—not late December!). Maybe even schedule in a “financial spring cleaning” article around tax time in April. You’re very likely to come away with content you can dust off for use in future, too.
- Explain and define. In the financial industry, there’s no shortage of technical concepts to comment on. You can use explanatory evergreen content on its own. You can also link to it from non-evergreen content as a way to provide additional context—and potentially gain search benefits as well. Be creative. Set up analogies. Create compare-contrast tables. Draw up process charts. All these can help your clients understand important topics as they come up in the news. Sometimes a good starting point is asking your subject-matter experts about emails they’ve sent in response to customers’ questions.
- How-to. Checklists, guides and other how-to material is ideal for evergreen content. For example, “Six questions to help you gauge retirement readiness.” “How to evaluate risk in the fixed-income portion of your portfolio.”
- Core messages. While all your content can and should relate to your core messages, consider a subset of your evergreen material devoted to them in the form of position papers. For example, “Why ESG is not a fad.” “Why a tactical approach to bonds is critical coming out of recessions.” “Three ways RIAs add value.”
A well-considered library of evergreen content can come to your rescue. There are many ways to repurpose a rich library of evergreen content to demonstrate to your customers your attention to what’s happening in the news or markets even when you can’t produce something new.