Engaging with your audience at the right time is a crucial part of digital success. When creating new pieces of content, timing is one of those variables that will inevitably determine your entire strategy.
The type of content you create will most likely be evergreen, topical or seasonal. These terms have been floating around for a few years, with evergreen content usually seen as the ideal type for gaining lasting results, especially when it comes to building brand authority and increasing traffic.
However, does all this terminology dilute the importance of staying topical at all times? We’re here to guide you through these three types of content and show you a few examples in the process.
Topical content is timely, based on current trends, and involves a sense of immediacy. Brands are constantly wanting to show that they’re on the ball when it comes to current affairs (and so they should be!), so if you can create a piece that takes a novel stance on a widely-discussed hot topic, you’ll be able to satisfy your audience’s deepest content desires.
For a great example of topical content in action, take a look at this fun take on GDPR by the DMA. At a time when our inboxes were being inundated by emails that most of us were never actually going to open, this piece offered an engaging take on what might be considered a dry topic.
Here at Yard, we’ve also been enjoying the opportunity to create topical content for a variety of our clients. As a reaction to the major changes to the practical driving test at the end of 2017, we put together this guide to passing your test for Watermans, with particular emphasis placed on the new rules.
Beyond showing that you’re on trend, topical content can lead to quick boosts in attention and traffic. On the downside, you’ll have to consider the fact that topical pieces may have a shorter shelf-life.
An offshoot of the topical variety, seasonal content won’t be relevant every month, but it can swing back in full force at least once a year. Like topical content, seasonal pieces are all about increasing relevancy and short-term engagement.
This can be quite handy if you’re a brand selling weather-dependent products, such as one of our clients, Kettler. With summer in mind, we created seasonal content in the form of two visuals: a meaty BBQ Cheat Sheet and a greener guide to Barbecues for All Diets. This seasonal double-whammy caters for two different types of audiences looking for the same product.
In a recent article on the topic, Steve Rayson of Buzzsumo defined evergreen content as “content that stays relevant long past its publication date”, consistently driving traffic to your site. Evergreen pieces require less maintenance and can boost brand authority if the information they offer is continuously valuable for users.
Of course there are some downfalls with evergreen content too; for example, it may not gain traction as instantly as a topical article. However, evergreen pieces are quite rightly seen as a fruitful way to reach your audience.
Yard has produced a variety of high-quality evergreen content for clients over the years, one example being The Edinburgh Guide to Proposals, created for luxury jewellers ROX. This piece is continuously relevant for people looking to propose in Edinburgh, and requires very little maintenance – a truly evergreen piece of content.
Keep up with the times
One content type does not rule them all.
A successful content plan should be greedy, mixing all three forms of content and considering the benefits offered by each. One factor that doesn’t change is the importance of topicality.
It’s at this point that we need to take a step beyond the terminology and focus on the ongoing importance of staying relevant. We should always be trying to connect content with current events, even when creating evergreen pieces.
This can become especially useful when it’s time to promote the content and build links, as people will be far more likely to share your content if it’s tied to current trends.
How do you go about staying topical then? Tools like Hootsuite and Flipbook can help you keep up to date with relevant articles and discussions concerning your niche. Additionally, it can be useful to consider the variety of awareness days throughout the year. This is a great place to start when coming up with new ideas for creating content and for planning in promotion too.