Most bloggers, content writers and content marketers are faced with the same question at least once a week: What do I write about next? And while there are myriad ways we can classify different pieces of said content, for the purposes of this article we will reach for two distinct content types: evergreen content and themed, or seasonal content.
The clear benefit of producing seasonally themed content is that, if promoted right, it will likely bring in a significant surge in traffic during the season it is produced for. On the other hand, evergreen content will draw in visitors even in the dead of winter — pun intended.
Having said that, how do you choose which one to focus on, and do you even need to choose?
Bearing in mind the limited budgets, strict deadlines and endless to-do lists most of us working online are faced with, the answer to this dilemma remains ever elusive and fluid. Let’s try to find it!
Themed content and the popularity of trends
There are several distinct “kinds” of content that are particularly popular during the run-up to Valentine’s Day. These include:
- His and hers gift guides
- How-to content
- Recipe ideas
- Date night ideas
- Personal stories
Depending on the industry your brand operates in, one or all of these general topic suggestions can lend themselves well to content production. If you are in any way connected to the culinary industry, a recipe post will be the clear winner. Gift guides and how-to articles can be Valentine’s themed in practically any industry, so all you have to do is come up with a romantic yet actionable and adaptable topic.
Before you sit down and meditate on the post itself, remember these key points:
Your post needs to be different than others available on the same topic.
You can either make your post longer, write it in a more engaging style, or provide insight that has not been seen before.
Your post also needs to be unique to the brand you are promoting.
Think about the best way to connect the product or service your post is aimed to spread the word about with the actual topic. How are you unique, and how can your content highlight that?
You must promote the post to get eyes on it.
Don’t forget to put at least three times as much effort into promoting the post as you have done in creating it. You can choose to do social media campaigns, blogger outreach or even email campaigns — whatever channel works best for your target audience.
Related: Holiday marketing checklist
But wait! Before you start writing your seasonal piece of craftsmanship, here are a few more key pieces of information to keep in mind:
- Themed content has a short shelf life, and the results it produces can be short-lived.
- If you have a regular content calendar, adding a themed post to it will require more resources.
- Your promotion window will be rather short.
- Everyone else in your industry and their grandmother will be writing the same style of content.
Perhaps you would be interested in creating evergreen content instead?
Evergreen content and the power of research
As mentioned previously, the clear benefit of opting to produce evergreen content is that it will draw in readers across all seasons. After all, this is the stuff people search for all year ‘round, isn’t it?
You will have more time to promote it and will not need to get caught up in the headless dash in the run-up to a specific date.
And since you already have “write X articles a month” on your to-do list, why not choose to invest yourself only in those that will provide true value, be it Valentine’s Day or not? Here’s why:
- Evergreen content is not that well suited for promoting any seasonal offers or discounts.
- It needs to be 10 times better than other similar content if you have a hope of achieving high organic search rankings with it.
- Hence, it is more time- and resource-consuming to produce.
- It needs to be promoted (and updated) year in and year out.
Mix and match: Making your evergreen content themed and vice versa
If you have come this far and are now blessed with a sinking feeling of a catch-22 rolling in, rest assured. There is, in fact, a sort of magic formula for this conundrum: content repurposing. With just a bit of foresight and careful planning, you can create seasonal content you can use even after a new season rolls around (aka evergreen content). Here’s how:
Update and expand existing content
A Valentine’s Day-themed piece of content you publish one year can be expanded and updated for years to come. You can also refurbish it and reformat it: an article can be turned into an eBook, a video can be turned into a podcast, a live stream can be turned into an article, and so on.
Slice and dice for multiple platforms
One substantial piece of content (like a long blog post, an eBook or even a white paper) that has been published focusing on the Valentine’s Day theme can be used to create smaller pieces of content throughout the year to be used as guest posts, social media posts or as parts of a newsletter.
Note: This is best done if the large piece of content has original (not to say evergreen) elements to it (unique research, a new point of view, an interesting pun, etc.). This way, the post can still generate views and links, even when out of season, as it will lose none of its value.
Develop into a case study
You can use it as a basis for a future case study — or, if there is not enough material to write up an entirely new post, you will still be gaining valuable insight into the behavior of your readers, and be well equipped for the coming year.
Any piece of content you produce can be reshaped and used throughout the year — and themed content is no exception. You don’t have to wait for the coming February to produce new infographics or videos based on the article you have already used for this season of romance.
As long as the seasonal piece of content contains some information that holds true throughout the year (facts, figures, general truths, original research, case studies, use cases) it can be re-promoted through social media, via newsletters or through other content promotion tactics.
Don’t let seasonal content fool you — just because you are making it for a specific time of year does not mean it will lose any of its value. After all, every piece of content is only as valuable as you make it.
Need some ideas?
If you are still a bit unsure about the entire evergreen content vs. themed/seasonal content idea, try to come up with a topic that will appeal to your audience throughout the entire year, and simply add a seasonal twist.
For Valentine’s Day, for instance, make it a bit more couple oriented, and try to structure it according to one of the article types listed at the beginning of this post. Here are some ideas for various niches:
- Online bookshop: “15 Most Intriguing Romantic Couples In History Of Literature” or something similar, easily promoted and interesting to read throughout the whole year.
- Cooking blog: A post with a recipe for dinner for two, with the title updated to include Valentine’s Day during the run-up to the holiday and with a “normal” title for the rest of the year.
- Marketing agency blog: A list of things you love such as tools, tips and marketing- related books.
- Online shop: A post showcasing which of your products go well together. For example, a pajama set and slippers, a pen and notebook, a bowl and a whisk — you can adjust the list to basically any type of online store.
Before you embark on any content proliferation, make sure you are in line with your brand, your core message, your unique sales proposal, and that your audience will actually be interested in the subject. If you tick all those boxes, by all means, write away!
Seasonal content is no different than evergreen content in that it needs to be well thought out. More importantly, before you ever set pen to paper (or place a finger on the keyboard) you need to know where you want to promote your work. Once that is clear, no piece of content can ever go unnoticed, be it Valentine’s Day, Christmas or the Summer Solstice.