Content marketing is one of the most successful marketing techniques used by businesses today. The key goal of content marketing is creating content that is valuable, relevant, and consistent.
Content marketers' main aim is to attract a targeted audience composed of those who can influence customer action.
Content created for this purpose must be valuable to the consumer. There is no reason for prospective customers to engage with the content if consuming it doesn't benefit them in some way.
If the audience is not engaged, the campaign has failed.
Successful content marketing usually includes infographics, highly relevant topics and how-to lists. Above all, content should be designed so that an audience will consider it useful.
The ultimate goal is to produce content that the audience members will share with their friends, family, and acquaintances.
Content creation must also be consistent. It is important to create a constant stream of new and engaging content to keep an active audience.
And with consistency comes an important question:
What kind of content should be generated to keep an audience as engaged as possible?
Taking the Evergreen Content Approach
One type of content that is generally considered top-tier is known as "evergreen" content.
These types of articles are on subjects that an audience will always find engaging or useful.
When creating evergreen content, it is important to avoid current events or popular trends. Current events are likely to be irrelevant after a few months or a year have passed, at which point the content is no longer useful to an audience and traffic will suffer.
It is generally advisable to pair evergreen content with keywords that are relevant to the business for which the content is generated.
Relevant keywords can produce a constant source of traffic.
Taking the Newsjacking Approach
Another type of content that is the complete opposite of evergreen content is sometimes called "newsjacking."
Newsjacking targets current events that are receiving a lot of attention on the Internet and in the media and uses those events to attract traffic that would not have been received otherwise.
Some examples of this content can include articles about controversial elections or sporting events -- things that, while popular and well-discussed in the moment, will be shortly forgotten or replaced with the next-best thing.
The point of this type of content is that a content creator can merge information about a current, highly relevant event with information about a business or product.
While both of the aforementioned types of content are valid and effective, each has a significant weakness.
Evergreen Content is not necessarily the Perfect Route for Immediate Traffic
Evergreen content, though engineered to draw in an audience for months and years to come, is an investment.
It takes time and patience for the audience to grow, and while those are important qualities in marketing, sometimes businesses want immediate traffic and fast returns.
Evergreen content also comes with the challenge of creating something brand new and relevant and continuing to do that over a long period of time as an audience grows and becomes loyal to a brand.
It is also difficult to know whether a topic will be useful and relevant to an audience for a long period of time.
There are certain topics and themes that tend to repeat themselves, but then an article runs the risk of seeming less-than-unique.
Newsjacking is not necessarily the Perfect Route for long term website visits
Newsjacking has the advantage of providing the writer with information that is newsworthy and relevant, making it simple to come up with a consistent stream of content ideas.
There is the challenge of finding valid and recognizable connections between the current events conveyed and the mission or values of the business - and customers know when a writer is stretching to make a connection.
There are few things more painful to read than an article that is obviously writing for the express purpose of piggy-backing on the popularity of a story.
Combining the Power of the Approaches for Maximum Benefits
Imagine, then, merging the power of these two types of content strategies, creating an article that encompasses the best of both worlds and compensates for the pitfalls of either.
This type of merged content distribution process takes extra planning and strategy but has the potential to draw both immediate and long-term traffic.
To achieve this goal, the content creation process needs to be split from the article distribution process, thus allowing the content marketer to create an evergreen article and subsequently leverage the power of newsjacking to expand the distribution potential.
Promoting evergreen content with trend-based social media announcements is a great way to keep the content free of trendy references while still capitalizing on the current trends to draw attention to its existence.
Obviously, there should be a clear connection between the evergreen content and the trendy topic accompanying it.
Using Free Tools to Identify Current Trends
Using Twitter search, content marketers can identify current trends based on their preferred location. The trending topics will appear on the left sidebar of the Twitter homepage. Location can be changed by using the "Change" link.
Explore Google+ is another great place for finding trending topics. The top right-hand box lists current topics that are trending on Google+, together with an indication of whether the trend is in its upswing stage or decreasing in popularity.
When producing content about specific companies, locations, skills or domains, the free Twtrland Explore tool is beneficial. This tool provides access to trending content about specific companies, with detailed information about the most popular recent content on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
By merging these two types of content, it becomes simple to create interesting and engaging content that will draw in new readers for its relevance and keep them coming back for the usefulness of the article.
Gaining readers and keeping them coming back for more is the hallmark of effective content marketing.