As a financial advisor, you’re constantly looking for ways to improve the bottom line.
This can be done using any number of marketing strategies and investments. But at the end of the day, there are only a few ways to move the proverbial needle: Improved prospecting, decreased costs, and/or enhanced efficiency with better ROI campaigns.
Fortunately, some approaches fill many needs with one deed. Publishing evergreen content is one such technique.
Evergreen content, as a marketing strategy, serves multiple purposes and offers long-term ROI and value.
With this type of content, there’s a real chance to grow the client base, lower high marketing costs, and provide better campaign turnouts all in one fell swoop.
The biggest challenge is that building an effective evergreen content machine takes time. Unlike PPC advertising or webinars, you won’t always see immediate results.
Still, it’s in every advisor’s best interest to integrate evergreen content in their overarching marketing strategy. Give the right content enough time to rank, and this lead gen strategy virtually runs itself – consistently bringing in traffic and prospects without much ongoing time or effort).
This post discusses what evergreen content is and why financial advisors should use it.
Even so, not every blog post, YouTube video, or podcast episode should be evergreen. There’s something to be said for balance and diversity – and other forms of content can be potent, too. So before diving in, let’s define content marketing to understand how evergreen content fits the system.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is (ultimately) a type of business promotion that focuses on content creation in the form of videos, podcasts, blog posts, ebooks, and many more.
The content is worthwhile to recipients — people spend time on them — because they provide education or entertainment.
Unlike traditional marketing tactics, content marketing usually does not explicitly promote the business.
Highly promotional content does not feel genuine, so readers, viewers, and listeners are less likely to believe or act on it.
When it comes to content marketing, the output is usually free, and the hope is to provide the most value to viewers, listeners, and readers.
This strategy works because it builds authority and influence. Clients will likely be open to doing business with advisors they know or have read about. Familiarity is vitally important.
There are many more branches within content marketing, but advisors, specifically, can benefit from evergreen content.
What is Evergreen Content?
One of the many ways to categorize content marketing strategies is by how long they remain relevant to the audience — that is, evergreen vs. non-evergreen content.
Evergreen content remains relevant for a very long time, if not forever. In a word, evergreen content is timeless.
Not only does its sustained relevance save time and money, but it also builds power over time, constantly generating business leads in the process.
In contrast, non-evergreen content expires. But these, too, offer value — more on this later.
Popular Types of Evergreen Content
Some of the more popular examples of evergreen content are lists, frequently asked questions or FAQs, and how-to guides. More often than not, these types of content remain relevant indefinitely.
For example, the way people tie shoes is unlikely to change, so a how-to guide on the easiest ways to tie shoes is evergreen. An explanation of, say, compounding and how compound interests work on investments is also evergreen.
In fact, this specific post is an example of what evergreen content ought to be. The definitions, examples, and takeaways should remain relevant for a long time — or at least that is the hope.
What Is Not Evergreen Content
The easiest way to understand evergreen content is to know what it is not.
If we think of content relevance in a spectrum of evergreen vs. non-evergreen content, news articles are on the far end of non-evergreen content.
On the extreme, some news might stay applicable for just a day.
Other examples that lean towards the non-evergreen content side are information on trends and recaps of recent reports. These are slightly more evergreen than news stories, but still have an expiration date.
Changing Approaches to Remain Evergreen
Many cases can work both ways — even recent events, if angled a certain way — and whether or not it is evergreen depends on the content creator’s approach.
For instance, an article about the COVID-19 crisis can focus on recent updates and stats about the virus (i.e., non-evergreen). Or it can be about contrasting the crisis with past black swan events and pandemic patterns, learning from them moving forward.
Recent events can also hook prospects in. Maybe the COVID-19 crisis highlights the importance of virtual meetings and establishing processes that promote virtual presence?
Teardowns or breakdowns can be a great way to approach a new topic and turn them evergreen.
Should Advisors Have Evergreen Content?
There are compelling reasons to include evergreen content in the business’s marketing strategy.
With the right evergreen content, marketing costs can go down while the advisor’s legitimacy improves in the eyes of search engines and clients alike. The right evergreen content can fundamentally bring in more leads to the business, too.
Generating content can be expensive. But the publishing of evergreen information mitigates this. Once the content is produced, it remains relevant.
With evergreen content, the business can do away with daily posts and all their necessary components, such as staffing requirements and research costs. There are upfront costs, but that’s it.
Authority Builds Over Time
Google and other search engines are very secretive about their algorithms.
Many experts have a general idea of what factors are important to Google.
However, in the end, no one knows precisely how pages are ranked — if the algorithms were public knowledge, then search engines would lose their competitive edge against comparable browsers.
One commonly accepted notion, though, is that pages and sites that have had sufficient time to rank will have better authority. And all things created equal, more authoritative sites and pages rank higher.
That makes sense.
It’s no surprise that Google would recommend more established sites than newer ones, assuming the content’s value is the same.
Why? Well, Google’s reputation would take a hit if they endorsed bad content, and newer sites are inherently riskier than proven ones.
With evergreen content, the business can have increasingly relevant and searchable materials.
With content that stays relevant for a long time, a company that can crank out evergreen content consistently can gain some coveted authority.
As the business releases more and more content that people view, Google sees this and rankings reflect the increase in traction.
The growing referral base from search engines is especially valuable to the Virtual Financial Advisor™ who benefits from the leads it is able to generate.
Get More Leads Efficiently
Correspondingly, evergreen content can be a reliable lead-generating source. When the business can consistently publish excellent and relevant content, the leads come in automatically. This automation results in some precious freed-up time that the advisor can utilize.
Creating Evergreen Content As Financial Advisors
It is impossible to create an exhaustive list of evergreen topics. Instead, the Virtual Financial Advisor™ should have mindset models to navigate the gamut of possibilities.
A philosophy to adapt is niching down. When creating evergreen content, target an avatar and focus on the target market’s needs. Have a particular audience in mind, and produce content for them.
Next is to think about the practice. What services does the business offer, and which specific topics are relevant to it? An advisor offering personal estate planning services can probably benefit from discussing wealth management principles, but maybe not business valuation guides.
Should Advisors Make Every Content Evergreen?
With limited resources, there’s naturally going to be some tension between publishing evergreen vs. non-evergreen content.
Content creators can often change the approach or subject, using them as hooks to make every post evergreen. But the pertinent question then becomes, “Should advisors want to make every piece of content evergreen?”
While permanently relevant topics have their place, non-evergreen content also has value.
Although expensive to publish, time-specific information can give the business a distinct advantage.
There’s a chance to gain from the first-mover advantage. In extreme examples, the move might mean the business is the only source of new information.
But if non-evergreen content is lucrative, why should advisors focus on evergreen?
Tying Everything Together
Like many things, the key is found in balancing evergreen content with non-evergreen content. Before financial advisors can capitalize on the profitable time-bound information niche, search engines have to be willing to recommend their sites or pages first.
Google will not recommend a site that hasn’t built up its authority. A site must first show well-written, expertly researched, and influential evergreen content to rank high in search results.
For the Virtual Financial Advisor™ to take advantage of content marketing, the focus should be on evergreen content with a consistent publishing schedule — at least early on.
Only then will you gain enough authority to take advantage of non-evergreen content. Besides, the cost savings and automated lead gen effects are more than sufficient reasons to invest in evergreen content.