Evergreen Content: Dead or Thriving??
You’ve likely heard the term Evergreen Content thrown around alot if you’ve spent any time in content or social media marketing.
What is Evergreen Content?
Copyblogger defines evergreen content as:
“These special resources are in-depth examinations of a problem, solution, trend, or topic. They can help your audience find tons of information on a subject that interests them, which adds value to your blog.”
Hubspot describes evergreen content this way:
“Just as the evergreen tree is a symbol of perpetual life, evergreen content marketing uses ideas and techniques that are sustainable and lasting over time.”
These pieces of content can be blog posts, videos, webinars, slideshows, whitepapers, etc.
Anything that you produce that can give value long after it’s been published could be considered evergreen content.
Items that are dated, such as dimensions of Facebook ads or photos, is an example of something that isn’t evergreen content as it tends to change quite often.
Controversy over Evergreen Content
The biggest reason I wanted to test this in the Lab was due to some comments Mike Stelzner from Social Media Examiner said on various podcasts over the last year.
“As a matter of fact, I would say it’s so dead that we no longer re-share any of our content on Twitter. We do nothing Evergreen. Everything we post is once and done on social media. On Facebook, we do post a couple of recurring posts, but we have decided that we are no longer doing anything more than just once with social media.”
He’s basing this claim on the fact that only about 2% of the traffic that Social Media Examiner receives likely comes from Twitter.
Stelzner has taken a stance that they will only post a piece of content to Twitter once and then it be bounced around the algorithm until it dies.
Jeff Bullas however tweets out his blog posts every 15 minutes!! And over 560k people follow him so that must be working for him!
Mike Alton makes this suggestion about the frequency of evergreen content:
“If you’re growing your audience, and keeping 4 – 6 weeks in between shares of the same article, it’s likely that each new share will reach more and more new, interested readers. But it’s something to keep an eye on. If you notice that subsequent shares of an article aren’t performing well at all, remove it from the queue or spread your queue out more.”
As you can see there are some differing opinions on the tweeting of evergreen content.
Which sounds like a great reason to test this!
I’m going to test the results of tweeting evergreen content and base my conclusion on Link Clicks. By focusing on Link Clicks we’ll have a real idea if posting these pieces of content over and over is driving traffic and worth the effort.
My hypothesis: Tweeting Evergreen Content is a solid strategy that will produce Link Clicks.
Testing Evergreen Content
In order to get a 100% pure data set I’m going to do the following on 3 different Twitter accounts that I run:
- Tweet the same 10 links with the same text every day for 5 weeks.
- Once the 5 weeks has ended I’ll wait 2 weeks to let the tweets get the full amount of Impressions and gather data
- I’ll count the number of Link Clicks, as well as Likes and Retweets (although Link Clicks will be my focus)
- I’ll also gather engagement numbers from Twitter Analytics for the Agorapulse Twitter account.
The reason I decided to tweet the same exact tweets every day was to ensure that this data was 100% evergreen. I prefer to compare apples to apples, not apples to rocks!
There is some risk here that by posting the same tweets every day Twitter might punish me and my results might dwindle throughout the test, but the data will be bulletproof.
The Twitter accounts I used are:
- @scottayres- This is my personal Twitter account, which has been active since February 2009. 10878 Followers when the test started.
- @thesmbuzz- This is another Twitter account of mine I started in August of 2010 that was used for a podcast and blog. Now I mainly just tweet Social Media Lab links! 5910 Folowers when the test started.
- @fbanswerman- This also is an account of mine I started in October of 2011 that was for a podcast and blog. 8339 Followers when the test started.
In order to repeat this number of tweets daily I’ll use the Agorapulse app. I’ll explain at the end of the article how easy this was.
Here is a screenshot from the Google Spreadsheet I used to copy and paste the tweets to be used:
Gathering the Data on Evergreen Content
Waiting to gather the results was pain staking!!
To get the data I simply went to the Twitter Analytics within my accounts:
Then simply choose the date range and click Export Data to download the .csv file.
Once I downloaded these I put into Google Drive so I could use Google Sheets to add formulas to get the totals below.
What Does the Data Say about Evergreen Content?
After gathering this data here is the results I can report for each of the Twitter accounts tested.
- @scottayres- 417 Tweets, 155302 Impressions, 202 Link Clicks, 378 Likes, 144 Retweets
- @thesmbuzz- 547 Tweets, 116215 Impressions, 81 Link Clicks, 376 Likes, 216 Retweets
- @fbanswerman- 433 Tweets, 47546 Impressions, 28 Link Clicks, 214 Likes, 117 Retweets
That’s a total of 311 Link Clicks from these 3 accounts over a 5 week period with about 1400 tweets total!
While yes 311 visits to our site isn’t breaking records, for a new site like ours we’ll take every view we can get!
We could stop there and draw a conclusion on tweeting evergreen links but I wanted to dive a bit further into some data.
I looked at the Twitter Analytics for my 3 accounts as well as the Agorapulse account starting from January 1, 2017 through November 30, 2017 (when I’m writing this post). My goal was to gather the complete count of Impressions, Link Clicks, Likes, Retweets and Replies for each account for the 11 months. Along with how many tweets were sent out.
Having this data will help us see an even broader picture of how much traffic you can drive by posting evergreen content to Twitter.
Here’s some data to chew on:
- @agorapulse- 3220 Tweets, 2422950 Impressions, 2573 Link Clicks, 3299 Likes, 1126 Retweets, 540 Replies
- @scottayres- 2677 Tweets, 825050 Impressions, 849 Link Clicks, 1597 Likes, 619 Retweets, 518 Replies
- @thesmbuzz- 4180 Tweets, 458850 Impressions, 262 Link Clicks, 1325 Likes, 528 Retweets, 140 Replies
- @fbanswerman- 4309 Tweets, 279650 Impressions, 204 Link Clicks, 962 Likes, 251 Retweets, 44 Replies
Now before you yell at me I’m aware that not all of these tweets were links to our own content. Some may have been quotes, images, or tweets to other people’s sites.
But, on my 3 accounts I predominately only tweet links to Agorapulse or Social Media Lab content. On the Agorapulse account we primarily tweet our own content as well as other’s links at times.
If we say there is a margin of error of 5% of these tweets not being links to our own sites we can reduce the numbers down the following:
- @agorapulse- 3059 Tweets, 2301802 Impressions, 2444 Link Clicks, 3134 Likes, 1069 Retweets, 513 Replies
- @scottayres- 2543 Tweets, 783797 Impressions, 806 Link Clicks, 1517 Likes, 588 Retweets, 492 Replies
- @thesmbuzz- 3971 Tweets, 435907 Impressions, 248 Link Clicks, 1258 Likes, 501 Retweets, 126 Replies
- @fbanswerman- 4093 Tweets, 265667 Impressions, 193 Link Clicks, 913 Likes, 238 Retweets, 41 Replies
If we isolate the Link Clicks, which we are going to assume after removing the 5% variance are all Agorapulse related links, that’s 3691 clicks to our website in 1 year! All just from repeating our evergreen content on Twitter!
Conclusion on Evergreen Content
Remember my hypothesis was: Tweeting Evergreen Content is a solid strategy that will produce Link Clicks.
I’m going to conclude that this is 100% true!
Based on these factors:
- The 3 accounts I purposely had repeating the same tweets per day for 5 weeks produced 315 Link Clicks
- My 3 accounts, plus Agorapulse’s Twitter account produced 3691 Link Clicks from January-November of 2017
- The 4 accounts mentioned racked up almost 4 million Impressions January-November! That’s alot of potential eyeballs and customers
Any claim that tweeting evergreen content is dead is purely false and a misrepresentation.
Sure if you’re a huge site like Social Media Examiner and getting millions of hits per month and Twitter only equals 2% it doesn’t seem like much. But 2% of 1million is 20,000. That’s alot of eyeballs and potential customers browsing your site per month! I know I wouldn’t turn them away. We also don’t know how many times Social Media Examiner was tweeting the same links to reach this 2%. Was it once? Twice? Twenty??
Have confidence that tweeting evergreen content can and will produce results for you.
Tips on Posting Evergreen Content
I do want to offer a few tips if you’re going to tweet out evergreen content — this is not an exhaustive list but will be helpful.
- Make sure the content you are tweeting is relevant today. Don’t tweet out “Top 10 tips for 2015 Marketing”, when it’s 2018!!
- Update your content. You should constantly make sure the content you are tweeting is accurate and feel free to edit to ensure it is.
- Space out your repeating tweets. I would recommend at least 30 days. I know in my test I did them daily for this test, but that was too close honestly. Give space in between.
- Tweet the same link with different text in the tweet. Maybe you don’t have enough content to space out by 30 days. Then make sure that the tweet with the same link has different text in it.
- Use an app like Agorapulse to make this SUPER easy!
How to Put Evergreen Tweets on Auto-Pilot!
Trying to manually post your evergreen tweets is impossible — you’d quickly lose track and hate your life if you tried!
Let me show you how to do it easily with Agorapulse.
How easy was that to schedule/queue evergreen content!
Parting Thoughts about Evergreen Content
What I hope from this experiment is you walked away with 2 things:
- Confidence to tweet your evergreen content out as much as you’d like (within reason of course).
- Confidence in knowing how to easily schedule evergreen content using Agorapulse.
While I can’t guarantee you the same sort of results we got as every Twitter following is different, I am confident evergreen content on Twitter is alive and well!