We’ve talked previously about how to get the most out of your content marketing, and that includes featuring evergreen and timely content. Today, let’s go through some benefits and examples of including timely content in your business’s content marketing strategy.
Benefits of Timely Content
Timely content is gaining importance in the world of endless social media scrolling and short attention spans. And if you can create relevant timely content, you can generate a ton of buzz around your brand with something as small as a single tweet or blog article.
Timely content, especially on social media, is a great way to meet your customers where they are. Wendy’s Twitter feed is a great example – their social media coordinators capitalize on trending topics with a sassy edge that keeps people interested. Their mix of jokes, memes, and helpful information about their brand and latest initiatives is a great study in successful timely content.
Like all content types, another big benefit is SEO. Engagement is key to a great content program, and search engine optimization is the best way for your potential customers to find you, instead of the other way around.
One thing timely content can do that evergreen content can’t, however, is to draw in leads and demand for a specific product, service, or event. Creating content that includes release dates for new offerings, drawings or raffles, and events can draw a larger audience in a shorter amount of time than a piece of evergreen content. As with many things, in content marketing, the bigger risk you take in creating timely content that will become irrelevant quickly, the bigger return you could see. Whereas evergreen content has a longer life but will yield lower spikes in engagement over the course of its life.
Boosting engagement is one of the top reasons timely content is so valuable, and so hard to do well. Most social media outlets (TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) use different elements such as hashtags to allow users to follow trending topics or new items. Choosing the right hashtags can take your Instagram or Twitter post to viral heights if you do it right and have good timing.
Examples of Timely Content
There are many types of timely content. Because of the shortened window of relevance for this content, it’s important to remember that your content has to be appropriate for the platform you are hoping to use and be relevant for long enough to reach your target audience.
Often, the first thing we think of when discussing timely content includes something with a start or end date. Promotional materials, new product or service launches, updates to your business’s current offerings, and limited-time offers like Instagram giveaways, sweepstakes, ticket sales, online auctions, and raffles all fall under the timely content umbrella.
Another source for timely content that has grown more and more important with the explosion of social media and mobile device use is the reaction to local, national, and international news in real-time. As soon as a new film project or actor attached to it is announced, whenever any major political or true crime breaking news hits the airwaves, people’s news feeds are just that: a never-ending stream of “what’s happening right now and how does it affect my business, my customers, or my outlook on life or the near future?” Trending topics create a perpetual organic stream of content ideas for you to choose from.
Timely content has come to mean things that are relevant “right now” or “this week.” But it also pertains to the temporary and recurring importance of certain days, weeks, months, or events. A great example is the Christmas season, which feels every year like it is coming closer and closer to encroaching or completely overtaking Thanksgiving and Halloween marketing initiatives. But this is actually a great example of how difficult it is to create timely content. There are always two camps concerning the Christmas season: the first is made up of all the people who want Christmas all year long, and the second is made up of the people who hate the Christmas encroachment for taking up more than its fair share of marketing time and space.
And therein lies the timely content conundrum: how do you create content that is current without promoting it too early or too often and desensitizing your audience to the main event? There are lots of ways to do this, and the first is recognizing when a piece of content should be timely versus when it should be evergreen.
When to Use Timely vs. Evergreen Content
When it comes to creating timely content versus creating evergreen content, the general rule in the marketing industry is to follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of your content should be evergreen, and 20% should be timely. Here are some considerations for when to use timely versus evergreen content.
If your marketing goals are to generate leads and reach new audiences quickly, timely content will get the job done much faster for you. If your focus is more on brand reputation or customer retention and loyalty, some helpful, no-strings-attached evergreen content is the way to go.
Considerations When Creating Content
Of course, just because something is a timely topic doesn’t mean you should create content around it. Let’s talk about some things you should consider before crafting a piece of content on a timely event, idea, or topic.
One of the first things to think about when creating your next round of content is your audience’s level of expertise (and please note this may change across platforms). If you are creating content for newcomers, beginners, or people who are just starting to take interest in your content, then creating evergreen, introduction-minded content will likely be more beneficial.
But if your target audience is made up of more experienced individuals, offering timely content that reacts to or analyzes current market trends or news items is going to be a better way to generate recognition of your brand within your industry.
Your marketing budget is also a top consideration: timely content is effective, but it needs to be promoted swiftly to target the right audiences. If you are looking for long-term ROI, creating a marketing strategy or promotional campaign around timely content isn’t going to be as helpful as evergreen content would. But if you are looking for new audiences and targets, and your budget reflects that, timely content is your best chance for big returns in the short term.
And finally, your content strategy, especially for timely content, is dependent on your content team or professional. If you have a full department that is able to keep abreast of the latest issues and craft content quickly, leveraging more timely content in your marketing program is extremely beneficial. But if you have one person who spends a few hours a week creating content, having a minute-by-minute strategy for keeping up on trending topics and events is unfeasible.
If you are looking for dedicated and specialized professional help with your content creation or you need some marketing strategy advice or a web design update, SharedTEAMS has a host of resources and professionals that can help you maximize your marketing budget. Check us out below.
Leverage Your Timely Content to Achieve Your Business Goals
Timely content is a powerful tool that can grow your business if you use it effectively, especially when you incorporate it into a comprehensive marketing and communications strategy. SharedTEAMS offers communications services scaled to meet your specific business needs. Our communications team has a host of great projects for you to choose from that can be tailored to include timely content, evergreen content, or a mix of both. Here are some of our services: blog articles, email newsletters, website content optimization, chatbot setup, ebooks, brand positioning and messaging, collateral package, sequenced email campaigns, and direct mail campaigns.
Interested? Here’s how it works.