Evergreen Content vs Topical Content: Which Is Right For You?

A pair of boxing gloves

By Danny, 1 month ago (4 min read)

Ding, ding, ding. 

In the blue corner, weighing in at 246lbs, the heavyweight champion of the marketing wooooooorld – evergreen content!

And in the red corner, weighing in at 234lbs, the current number one contender – topical content! 

Evergreen content is often considered the Muhammad Ali of the content marketing world. After all, timeless content remains relevant and authoritative day in, day out, providing consistently high value in the eyes of both users and search engines.

Topical content, on the other hand, can be considered the Ricky Hatton. Sure, it ain’t the all-time champ, but it can still throw a mean ol’ right hook and leave the ring with a W to its name.

So, how do you choose your fighter? How do you find the balance between spending precious time and resources on content that’s soon to become irrelevant, as opposed to content that continues to perform month to month? And is topical content ever really worth it? Let’s find out…

Time vs results

Your first consideration when deciding which content type is right for you is a simple one: is it worth the time and resources you put into creating it?

Now, hold your horses – we know what you’re thinking. Surely it’s always worth opting for evergreen content as it’s primed to drive more sustainable results? Not necessarily.

Content focused on trending topics naturally provides readers with genuine value in the here and now by addressing a timely and relevant topic.

As a result, this type of content often sees much higher levels of engagement – after all, as opinions and reactions are still fresh, users are more inclined to share, comment and the rest. 

In this sense, a piece of content that drives higher engagement for a shorter period is often just as (if not more) valuable compared with content that drives lower engagement across a longer period. Essentially, it depends on your content goals.

Another consideration to make when it comes to time and resources is your turnaround time. Topical content drives the most engagement at the point when it’s most relevant.

Remember, your content production process involves creation, editing, uploading and promoting before you even begin to reap any rewards, so it’s important to consider whether your turnaround times will be able to complement the relevancy of the topic.

What do you have to contribute?

Creating topical content is about more than just hopping on the bandwagon.

Trending topics are popular…obviously. But with popularity comes saturation, meaning it’s harder to stand out from the crowd, and the crowd is also three times the size. It’s Ali vs Hatton at Wembley Stadium instead of the local gym.

So, in order to make topical content worthwhile, you need to be bringing something fresh or innovative to the table.

This isn’t necessarily as difficult as it sounds. Your topical content should, at least we hope, be relevant to your brand (and if it’s not, this is a pretty good indicator that this trend isn’t for you!), positioning you as a potential authority on the topic at hand.

This means you can bring valuable insight to the discussion and, with a clever content strategy, present it in a fresh way. For example, you could conduct research with your audience surrounding the trending topic, turning your findings into insightful new data.

By presenting new information that contributes to the wider trending topic, you’re much likely to see higher levels of engagement from both your audience and third parties alike.

Can you find the middle ground? 

While Rocky Balboa claims there are only winners and losers in life, sometimes, you can find a middle ground. Just imagine if Rocky and Drago had decided to compromise in Rocky 4. Some say that might’ve ended the Cold War there and then…

When it comes to evergreen and topical content, finding that compromise is perhaps easier than it sounds. The trick here is to contextualise your evergreen content within the trending topic. 

For example, at the start of this year, we wrote this blog post on the relationship between Instagram and mental health. Fast-forward a few months and, amidst the ongoing pandemic, mental health has been a hot topic of conversation.

Had we posted this blog post 3 months later, the content would’ve been both topical and evergreen. How? It addressed conversations happening in the here and now without being constricted to the restraints of relevancy.

The content itself remains relevant day after day.

So, to establish whether you can find middle ground, ask yourself the following:

  • How will this topic evolve?
  • Why is this topic trending?
  • Are similar topics also trending, and what’s the relationship between the two?
  • Is this topic a subset of a larger, broader idea?

Evergreen and topical content both boast major advantages, but it’s key to understand when and why to use each style in order to ensure your content strategy remains informed and results-driven. Failure to do so may well result in you having to throw in the towel…

To learn more about how we can help you deliver a knock-out punch with your business’s content, get in touch with our marketing team today.

Ding, ding, ding.