Calculating the Lifetime Benefit of Evergreen Content

Most folks are believers these days: Content marketing does work to attract prospects to your website, engage them, move them along the sales funnel, turn them into customers, and even make them advocates fro your brand.

But why does quality evergreen content, well researched articles and blogs, cost so much? Or does it?

The cost to produce a quality piece of content for your website or social media might seem prohibitive when multiplied by the total needed on a monthly or annual basis. But if you look at the lifetime benefit of an individual content piece over time, that seemingly prohibitive cost shrinks dramatically.

Our experiment

What we are discussing here is a specific type of content, that which “possesses legs” and is designed for the long haul. Evergreen content is exactly this type of content. It sits on your website, gains traction in the SERPs, attracts a steady stream of users and generates many pageviews each month. Evergreen content provides long term value to the website owner. Even better, over time it mitigates the cost of your content investment.

Let’s see how from this example.

This blog post resonated with its intended audience of internet marketers and WordPress users. Adding schema markup language to a website intimidates many marketers unfamiliar with HTML. My colleague and fellow strategist Chris Baldock addressed this issue with a “how to” post that addressed a need, was timely, was relevant to the target audience, and would be valuable to new readers in the future (it was evergreen).

The results of his effort prove the value of the content he created.

Over an eight month period this content delivered a steady stream of new users, mainly via organic search. Though traffic peaked at the end of March, we expect this post to continue “giving,” as all evergreen content does. Unless WordPress adds a process that makes adding schema language easier (possible), or Google decides to discount the value of structured data (highly unlikely), Chris’s post will continue to deliver traffic, social shares and links.

What happens if WordPress updates their schema plug-in? Simple: Chris will update the content and republish it, ensuring a proven content asset remains relevant and continues to pay dividends (users, shares, links) into the future.

Drum roll, please

What did this blog post cost? Let’s assume a $200 investment for this well researched, well written content piece. Now look at the number of users (unique visitors to the site) over the so far eight month lifespan of the post. Divide the $200 cost by the 2,358 users and we arrive at a $0.08 cost per unique visitor to the website.

 

Investment ÷ Users = Cost per click ¦ $200 ÷ 2,358 users = $0.08 per click

 

Each of these unique visitors is a potential lead, ripe for converting into a prospect and ultimately a lifelong customer and brand advocate. This cost will further diminish with each new user. Compare this diminishing cost of content to pay per click campaigns where each cost per click remains constant over time.

Take this thought process one step further and consider the ROI of the content piece. Let’s use a minimal conversion rate of 2% and a hypothetical average sale of $3,000 (feel free to plug in your own conversion rate and average sale). Based upon these numbers, our example produced 47 conversions and $141,480 in revenue thus far, all from a $200 investment. The conversion rate we used does not include any assists from the content piece. Thus both the conversion number and revenue figure should be considered “minimum.”

 

Organic users × conversion rate = Sales, Sales × Investment = Total revenue ¦ 

2358 organic users × 2% conversion rate = 47.17 converted sales, 47  converted sales × $3,000 investment = $141,000 total revenue

 

Remember: This content piece also continues to produce shares, retweets and links over time as well.  Brand awareness has been impacted positively. Ultimately the website trust, subject authority and reputation have been enhanced.

Takeaway thoughts

Ideally you want a website full of evergreen content, with each article, blog, infographic, etc., producing a steady stream of users, shares, and links every month. An initial investment in quality content might seem expensive if you look only at the initial investment. If instead you view the lifetime benefit, content is a wise investment to grow your web presence.

Still feeling a little needy? Check out these related posts: 3 Reasons FAQs Make Ideal Evergreen Website ContentKeep Your Blog Relevant: Evergreen Content and the Need for Timeless Topics

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