Before you begin designing content, and even before you start your content marketing strategy, it’s important to ask yourself who will care about what you’re putting out there?
Luckily, there are a few content types and ideas that will work and be successful. This blog will explore 4 content types that work for link building, focusing on content marketing techniques such as collaborative pieces, survey-led content and more. We will also look at the problems with certain types of content, the solutions and how to increase your links and brand mentions…
Phrases like “advertorial” or “sponsored content” are major roadblocks for digital PR specialists who are trying to build organic links. As a rule of thumb, link builders will only ever want to pay for links as a last resort, but bloggers and publications are becoming more demanding of cash for content than ever before.
Pitch your content to a journalist or blogger as a collaborative or mutually beneficial piece. For example, write a content feature on top tips for travellers and then approach travel bloggers to be included and comment. You can then offer a free link back to their blog, as well as free promotion while the bloggers will link back to your original piece – win-win!
This can be applied to businesses too. For example, you could create an infographic that highlights the best activities in the Midlands, and then contact businesses to be included. Again, you can pitch this as free advertising, providing they link back to your content, of course.
2. Surveys = Authority and Longevity
Making bold statements about the habits of the population just to back up your point is great, but where’s your proof? Research and actual facts give you a lot more authority, and journalists will find it more newsworthy too.
Plus, while we all want to create amazing campaigns, they can be expensive, so it would be great if they had a longer shelf life.
Using a research company like Ampersand to conduct a survey, when done properly, can produce rich results that you can then use in your content. Take a look at your results and decide what angle you will be taking before pitching to journalists and editors. The media notoriously love a research story, particularly if you’ve made an interesting discovery, so expect some great coverage and links.
A research campaign can also help you produce a wealth of content, not just one campaign. You can create flat content, infographics and videos that are all packed with statements that you can now prove.
3. Expert Opinions
Again, it’s a problem with authority! Writing content that explores a current or topical issue will need a human side. No matter how well-researched your content is, the media will always value a comment from someone “who was there” above anything else.
Content that is interview-led or features a comment from an expert will gain interest and drive links. For example, write “a day in the life of” feature that looks at a certain career or profession, and include quotes throughout from someone who actually does the job. You can use services like Response Source to find a comment from someone in the know. Again, it’s mutually beneficial, as you will be crediting them in the piece too!
4. “Flat Content”
While many content creators will see flat content pieces such as “top tips” pieces, press releases and white papers boring and to be avoided, they will get coverage and gain links. The truth is, there’s no real problem with so-called “flat content” – it works!
Embrace standard content features and articles. A lot of publications will value a certain layout, for example, “Top five reasons to work in hospitality”. Lists and top tips are more readable and easier to scan-read and digest. Plus, Google will favour more readable content which will help your overall SEO value too.
Some More Top Tips
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to creating content that will get exposure, increase links and improve traffic to your chosen site.
*Don’t shoe-horn – Only produce content that is related to your service or business, otherwise it will be too random.
*The right media mix – build a media list of contacts who will care about your content, and resist the temptation to fill your list with random contacts.
*The all-important pitch – spend time writing a quality media pitch that highlights why the media should care about your content.
*Build those relationships – building relationships with key editors and journalists is imperative.
It’s vital to plan a variety of content in your strategy and see what works and what doesn’t. Luckily, there are several content types that work for link building, and these are just a few examples.