A good content marketer knows there’s no such thing as a ‘boring client’, a great marketer sees such clients as an opportunity to get much more creative with their content marketing and think outside of the box when it comes to link earning campaigns.
WHITE PAPERS & THOUGHT LEADERSHIPS
Corporate brands are a never-ending fountain of knowledge with access to more reports, customer data and analytical insight than you could shake a stick at. This fountain represents an endless supply of high-level content that can be used to build brand equity instead of gathering dust in a filing cabinet at the back of a CEO’s office. Refer to topical news and trends in your industry and create an authoritative white paper to take advantage of any media interest. Thought leadership with insider insight from a CEO is likely to build credibility and cement a brand’s position within their sector, particular when picked up by the trade press who are likely to pick out bite-sized snippets from a well written executive summary.
REAL-LIFE EXAMPLE: Musicmetric, a music analytics firm took months to create their annual report on the state of music piracy and ensured it was sent to both trade and national press along with a nice summary article. To increase the report’s reach to the average consumer, they condensed the report into an interactive tool that allowed users to check which postcode had the highest piracy levels. The interactive element increased the outreach response rate significantly from bloggers and publishers who would otherwise have found the report too dense for their readers.
The brilliant thing about a data-led survey is that it adds a real sense of credibility and weight to your content. Finding a relevant news hook for your brand and industry should give the content greater outreach potential with targeted bloggers and press who are always looking for content that can be verified with reputable data. Be specific with your objectives when it comes to a survey though; what exactly are you are hoping to achieve? Will you be able to uncover some interesting findings about your industry that is likely to garner media traction? More importantly consider the output of your survey, beyond a bog-standard press release, think of more creative ways to sell-in your content. It could be anything from an interactive infographic to a serious think tank piece, either way it's worth bearing in mind the output and link building potential when creating a survey.
REAL-LIFE EXAMPLE: Hiscox surveyed thousands of entrepreneurs for their annual DNA of an Entrepreneur report. They uncovered key insights and trends within the SME community and knew there was real value in the data beyond the survey and official report. When they dissected the findings further, they discovered there was strong data about tech start-ups booming during the recession, female entrepreneurs growing at an alarming rate and optimism amongst small businesses growing steadily. These findings allowed them to tailor their outreach efforts to trade publications and niche business publishers who were more interested in some areas of the data than others.
Creating an evergreen reference resource people will bookmark and endlessly link to is every marketer’s dream. A comprehensive guide or handbook offering practical advice, insight and case studies pertaining to your industry is likely to be held up as the go-to reference for your peers seeking this type of authoritative content. A good guide will be filled with useful content written by your in-house team of fabulous copywriters but if you want to encourage links and social shares consider including external resources in your guide, a bit of link bait never hurt anyone right?
REAL-LIFE EXAMPLE: The shining example of a fantastically executed reference guide is from the guys over at Simply Business. Their ego-bait piece entitled “The Small Business Guide to Google Analytics,” saw them link out to external resources including Quicksprout, Kissmetrics, Search Engine Land and the holy grail of SEO, Moz. Linking to highly reputable sites like these of course encouraged reciprocal links, hundreds of backlinks and social shares in the thousands.
EGOBAIT AWARDS & POWER LISTS
They say flattery won’t get you anywhere but in SEO it can certainly open some doors! Everyone loves a bit of recognition for their hard work and to be recognised and praised by peers in your industry is an accolade many strive for. Launching an online award or power list is not only a great way of creating ongoing rich content, but also a nice link bait piece that encourages those nominated to link back and share with their friends. Lists can celebrate the leading figures in carpentry or reward the best recruitment agencies in the HR sector, whatever your industry there is always a way to create a list or themed awards with interesting categories in which to group your nominated peers. The benefit of online awards of course, is that you don’t have to deal with the faff of an expensive gala with prizes, this is simply a chance to champion those in your field and get the odd link whilst your at it.
REAL-LIFE EXAMPLE: Every corporate brand worth their salt has created some kind of awards or power list, whether that's online or offline but those leading the way tend to be business publishers like Forbes. Their 30 under 30 list recognises young entrepreneurial types creating trends and breaking the rules in their industry or field. Of course their list gets plenty of traction in the media but also encourages links from those nominated and featured. Win-win right?
If your client is speaking at an industry conference, why not use this as an opportunity to create some evergreen visual content that will inject some personality into the brand? Pop the presentation into a Slideshare deck and make sure to blog about it and promote it on social to further extend its reach to those outside your client’s industry.
REAL-LIFE EXAMPLE: Risk Factory, a risk assessment company sent their affable American CEO to one of the leading internet security conferences to host a talk about how the pornography industry has benefited from tighter internet security. Naturally, due to the nature of the topic, the deck was one of the best performing pieces of content for the brand and continues to drive traffic to the website today.