The lasting benefits and long-term value of having a solid content marketing strategy cannot be stressed enough. However, if you do not have the right content, link building will most likely cease if online marketing strategies are not continued.
This means that you need to be able to fuel your online marketing, generating time, effort, and resources. But is there a way to fire up your marketing once and keep the momentum going for a longer period of time?
For instance, take this particular article that was published on Harvard Business Review regarding a salary negotiations survey. Leading technology website TechCrunch picked up the survey several months after its publication and active promotion. It is especially notable that the researcher did not ask TechCrunch to assist in promoting it. However, the TechCrunch article writer most likely found this content while researching and found it a relevant resource. Therefore, this is the key to long-term links: Content that is a valuable source of information.
The ultimate aim is to generate content that researchers and writers will be able to source and link to, citing them in the content that they are making. Everyone knows that bloggers and writers aim for credibility and factual information. Thus, they are always searching for the most valid content in order to prove their case, support their point of view, or give broader context so that readers can understand the entire picture. If the content that you are creating is so rich in information, then it is fodder for citation. If you are frequently cited, you make a lot of links without even doing any active marketing.
Pioneering Research and Fresh Data
When your content has a pioneering study or original investigation, it can be very valuable for forming authoritative links. This kind of indispensable information should be able to through a solid PR marketing strategy. A lot of created content usually falls under this niche, although not every single link that is earned is a direct result of a deliberate outreach.
Many links that are generated through content that has pioneering research are a result of syndication. The process of syndication starts with a content campaign that will be sent to an authoritative site (Site XYZ in this scenario) in the hopes that said content will be featured on this site. This is what typically happens:
- Content is pitched to Site XYZ.
- An article is published by Site XYZ that contains a link to the content.
- Another site (Site ABC) reads the content featured on Site XYZ and publishes it.
- Yet another site (Site DEF) read the content features on Site ABC and publishes it.
- And it goes on and on until the content is well-disseminated.
This is the very essence of earning lasting links. The content should be placed strategically on several authoritative sites through outreach and the process of syndication. When this happens, the content will be in an ideal position to be discovered and cited by other bloggers and writers.
In the scenario given, Site XYZ serves as the ideal citation for the other publishers since it is the original source of the valuable data. This process builds Site XYZ as the authority, making it likely to receive a lot more citations, like what happened in the TechCrunch story that was mentioned earlier.
Validating and Discrediting the Industry’s commonly-Held Beliefs
Web design expert and co-founder of Orbit Media Andy Crestodina mentioned that many industries usually have commonly-held beliefs that are not confirmed by solid research, which he calls “missing stats.” Here is an example of content that attempted to uncover one missing stat.
One commonly-held belief in the marketing industry is that content marketing performs better than native advertising campaigns. This hypothesis is an example of a missing stat in that there are no researches done to either corroborate or invalidate this claim. Since the average number of links acquired for content marketing campaigns is not an easily-available data, this is one performance benchmark that many marketing people want to find out.
One documented study that attempted to answer this “missing stat” is a native advertising versus content marketing study, where a total of 30 content marketing agencies were surveyed. They were asked questions on pricing, client KPIs, and most importantly, the average content marketing campaign that they earned.
After the publishers published the article in their website, it was featured on the Harvard Business Review, Inc. and Marketing Land. This research is still being used as a link, featured in more than 80 root domains so far, even without active promotion. More than creating high-quality links, this study has been an effective tool for driving new business to the site.
On the other side of the coin, research does not always agree with long-held assumptions. For instance, a collaborative research was done by two online marketing agencies where they examined about a million articles online. One of the main findings of this particular study is that there is no significant relationship between sharing and linking. This finding discredited the long-held belief in the marketing industry that content that gets shared a lot will earn a lot of links, and vice-versa. According to Open Site Explorer, this particular post has a total of 403 links so far, from 190 root domains. This is an impressive feat.
Putting the Research Strategy into Action
Here are some ways where you can find new industry researches:
- Survey your clients
You can ask your clients questions in order to delve into their thoughts, real needs, and experiences. Getting feedback directly from customers is a wonderful strategy to really get a first-hand feel of the exact issues they are facing and the solutions that they’re seeking.
- Survey your industry
There are many companies within your industry that offer a wealth of knowledge on topics that might provide valuable insights. There are many brands within the industry that are not direct competitors who have valuable information on one aspect that might be helpful
- Internal Company Data
This is probably the most effective option and the simplest to execute. Your own company might have valuable data based on customer interaction that would be relevant to readers. It is a good idea to identify internal information and how to best present them to reflect market trends, providing actionable insights to readers.
Looking Into Curated Resources
While research is an effective tool, it is also time-consuming. One alternative to doing long research is to curate a good amount of relevant and useful information on the topic. Curating content may be your answer to perpetual link building. Here are some ways on how you can execute this:
- Statistics and Facts
You can collect very useful and content-rich data from various credible sources. It is also important to constantly update the curated list with fresh data.
- Concrete Examples
Concrete evidence is one way to show credibility in your writing. Like the classic classroom activity show and tell, you can group many relevant and concrete examples in one resource and refer to these whenever you need to illustrate or prove a point in your article.
Putting the Curated Resources Strategy into Action
Here are some ways to brainstorm statistics and facts and concrete examples:
- Study recent blog posts and other on-site content.
- Read comments on other industry articles and resources.
- Look for information from other industries that are applicable to your own.
Exploring Beginner Content
Every industry and every topic under the sun has a learning curve. There is a lot of content out there that introduces a topic or teaches a beginner the ins and outs of a certain niche in the industry. You can use these types of content for citation. It is ideal to use this beginner content because it saves the writer time to explain the basics. Instead of explaining a niche or a specific topic, you can link to an industry expert’s introduction.
If quality information on your content is adequate, maybe you can create brand-new content on emerging terms and concepts related to the topic.
Putting the Beginner Content Strategy into Action
Bloomberry, a newly-released tool, has the ability to scour information in question and answer forums such as Quora and Reddit. It looks for the most frequently-asked questions about a certain keyword. Bloomberry is a useful tool to look for beginner questions about a given topic. You can group the types of beginner information into the following categories:
- The most common questions
- How these common questions are being answered
Final Words: The Need to Promote Content
This entire article is not meant to dissuade bloggers, writers, and marketing specialists to stop doing outreach and promotion in order to make more links. It’s telling you to actively utilize content promotion to push your content and give it the momentum that it needs to make more links. After doing the work of getting your content featured on authoritative sites, you can organically grow more links. It is a given that more writers and publishers will find your content if you have more links.