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Content-led link building has changed drastically in recent years. While some brands and agencies are still chugging away, producing spammy content that exists seemingly solely to house obvious links, there’s a better way… editorial content.
When we talk about editorial content, we’re really talking about content that serves a purpose for your reader. Read that one more time: Serves a purpose. For your reader. This isn’t content that hovers, lost in the intertubes, waiting to be crawled by some bot that can’t even identify natural sentence structure—this is content that is intended to serve a human audience, making them laugh, click “share,” copy images to their own social network, quote… you get the idea.
There are a number of ways to create editorial content, but when you’re planning a campaign we recommend thinking about how all the pieces can work holistically together; you’re going to want a mix of styles and viewpoints. To that end, we’ve put together this quick-reference list of the different buckets to aim for when planning your content.
News: If you want to position yourself or your client as a thought leader news articles can’t be beat. This content can be slippery to plan, because you’re going to have to be very timely, but reporting on new industry trends, particularly when you can use surveys or fresh quotes, can yield great results.
Opinion: If you’ve gotten a strong quote for your news article, why not repurpose it into an opinion piece? You’re reasonably future-proofed, as op-eds make no claims to perfection, but you can also explore some of the wildest ideas in the industry, expanding your link network and keyword reach at the same time.
Interviews: Find a leader within your client organisation or industry, ask seriously meaty questions, and you’ll find you not only have a solid article, but you now have a very useful hub for pulling quotes—you’ve just built yourself a link haven.
Sharable: The advent of BuzzFeed and other social-driven media sites has created a fairly new world of content, where GIFs, image-heavy lists, and infographics take centre stage. These formats are also prime for posting on less traditional networks, such as Pinterest.
Reviews: Reviewing products, itineraries, destinations, books… there’s a whole universe of angles you can take that will organically tie back in with your client. The important thing (again, remember that reader?) is that your reviews be honest and unbiased.
Guides: Maybe this takes the form of a how-to guide, or a city guide that touches on a project or site important to your client. Maybe this is a troubleshooting guide, discussing common annoyances in the industry and how to manage them. Keep it specific, offer your reading real utility, and you’ll get a lot of mileage from these articles.
Long-form: Ebooks and whitepapers are just two of the long-form editorial content that you can choose to invest in. These are great ways to futureproof your links, as well as open new journalistic networks to you.
Don’t be afraid to go to topics that feel a bit tangential at first. Are you promoting a book publisher? Why not make a sharable piece on classic book cover redesigns, with a quote from a designer at the business? Representing a winery? A how-to guide on hosting a stress-free New Year’s Eve cocktail party might be just the thing. Invest the time, invest the creativity, and the results will come—organically.
Did we miss anything? What would you add to this list? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you.