There’s no escaping content if you want to survive in the digital marketing realm. Whether you create content or curate it, you have to ensure that it serves a purpose. Irrespective of the industry, the content that you create has to increase brand awareness, generate leads, boost sales, make an impact on the target audience, trigger reactions, and enhance search engine rankings.
But there’s no “one content to rule them all.” If your content doesn’t strike the right chord, it’ll simply be a waste of resources. Content saturation is a real thing, which is evident from these numbers provided in an infographic by Adweek:
- An average social network user processes – 63% text content and 37% media content.
- 54000 words are not only the length of an average novel but are also a number of words dumped on a user daily. The number is 443 minutes for video content.
Ergo, to rise above the rest, your content must make an impact. This can be done in two ways –
|Create Shareable Content||Create Linkable Content|
|shareable content is quickly consumed and triggers user interactions such as – likes, shares, reactions, tags, hearts, mentions, retweets, reposts etc.
More often than not, shareable content is fun, witty, compelling, inspiring, trendy and engaging. It often resonates with what people know or would want to know more about.
It gives them something to talk about and connect with their community.
Memes, quotes, quiz, short snippets, pop culture articles, short videos, recipes, listicles are examples of shareable content. There are lots of visuals in the content and offer easy readability. Catchy headlines that grab users’ attention is another trademark of such content.
Buzzfeed, Cracked.com, Reddit, Tumblr etc. have plenty of shareable content on their platform.
|Linkable content, on the other hand, is a highly-researched resource. It needn’t necessarily be a source of quick information or entertainment and is often, serious and in-depth.
It caters to a niche audience and never loses its importance.
Tutorials, podcasts, demos, eBooks, resource guides, white papers, detailed infographics, case studies and even websites are examples of linkable content.
While shareable content can be blatantly self-promotional, linkable content is more on the useful side. It can be entertaining, but at the same time, it also answers many questions that the reader might have.
For instance, take the example of The Oatmeal website, which is anything, but serious. However, it has a comic called How To Be A Writer. But what you see (in the headline) is not what you get! It can work as an ice-breaker sentence in a long-form content that gives tips on writing and so, it is placed within the content as a funny reference. And it can be used even after five years for now, in some or the other content due to its high entertainment factor.
Also, the importance of linkable content is clearly seen in a study done by Moz and Buzzsumo, in which they analyzed 1 million articles to analyze the relationship between shares and links:
- Over 50% of the posts had 2 or fewer interactions on Facebook. Over 75% of them had no external links. This points out to poor content and people don’t know how to give their content a boost.
- Although 85% of the content published (excluding the videos and quizzes) is below 1000 word-limit, long-form content that is over 1000 words long gets consistently shared and linked to than content with low word count.
- The format of the content matters too. For instance, entertainment videos and quizzes have a greater probability of getting shared but not linked. List posts and why posts achieve a higher number of referring domain links than other content formats on an average.
The first image here is a snapshot of link data of a post from Pew Research center and the second image is the link data of a post from Social Media Examiner. Both the posts were published in January 2016.
Though the post of Pew Research Center has fewer shares as compared to post from Social Media Examiner, the number of backlinks it has created are way ahead of the later.
Actionable Tips For Creating Linkable Content for Your Business
Highly Researched Data Will Never Let You Down
When people look forward to a credible content source, they skim through it to search for relevant data. Unique, original data will ALWAYS get your content linked as it contains a set of information that can prove to be useful for citation. And if the data is presented in a way that’s easy to comprehend by the readers, consider it as a win-win situation.
The Fallen Of World War II is an interactive documentary laced with data, which explores the human cost of the biggest World War till date and how there’s a decline in battle deaths ever since. Created by Neil Harollan, the documentary is in the form of a website and the data will continue to be updated.
Come Up With “How-To” Content
According to Google, as many as 91% of smartphone users use their devices to complete a task or instantly look for information and guidance. Even the searches related to “how to” on video-sharing channel YouTube are growing as much as 70% every year. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that over 100M hours of how-to content has been consumed in the USA in 2015 alone!
However, not all “how-to” content falls under the category of linkable content. For instance, a Lifehacker write-up “How To Turn Your Bike Into A Pokemon Go Machine” is more of a shareable content because it is something that people will not search for, but most likely stumble upon on a social media channel. On the other hand, another Lifehacker write-up “How To Jailbreak Your Kindle” will be hailed as a linkable content that people can refer to.
Use Striking Visuals
Let’s face it. Visuals do have an appeal, at least for some of the target audiences. Whether it is infographics, maps, charts, or visual guides, you can be assured that the content will not only be linkable but also, offer greater readability. It can also be in a fun, video format that gives a message to the viewers.
One of the best examples here is that of Dumb Ways To Die, which is basically an Australian Public Service Announcement to promote rail safety. Instead of being all “preachy”, they made a list of all the “dumb ways in which people can die”, created a visually striking animation video and used a really catchy jingle that’s easy to remember and fun humming too!
Similarly, informative infographics like this one showing Gender Pay Gap, How Big is Snapchat and Oscar Outfits Worn, guarantee many views apart from increasing the value of a content.
Create Web Pages
Creating websites or web pages that offer to-the-point, useful information to the readers is another way to make sure that you have linkable content. Take a cue from The Refugee Project, which documents refugee data provided by the UN and contains the record of the refugee crisis in the past 40 years! You can also build a website that offers a single, but crucial piece of information such as – It’s Not Its, which puts to rest the age-old confusion related to the difference between “it’s” and “its”.
- CREATE A TOOL like the Title Generator by Hubspot.
- RECORD INFORMATIVE VIDEOS such as TEDx Talks.
- WRITE AND GIVEAWAY FREE eBOOKs on your website.
- WRITE COMPELLING WHITE PAPERS like Shiny New Things by Adage.
- ATTEND CONFERENCES and write about it.
Different forms of linkable content
The first thing to remember while creating linkable content is to make sure that it will add value to the content in which it is linked. Keeping this in mind here are three types of linkable contents.
Research and insights are the most preferred content by writers to link to their content. People tend to believe research more than theories as they provide a concrete proof about the opinion made by the writer. Also, research provides data collected from masses which makes them even more trustworthy.
A detailed product review which provides all the necessary information of a particular product can be used by writers to back their opinion about a product or service. Instead of writing all the points in the content body, a link to complete review can help writers utilizing the content without affecting the flow of the content. It is for this reason, good product reviews can be valuable linkable assets.
Opinions from thought leaders
People always look up to thought leaders as someone with immense knowledge in their field. Interviewing a thought leader and collect their opinion can be highly valuable as there are high chances that people will not just share it but also link it to back their own opinions.
Also linkable content comes with its own benefits of getting discovered on search engines. With each Google search update, it is clear now that Google is giving more importance to quality content and link buildup. It is for this reason that linkable content wins the race when compared to shareable content as Google algorithm does not consider shares as ranking factor but considers a number of backlinks as ranking factor.
Creating linkable content is a continuous process. You can’t just make one great piece of content that gets shared all over the internet and stop at that. You have to keep creating content that makes not only the readers take notice but also get the influencers interested and involved. But most importantly, it retains its importance as a reference point for a long time.