Links remain crucial for search engine optimization. But it can be difficult for B2B brands to bond, especially when nothing major is happening or a big change at the company level is not happening.
But there are ways to bond throughout the year, regardless of what’s going on internally. The way to do this is to create your own interesting news and resources for publishers.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. But I’ll explain why “tangential content” is essential for doing this and how you can incorporate it into your content and outreach strategy.
What is tangential content?
At Fractl, we define tangential content that is somewhat related, but not directly related to your product or service offering.
There is a middle ground between the fact that the content is so related to what you do that your content looks like an advertisement, and that it is so loosely related that people can’t understand why you created it in. first place. Tangential content is in the sweet spot in between.
Let’s look at a real blog to compare topical content with tangential content. Here are some sample blog posts from SquareFoot, which I heard about when their marketing manager came to our podcast to talk about linking content to revenue.
This piece on the left is an example of topical content. He talks about something related to the brand: the rental of workspace. It helps people make a buying decision.
The piece on the right, on the other hand, is tangential. Rather than renting office space, it’s all about making your workplace more productive. It is appealing to the general public, thus helping to increase brand awareness and grab attention from the top of the funnel.
Why use tangential content?
For two main reasons.
1. Build brand awareness with premium on-site content
Blog content and other onsite resources can be extremely helpful in providing businesses with the information they need to convert. But high-end content also has its place in your strategy. In order for people to convert, they first need to know that your brand exists.
Tangential content can help expand your brand awareness. Just getting your name known to an industry audience is an important first step; this is the first time that you have started to build trust and recognition.
You can do this by creating high-quality content that is likely to rank for a broad keyword or very engaging and shareable (or, ideally, both!).
Take the following Shopify quiz, for example. It’s fun content that targets its target market, entrepreneurs, but it’s not something specifically related to its brand. It’s just to engage with your audience.
As of this writing, according to BuzzSumo, this was a Top 10 Most Engaged blog post, with over 700 Facebook engagements.
To successfully execute this approach, find what your audience wants and create it for them, even if it’s not strictly related to your branding offering.
2. Build backlinks by presenting the content to the media
On some occasions, to help your audience, you use unique information and data that you have, but there is a limited amount of such information. That’s why you should also have a plan in place to create other content to help you achieve your goals.
This is why we use tangential content in most of our link building efforts for our clients. When trying to gain media coverage, publishers usually have little interest in managing something about what you’re selling (unless the value to their readers is obvious). Adopting the tangential angle allows you to explore other ways to create value while expanding audience appeal.
Let’s look at an example. (Note: This type of job is successful if you invest in it over time rather than trying it once.) For a client, Influence.com, we created a project on the social media label. We asked people what they thought was inappropriate behavior on different social platforms and then reported on the results.
The company helps brands connect with influencers (and influencers connect with each other). Our project wasn’t specifically on influencer marketing, however. Instead, we’ve taken the tangential route, zooming out and covering social media, where many influencers have built their following.
The strategy worked. We featured content and got media coverage and links from MSN, Bustle, Real Simple, Small Business Trends, Social Media Today, PR Daily, and others.
It’s the linking power of tangential content.
How to create tangential content?
The creation of the content itself will not vary too much from the process of creating thematic content. However, the main difference is in the ideation stage. If you can’t find the perfect idea, the whole project will fall apart.
The key is to be open-minded and to practice “zooming out”. Take your specific offer and ask yourself: What general category does this fall into? Then take that category and write down the related topics.
Here’s a high-profile example from Porch.com, a site that helps connect people with home improvement contractors.
We have created content on all the topics you see in the image. At first glance, parenthood might not be the first thing you think of when you visit Porch.com. However, if they were to do a study on parenting, you might think that makes sense: Porch.com is trying to help you build a better home, and it’s a similar theme, just in a broader sense and tangential.
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If you’re looking for ways to boost your link building and brand awareness efforts, then creating and promoting tangential content may be exactly the tactic you’ve been looking for.
Start by considering your industry in general and other concerns and questions of your target audience that are not directly related to your offering. You will be on the right track.