Rand Fishkin says content marketing has better ROI and far less risk than link building. Here are his top 10 tips to brilliant content marketing from a talk he gave at London Linklove 2012.
1. Don’t Hide Your Great Content
Put your best content right out where everyone can see it. Rand used the example of Dollar Shave Club. When their “Our Blades are F***ing Great” video went viral, they quickly placed it front and center on their own home page.
2. Know When Your Audience Is Awake and Listening
Rand suggests using everytimezone.com to visualize when is the best time to post new content for your key audiences.
Bonus: Notice how easy Every Time Zone made it easy to grab a link to their page to share or use in your blog post.
3. Use Anchor Text Not Just in the Content Itself
Notice the anchor text link from FeeFighter’s blog back to their home page.
4. Come Up with a Linkbaity Content Style
Rand points to the Economist blog “Graphic Detail.” This blog is all about charts and graphs, perfect material for others to link to or embed (or “pin”!).
5. Use Zemanta to Create Great Outbound Links
Google likes to see a healthy amount of relevant outbound links to quality sites. Zemanta is a plugin that lives right inside the WordPress post creation section. As you enter your content, Zemanta autosuggests images and text links that are relevant, and lets you add them to your content with just one click.
6. Create Unique Visualizations that Scream “Share Me!”
Rand used Twitter Stories as his example, but I’m going to point you to Twylah. Twylah monitors your most engaged-with tweets and turns them into an attractive, branded, SEO-friendly web page. All links are followed, but for even more SEO benefit, you can actually host your Twylah page right on your own domain.
7. Partner with Other Content Producers
8. Use Every Weapon in Your Arsenal
…to broaden your reach. Rand displayed a post that with no link building or other outreach got 473 backlinks from 106 domains, simply because journalists picked it up on Google news and started spreading it. He recommends broadening your arsenal to include news, video rich snippets, rel=author and other schema, etc.
9. Target Already-Powerful Groups and Demographics
See Jane Work appeals to a group with a lot of purchasing clout: female office managers.
10. Create “Pridebait” Polls and Top Lists
Linking to celebrities and big names in your industry or niche within an “honor” awarded to them (by you!) is a very good reason for them to link back to you and spread your post all over their social media outlets. Example: Forbes Magazine Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers (which includes my good friend Neal Schaffer!)