Content marketing is riding the high wave and as the new year gets welcomed in, we’re pretty sure its popularity isn’t going to decrease any time soon. But just any other marketing tactic in the industry, there are various trends in content marketing that come into being, live a while and then some of them die out on their own.
But the current obsession amongst marketers is a trend called skyscraper content marketing.
For those of you who aren’t up-to-date with this tactic, in this post we’re going to try and explain it all – right from what it is to how you can actually make it work for your business in the competitive times.
What is skyscraper content?
Skyscraper content is an inbound marketing technique that involves finding topics that are doing well on the search engine as well as social media. It uses reverse engineering to create a content piece that is better than an existing one. The tactic also involves backlinking to existing posts or sharing it with those who have previously shown interest in the same.
How effective is the skyscraper technique?
In a post by Brian Dean at Backlinko, skyscraping content marketing technique was said to increase their search traffic by a whooping 110% in just 14 days. In fact the case study mentioned how the backlinks to the page increased drastically too.
Now you might find the tactic really interesting and would love to give it a shot right away. But here’s the truth, if you think like the end consumer of your content piece, you’ll understand that there are a lot of hidden ‘terms and conditions’ behind making this content work.
For instance, most skyscraper content strategies include creating longer content pieces than that of the existing competition. And if you go back to SEO rules for search engines like Google, longer content formats are known to do well.
But as a reader, just how much time do you have to read through a long piece of content to get to the crux of a trending topic?
Let’s take a deeper look into how you can actually be helpful to your readers using the skyscraping technique and how to get started.
Getting started with skyscraper content
Like Brian puts it, you can get started with creating skyscraper content in just 3 simple steps – finding link worthy and popular content, creating something better and reaching out to the right set of people.
1. Find content that is trending and is link worthy
The very step to starting with skyscraper content is to find a current piece of content that is doing well on the search engine and on social media – and is hopefully relevant to the industry your business is in.
The kind of content you’re looking for should be ‘linkable’ and not a click bait. You want every aspect of your skyscraper content to be useful to the reader. So make sure the page you’re linking to is high on value for your target audience.
A good and safe piece of such content would be one that is already being linked to by your competitors and bloggers from your niche.
2. Plan it all out and make something even better
The idea of the skyscraper content is to make sure your content piece does better than the existing one which is already popular in the market. While this might take some time to do, understand which aspects of the existing content piece did well amongst your target readers and how you can stand out in the same.
A few ways to make your content better than the existing one is to add more value to it. Be it adding industry statistics, expert or influencer quotes and tips, graphics, digging deeper into the niche or sharing a behind-the-scenes that is known only to you, make sure your content is built to go higher than the competition’s. And of course, the longer your content piece, the better it does on search engines.
3. Reach out and promote your content to the right people
Just like the usual content marketing tactic, it is important for you to syndicate your content piece to bring it in the target market’s line of sight. To start with, you want to first reach out to all those people who are influential, can give you a link back and most importantly, have previously shown interest in the topic.
Shortlist websites and blogs in your industry niche, find the owner’s email address and send out a personal message on how you think your content piece would add value to him. The outreach should be done keeping in mind that building a relationship with the recipient is more important than getting a one time link back.
In this case, we also recommend that you make use of social media for the outreach. For instance, you could see who has recently shared a piece on a topic you just covered. Reach out to the person with a link to yours referring to the interest he had shown – it makes them more likely to click through and read your content piece.
How to make sure your skyscraper is concrete
Just like it has become almost obvious for every business to have a blog and try out different inbound marketing techniques, skyscraper tactic too is slowly gaining popularity. In simpler words, no matter how long or informative your content piece is, there is always going to be a competition for attention.
We would like to point out here that creating a reputation of a business that is reader first or customer first, will always give you a competitive advantage.
But here’s taking a look at ensuring how your skyscraper content can find a good foothold in the competitive market.
1. Understand the genuine emotions and needs
First things first, not every piece of trending content is relevant to your business or your readers. There is a high chance that they showed interest in the same as a spur-of-the-moment manner and don’t really associate with it.
So when looking for content pieces that are linkable, make sure you remain contextual to your business value proposition. Also ensure that the piece is not outdated, inaccurate or full of broken links.
The idea is to make a content piece that is better and more informative for the reader! So make sure you understand the genuine emotions and needs of your target audience. The more contextual your content is to their current interests and needs, the better it performs.
2. Give it an angle that is unique to existing content
Now you could write on a trending topic the way the readers expect the storyline to be. Or you could create a unique angle to it and make it stand out from the rest!
Your target readers are already familiar with the topic you have chosen to write on, give them something unexpected to consume. For instance, a sneak peek into the industry trends or how your business works, a case study or survey you conducted.
The idea is to present what’s trending in the market with a new approach. The newer it feels, the more are the readers likely to share and make the ‘same topic’ viral again.
Also read: The secret to content virality – revealed!
3. Focus on creating value and not just the length
A lot of businesses trying to create skyscraper content follow one thumb rule – the longer it is, the better it does. While this holds true according to the search engine rules to some extent, it is important to also ensure the tactic is about creating ‘better content than the popular piece’. And better means higher on value.
Make sure that your strategy doesn’t just focus on increasing the length of a trending content piece. Try adding more value to it by answering the common concerns of readers who have consumed the content and give them something better to munch on.
When executed right, the skyscraper content marketing is a powerful way to grow your business.
Don’t be just another marketer trying to hop onto a bandwagon that is already too full. Make sure that every content piece you create is loved by your target audience because it adds more value to their interests.
Have you tried using the skyscraper tactic for your business marketing?