New Year, New Content
Every search engine optimizer knows that content marketing is the name of the game, but what’s the best way to disseminate that content to earn likes and shares on social media—and, ultimately, gain quality links?
The Past: 2014 Recap
Infographics were the big player in 2014. In my opinion, though, the Internet is over-saturated with them and there’s an increasing number of bad ones out there. So even if you make the best infographic in the entire world, it still is going to be difficult to get eyes on it. This holds especially true when there are thousands already created on the same topic. Infographics still do have appeal, but diversifying content will likely yield better results.
The Future: 2015 & beyond?
Many marketing professionals are claiming that 2015 will be the ‘Year of the Case Study’, and I agree with them. Of course case studies aren’t new, but we can do more—and better—with them. The reason? Unique data. Marketing experts are constantly on the prowl for data sets to reference in studies, eBooks, infographics, whitepapers, etc. If you can deliver an interesting story with concrete metrics and compelling facts, you have a solid opportunity to build some great content.
Combining the past with the future, I believe case studies in the form of infographics can create a strong formula for success. The key is to give them dedicated pages on your site, and allow Google to crawl them. Also, adding an embed code is a smart idea!
Creating a Case Study: The Basics
1.) Identify the opportunity: Don’t be humble. Parade your results around! If you can cover a win and a failure in the same study, this may be best. The fact is there really aren’t many case studies that do this—and we can learn from mistakes as much as we can from successes. This could make for an interesting spin, but be sure that you still present your business positively even while admitting your missteps. (Ex.: We tried something [explain failure], then we took a different approach [explain win].]
2.) Make it unique: Ask yourself these questions:
- What other information exists in your space?
- Is there a piece of the puzzle missing out there that needs to be exposed?
- What data can you provide that would help spread the word?
3.) Make it interesting: Highlight any surprises you encountered, and use them to draw attention to your case study!
4.) Optimize your case study page: Set yourself up for success by following SEO best practices. Promote it on your social media channels, too.
5.) Comment on other material: If you come across information relevant to your case study, don’t be afraid to chime in. Avoid spamming, but adding your findings as a comment, with a link to your case study. I’ve seen moderators praise informative links that can add value to the discussion. Links in comments sections can also generate a lot of quality referral traffic if they are legitimate and supportive to the source. Also, research for new articles often begins by reviewing old ones, so your study may gain traction here.
The Year of the Case Study
Unique and interesting content is harder to come by than it should be. I expect case studies to begin to fill that void in 2015. As an ideal form of quality content marketing, I predict they’ll become a driving force in search engine optimization.