How ‘Tangential Content’ Can Elevate Your B2B Company’s Link-Building

Links remain crucial to search engine optimization. But it can be tough for B2B brands, especially when there’s no major launch or corporate-level change to attract publishers. Regardless, you can use “tangential content” to build links throughout the year. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

Links remain crucial to search engine optimization. But it can be tough for B2B brands to build links, especially when nothing major is launching or a large corporate-level change isn’t occurring.

But there are ways to build links throughout the year regardless of what is going on internally. The way to do that is to create your own news and resources that are interesting to publishers.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. But I’ll explain how “tangential content” is key for doing so and how you can incorporate it into your content and outreach strategy.

What is tangential content?

At Fractl, we define tangential content somewhat related, but not directly tied to, your product or service offering.

There’s a sweet spot between content’s being so related to what you do that your content sounds like an ad—and being so unrelated that people can’t figure out why you created it in the first place. Tangential content lies in the sweet spot between the two.

Let’s look at an actual blog to compare topical content with tangential content. The following are some examples of blog posts from SquareFoot, which I learned about when its head of marketing came on our podcast to talk about tying content to revenue.

This piece on the left is an example of topical content. It talks about something directed related to the brand—renting workspace. It helps people make a buying decision.

The piece on the right, on the other hand, is tangential. Rather than being about renting office space, it’s about making your workplace more productive. It’s appealing to people in the general audience, thus helping raise brand awareness and attracting top-of-the-funnel attention.

Why should you use tangential content?

For two primary reasons.

1. Build brand awareness through top-of-the-funnel on-site content

Blog content and other on-site resources can be extremely useful for providing companies with the information they need to convert. But top-of-the-funnel content has a place in your strategy, as well. For people to convert, they first have to know that your brand exists.

Tangential content can help broaden the awareness of your brand. Simply getting your name out there to an industry audience is a huge first step; it’s the first time you begin to establish trust and recognition.

You can do so by creating high-quality content that is likely to rank for a broad keyword or is highly engaging and shareable (or, ideally, both!).

Take the following Shopify quiz, for example. It’s fun content that is targeting its target market, entrepreneurs, but it isn’t about anything specifically related to its brand. It’s just meant to engage with its audience.

As of this writing, it was a Top 10 most engaged-with blog post, according to BuzzSumo, with 700+ Facebook engagements.

To succeed in executing this approach, research what your audience wants and create it for them, even if it’s not strictly related to your brand offering.

2. Build backlinks by pitching the content to media outlets

On some occasions, to help your audience, you use unique insights and data you have, but there’s a finite amount of such information. Which is why you should also have a plan in place for creating other content to help advance your objectives.

That’s why we use tangential content in most of our link-building efforts for clients. When you’re trying to earn media coverage, publishers usually have little interest in running something that’s all about what you’re selling (unless the value to their readers is obvious). Going the tangential angle allows you to explore other avenues of providing value while broadening the appeal to audiences.

Let’s look at an example. (Note: This type of work is successful if you invest in it over time rather than trying it just once.) For a client, Influence.com, we created a project about social media etiquette. We surveyed people about 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 about influencer marketing, though. Instead, we went the tangential route, zooming out a bit and covering social media, where many influencers have built their audiences.

The strategy worked. We pitched the content and earned media coverage and links from MSN, Bustle, Nasdaq, Real Simple, Small Business Trends, Social Media Today, PR Daily, and others.

That’s the link-building power of tangential content.

How can you create tangential content?

The creation of the content itself won’t vary too much from the topical-content creation process. However, the main difference is at the ideation stage. If you don’t find the perfect idea, the entire project will fall flat.

The key is to be open-minded and to practice “zooming out.” Take your specific offering and ask yourself: What general category does this fall in? Then, take that category and write down related topics.

Here’s a top-level example from Porch.com, a site that helps connect people with home-improvement contractors.

We created content about all of the topics you see in the image. At first glance, parenting may not be the first thing you think of when visiting Porch.com. However, if they were to do a study about parenting, you might well think that makes sense: Porch.com is trying to help you build a better home, and this is a similar theme—just in a broader, tangential sense.

* * *

If you’re looking for ways to bolster your link-building and brand-awareness efforts, then creating and promoting tangential content may be just the tactic you were looking for.

Start by considering your general industry and what other concerns and questions your target audience might have that aren’t directly tied to your offering. You’ll be on the right track.

Why Building a Personal Brand Is More Important Than Ever

Creating experiences and being able to influence your customers are the keys to success.
September 3, 2020 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A personal brand allows you to build more trust between your business and colleagues and clients alike. It also boosts your reputation and motivates others to want to do business with you. Now more than ever, there is a strong need for entrepreneurs to build a personal brand.

A strong company brand is vital to your success for several reasons. We’re living in a time of unpredictability, and there’s a lot of noise and competition to cut through online. Technology and online search engines make it easier than ever for customers to research companies before making a purchase. They’re becoming more discerning in their choices and selecting companies that are seen as trustworthy and authentic.

Personal branding in detail

An effective personal brand can help you excel and reach your goals, but it also needs to manifest a positive impact on others, as well as drive business results. “Personal branding is a major part of marketing that most business owners are missing out on,” says Luke Lintz, CEO of HighKey Agency. “Your personal brand is the easiest way for you to connect to your potential customer and is the easiest way to showcase your product or brand without coming across as heavy promotion.”

You can’t achieve personal branding by publishing a flashy website or selling trendy and popular products without any sense of direction. It’s about creating and selling an experience and being able to offer quality and unique insights with a sense of authority. When you can consciously and intentionally influence public perception and consumers, you can elevate your credibility.

Related: Your Personal Brand Is Just as Important as Your Business Brand

Benefits of building a personal brand

There are a variety of benefits that will come from you putting in the time and effort to build a personal brand. For example, you’re more visible online, which is where consumers are spending the majority of their time. It’s in your best interest to become more accessible and to engage with your online audience.

Also, the more visible you are, the greater the spotlight shines on you and your brand. Take advantage of this reality as an opportunity to transform as you learn and to flex to the ever-changing world around you. Be adaptable to how your target market is evolving and what they’re up to so that you can achieve long-lasting success. Go slow and be secure about your personal brand and what you have to offer.

Nick Brogden, the founder of Earned Media, recently shared in an email, “If used correctly, a well-sculpted personal brand can make your advice more authoritative. For instance, if you can back up advice provided to a client (or potential client) by saying, ‘I wrote an article on this for [respected publication]; I’ll share it with you,’ your words are likely to carry a lot more weight.”

Another benefit is that you’re going to be able to stand apart from the crowd when you can build a reliable personal brand. Your business vision and mission should be driven by your personalized story, including your language and tone. It should be unmatchable and allow you to stake your claim in your industry. Your messaging and actions need to be consistent with what you stand for if you’re going to create more trust with your customers. You need to be able to relate to your clients on a human level and show that you’re more than just a brand.

Building a personal brand will also help to position yourself as a thought leader. You become the gatekeeper of information that your customers want to know and learn more about. You’re on the right path when your target audience finds value in the knowledge you have to share.

Reasons why personal branding is more important than ever

It’s good for business when you encourage your employees to build a strong personal brand. Your employees are representing your brand in their professional and personal lives, plus it’s a chance for your company to gain more exposure. You need everyone at your workplace to be working together to elevate your personal brand by building trust with clients and having customers view each of you as a thought leader. It’s also imperative that you’re proactive about managing your online reputation, whether you’re an employee or a company. You risk losing business and tarnishing your character if you aren’t managing it effectively.

Related:11 Secrets to Creating Your Own Powerful, Personal Brand Website

Be patient

It’s vital to be patient and remember that building a personal brand takes time. You are unlikely to experience overnight or immediate results due to your efforts. Figure out what you want to be known for and then put measures in place to help you to achieve this goal. It’s in your best interest to be consistent and not flip-flop so that you can more quickly establish a strong personal brand. Honesty, transparency and authenticity are the key factors you need to set yourself apart and ensure that others have a desire to want to work with you now and in the future.

Easy Tips for Building a Powerful Email List

Your email list is the secret sauce that bring your brand tons of new business.
August 19, 2020 8 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

This article was written by Alex Sixt, an Entrepreneur NEXT powered by Assemble expert. If you are looking to take the NEXT step in your business then we encourage you to check out Entrepreneur NEXT powered by Assemble.

Email marketing has been running strong for decades, but as social media and other digital channels continue to influence marketing strategies, email has become a second thought for many brands. Thing is, email is still as powerful as ever, and your email list is the secret sauce that bring your brand tons of new business.

A solid email list can benefit your brand by helping to reach customers beyond social media or traditional marketing. So, if you’re ready, grab another cup of cold brew coffee, and let’s chat about how to build your email list up to success.

Use an email marketing tool.

Email marketing can be confusing enough as it is, so why not recruit a tool to help you get organized? Getting organized is a crucial step in the process of building your email list and, luckily, there are plenty of email marketing tools out there to help you with this step. Although every platform is different, each offers a place to store your email marketing content and information about your email list to help make every email campaign an experience for subscribers.

All platforms have a price range for their services that is structured according to the size of your email list, and almost every one offers some version of a free plan. That’s right- email marketing services that don’t even cost you a penny, at least until your email list grows beyond what the free plan allows (sigh, the price of being successful). Take your time to research all options and decide which one is right for your email marketing strategy. Once you’ve chosen a platform, sit back, relax, and start to build that email list in peace knowing that your email marketing functions are well managed.

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Add an opt-in form to your website.

There are customers who actively want to find a way to sign up for your email listwe love those people. We also don’t want to lose them by making the process so complicated that to sign up seems more like a task than an opportunity. To make it easier for wannabe subscribers, create a user-friendly opt-in form. An opt-in form essentially gives the company consent to send emails to an address, and this is often achieved by a subscriber simply entering their email and pressing “submit.” Sounds easy, right?

Simplicity is key when creating an opt-in form; no one wants to jump through hoops just to be on an email list. To make it even more accessible, display the opt-in form in a highly visible place, such as your home page. This will prevent the form from getting lost in the mix with all of your other web content, and make visitors more likely to sign up.

Related: 7 Things Your Opt-In Forms Need to Do to Gain Email Subscribers

Offer an incentive for subscribing.

Who doesn’t love free stuff? Obviously, most people do and the same applies to your customers. Full price never seems that attractive, but it sounds much more doable with a discount offered at the small price of entering an email address. Offering incentives is a fantastic way to grow your email list, as it makes customers feel that they’re getting something in exchange for receiving your brand’s emails.

Make sure the discount being offered is well worth the customer’s time, as many will breeze past an offer if they feel it simply isn’t worth the pennies off their purchase. Another trick is to make them second guess their decision to close your pop-up by getting creative whit the buttons. It’s easier to turn down an offer when a button simply says “No thanks” rather than, “No, I don’t want 20 percent off and exclusive access to subscriber-only sales.” This will encourage the user to rethink their decision, giving them their prized discount while simultaneously building your email list.

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Send a welcome email.

Sit back and think about a time that you truly felt welcomed into a store, home, or event. What made you feel like you were appreciated, just for stepping foot through the door? Let’s apply those experiences to your email list. Much like attending an occasion or visiting someone’s home, your subscribers should feel that your brand is excited that they’ve joined the party.

And nothing puts a stop to that wonderful feeling quicker than a simple “Please confirm your email address” message landing into their inbox. Your subscribers should feel appreciated from the second they hit the “submit” button to join your email list. The good news is, it’s much easier than you’d think to give that warm, fuzzy feeling in an email. Thank your new subscriber for joining and add relevant, up to date information about the valuable content they’ll receive from now on.

Related: How to Make Your Customers Feel Valued

Create a pop-up form.

We’ve all seen it before: you’re shopping on a website when suddenly, the page you were viewing is blocked by a peppy welcome window that offers a discount if you enter your email. Once again, you’ve been lured into a common email marketing trick: the pop-up form. Popup forms are an excellent tactic to build your email list with an easy hook; like taking candy from a baby, except we would never do that because babies are adorable and no one wants to deal with the temper tantrum aftermath.

When designing a pop-up window, it’s important to think like the customer rather than someone who needs to build an email list. It’s simply not enough to say, “Hey there stranger, sign up to subscribe to our daily emails now,” because very few customers will go for something that doesn’t benefit them. Instead, consider including something to catch their attention such as a discount code for their first purchase (reference #3). This will build the foundation for a good relationship with your new subscriber, and help you grow your email list quickly.

The future of work is here—at Entrepreneur NEXT, we’re building a smarter way to hire top experts. Save yourself the wasted time typically spent in boring interviews or unnecessary agency pitches—we’ll take care of the hiring details for you.

Advertise the email newsletter on social media.

Remember how I mentioned at the beginning that social media plays a large part in marketing? Good, I’m glad you were paying attention because you’ll need to remember that as you build your email list. Although social media tends to get most of the marketing credit, that doesn’t mean you should totally neglect it when developing your email marketing strategy; it may just be the key to boosting it. Many potential subscribers are actually sitting in your follower count right now, which means promoting your email newsletter will reach further than traditional pop-ups or opt-in forms ever could.

Remember, when promoting your email newsletter on social media, users must be given a good reason to subscribe, else you risk your social media efforts going to waste. To help users feel like they absolutely must subscribe to your email list, push discounts and other offers that users can only get when signing up with their email. Better yet, detail how subscribers will benefit from signing up, such as sale privileges and exclusive brand content. When subscribers feel that they’re becoming a member of something worthwhile rather than a daily spam email, they’ll be more likely to stay subscribed and tell their friends, too.

Related: This Is Why Email Marketing Still Outperforms Social Media

If you’re unsure about how to grow your email list, you’re not alone. With marketing shifting towards other popular digital channels, it can seem that email is in the back of consumer’s minds. However, email is still a successful way to reach your customers, and there’s enormous value in putting time into building an email list. Figure out what techniques work best for you and watch your email list grow!

Underrated Link-Building Tactics That Work Surprisingly Well [Infographic]

Boosting your rankings on Google is vital: It means more traffic to your site and an increase in leads. One of the most reliable ways to rank well is the use of link-building tactics. But it’s not only the most popular tactics that perform well. These lesser-used tactics are just … Read the full article at MarketingProfs

Boosting your rankings on Google is vital: It means more traffic to your site and an increase in leads.

One of the most reliable ways to rank well is link-building. But it’s not only the most popular link-building tactics that perform well. Some lesser-used approaches are just as good.

Though Google’s algorithms continually change, digital marketers tend to use the same tactics over and over, including guest-posting, broken-link replacement, and the skyscraper technique (updating and upgrading existing content with new and better-quality backlinks).

And those tactics work. Except everyone uses them, and websites daily receive a flood of similar pitches and requests as a result.

Enter underrated link-building tactics that are just as or more effective and help you stand out.

Free Webinar: Secrets of Building a Successful Consumer Brand That Customers Love

Learn how to make customers fall in love with your brand and keep coming back for more.
June 3, 2020 2 min read

Building a brand that customers love is a dream of almost every entrepreneur. Building a brand that is also a commercial success is the ultimate goal.

The team at hello products has done just that. Starting with hello, the first “naturally friendly” oral-care brand, founder Craig Dubitsky and his team at hello products built a powerful consumer brand that goes well beyond great product packaging and social media marketing.

And we’re bringing his secrets directly to you. Join us for Secrets of Building a Successful Consumer Brand That Customers Love, a free webinar presented by NetSuite and Entrepreneur.

Tune into this insightful conversation with Dubitsky and Dynamic Communication author Jill Schiefelbein to learn about hello products’ story, get inside information on what it takes to build a brand that customers love, and maybe even see someone consume an entire tube of toothpaste. Kidding. (Not kidding?)

Attendees of this webinar will also learn:

  • Key ingredients to building a business around a product
  • Systems that you need to have in place to be able to make great decisions
  • How to take your product from an idea to one that’s on store shelves in every major retailer
  • And more

The Secrets of Building a Successful Consumer Brand That Customers Love webinar will take place live on Thursday July 9 at 12 p.m. EST | 9 a.m. PST.