Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Attraction Content: The Foundation of a Smart Content Marketing Strategy

This article is part of our series on the 4 Essential Types of Content Every Marketing Strategy Needs. Make sure to get your special free bonus at the end of the article.

Let’s start at the beginning: you need to attract people to your content.
Creating Attraction content is the first step in a successful content marketing strategy and the focus of our first lesson.
Here’s a working definition of Attraction content:
Attraction content is freely available on the web for social sharing and for search engines to index. Your goal for this content is for people to consume it and spread it.
In other words, this is the content that drives traffic — ideally, a lot of traffic. Let’s look at a few examples of Attraction content.

List articles

Some like to call these articles “listicles.” Others like to call ’em “rubbish.”
Call them what you will, but creating a high-quality article around a numbered list like the 109 Ways to Make Your Business Irresistible to the Media simply works.
And, yes, you will typically see better results from higher numbers (as long as you make each point a beefy, satisfying item).
But Ernest Hemingway’s Top 5 Tips for Writing Well or The 7 Things Writers Need to Make a Living prove that short list articles can also be popular.


The most-shared piece of content on Copyblogger is an infographic called 15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly.
We’ll dig into why it works so well — and why it doesn’t — below.
In the meantime, here are two more examples of successful infographics:
Both of these infographics were large drivers of traffic and social shares the year they were published (2014).
And check out these articles if you are interested in learning how to make winning infographics without risk or transforming your ho-hum infographic into something extraordinary.

Downloadable assets

Give people resources to make their lives easier and they will be happy to share them with others. That’s the purpose behind downloadable assets like worksheets, checklists, and inspirational posters.
Definitive guides and content libraries fall into this category, too.
Definitive guides are resources like QuickSprout’s The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Branding or Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
These are monster resources that pile up the inbound links, generate thousands of social shares, and dominate the top rankings in search engines.
Content libraries like My.Copyblogger accomplish the same result, but instead of focusing on one topic, we offer 15 different ebooks on topics ranging from copywriting to content marketing to landing pages.
And yes, in exchange for one email address we give you access to all 15 ebooks. If you are interested, you can read up on the results of this approach in a report published by MarketingSherpa (spoiler alert: the experiment was a smashing success, in more ways than we imagined).


Another method for attracting new people to your content is creating slide presentations and publishing them on SlideShare. On Copyblogger, we publish a new post with a SlideShare presentation embedded in it, like we did with 10 Rules for Creating Content People Can Trust.
By doing it this way, we drive our Copyblogger audience to view the SlideShare, which then (we hope) raises the number of views to a point that it gets featured on the SlideShare home page.
Since all of our slide presentations point back to Copyblogger, this additional exposure potentially introduces us to new audience members.

Surveys and stats

Sometimes you don’t have to create all the content by yourself. You can ask your audience to provide the raw material for you. That’s the idea behind surveys.
A survey is also a great way to establish yourself as an authority in your industry by becoming the go-to source for the latest research on a particular topic. In fact, we used a survey to launch our native advertising series, and that survey attracted a number of links.
The SEO software company Moz elevates its authority and visibility in the market by releasing its annual search ranking factors report. Surveys are a reliable way to attract links.
Stats are another way to reuse content (whether they are yours or someone else’s) to drive traffic to your site and attract links. For example, take a look at NewsCred’s 50 Stats You Need to Know about Content Marketing downloadable report, which is also a SlideShare.

Attraction content mashups

As you can see, and as you will continue to see over the course of this week-long series, Attraction content can embody a number of different formats and mediums.
You can also transform one piece of content into different formats and mediums. Almost two years after we published Stefanie Flaxman’s 30 Quick Editing Tips Every Content Creator Needs to Know, we updated it and turned it into a SlideShare presentation.
In another case, an infographic became a series of podcasts and then eventually became a series of articles. And don’t forget, you can always republish old blockbuster articles to expose them to a new audience.
Now let’s discuss a common problem with Attraction content.

The problem with Attraction content

As I mentioned above, a great example of Attraction content is our 15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly. This is easily our most popular post. It’s generated a ton of links and social shares.
In addition, it’s driven a lot of traffic to our site. But there is one problem with the traffic. And it involves delivering the right value to the right type of person.
Unfortunately, many of those people who find Copyblogger through Grammar Goofs are not part of our target audience, so they tend to drift away. They care about grammar, but not content marketing.
This is not always an entirely bad thing. Traffic surges can lead to surges of free publicity. Let me explain.

When bad traffic can be good

In their early stages, Buffer published hugely popular posts on body language and happiness. They were great posts, but I always thought it was strange for a social media app company to write about these topics.
Until I understood what they were doing.
See, those popular posts were getting picked up by big-name media sites like TIME and The Huffington Post, which drove a ton of traffic back to Buffer via the links embedded in the articles.
As expected, the conversion rates were low, but Buffer got publicity from these articles.
This is (sometimes) the beauty of content syndication.
Eventually, though, Buffer narrowed its content focus to attract the right audience. Once they reached a critical mass of visibility and traffic, it was time to focus on conversion.
The same was true for Copyblogger. Attraction content is now typically part of our content mix about once or twice a month.

When to use Attraction content

Let’s close with a couple of thoughts about when you should use Attraction content.
  1. New websites. Your new website will need a heavy dose of Attraction content to get attention and links. If you publish twice a week, for instance, you could publish Attraction content once a week. This ratio is a good starting place because it’s not easy to predict which piece of content will become a stellar performer.
  2. Mature websites. In general, it will take you anywhere from six months to two years to start seeing your content rise in the search engines, regularly get shared, and routinely pick up links. Once you reach that point, you may want to publish Attraction content about once or twice a month.
It’s comforting to remember that it’s quite easy to blend your Attraction content with other content types, like Authority and Affinity. This way, you not only drive a lot of traffic to your site, you also attract the right type of traffic.

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Over to you …

Do you have any questions about Attraction content? Drop us a line in the comments section below.

And let us know about your favorite piece of Attraction content (whether you or someone else created it).


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