Companies typically invest in marketing materials like blogs and articles that help them showcase their brand. Focusing on brand-related topics for your blog is an excellent short- or medium-term strategy, but you cannot stay with it forever, especially if you have a niche product or service. If you produce coffee, for example, or other products with universal appeal, you might get by with producing only brand-centric content. However, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, you cannot focus on topics that fans and customers like reading.
With a content marketing strategy, you aim to create a lasting relationship with customers. They should see your brand as more than a source of goods and services. You should be insightful, keeping them engaged through thought-provoking articles and posts. If not, your content will only serve as a vessel for sales pitches, making it easy for customers to ignore them. As such, when you create tangential content, you could boost engagements and get more people interested.
Tangential content is only partially related to the topics you usually write about on your blog. Tangential articles may only be slightly related to your offerings. For example, if you are a medical spa, your content might primarily be related to the benefits people would get from the treatments you offer. Tangential articles for a med spa might discuss wellness at home, coping with mental health struggles, and similar topics. Although the facility might not provide at-home or mental health services, they are within the scope of interest of a med spa's typical customers.
Why Write Tangential Content?
Many people would think twice about creating tangential content since it does not directly relate to their offerings. However, there are various benefits to creating this type of content—here are some of them.
1. Supports Link Building Efforts
SEO is incomplete without link building, and tangential content is likely to get plenty of high-quality links to your website. When you're writing something indirectly related to your brand, you can reach more types of consumers, which means a more diverse group of publications will be interested in what you have to say.
2. Builds Brand Awareness
When you write about things you don't usually discuss on your blog, you open your brand to new, fresh associations. People who might not have known about your business might read your tangential blog post, all because you wrote about one of their interests. It helps you get in front of consumers you otherwise would not have reached.
3. Encourages Social Shares
When you take a multi-lens approach to your content, as you would when writing tangential content, your writing becomes more compelling. A medspa writing about health and wellness at home would get many shares, especially now, when many workers have flexible work arrangements. Stepping out of the confines of your usual topics allows you to view your brand through fresh angles.
Tips for Creating Tangential Content
There's no one way to come up with topics for tangential content. You can go the traditional route by applying keyword research techniques and using tools that generate phrases related to your blog. You can also start by "going up one level" and considering topics related to the category where your business belongs.
For example, a roof cleaning company could belong to a few general categories. You could go for related topics under construction, tradespersons, or home maintenance, among others. If a cleaner chooses to write tangential topics under home maintenance, he can choose subtopics that are slightly related to roof cleaning, like landscaping and roof repairs.
Once you have subtopics, you can think of blog post ideas related to your brand and these tangents. For example, you can write about planning your landscaping to prevent leaves from piling up on your roof. You could also write about securing your roof for the winter.
After you've come up with a sizable list of topics—40 to 50 is a good start—you can trim these down to those with the most impact. People who have been writing content for a while will have an eye for what makes a good story. If you're only starting, though, you might not know how to identify stories that people would want to read.
If this is the case, it helps to go with your gut. A content writer has a knack for storytelling, so you can evaluate an idea for its emotional impact. Writers can put themselves in other people's shoes, so it'll be easier for you to imagine how readers might feel about a particular topic. Even how-to articles can resonate with the right audience!
Writing brand-related content is a time-tested way of getting the word out about your business. It also helps you position your company as a leader in your field. However, don't box yourself into writing only about a limited number of topics. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture—consider the industry to which your company belongs and write about issues or concerns your audience might have that relate to it. You could gain new subscribers, customers, or clients when you do.
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