If you look at what popular blogs have published in the past year, you’ll see a ton of expert roundups. Even here on Outbrain.
And it’s easy to see why.
You see people getting astonishing results from them – like 20k+ pageviews, hundreds of shares, and other results you really want for yourself.
But the reason they’ve worked so well in the past is because they were incredibly valuable and somewhat unique.
Now? Not so unique. And with a lot of content marketers sloppily throwing them together to attempt quick wins? Not always so valuable.
You can still succeed with them when you do it right, but you have to work much harder to stand out.
So let’s talk about how you can make yours different from all the others.
Reasons to keep publishing them
They’re everywhere, and they’re not nearly as easy as some content marketers make them out to be.
Amidst all the misinformation and content clutter, why bother with expert roundups anymore? Because they still have tons of benefits:
They start relationships: when you want to ask influencers for something, it’s best to start small. Including them in a roundup is a great “in” to a deeper and more collaborative relationship. (It’s how I ended up here!)
They’re super shareable: between the experts themselves, their audiences, and the snowball effect, it’s understandable how these posts rack up the social shares so easily.
They bring new perspectives: they’re a great way to publish content that’s outside your own areas of expertise, or are from a different viewpoint than your own.
So like I said before, you just need to make yours stand out. So when you email an influencer down the line saying “we worked on a roundup together,” they’ll remember which one you mean.
Here are a few alternatives to a straight-up list of influencer quotes that you can try:
1. Create an infographic
An expert roundup infographic is like the trifecta of content marketing:
- It’s a highly linkable asset
- It’s taking advantage of influencer marketing
- It’s visual media
That means a great graphic with the right influencers can expect to have massive payouts for SEO, sharing, and engagement.
Venngage does this really well by covering popular topics and timely trends in infographics. Even Outbrain has republished and linked back to one!
The creation process also isn’t too different from that of your average roundup. Select your target influencers, get a short quote from them, format everything into readable and engaging content, and promote it like crazy.
The main difference just lies in that third step. Instead of formatting a text post, you’re creating an infographic.
It may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. You can either outsource the work to a freelancer or agency or use infographic building software like Venngage.com or Piktochart.com.
2. Give audio or video interviews
Publishing interviews is another way to incorporate more multimedia into your influencer marketing.
You could record audio interviews with experts and publish them in a series or podcast. InsightSquared does this with their Ramp podcast. There’s also creating videos together.
Creating individual pieces of content for each expert puts much more focus on the individuals. And someone’s going to promote a post completely about them more heavily than something where they’re one of a few dozen people included.
And with multimedia, you have so many possibilities for audiences. Having a podcast helps you reach new people through various podcast listening apps. YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world.
They can be linkable assets too when you encourage people to embed the video or audio stream on their own site and link back to your original page.
3. Hold live events
Live events – even online – will take a lot more coordinating than a blog post or infographic. But they help establish connections, engage audiences more, and will stand out.
The most unique option here is a large event featuring a lot of experts, like the Social Media Success Summit.
But that’s a lot of work for one piece of content. So the other option is smaller, more frequent events. Think webinars, Twitter chats, live Q&As, and other formats that are more serial.
4. Publish in-depth insights
There’s also taking the total opposite approach to most expert roundups. Most keep quotes as short as possible to fit in as many influencers as possible and get tons of shares.
Instead of publishing one post with a series of quotes, you could publish a column with a series of interviews.
Interviews produce a lot of content and can actually be pretty low maintenance. If a video or phone call doesn’t work with an influencer’s schedule, you can move to Gchat or get questions answered via email.
5. Round up resources
If you do want to stick to a list post, you can try rounding up something other than quotes.
Resources you can try include books, blog posts, checklists, newsletters, websites, social media accounts…really any content worth consuming.
This is something we’ve done a few times on the Mention blog, and they’re all among our overall most popular posts.
This presents some great opportunities:
- You’re curating content that’s already out there, instead of pitching and trying to work with lots of people to create new stuff. That’s convenient for you.
- Curating also means you can feature experts without them devoting time to creating new content. That’s convenient for them.
- You’re creating a hub of educational content about a specific topic that your audience is interested in. That’s convenient for your readers.
Sounds like a win/win. With a third “win” thrown in for good luck and good marketing.
6. Get more specific
If text expert roundups are working well for your brand, you also need to stray too far from them. Instead of switching up the content format, you can switch up the content itself.
Most roundups focus on a pretty broad topic. This makes it easier for a lot of experts with different characteristics to answer the same question. It also gives the post topic mass appeal for readers.
But what if you answered a single, specific problem?
You would be the only expert roundup about that topic, for sure. If you plan it well enough, maybe even the only piece of content.
Talk about standing out.
7. Go evergreen
Finally, you can create really evergreen roundups. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised. When you look at some of the most popular roundup posts, a lot of them cover really time-sensitive or trendy topics.
Those posts may be massively popular now, but they’ll become outdated sooner and traffic can drop.
Instead of zooming in very specifically, try zooming out broad enough to become timeless. Evergreen content may normally build up traffic over a long time, but the influencer aspect of the content will help it get seen.
Fight the buzzwords and clutter
Every time a tactic becomes a buzzword, like “expert roundup” or “influencer marketing,” it becomes a lot more competitive to do. That’s just the way marketing goes.
But instead of wasting time on ineffective content or not trying new things at all, think about the small tweaks you can make to stand out among the content clutter.