Content marketing has gained momentum and credibility as an effective inbound strategy, and organizations in niche verticals can greatly benefit from industry-specific content that demonstrates their expertise.
While silos are usually discouraged in an integrated marketing approach when it comes to departments or channels, content marketers can actually benefit from a niche vertical marketing strategy by segmenting their target markets and creating content accordingly.
The infamous adage especially holds true in this case: “If you try to be everything to everyone, you end up being nothing to anyone.”
One industry growing exponentially over the past decade is technology.
With new players constantly entering the market, the landscape has grown fiercely competitive, so a vertical-specific content strategy is ideal for such organizations.
In our recent study, Fractl partnered with Moz to conduct an internal analysis of 345 campaigns across major industry verticals to determine what factors are most important in earning links and social shares. With one of the highest average domain authorities per link of any vertical, a group of campaigns that stood out due to their often high-quality link portfolio fell into the tech and gadget category.
One out of 3 earned over 50 links, while 1 out of 5 garnered over 5,000 social shares, with nearly 60% earning a minimum of 1,000.
Three campaigns, in particular, went above and beyond to yield extraordinary results: Touch Tech Choices, Comparing Cortana, and Fictional Power Sources. A further analysis took into consideration what components and variables led to successful tech content, yielding three valuable insights for vertical-specific content marketers.
Three Takeaways for Earning Links & Social Shares within the Tech Content Vertical
Know your audience and appeal to their emotions.
Humans are emotional beings who love to share opinions and experiences while also learning the same of others. In Tough Tech Choices, surprising survey results shocked the tech world about modern society’s over-reliance on the internet and the extreme lengths people will go to stay connected.
Additionally, promotional efforts coincidentally coincided with the release of several studies reaffirming today’s tech addiction, helping this campaign to earn 304 pickups and well over 5,000 social shares.
Original data sources such as surveys, polls, social media scrapes, and other forms of UGC are excellent ways to curate unique, memorable content.
While manipulating the data is obviously unethical and discouraged, the key is to uncover surprising results that resonate with your target audience on a deeper level – meaning they can relate and empathize with the findings. People may forget the exact details of what they hear or see, but they will never forget how it made them feel.
Spur some debate with rankings.
Like Tough Tech Choices, Comparing Cortana leveraged a survey for a strong emotional impact. This campaign went further, however, to utilize the fierce brand loyalty among smartphone users through a comparison ranking.
When the results deemed Siri the winner, Apple devotees were proud to share; this simultaneously caught the attention of Windows and Android users. With 340 pickups and nearly 13,000 social shares, it’s clear the battle of the smartphones was a good choice for implementing a comparison ranking.
Capitalizing on popular rivalries or debates through a ranking or comparison is a great way to drive social shares and publisher coverage through edgy content in a typically conservative or dry industry. The tech world is full of brand loyalists active on social media, so this insight is particularly helpful for capturing social shares.
Incorporate timely pop culture to pique their interest.
Keep an eye out for opportunities to take advantage of the latest trends in pop culture to create and promote timely content. In Fictional Power Sources, coinciding promotional outreach efforts with two trending events in geek culture – San Diego’s Comic-Con and the much-anticipated Star Wars release six months later – helped this campaign earn over 200 links.
Major outlets with a high domain authority were helpful in driving over 10,000 social shares, including BuzzFeed with its notorious viral reach and social popularity – its quiz format coverage was especially lucrative for social sharing.
Timing is important not only for content production but also promotion. The content’s promotion timeline should coincide with a relevant, trending industry event – whether that be breaking news, a scheduled keynote presentation, a release date, or a new study.
Not only does this increase the likelihood of publishers featuring or at the very least using bits of the content, but it also ups the potential for virality on social media. Bonus: The quiz is also a great example of repurposing old content into a new format.
Vertical Content Earns Links and Drives Social Sharing
A content strategy specific to an industry vertical is crucial, but marketers know that no set template or formula will guarantee virality in any vertical.
Fortunately, these key insights backed by original research can help tech content stand out in the noise of mediocre content.