How to Drive Up Your Engagement: Everything You Need to Know About Tangential Content

On Jan 28, 2021 9:31:00 AM

In SEO, content creation, content marketing

Nina Legesse

Nina Legesse

Account Manager, Flawless Inbound

It can be hard to walk the line between entertaining content and content that effectively employs SEO tactics to help you achieve your organic traffic goals and KPIs. One way to keep the balance is to try out tangential content. Let’s look at what it is, why it works, and how to come up with relevant ideas.

Traditionally, we think of content marketing as a means to achieve these specific goals:

  • Generating interest in your brand
  • Attracting new customers and building up your target audience
  • Engaging existing customers
  • Driving conversions and nurturing leads

We think of the brand—and center everything we create–around how great the thing we’re selling is.

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This method works well if you keep adding new products, updating the features, and have a lot of stuff going on in general. But when you’ve described all your services in detail, and your audience already knows your products from A to Z, it’s time to leverage another type of content. This content can help you increase exposure to new audiences, enhance brand recognition, and even get quality backlinks and organic coverage by high authority sites.

The Magic of Tangential Content

Tangential content is related to, but not about, your service or brand. Let that sink in.

It works within your brand’s general field of expertise—and your target audience’s interests—to generate content that’s actually interesting for casual reading.

It doesn’t try to sell or convince. It doesn’t even refer to your services. Creating tangential content is taking a few steps back from typical content marketing topics and thinking about what’s more widely interesting.

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The pains tangential content will save you (and your audience)

It may not be immediately obvious—in fact, it probably feels counterintuitive—but entertaining and non-brand-related readings can kill two great big birds with one stone.

Bird #1: Content that’s boring and hard to write.

Bird #2: Content that’s boring and hard to read.

Let’s put this concept to work.

How to Build Tangential Content

1. Set your objectives

First, find out what your goals are. If you’re trying to generate as many leads as possible, taking the tangential content route will help you cast a bigger net—rather than scaring people away by writing brand-specific content that new audiences aren’t familiar with. 

2. Review your buyer personas

To decide on your tangential topics, you need to understand your target audience’s interests and where your niche intersects with those interests. Buyer personas are the foundation of this.

3. Do your keyword research

Explore what related topics your personas are interested in that you might have avoided writing about because they didn’t tie to your core branding. Now is the time to dig into those tangential topics.

4. Get inspired by other industries

When you have a list of subtopics related to your core brand, ask yourself: what else is relevant to this topic? For example, if you’re a car insurance brand, what else is related to driving? Work commutes, singing in the car, safety, family vacations… the list goes on and on. 

Here’s your call to action, content marketer. It’s time to stop making content for the boss and start writing it for the audience.

Let us know how tangential content works out for you!

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