So you’ve spent months strategically planning and executing a content plan designed to increase the number of unique visitors to your site; however, things aren’t going as planned. The strategy that resulted from extensive topic and keyword research is only producing mediocre results. This might come as a surprise, considering that your blog ideas are on-brand and relevant to your target audience, but the core issue is often something out of your control.

What’s your vertical? Is it self-storage, oral surgery, or maybe even elder law? These industries are especially niche which means the on-brand content you produce will likely only appeal to those within your niche. But what about the outliers? How does one go about getting views and social shares from those who would otherwise never stumble onto your site? The answer? Tangential content.

What Really is Tangential Content?

“Tangential content” is a term used to describe content ideas that purposely stray from your core focus in order to appeal to a vast audience. The result is considered tangential because the content produced is just slightly related to your service or product rather than being heavily branded. This ultimately makes your content more relevant to a broader audience which, in turn, increases link building potential, diversifies your content library, and allows you to outperform local competitors.

A few examples of tangential content at its best include the following:

  • Niche: Bus fare booking and comparison tool

Topic: Most Instagrammed Locations in Each State

  • Niche: Sports apparel retailer 

Topic: Survey rating the most attractive NFL players

  • Niche: Apartment listing site 

Topic: States that use the most prejudiced/racist language

While none of these topics are directly promoting or selling the client’s service or product, they garnered an average of 50,000 social shares and 400 media pickups. The reason being is the topics were relevant to the target audience and successfully triggered an emotion from readers — a common feature in highly shareable content.

Is Tangential Content Adaptable to my Industry?

Many business owners would like to believe that everyone can benefit from their product or service, while others accept that their targeted demographic is extremely niche. Knowing which category your vertical falls under can help you decide whether or not it would be beneficial to adopt a tangential content strategy.

If you’re unclear about whether you can benefit from tangential content, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is my brand topic useful or interesting to the general public?
  • Are there a number of publishers who cover my niche specifically and do they have large readerships?
  • Is my current on-brand content meeting or exceeding my expectations?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, a tangential content strategy can help increase your digital reach. However, there are a few industries that have a mass appeal and are able to generate an impressive number of social media shares and media mentions by strictly producing on-brand content. 

According to a study by Fractl, the top five industries that strive on on-brand content are:

  1. Technology
  2. Drugs and Alcohol
  3. Marketing
  4. Politics, Safety, and Crime
  5. Science, Environment, and Energy

While providing tangential content won’t hurt, these verticals are inherently relevant and interesting to the masses.

Integrating Tangential Content into Your Marketing Strategy

The first step of integrating tangential content into your content plan is to do some research on your target audience. Discover their likes and interests and find where your brand’s niche overlaps with their interests. Next, you should determine the topics your target audience cares about. The Facebook Audience Insights tool is exceptional at providing accurate insights. While brainstorming topics, consider hot button news stories and how they can apply to your brand.

The final phase is execution. We understand that many marketing heads are a bit reluctant to publish content that has little to do with the service or product offered, and their apprehension is understandable. As a test run, consider pushing one of your tangential content ideas through your desired social media channel. You can use the results of this trial to either refine your strategy or move forward with applying tangential content to your on-site strategy.

Getting Help from the Pros

Implementing and analyzing a new content strategy — or any content strategy, for that matter — requires a commitment that few business owners have to offer. The solution? Securing content marketing services from a proven digital marketing company that’s trusted by brands nationwide.

Market My Market is a full-service digital marketing firm with a diversely-talented team of marketing professionals who regularly apply content marketing best practices. We understand that your digital presence is your brand and in order to grow your brand, you’ll need to be on the screens of those who can benefit the most from what you provide. Allow us to help take your business to the next level. Contact us today to speak with a digital marketing expert.