The Public Relations BlogDigital PRContent & InboundContent Skyscrapers: A Core Tactic for Inbound and SEO

Content Skyscrapers: A Core Tactic for Inbound and SEO

"Size matters" if you want to improve your SEO rankings.

Cover photo: @jerrysilfwer

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We should all be build­ing Content Skyscrapers.

I love this simple yet power­ful inbound tactic.

Brian Dean of Backlinko came up with the Skyscraper Technique for con­tent mar­ket­ing. It’s as power­ful as it’s elegant.

Build con­tent sky­scrapers to poach social engage­ment and search volumes:

  • When stra­tegic­ally decid­ing what mes­sage to pub­lish, you research the web to find sim­il­ar mes­sages and con­tent types.
  • You tar­get the few con­tent items shared and rank the highest in search engines.
  • Then, you set out to pro­duce a par­tic­u­lar con­tent item that is bet­ter than com­pet­ing items.

It’s as if someone built the tallest sky­scraper, and you decide to make a more elev­ated one next to them. You should get the most out of the search volumes by doing so.

Building a Content Skyscraper gives you a good idea of what it takes to suc­ceed with con­tent mar­ket­ing in your chosen niche.

To build Content Skyscrapers (or Clusters of Content Skyscrapers), prac­tice these techniques:

Skyscraper Technique 1: Deep Content

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Deep Content

Above is an example of an online con­tent struc­ture that’s five levels deep. In the example above, five lay­ers of ever­green con­tent are stacked:

  • Level 1: Articles
  • Level 2: Content Upgrade
  • Level 3: Resource/​Lead Magnet
  • Level 4: Ebook
  • Level 5: Online Course

Deep con­tent is centred around provid­ing increas­ingly high­er qual­ity to engaged users. ideally, the user­’s engage­ment should determ­ine when the inform­a­tion need has been ful­filled, not the lim­it­a­tions of the web­site’s avail­able content.

  • The few who reach your content’s call to action (con­tent diver = click­ing ver­tic­ally) are more valu­able than those who only scan its first head­line (con­tent surfer = click­ing horizontally).

As for the import­ance of struc­ture and depth, the logic is the same as that of ice­berg pub­lish­ing and con­tent themes.

Learn more: The Deep Content PR Strategy: Win By Going Deeper

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Skyscraper Technique 2: Content Themes

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Content Themes

Let’s use a fic­ti­tious example of an IT com­pany. First, they decide on a core mes­sage for their con­tent strategy:

Core mes­sage: We make IT easy to understand.

Then, the IT com­pany breaks their core mes­sage down into four busi­ness-crit­ic­al con­tent themes:

Q1 Content Theme: We make people under­stand the Internet of Things (IoT).

Q2 Content Theme: We make people under­stand busi­ness auto­ma­tion.

Q3 Content Theme: We make people under­stand cloud com­put­ing.

Q4 Content Theme: We make people under­stand man­aged services.

For easy plan­ning and boost­ing SEO with con­tent sky­scrapers, you can cre­ate con­tent pack­ages for each theme.

Using con­tent themes comes with sev­er­al upsides:

  • Planning. Using con­tent themes makes it easi­er to plan your mes­saging for the year.
  • Visibility. Search engines love it when you pro­duce and pub­lish related content.
  • Growth. You’re provid­ing valu­able and ever­green con­tent on a niche topic.

Learn more: The Content Themes PR Strategy

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Skyscraper Technique 3: Evergreen Content

Evergreen Content

What’s ever­green con­tent? For a piece of con­tent to be ever­green, it must sus­tain its value over time. This means the con­tent must be rel­ev­ant today, tomor­row, and the fore­see­able future.

While news con­tent might have a more sig­ni­fic­ant short-term impact, ever­green con­tent accu­mu­lates over time.

There are dif­fer­ent ways to lever­age ever­green con­tent. I recom­mend a few axioms for Evergreen Content:

  • Two years. To be con­sidered ever­green con­tent, con­tent must be rel­ev­ant and valu­able for at least two years. It’s an arbit­rary time frame, but if an organ­isa­tion can pro­duce con­tent last­ing two years, it will typ­ic­ally last much longer.
  • Actual interest. To be con­sidered ever­green con­tent, there must be an exist­ing volume of search engine users look­ing for the inform­a­tion. The con­tent will nev­er be ‘ever’ without ‘green’ search volumes.
  • Gentle garden­ing. Evergreen con­tent will only stay ever­green if you tend to it occa­sion­ally. To check if everything’s work­ing, add some­thing help­ful if needed, and per­haps clean out some unne­ces­sary stuff. It’s a bit like garden­ing, I find. 
  • Personal touch. It’s dif­fi­cult to pub­lish some­thing unique. However, adding your brand’s ton­al­ity and flair to the con­tent is always pos­sible. The object­ive is to estab­lish trust and author­ity, so a touch of per­son­al­ity matters.

Evergreen con­tent is an inbound approach to build­ing core mes­sages, con­tent themes, con­tent pack­ages, deep con­tent, and con­tent sky­scrapers.

Learn more: The Evergreen Content PR Strategy: Forever Is a Long Time

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Thanks for read­ing. Please sup­port my blog by shar­ing art­icles with oth­er com­mu­nic­a­tions and mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sion­als. You might also con­sider my PR ser­vices or speak­ing engage­ments.

PR Resource: Inbound vs Outbound

Jerry Silfwer speaking about inbound marketing
Jerry Silfwer (Doctor Spin) speaks about inbound marketing.
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Inbound vs Outbound

The inbound mind­set is a fun­da­ment­al shift in the PR- and mar­ket­ing industry.

Historically, many PR- and mar­ket­ing depart­ments have argued:

Why should we spend our PR- and mar­ket­ing budgets on ‘already acquired’ audi­ences?”

The truth is — it’s the oth­er way around.

Instead of “spam­ming” non-exist­ing audi­ences, pub­lic rela­tions and mar­ket­ing can do much more with exist­ing online pub­lics. 1Silfwer, J. (2015, June 11). The Publics in Public Relations. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​p​u​b​l​i​c​s​-​i​n​-​p​u​b​l​i​c​-​r​e​l​a​t​i​o​ns/

Drawing a line between those who know you and those who don’t know you is noth­ing new:

  • Pull mar­ket­ing vs push mar­ket­ing
  • Hot leads vs cold leads
  • Permission mar­ket­ing vs tra­di­tion­al marketing
  • Internal com­mu­nic­a­tions vs extern­al communications

This inbound shift is the online equi­val­ent of draw­ing the line between those who know you and those who don’t know you:

  • Inbound com­mu­nic­a­tions vs out­bound communications

If your Inbound Shift PR Strategy is good, you might not need to pri­or­it­ise out­bound PR strategies — because your inbound audi­ence will attract out­bound publics.

Learn more: The Inbound Shift PR Strategy: Beauty From Within

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ANNOTATIONS
ANNOTATIONS
1 Silfwer, J. (2015, June 11). The Publics in Public Relations. Doctor Spin | The PR Blog. https://​doc​tor​spin​.net/​p​u​b​l​i​c​s​-​i​n​-​p​u​b​l​i​c​-​r​e​l​a​t​i​o​ns/
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwerhttps://doctorspin.net/
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at Spin Factory and KIX Communication Index. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.
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The cover photo isn't related to public relations; it's just a photo of mine. Think of it as a 'decorative diversion', a subtle reminder that there is more to life than strategic communication.

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