When companies invest in content creation, they like it to focus on their brand. It’s understandable, but for niche industries creating branded content can be extremely limiting. Data shows that unless you have a universally interesting brand, which most don’t, you’ll find it hard to attract a lot of audience attention with only brand-centric content.
Content marketing is about building trust with consumers. You attract their attention, gain their trust, and earn their engagement. Content marketing shouldn’t be solely a sales pitch because audiences don’t respond to that.
This is where tangential content comes in.
What is Tangential Content?
Tangential content is basically content on a topic that is related to, but not directly about, the brand.
So if a travel agency published a post about “the most Instagrammed places in London” or a luggage company offering travel tips that would be tangential content. Tangential content is anything that is about a related industry but not your own product or service directly. The key is to make sure users can clearly see the connection between the brands and content.
When to Use it
Branded content is always valuable, but data shows that it doesn’t perform as well as other content does. You should use tangential content if you want to:
1. Reach a wide audience and gain awareness: Tangential topics can get you in front of a larger audience and can relate to more people. This is especially helpful for companies in a very niche or “boring” industry.
2. Target a larger number of publishers to increase link building and PR: Part of online marketing is building links and getting your content shared. Tangential topics work better for outreach since they can work on more sites for more publishers.
3. Create more emotional content: It’s no secret that emotions help sell products, but unfortunately, it’s really hard for a lot of industries to tug at the heartstrings. Tangential content is one way to branch into topics that can create more of an emotional response with the audience.
4. Build a more diverse portfolio of content: For niche industries, eventually, you’ll reach a point where you feel you’ve maxed out on related content. Adding tangential topics to your repertoire can reinvigorate your content and give you more to create.
Benefits of Tangential Content
By far the biggest pro of tangential content is that is can broaden the appeal and increase audiences for companies in narrow niches. This results in tangential content getting far more online engagement than on-brand content. In fact, one study showed that tangential campaigns earn 30% more media mentions and 77% more social shares on average.
So a few key benefits of tangential content is:
- More media mentions
- More social shares
- More social media engagements
- Reach broader audience
- Increase content topics
- Ability to cater to trending or current topics
Not every company needs tangential content though. If your brand topic is already interesting or useful to a large audience or if your on-brand content is already achieving your goals, there isn’t much point in investing in tangential content at this point. Keep it in mind for future use though, or use it sparingly to slowly diversify your library of content.
Tangential Content Ideas
Once you are no longer limited to thinking up branded content, you can start brainstorming tangential concepts. Here are a few tips to help guide you:
- Know target audience and buyer personas: You have to know what sort of topics your customer is interested in to create relevant tangential content. Make sure you understand your customer’s personas so that you can effectively reach them.
- Use Facebook Audience Insight: Facebook has tons of user data, and this Facebook ads tool gives you a chance to use that information to your advantage. These insights, along with your buyers’ persona, allows you to leverage more interesting topics.
- Look at trending news: Pay attention to current trending topics that keep popping up. Topics like upcoming seasons or holidays, weather, politics, sports, movies, or other cultural events can all be turned into tangential content for your brand. For example, a sports apparel retailer could do something about the current NFL kneeling debate or an accountant could do something about budgeting for Christmas presents.
- Test concepts on social media: If you’re unsure about certain topics or a specific piece of tangential content, use social media to test-drive it. This is a great way to see how well it will do before investing more time and money into it. Just make sure you give it enough time to really see how well it does.
Companies need to start thinking beyond their brand. Branded content is great, but you first have to get your audience listening, which is what tangential content achieves. Every brand should at least test out how well tangential content works on their target audience before dismissing it like so many bosses do. If you are interested in content creation or digital marketing contact us!