Go beyond ego bait and create resonant circles






The least favorite blog format is also the most successful articles – roundup.


That's right, roundups still rank the most effective blog format, according to Orbit Media's Seventh Annual Blogging Survey to be announced in the fall of 2020.


Roundups is the least favorite blogging format but one of the most successful, according to @Orbiteers 2020 #blogging survey via @CMIContent. Click to Tweet



With that in mind, let's explore a few ways to make articles better syndicated – don't just include quote after quote in the hope that the experts will share and expand your audience. – and still deliver the results your business requires.


Tell a good story


Don't post a collection of straightforward advice, turn it into a story.


Think like a journalist than a marketer. Write a story that really matters to your audience and give them powerful insights.


Start by choosing a theme resonate with readers.


Focus on their most common or most important questions. What problems do they have to solve? What challenges do they face in their industry or workplace? Answers that lead to topics of real value to your audience.


Now, look for association with Current events . If something believable is happening in your industry, use that as a starting point. (Studies and surveys can be a good foundation for this.)


Choose a composite topic that resonates with readers and ties into current events, @iamaaronagius advises @CMIContent. #blogging Click to Tweet


Ethan Carp, a Forbes contributor, used these tactics to create a compelling composite story about what's coming 2021 To produce. He doesn't rely entirely on expert quotes to tell the story, but uses the results of two surveys to expand the narrative. By taking time and research together, this article goes from a collection of general advice to a trustworthy compilation.


TIP: If you don't have any industry events to showcase, news or media trends can be a great alternative.



Choose the right professionals


Circles are often referred to as “content-bait selves” because they are often designed solely to appeal to the egos of cited experts (those positioned as “top” experts who will share content). content with their audience). But circles need not be used simply as ego bait. Circles are a great way to connect with others in your niche while providing helpful insights to your audience.


Go beyond strictly "conceited" circles to create thoughtful conversations that are appreciated by experts AND readers, says @iamaaronagius via @CMIContent. #blogging Click To Post a Tweet


Here too, a journalistic approach is important as you need to make sure that you present experts who have something relevant and insightful to talk about on the topic. A mix of industry influencers and Subject experts is an ideal way to share unique perspectives on current topics.


TIP: If the expert's answer isn't unique or relevant, don't include it. Think about your reader, not the expert ego.


Expand your aggregator list to include experts from other fields who can provide additional context or unique perspectives. For example, media analysts, sociologists or psychologists can provide insights into trends. Combining those sources can grow your compilation into a story that is truly unique and truly connects with readers.


Cite the experts on your referral team who work outside of your industry to provide insights, @iamaaronagius via @CMIContent said. #blogging Click to Tweet


A great example of this type of circle is the Fast Company section, 6 Common Productivity Beliefs Lie Totally . Its expert sources range from a business coach to a management consultant to a software company executive. Those multiple views provide a comprehensive view of the subject.


In this composite structure, the ego bait will now resonate better with your audience and an expanded audience reached by cited experts who share it. As a side note, these more matching circles are also more likely to get backlinks and engage thought leadership attention (i.e., media mentions, interviews, and speaking engagements).



Deep dive into data


A data-driven approach can also take yours to the next level. You can use it to shed light on the more nuanced aspects of a topic and ask experts to address specific points in research.


For example, the basis of this Big Commerce blog post is Omnichannel Retail Consumer Procurement Report . It brings together experts to share their insight into specific results, publishing their comments below each relevant image:


An image showing a chart with results from the following question: What is the primary reason you buy from a brand's website?  Erik Christiansen, CEO and co-founder shares his insights on the findings below the graphic.


While data can be an effective way to craft a more interesting story, it also allows you to build trust with your audience. By combining data and opinions, you can guide them from awareness to action.


# Data is an effective way to make a story more interesting. It also allows you to build trust with your audience, said @iamaaronagius via @CMIContent. #blogging Click to Tweet



Don't be afraid to disturb


The most effective circles often have unique angles or perspectives. Tackle difficult topics or create typical topics with fresh context. Say what others don't. Don't avoid arguing if you have an authentic way to do it. A special location creates a more meaningful conversation between your experts and attracts a more interested and/or more audience.


CMI's 2021 Content Planning Guide is a good example. The marketers cited in the summary were not emphatic when discussing the challenges marketers face amid the dramatic changes brought by the events of 2020.


Play a better circle game


Done right, a tried and true circle game format can have a significant impact on your business. Going beyond the serious “bait” can help you create thoughtful conversations that will be appreciated by experts AND readers. Taking the time to tell authentic stories backed by expert data builds trust with your audience and develops lasting value for the brand.


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Cover photo by Joseph Kalinowski / Content Marketing Institute








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