Content, content, content: we hear about it all the time. Content is king, content marketing, content strategy-the list goes on. The way digital marketers talk about content tends to create some overlap in terminology where words are used interchangeably. There is, however, an important distinction between two types of content that are worth noting, and those types are shareable content and linkable content.
But wait, isn’t shareable content obviously linkable? And isn’t linkable content obviously shareable?
Sure, but not always. Let’s hash out the differences between the two.
Shareable content is, in short, content that garners a lot of shares and engagements. Try thinking of this in terms of your social media feeds, like Facebook for example. What type of content generates a lot of shares, comments, tags, and reactions?
Across every age group represented on my own personal Facebook feed, the type of content that gets shared the most is entertaining. Quizzes, surveys, pop culture articles, one minute recipe/cooking videos, videos of people dancing, etc. Content like this generates shares by the thousands, and users are quick to interact.
For a perfect example of a shareable content producer, look no further than media giant, BuzzFeed. For the most part, their content is fun, interesting, quick to consume, and supplemented with gifs. People are quick to share their content because it’s either entertaining, has an emotional angle, is informative in a skimmable way, or is funny.
That being said, you don’t see a huge number of people linking back to BuzzFeed content as a reference on their website, which leads me to the next type of content:
Think of linkable content as shareable content’s older, more sensible big sister. The basis of linkable content is more pointed at being a resource than a source of quick information or entertainment. So, while it may not always be the most fun quiz to take or interesting video to watch, it does bring a lot to the table in terms of authority and value.
Unlike shareable content, linkable content is something people will post/link back to on their website. Infographics, resource guides, heavily researched articles, demonstrations, and tutorials can all be different forms of linkable content.
Ideally, linkable content is evergreen, catered to a specific audience, and thorough. For example, a highly researched and informational infographic about the life cycle of clothing items before they end up in landfills is something that an environmental or sanitation department website will likely link to.
Whether or not one is more important than the other really depends on your industry, but it’s safe to say a healthy combination of both makes for a winning digital marketing strategy.
By creating shareable content, you bolster brand engagement and put yourself on the map with users by existing among users. You also drive shares and engagements up, with means better exposure and more publicity.
By creating linkable content, you assert yourself as an authority and reputable resource worth referencing. As a result, having linkable content results in links, and a strong, high quality link profile is never a bad thing in Google’s eyes.
Both are great for brand development and SEO, so aim for a healthy balance between the two when creating your content marketing strategy.