Time to See Results: 5 Content Types That Will Generate More Backlinks and Leads

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Focus on the most profitable content types that generate the highest number of backlinks, social shares and traffic.

Over the last few years, content marketing has evolved from just being a buzz word to a genuinely profitable and scalable marketing methodology.

Some of the biggest corporations and businesses around the world are investing heavily into different forms of content with great success. 

Recent studies show that content marketing costs almost 62 percent less than traditional paid advertising while generating three times as many leads. 

But not all content types are equal.

Related Article: Boost Your Blog Traffic: How to Safely Build Backlinks

infographic on content marketing budgets

Some content types generate significantly more traffic, backlinks and social shares as compared to the others. And the more exposure your content gets, the more leads it will generate.

Backed by solid data and research, here are five content types that’ll produce the highest results on your efforts.

1. Infographics

One of the best ways to build lots of high authority backlinks is to create eye-catching and data-rich infographics. Infographics are also great for your brand image and make your business stand out. Several studies suggest that infographics generate the most number of social shares as well.

graph on average shares by content type

Perhaps the most important reason why businesses should publish more infographics is that they make otherwise boring and dry information easy to consume.

Not every business can use funny memes and funky videos to market their services. But marketers from any industry can collect useful data and convert it into an eye-catching infographic easily.

For example, look how this infographic on barcode repair makes a complex topic look simple and easy to understand. 

infographic on rugged versus nonrugged handheld devices

This resolves one of the biggest challenges that content marketers face when they’re trying to market their businesses and want their target audience to consume more content.

You can use tools such as Visme or Canva to create infographics yourself, or hire a professional designer from design portals like 99Designs. In my experience, a top-notch infographic should not cost you more than $350 if you hire a designer.

Let’s say your infographic manages to attract 25-30 backlinks once you publish it. That makes it around $15-$17 per backlink, which is pretty cheap (especially if you get linked by a top niche blog).

2. List Posts

It doesn’t matter if you like them or not, list posts are here to stay. Readers love list posts and frequently share them on social networks. List posts also attract lots of backlinks, and almost always perform better than other content types in terms of generating comments.

For example, if you run a backlink check on Boost Blog Traffic, a popular blog, using BuzzSumo, you’ll find several list posts at the top.

list posts sorted by the number of linking domains

Here are a few examples of list posts here on Business.com:

The reason why list posts are so popular is because they make a definite promise in the title and are easy to skim through. Marketers love creating list posts because they’re easy to write and don’t take as much time as an ultimate guide or a how-to post.

3. Data-Heavy Content

An almost guaranteed way of attracting backlinks to your content is by including data references, and backing each claim or advice with a proven research.

People trust data backed content much more than plain opinions. So when you share data in your content, you become more authentic. And when your content is authentic, people cite you as a source to back their arguments, resulting in more backlinks and traffic.

You can use research websites like Statista, eMarketer and Pew to find relevant statistics about your industry. Or you could cite other experts in a related industry.

But don’t over-do this.

According to Harrison Mann, a UK based digital marketing company, using too many data references can hurt the readability of your content. Citing different studies is great, but your objective is to make the content authentic and credible so that your readers can trust your advice and take action.

So make sure you strike the right balance.

Related Article: Analyze This: The Comprehensive Guide to Content Marketing Analytics

4. Case Studies

If you want to generate solid leads for your business and lots of backlinks to your site, start publishing case studies.

Nothing generates more interest among your readers and prospective customers than a step by step case study that shows exactly how you helped other customers and solved their problems.

Out of all the other content types, case studies are perhaps the most effective when it comes to lead generation.

PWC case study on building value with clients

A case study is not just a piece of content, it’s effectively an advertisement of your services. You can almost use it as a lead generation and sales prospecting tool.

For example, if you’re running a law firm or a financial consultancy, you could publish a case study on how you helped a particular customer. Share your step by step story, list your successes and the results you were able to achieve.

5. Visual Content

Making different kinds of visuals a part of your content marketing strategy can drastically increase its effectiveness and help you earn significantly more backlinks and social shares as compared to plain text content.

Studies show that the human mind processes images almost 60,000 times quicker than plain text. And that’s no surprise. Our minds are primarily programmed to absorb visual info better than text because it doesn’t take much effort. That is why web pages and blog posts that include visual content get 67% more engagement on average.

infographic on human communication

Another study found that including at least one image in your content gives you a much higher chance of getting backlinks and higher ranking in search results.

The same is the case with using videos in your content. Just recently, Mark Zuckerberg revealed that video content consumption on Facebook has increased from 1 billion daily video plays to almost 8 billion.

Many smart marketers include videos in their blog posts to increase time on site and to provide more comprehensive value to their readers.

image showing video content does better

Just like using infographics, which is also a type of visual content, videos can make your content really interesting even if the topic is difficult or dry.

Related Article: SEO Automation: Does It Really Work?

Wrapping Up

Content marketing is a great way to build authority in your niche and generate qualified sales leads. But when you know exactly what type of content is more effective, your job becomes much easier.

Each content type I discussed in this post has the potential to bring in traffic, backlinks and leads. But I recommend using a combination of these content types.

Test as much as you can and see which ones work the best for you. After all, every business is unique in some way.

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