Let’s be honest. There’s already tons of content about content. If you Google “creating killer content” (yes, with quotes), you’ll get almost 30,000 results. Just think about that … 30,000 pages, articles, blogs, etc., use that exact series of three words in that order. That’s crazy. The world definitely does not need another “How to create killer content” article.
There are also plenty of articles about content goals, ranging from encouraging people to actually create them through examples by content type. Content Marketing Institute wrote what I still consider to be the best, simplest breakdown of that back in 2015. I guarantee so many marketers, including myself, have that little baby bookmarked.
And it’s that fact that got me thinking… “Successful” content is shared. But, how do people share it in a way that matters? Are those likes or retweets on social media, or the one-time email forward… are they good? Sure. Are they great? Perhaps.
In an effort to do something different here, I’m not going to be reasonable, or highly balanced. I’m not going to give you all the options for how to measure shareability; I’m going to boil content success down to one thing.
Read More: 2019’s Content Strategy Primer
Will Someone Bookmark Your Page?
I’m transitioning here from content to page for a reason. When I started to think about what I bookmark, or what I want our customers (and future customers) bookmarking, it became obvious it isn’t just about content. I remembered a friend of mine telling me that his dad knows a guy who makes five figures a month off of his Amazon affiliate links because he created a page with all the IT components his clients would need when setting up a new server, or computer, or whatever. He’s had clients using that site for years and although they could just go to Amazon and search those items themselves, he’s made his pages turnkey to the point where they wouldn’t want to.
And that’s the point, right? We want content to help our buyer. What better measure of how well your content accomplishes that than if they bookmark it?
Return visitors also perform better than new visitors in terms of time on site, but more importantly dollars and cents. As we all generally know, most new visitors to your site are in a research phase. If they don’t find something valuable, they may write you off and never return.
Okay, so, I’m going to assume you’re bought in and want to create content that people bookmark. And so, I’m going to outline the elements that make something bookmarkable.
How did I come up with this checklist? I looked at the following:
- Things I bookmark
- The things my friends from various disciplines bookmark
- The blogs on LeadMD.com people bookmark.
Oh! and by the way, I found the behaviors associated with bookmarked content (the same user coming back to the same post via direct link over and over again) via Drift. Okay, from all those sources, I very unscientifically came up with the following trends of bookmarkable content:
- Is it evergreen?
Although someone could bookmark that “Holiday Gift Guide 2018” — it’s unlikely, or if it does get bookmarked, it’ll almost certainly get removed after Christmas. Try to create content that will stand the test of time.
- Is it tactical?
I’ve never bookmarked a conceptual article and no one else reported doing so either. The purpose of those articles is to plant an idea, but once it’s planted, you’ve accomplished what you set out to do and therefore exhausted your purpose. Tactical pages, on the other hand, provide not only go-to advice, but as it turns out go-back-to advice.
- Is it funny?
I said once about our company-wide meetings that it’s not good enough for the information we share with the whole team to be informative; it has to be done in an entertaining way. Why? Because everyone expects to be entertained. So, including things like GIFs or great writing is a good way to keep people smiling when they come back to your stuff.
- Is it a report?
Almost everyone, myself included, had a report bookmarked. If you can include something that changes over time that someone can consistently use to gauge a metric they care about, you’re really winning!
The Devil’s Advocate
I told you I wasn’t going to be reasonable, but I can’t help myself. Of course, not all content needs to be bookmarkable, but it’s a good goal to have a few pieces you’re always promoting. I’d say as a general rule of thumb, try to have a few (three to five) anchor pieces of content that people can bookmark, and fill in with additional content. Just keep in mind all content must help your buyer. If you’re creating something for yourself, don’t bother.
So, what do you think… is this idea worth sharing? Is it bookmarkable?