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35 Examples of Linkable Assets to Inspire Your Next Great Content Marketing Idea

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For most SEO campaigns, linkable assets are the foundation of successful content marketing. Coming up with great ideas however is not always the easiest thing to do. The ability to come up with these ideas is one of the single most important qualities a good SEO can have and sometimes it takes seeing some examples to help inspire other ideas for linkable assets. Hopefully the interactive content and data visualizations below can help you think of your next great idea.

Night Walk in Marseille

google-nightwalk

https://nightwalk.withgoogle.com/en/home  – How cool is this? It’s the most impressive use of Google Maps that I’ve seen. It’s an interactive tour of Marseille with auto and video.

Dangers of Fracking

fracking

www.dangersoffracking.com – Interactive infographic that uses jQuery and vertical scrolling to make a page on explaining the dangers of fracking.

Worldwide Remittance Flows

worldwide-remit-flows

http://remittances.herokuapp.com/?en  – Great looking world map and data visualization that uses D3.js and Javascript to create some pretty cool interactivity.

Women’s Rights Around the World

womans-rights

http://lizziemalcolm.com/777voting/940/  – Interactive map of political rights of women around the world by Lizzie Malcolm of Lustlab. No big deal…only was used by Guardian here. Think that might be an authority link?

What Size are You?

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Guardian  – What Size Are You? – Guardian created an interactive piece relating to a series they did on obesity.

How Do They Make Money?

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http://rcs.seerinteractive.com/money/ – SEER Interactive created this piece of “How our favorite tech companies make money”. This piece received over 27,000 social shares, hundreds of unique linking root domains, and probably more importantly they got some great PR out of it.

Boston Globe Fenway Park Tour with Audio

fenway-park

Boston Globe Fenway Park Tour The Boston Globe created this interactive tour of the Fenway Park locker room, including audio.

Twitter Election Meter

election-meter

USA Today Twitter Election Meter– USA Today created this Twitter election meter to measure sentiment expressed by Twitter users about President Obama and Mitt Romney during their run for office in 2012.

U.S. Gun Laws Interactive Chart

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Guardian Gun Laws – Another Guardian piece, this interactive chart of gun laws in the U.S. is impressive and beautiful at the same time.

The Future of Car Sharing – Horizontal Infographic

car-sharing

http://futureofcarsharing.com/ – Horizontally scrolling interactive Infographic on the future of car sharing. With over 5,000 social shares and more than 250 linking root domains, I’d say it’s been a success.

Cost of Prisons in the U.S.

costofprisons

http://www.davidbreston.com/prisonmap/ –  This interactive map shows the taxpayer cost of prisons in the United States. Hover over the map and see the stats for 40 states. California’s cost is the highest at nearly $8 billion.

How Search Works Interactive Infographic

search-works

Google’s How Search Works – Google’s vertical scrolling interactive piece on how search works is a great example of making content more interesting. To most people outside of the industry, learning by seeing this is more interesting than reading a paper on the same topic.

 Bond Cars Infographic

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http://www.evanshalshaw.com/bondcars/ – What’s cooler than James Bond? This interactive piece on Bond Cars is pretty damn close. This is just awesome.

Interactive Music Map

how-music-travels

Interactive Music Map – “How music travels” is a pretty cool interactive piece with over 148k Facebook likes. I guess a few people that is was decent.

Bedsider Methods of Birth Control 

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http://bedsider.org/methods – Shows different birth control methods in an interesting way with different hover effects and the ability to limit what’s displayed by toggling specific categories.

Form Follows Function Interactive Experiences

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http://fff.cmiscm.com – Maybe the coolest navigation menu I’ve ever seen here. This circular navigation menu links to other interactive pieces, such as the spiral text here.

New York Times Snowfall

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http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2012/snow-fall/ – An incredible piece of work that uses video, photography and beautiful graphics. It took the New York Times months to create this award winning piece. Hey, sometimes creating phenomenal content takes a ton of work.

Top Entrepreneurship Programs in America 

topentrehttp://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228454 – Interactive map of the top entrepreneur programs in America. It looks great, is easy to use and it’s simple to understand.

100 Years of Rock in Less than a Minute

100yearsofrock

http://www.concerthotels.com/100-years-of-rock – Interactive infographic that covers 100 years of rock. You you can click on each music genre and listen to a clip. Very cool.

What Career Should I Choose Scatter Chart

whatcareer

Rasmussen What Career to Choose – Nice scatter chart data visualization from Rasmussen College on “What career should I choose?”. Hovering over any dot pulls up interesting statistics on professions that was gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics U.S. Department of Labor.

Hungry Tech Giants

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http://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/microsites/hungry-tech/ – This data visualization compares the acquisition strategy of tech giants over the past 15 years and was created by the creative team at Distilled.

Ireland Tumblelog

ireland

http://irrland.sonntagskunst.de/ – Great looking map that I can’t understand…but still very cool. Sidenote, if you use the “translate” popup button on Chrome the images on each map point don’t seem to work. Built with XHTML, CSS, JavaScript and the tumblr API.

U.S. Electric Grid Map

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Visualizing the U.S. Electrical Grid – Data visualization on visualizing the U.S. electric grid. Interesting and I always enjoy interactive pieces with toggling.

Netflix Interactive Map

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NY Times Netflix Map – The NY Times used data provided by Netflix to create an interactive map of the most rented movies in some of the larger metro areas around the country.

Migration Interactive Map

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http://www.forbes.com/special-report/2011/migration.html – This interactive map shows where people move to and from for every county in the country. The map was created using Python, jQuery and the Raphael JavaScript library. The data came from publicly available data from the IRS. Pretty cool right?

Civilian Fatalities in Afghanistan, 2001–2012

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http://www.thenation.com/afghanistan-database – Interactive piece which lists civilian casualties of the war in Afghanistan. This piece uses animated doughnut charts and bar charts and looks great visually.

Global Land Temperatures Over Time

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http://halftone.co/projects/temperatures/ – Another interactive map that looks at global land temperatures across the world from 1900 to present day. Built using D3.js, this map is visually appealing and incredibly interesting.

Earthquake Test

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http://quakequizsf.org/ – Pretty cool interactive earthquake quiz  here. It has received over 3,000 social shares and over 300 domains. This was built in Flash so it’s not viewable on the iPhone. Maybe an opportunity here to create a more modern version?

Credit Score Test

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Credit Scores by State in the U.S. – This piece doesn’t look like it had great success in terms of link volume or social shares but that could simply be that it wasn’t outreached effectively.

World Etiquette Map

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http://www.swissotel.com/promo/etiquette-map/ – One of my favorites, this etiquette map gives travelers some helpful information on etiquette from around the world.

U.S. Gun Deaths Data Visualization

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http://guns.periscopic.com/?year=2013 – A powerful data visualization of U.S. gun deaths as reported by the FBI data. You can see gun deaths by age, sex, race, region, etc. It’s an incredibly powerful way to visualize all the gun related deaths we read about so often. It was created using R and its library ggplot2.

The Interactive Inner Ear Diagram

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http://www.amplifon.co.uk/interactive-ear/ – An interactive diagram of the human ear that educates on the workings of the outer, middle, and inner ear. Great concept and visually beautiful.

Spotify 2013 Year in Review

spotify2013

https://www.spotify.com/uk/2013/– Interactive infographic “Spotify – The Year in Review 2013”.

Dumb Ways to Die Video

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http://dumbwaystodie.com – I’m sure you’ve seen this one but be warned this song will get stuck in your head. It was created by McCann as a public service announcement campaign by Metro Trains in Australia.

Inequality in America

distribute

http://inequality.is/  – Interactive piece on inequality in America by the Economic Policy Institute who partnered with Periscopic to create this piece. It uses donut charts, bar charts and line charts in a beautiful way.

I have an Idea…Now What?

Often times we have ideas that we think are great that aren’t so successful. That can be tough especially when you have a client who is paying for the development of a linkable asset. There are a couple of ways to reduce the chance of coming up with an idea that won’t work.

1. Conduct Pre-Outreach for your idea: If you think you have a great idea, one way to test the waters is to conduct some pre-outreach to see if anyone is interested in your concept. Not to mention this can be a great way to get some input on ways to make your linkable asset better. In addition asking for someone else’s opinion can be a smart way to get them interested in your piece (as opposed to straight out asking them to link to your content) and if your content is good enough they will want to link to it anyways.

2. Check link/share metrics on similar topics: It may be smart to see if you can find any similar ideas to see if they have had success generating links or social shares. Use Majestic or AHREFS to see what kind of backlinks those pieces have generated. AHREFS will also give you the social shares count as well. One thing to remember though is just because a piece of content hasn’t generated much success in terms of social shares or inbound links, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not a good idea. That could simply mean that proper outreach wasn’t done. If a piece has had success then make sure what you produce is better and can offer additional value.

Penguin has changed (and continues to change) the way link building is done.  It’s a pretty simple concept these days: Make awesome content and let others know about it through good outreach. While that concept it simple, the execution is not always easy. You may look at some of these examples, if not most of them, and say “That’s not something I can do” or “It’s not in my budget”.  If you do have that mentality than you’re going to get left behind.  Just keep in mind if you create the same cookie cutter content that everyone else does, don’t expect to have success in generating links, brand mentions or social shares. If you want links from sites that matter, make something link-worthy or share-worthy.

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