Back in 2016, SEO expert Brian Dean introduced the world to a content creation strategy he refers to as the “skyscraper technique.”
Ever since then, it seems like you can't walk three feet in the world of digital marketing without running into that phrase.
Everyone's out there proclaiming the Gospel of the Skyscraper Technique, evangelizing this particular approach to creating the kind of informational content that attracts backlinks and gets noticed.
And to be fair, there's a reason for that.
This approach really can work well, when it's executed well.
The idea behind it is pretty simple. Check out what kind of content other people have created, then do something better.
While that concept is pretty easy in theory, it's not as straightforward as it sounds.
To pull this off, you actually do really need to provide some unique value. You have to do something that hasn't been done before.
If you think that parroting what's already out there, and just making it longer, is going to help you triumph over your competitors, you're probably going to have a pretty hard time.
The truth is, length isn't equal to depth, comprehensiveness, or value to the reader.
Just because you wrote 3,000 words, it doesn't mean your content is any good. This isn't a place for generic, mediocre content.
Can you really say something of value that hasn't been said before?
In a lot of niches and industries, that might be easier said than done.
In a recent article about content creation frameworks in Marketing Land, the author explains that along with its advantages, the skyscraper technique does have some drawbacks as well.
Advantages to skyscraper content
With the skyscraper technique, you start the process knowing the content you’re producing is relevant and helpful.
You’re choosing content pieces that are already popular and have a lot of links to improve upon.
If you can truly enhance the content and create something better, there’s a good chance that the sites that published the original piece would be interested in your updated piece, too.
If you target them specifically, you may find yourself quickly building a lot of links because these sites have already shown interest in this topic by posting the original piece. S
ome of the initial research is ready for you in the form of the original post.
Disadvantages to skyscraper content
One big question here is:
Are you really adding value with the new piece of content you’re producing?
Is there a true need for an update or refresh, or are you just trying to outdo someone else?
Some pieces of skyscraper content feel like they’re just trying to be wordy for the sake of being longer.
It’s easy to get caught up in trying to make a good piece better, and sometimes, that original piece is good as is.
It doesn’t need to be improved upon.
You can read more about the skyscraper technique, along with other content generation models, over at Marketing Land.