a great way of building links to a customer’s site.
Following a format of traditional marketing campaigns with idea generation at the heart of the activity, these are brand building exercises used to generate a buzz and engagement with social influencers to then generate mentions, and importantly, link to the customer’s site from a blog post, or even several posts done over a spread period of time.
One of the best examples of this kind of link building strategy comes from Ford. In 2013 they launched the new Ford Fiesta and gave 100 brand new Ford Fiesta’s to prominent bloggers and social influencers to provide unbiased reviews and their experience of using/having a new Ford Fiesta.
Similarly this has now developed in 2014 to Fiestamovement where a microsite has been built and all participants are encouraged to document their own personal journey through their site as well as their own social channels and blogs.
Then there is another great responsive campaign example, which has just recently happened in the world of Formula One. linksexpert The Mercedes GP team launched a survey for their twitter followers after the two drivers entered into an on piste battle and team orders were considered to control the situation.
The question asked was “should team orders be used over the remainder of the 2014 season?” which led to onsite engagement and social engagement with influencers to help further the Mercedes brand.
We’ve found the following three strategies to be the most effective for our LocalSpark clients:
1. Sponsorships. Small businesses in most industries don’t need a ton of links to rank well. Often, a handful of high quality links can be enough. Sponsorships are the quickest and most effective way to get those links.
Every city has events, charities, and organizations that are looking for sponsors, and most of them will give you a link from their website.
For a great example of a local business that is ranking No 1 for all their key terms with sponsorship links, run this URL through your favourite link tool.
2. Scholarships. Another great way to build some high authority links is by creating a scholarship for your industry and getting listed on colleges around the country.
In this great example, Open Site Explorer reports 896 linking root domains to their scholarship page while they only have 15 linking root domains to their homepage:
3. Testimonials. Every business uses the services of some other business. IT services, plumbing services, printing services, catering, etc. Every time you hire a business for something it’s a link opportunity.
Send them a testimonial for them to post on their website. It’s a win-win that often results in a great backlink from another local business in the same city.
Three Tactical Ideas:
1. Guest Post/Content Contributions – I’m not talking about writing for the sake of an SEO link alone. I’m talking about creating content that has real value for a publishers’ audience and marketing objectives, while providing good exposure and brand recognition for your organization/marketing strategy as well.
2. Interviews & Collaborative Content Development – We create a lot of content that involves multiple contributors, interviews and feedback from experienced professionals in any given field. This helps add more value to content developed and the hope is that the additional collaborative exposure will drive social shares, referral traffic, and ultimately third party references.
3. Brand Monitoring – Using tools like Google Alerts and Talkwalker amongst others, paying attention to brand mentions (and keywords, competitors, etc) provides not only an opportunity to reach out to publishers who reference your site but don’t necessarily create a link in that reference, but also help you understand your client’s business strategy and how others see them as well.
Generally speaking, I tend to think of link building as more about relationship building. By getting to know the people behind the publications, blogs, and social profiles, you can much more easily create opportunities for gaining link references and content development ideas.