Big brands fail to leverage all the channels and connections of their own campaigns and networks. This is a link building opportunity that is often wasted.
Effective and strategic link building should not happen in a vacuum. It should be an extension of everything you do in your marketing execution and not an afterthought.
To effectively create link building campaigns, your SEO specialists should:
- Audit all your marketing activities.
- Expand or access your organization’s marketing campaign calendar or roadmap.
- Interview marketing managers in each department to understand their goals, high-level project plans, and the channels they will be commenting on.
By following these three steps before you begin your link building initiatives, you’ll understand the people, processes, and opportunities available, which will help you get the most out of your campaigns.
Large organizations play in a very different environment in terms of link building compared to new startups.
Large organization tactics are more about volume and identifying somewhat passive ways to grow at scale (as opposed to one-time manual link requests).
Here are six link building opportunities big brands should explore (but often overlook).
1. Offline Events
Make a list of all the trade shows, conferences and festivals your company is attending this year.
Offline events typically have an online presence to provide information to attendees, speakers, and sponsors.
You can create links in:
- The list of brands present.
- Individual session listings that your company sponsors or presents.
- Or possibly an editorial section used to highlight specific sessions, parties, or areas of interest.
If your business has a booth, be sure to explore all of the digital touchpoints your business has access to to maximize the investment in those efforts.
Which organizations do you partner with to increase your brand visibility?
Typically, big brands have co-marketing opportunities that exist in silos across the organization.
Some of the most common types of co-marketing companies perform are:
Based on editorial
These types of co-marketing opportunities are facilitated when:
- Both organizations have a symbiotic story to tell.
- Organizational messages and products are complementary for each of their respective audiences.
In this type of co-marketing relationship, the partners create:
- Electronic books.
- Blog posts.
- Other Forms of Content.
Both of their logos are present on the deliverables and they link to each other’s site to promote the assets.
Product partnerships are more involved in technology or integrations where customers of both partners benefit from the combination of both companies’ solutions.
For the former, brands should explore the promotional channels involved in raising awareness of the co-marketing partner’s content.
The easiest link to create here is the one directly to the co-marketing partner’s website.
3. Technology and integration partnerships
What platforms or solutions does your product or service integrate with to provide added value to the end user?
The most common link building opportunity in this area is in marketplaces or onboarding lists.
Here are some examples of lists in various spaces:
Each of these integration partnerships varies in cost and effort.
Some onboarding marketplaces will only list you if you pay a fee, while others will only feature your listing if you have a specific number of onboarding users.
Don’t overlook the opportunity to gain both link equity and actual referral customers by completing your registration on these app marketplaces.
4. Product launches
Big brands have to make thousands of decisions about prices, products, packaging and promotions.
Typically, link building is an afterthought when a business is looking to enter or grow through a product launch.
Another challenge with link building during product launches is that the SEO or agency involved in link building is not aware of the product launch details.
To capitalize on opportunities, work with your PR, product, and social media/listening teams to find out which media outlets your brand will receive coverage when your launch takes place.
On the PR side, make sure posts and influencers sharing information about your latest products link to your product launch page.
Once a campaign has ended and all promotions have ended, redirect the campaign landing page to the most relevant page – rather than just unpublishing the page and directing visitors to a 404 page.
This is a common mistake with big brands, where SEO decisions are often overlooked.
5. Press mentions
What tools do you use to detect every online mention of your brand?
An up-to-date marketing calendar will tell your SEO team which upcoming channels you’ll want to follow for company news before any campaign goes live.
Big brands also often fail to reach out to publications and individual bloggers who share campaign news on their sites.
Get ahead of the news by creating social networks and news listening feeds that alert you whenever you’re mentioned online. Add sites that mention your campaign to your link building list.
Some SEO tools, like SEMrush, will periodically scan this link building list to see if you’ve earned a followed link from the site or if it’s still pending. (Full disclosure: the agency I work for is a SEMrush partner).
6. Affiliate Partner Channel
What channels does your organization use to grow its customer base?
For some technology and service providers, affiliates or resellers are the main sources of new customers.
Some examples :
- In insurance, big brands need to make sure their non-captive agents link to the company website from their independent websites.
- SaaS organizations, which typically have reseller/affiliate models, should do the same by having resellers login to the company site via an authorized reseller badge or a simple anchor text link on the sites. Affiliate website.
- The same scenario applies if your brand provides shorter testimonials to other organizations.
Big brands don’t have to work as hard to generate links as emerging players in the market.
To get the most link equity, make sure a more strategic SEO process is woven into all your marketing and communications initiatives.