(Notes from the London Link Love Conference)
If you think like a normal linkbuilder you’ll only get the same links others do, and you’ll miss out on the super-high-value “golden links”.
Sometimes ‘bending’ the normal marketing rules can work. Jane mentioned Michael Winner and his decision to pay the fine for driving in bus lanes, but I’ll gloss over that – the point is that he does things differently.
marketing as a linkbuilding investment
To put it into an example: The Olympic Games is coming. There could be up to 5 billion viewers, and big brand sponsoring Olympics costs shed-loads. Most people don’t have £700m linkbuilding budget. Dammit I wish I did.
Now there’s a £20,000 fine for featuring a brand on a streaker to protect from guerilla marketing, but…is that actually a £20,000 investment? Of course, she doesn’t recommend you actually do this, but you could gain a lot of links from it…
That’s Michael Winner thinking.
Of course you still need ‘normal’ or traditionally-built links and link development that goes beyond what she calls “golden links”. It’s the ‘ground work’ that you can’t ignore – you can’t just go out to the Olympics, streak and be fine!
identify link targets
So, you want a link from the BBC eh? Do a bit of research on the site and see what kind of links are leading from the site. She showed an example of a band who had performed at a bike show and got a great link.
investment vs. buying links
Buy links and you know your outgoings and your benefits (at least month on month). If you invest in long-term content and strategies it might not come off. But it could, and the potential “golden link” benefits are out there.
zombie shopping mall
She actually brought up couple of ‘zombie apocalypse’ experience days that the Attacats recently considered for a day out. It was shared by Simon Pegg of Spaced fame (if you haven’t seen Spaced then shame on you), and it’s visibility skyrocketed. They were social movements not links, but the change of getting a golden link went up massively.
Don’t get a link? You might get amazing PR, like a page 3 article in the Metro. And eventually, if your work is great, clever and cool, people will start doing your marketing for you.
make it real
It’s all well and good pushing out linkbait, but if it’s not a real thing that people can use/buy/get involved with then the payoff will be less. It’s often easier to generate but won’t have the long-term benefits and PR like taking part in a zombie apocalypse. That’s lasting memories
outreach isn’t dirty
Outreach is not a dirty word. Don’t be shy about showing your amazing content off. How are people going to encounter the content in the first place? Assuming just putting it on the Facebook account is enough is rubbish – build it and they will come is not necessarily true.
While a long email isn’t going to to make someone interested in your content, there are things you can do better in outreach.
- Don’t lie: There was a horrendous example of a linkbuilder who’d pretended to be a fourth-grade student on an assignment. In my opinion that just hurts the industry.
- Use your previous successes: If Steven Fry shared your article, then tell other people! Been featured on BBC news? Tell people!
already own the golden link?
Take great care of them. Moved a page with a golden link? Perhaps just redirect the page instead of contacting them to change it. You don’t know how they’ll react.
the final word
There are some golden rules to remember for a golden link:
- Opportunity is everywhere if you look at obstacles differently
- Start with what you want; work back to what you can afford and manage
- Think about a situation as a whole. Don’t judge sole
Jane’s message was that we often have a lot to learn from PR guys – it’s not all about gaining direct links, as there’s other marketing benefits and often the SEO benefit will come if you’re interesting and clever.
And remember newspapers and press sources are always looking for news and content. Meet them, build relationships, submit your content.