When looking for fresh link building ideas, seek inspiration from PR pros. They have long used several tried and tested methods to enhance the brand image and sales of their clients.
Forget the measly press release – that is one PR tactic that has been used and abused by many companies as a shortcut method to scale their link building efforts. And, as we all know, shortcut methods rarely work long-term in SEO.
Instead, let’s explore a few of the most effective public relations strategies that can be slightly tweaked to positively impact SEO on a longer-term basis. As an additional benefit, these tactics will also help to grow your online brand and your sales.
The ideas fall under two main categories, which are essentially clever ways to toot your own horn and a means to leverage the good deeds your company does to earn links and goodwill.
Leveraging Your Company’s Authoritative Figure
Every company has at least one person on its leadership team whose accomplishments are worth shouting from the rooftops. Usually it is your CEO or it could even be your COO or CFO. If they are successful thought leaders and have useful information to share, then leverage them as the authority figures for your company.
Here are the best outlets for this.
1. As Guest Contributors
If they are good writers, apply to have your authority figures guest write a periodic column for an online publication. Even if they aren’t good writers, you could enlist the help of professional writers to edit and perfect their columns, so they can still share their valuable advice and expertise.
Important: these columns shouldn’t contain any sales pitches. They should instead aim to help the reader learn new things, provide significant value, and generate interest.
Then, pitch to local media outlets, industry-specific websites or media; or aim higher and apply to sites such as Huffington Post or Forbes. It is easier to get on media outlet websites than on TV, print or radio. This will have the added advantage of securing you a link from a high quality website, as well as helping you effectively reach a wider audience.
In order to do this most effectively, write two to three articles to showcase the breadth of writing talent and pitch them to the websites, either directly or with the help of a PR agency that has the contacts to get them in front of the right people. You can also add in a short list of proposed future topics, so they have an idea of what to expect in future months.
It’s important to provide unique articles to each source; having the same article published by two different sources will sink the relationships faster than you can say battleship. Keep in mind the audience of each website and look at other articles they have published to get a feel for what will work best for that source.
When placing the link don’t try to have a link in every article as it will look overtly sales-y and discourage the relationship with the website. Instead, one link from the bio section is enough, since with each new article published you will secure additional links to the bio page, strengthening that link back to your site.
2. As Guest Talent
Is there a business-related TV or radio show on your local or industry-specific media? Reach out to them and have your authority figure go on air to share advice or perhaps take questions from the audience. In giving their time to help others, it will not only build their reputation (and your company’s), but will also get you a great link back to your site from the web page of the show.
You can even look at Internet radio stations or popular podcasts, which would provide a higher likelihood of getting a recurring guest spot to build longer-lasting value. As you build up the repertoire of guest spots for your authority figure, you can then reach out to bigger and better media outlets to increase your chances of success for getting accepted for a guest spot there.
Once again, it’s important here to not try to slip in any sales pitches at all. In providing value to others, you will gain back enough of a benefit to make it worth the time and effort. Here too, the bio section on the site is sufficient for the link to your site.
3. Conferences/Corporate Events
Are there marketing or industry-specific conferences your company attends? If so, consider asking your authority figures to pitch to speak, if they are comfortable doing so.
Hosting or sponsoring these conferences or other networking events is another good way to gain links and exposure, without the need to actually be a speaker if they shy away from public speaking.
Alternatively, consider entering the top executives or the company itself into awards competitions. Examples of awards to consider competing for include:
- Top executive awards, wherein C-suite management can enter to win a top CEO or Smart CXO award
- Growth awards such as Inc. 5000 or local area fast growth company awards
- Best workplace type awards
- Awards for going green or for innovation
Do Good Deeds and Garner Press Coverage
Look for genuine opportunities to help others in order to secure press coverage for your company. If any acts of kindness or activities of the company are interesting enough to warrant attention from the press, then take advantage of the link value they could provide.
Here are some of the easier ways to secure press coverage.