When you start marketing for your business, there is one goal at hand: clients or sales. If that stays as your main goal, you won’t be able to achieve much. A customer may need up to eight touchpoints before they decide to make a purchase. If you are only focused on the final sale, you might be missing out on the rest of those touchpoints or steps that drive a customer to buy – this is where link building and link building tactics come in handy. This week, learn all about link building tactics, how to use them, and why they are so important.
Now you may be asking, what is a touchpoint? A touchpoint refers to a voicemail, email, or live conversation. I don’t consider interactions through social media or a call with no voicemail to be touchpoints. Social media is a great tool for finding information, but I wouldn’t recommend you use it for cold outreach.
It may sound obvious, but business owners can’t focus on just the final sale. There has to be something that can build that bridge from a stranger roaming your website, to a customer who is so intrigued by what you offer that they become a buyer. This is where the notion of “lead” comes from, i.e. a contact which we consider our prospective/possible/future customer.
The journey from stranger to a lead is shorter and much more foreseeable than a journey from a stranger to a buyer. Once we turn a stranger roaming your website into a lead, we can reach out to them in a much more meaningful and personalized way.
In link building we need links, just like in marketing we want sales, which is where link building tactics step in. But if the focus is only on the final result, that will completely limit our link building, just as in pushing sales in marketing can chase away customers. Very few link builders these days do anything apart from sending an email, then using automatic follow ups. There is no “lead generation” in link building. It is typically, link or no link reporting. And that’s where the process is broken.
In link building, all those bloggers, publishers, and editors may also need several touchpoints. Although, they may not be the wisest decisions for the publication you are aiming for. If you apply lead generation process to link building, you may see much better results, and more importantly, those results will keep growing the more leads you receive.
How to Add Lead Generation Processes to Your Link Building
Define your linking leads prior to creating content. In business to business marketing, this is called outcomes-focused data strategy, which basically means you need to know exactly what you want to achieve (the result) before you start developing your strategy of achieving said result. This outcome is, sadly, rarely applied to link building.
What usually happens:
- The content team creates what they think is a great content asset.
- The outreach team identifies website owners who are likely to be interested in that asset, and starts the outreach. Both teams are working in isolation.
What happens if you turn that process around?
- The outreach team shows the content team what’s attracting links on a specific topic (with examples). This insight should come from prospect research, current or upcoming trends, from previous outreach campaign data, etc.
- The content team (in collaboration with the outreach team) creates something better than what currently exists on that topic. At this point, both the teams may involve those linking leads in the actual content creation (by reaching out and asking for expert opinions on the topic).
- The outreach team delivers that content to the contacts they identified prior to the content creation.
Depending on the outlined link building opportunities, the linkable assets should take a specific format or angle, for example:
Curated lists of resources
Make sure your article fits one of the existing categories in the list, better fills a gap, or fixes an existing broken link.
Links from influencers or experts
Prior to publishing your article, reach out to those influencers and get their quote (opinion) to include in your article. Influencers are more likely to link when they’re featured on that page.
Links from peers and friends
Follow those people everywhere and start interacting with them on a daily basis. Think of this as “lead nurturing” — increasing your chances of creating long-lasting partnerships.
Editorial links from popular blogs
Track down authors and editors of those sites and start interacting with them on social media. Consider inviting them to contribute a quote to your article as well.
These days, when any business owner, professional or amateur, is bombarded with link requests, you need to up your link building game. Luckily, there’s a neighboring marketing area that you can learn from: lead generation. Adopt more complicated and more diverse outreach methods to acquire great links to your website.