Here at Found we’re always looking for new and exciting ways to produce stronger link building campaigns and deliver the best results for our clients. The rise of the blogging community has paved the way for a fresh perspective on link building. Long gone are the days of directory link building! Bloggers are now becoming increasingly savvy and learning to monetise their blogs, and the SEO community needs to develop alongside them. Blogger events are a relatively new phenomenon in the SEO world, previously thought to be a PR method. As the two practises are becoming more entwined, we’ve discovered ways that running blogger events can strengthen your link building efforts.
1. Experiential marketing is cool
Not many bloggers will want to talk to you about boosting your brand’s SEO. At best, they want advice on their own site. At worst, they’re scared it will impact their site negatively. If you email them with an exclusive invite to an industry event, you’ll probably find them more responsive. Experiential marketing isn’t just for the likes of Red Bull. Find your brand’s angle and utilise it. People like to be treated to a nice day out, especially if there are freebies involved. The only difference between a standard experiential event and one geared to link building is your audience. They can still be public, if that works for you, but to ensure you gain good links always prioritise the sites which would prove most beneficial to your link building campaign.
2. Humanising your brand
Even in the digital world, word of mouth marketing is still important. Most bloggers with a decent online following have a good social reach, so utilise this. Create a hashtag, provide them with the details of your brand’s social pages before the event begins, and engage with them socially in the lead up to, and following, their review. Your brand isn’t just ‘your company’. Prove to the bloggers that you’re living the brand – it’s your job to make them as passionate about it as you are. Give the attending bloggers the feeling of authority and insights they can share with their own audience. You aren’t just building links here, you’re building a company persona.
3. Content is (still) King
SEO is an ever changing medium in the shifting world of the internet. However content continues to be a hugely important factor. Instead of creating advertorial style guest posts, blogger events are a fantastic way to provide your targeted outreach market with great content, with genuine interest. We ran a recent in-store event with a client of ours, introducing new stock alongside outlining the history of the family-run company. We also offered money off in-store purchases (while entertaining their energetic kids). We tapped into the mummy blogger community and received some really great links for client reviewing and not just the intended products, but the company as a whole too. One of the bloggers’ sons filmed the event and posted a video alongside their review. Where else would you get such unique content without even asking for it?
4. Achieve both quality and a quantity of links
As we’ve discussed, blogger events can lead to great content. They can be insightful and honest. But no matter how great your content is, the linking site still needs to be good quality. Google’s algorithm takes into account a variety of factors, so a well-balanced link building campaign should be made up of a good quantity of quality links. Now thats a tongue twister! Not every campaign is going to win a link from the BBC (although it’s always worth a shot)! So how do we balance these two, sometimes opposing, factors? Savvy bloggers know how to monetise their site. Appeal to their interests, select bloggers who fit your brand. We recently organised an experience day for a blogger on behalf of a Found client. The expense to us was minimal, but the experience was fantastic, and wholly relevant to the topic of his blog. He was so pleased he was already planning his review when he drove away. We’re planning on repeating the day with a number of other bloggers within the same niche. Try it out. If it works, rinse and repeat. Good quality links, good quantity of links.
5. Combining PR with SEO
As a final note, remember to get your PR team involved. Public Relations and Search Engine Optimisation are no longer separate worlds. Every year these two fields become increasingly linked. PR teams are a valuable resource, and ‘Brand Reputation Management’ comes under both team’s remit. In the past we’ve found pooling our resources to be very effective. Make sure both teams are involved in running the event, the two strengths will have all bases covered to ensure the event is a great success.
So, with these 5 points in mind, meet up with your PR team and organise an experience or event which appeals to your target market and makes you look great, then start outreaching. It doesn’t hurt to get your design team to create a formal looking invite too – we’ve found this improves our response rate hugely. Remember, all events are not made equal. A weekend event with forty bloggers attending sounds great, but will it practically work for your brand? Sometimes eight bloggers, twelve energetic kids and a stock room with a kettle is all you need. Let the links flow.