The connection between link building and PR is not new and has been debated to some extent, over the course of the past year. In today’s post, we explain how these two (apparently) distinct fields of marcomm are actually very similar and can benefit from applying the same kinds of strategies.
Link building also involves monitoring publishers
In PR, the value of monitoring publisher activity is difficult to gauge, as it is one of the main components of an efficient public relations campaign. It’s PR 101 to make sure you are fully aware of the scope of your client’s brand reach. And, yes, you need to be aware of any and all mentions, from the paid, to the positive, neutral, and, most importantly, the negative ones. There is nothing quite like the efficient and timely damage control when it comes to public relations. The same kind of process applies to link building, only it serves an additional purpose to just being aware of who’s talking about your represented brand and in what terms. In link building, it also pays to know which publishers are writing about your competitors – and there are plenty of tools out there to make sure you are in the loop. The nugget of wisdom behind this is that a website who is publishing content related to your niche is probably willing to also give you a press mention or maybe even take you up on a guest material offer.
Moreover, monitoring digital media for link building purposes also helps you to identify publishing opportunities. You may or may not be aware of this, but several major publishers will list their upcoming editorial opportunities in a public editorial calendar. They will list the topic, the deadline for publication and, if the opportunity has been seized already, the name of the assigned writer. Use such opportunities to promote your own brand, its services and/or products – there are plenty of sites out there waiting for you to do just that.
Follow up monitoring with actions
If you’ve already set up a monitoring system in place via Google alerts, you should be ready to take the process a step further. Such an alert means you are receiving a list of daily brand mentions, which you then compile into a chart and email your client with. However, don’t just leave it at that. If you note that a Twitter user has made mention of the brand, then offer to connect with that Twitter user. Leave comments on blog posts, providing the author with as much detail about his topic of choice, in relation with your brand. Email the author, even, if this is necessary. Depending on each situation, you may choose to take action yourself, or ask that the client does this himself. The value in this kind of strategy lies with its power to build constructive relationships and potentially invest in upcoming link building opportunities.
Turn your brand into a source
A recent survey published last summer by a major PR company has revealed that, out of six hundred reporters polled, 55 per cent had used social networks to develop stories from known sources. An additional 26 per cent had used social networks to create stories from sources they were not personally linked with. Reporters will either contact a source Tweeting or providing a status update about a topic they’re interested in, or will provide their contact details, asking for information on a given subject. This is actually an amazing opportunity for marketers focused on building links. How so? You will want to turn your brand into the source of a story – it’s a natural process and one which doesn’t require much more effort than simply keeping organized. First off, you will want to seek out journalists writing about fields you have clients in. Also check out those who have written about your brand before, as well as simply heading on down to some major publications you are targeting. Look for the names and contacts of their reporters and monitor what they’re looking for.