Link building is the lifeblood of your ongoing SEO strategy. The benefits are straightforward – high-quality backlinks will help you build authority, widen your reach, boost brand awareness, and even drive referral traffic. Finding the most impactful tactics for link building success, however, is not as crystal-clear as the benefits – and the process itself is continuous, dedicated work.
From competitive link analysis to third-party outreach, there are many factors to continuously tweak and improve in your link building strategy. Most importantly, generating highly valuable backlinks relies on producing high-quality, valuable content. But that’s not going to be enough because your success depends heavily on strategically promoting that content.
And what’s the first platform you think of when you hear “strategically promoting content”? That’s right, social media.
That’s why aligning your content and social media strategies with your link building efforts is a vital approach to a smart SEO strategy. In this article, we’ll give you some useful tactics, tips, and insights to help you integrate all your efforts strategically and harness the power of social media for more successful link building.
Creating the right type of content
Content and link building efforts need to be aligned from the very beginning.
In other words, before you actually start producing content, you’ll structure your content strategy in regards to your SEO campaign. That’s how you’ll be able to create content around strategic topics and keyword lists, making it highly relevant to your target audience and able to satisfy searcher intent.
This type of approach sets you up for success because you will be producing content that your key targets will value and want to share with others. This includes your wider audience as well as bloggers, industry influencers, and any third-party website worthy of guest posting.
That’s why you want to do plenty of research and keep your finger on the industry pulse to come up with link-worthy topic ideas and write content that truly provides value.
Some worthy tactics include sharing:
- useful tools and resources. Determine which topics your audience needs help with and then share with them useful tactics, guides, tools they can use, and other resources. The more actionable your piece, the more compelled audiences are to share it with others.
- research. Creating research-based content is a great addition to your link-building efforts because people can reference it in the future in their posts. Stats are particularly link-worthy, just make sure you’re focusing on a relevant topic to align it perfectly with your SEO efforts.
- influencer insights, which we’ll cover in more detail in a moment
It’s important to gain an understanding of your audience, what you can offer them that will meet their needs/expectations, and which type of content they’re most receptive to. With this understanding, you’ll be able to produce valuable content crafted for a specific audience, and that’s really what bloggers and third-party websites want from you.
Sharing influencer insights
Craft content around the unique ideas promoted by influential people within your industry. These could be certain experts or key industry influencers – the point is that you will be referencing their authority and sharing their insights.
An interview with an industry influencer is clearly a big boost to your content strategy, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that. You can feature influencer insights in roundups or by referencing their ideas and quotes in your articles. Get creative – and don’t hesitate to use social media to ask your audience what type of content they would like next from you.
How does this tactic work?
This type of content is highly valuable and interesting to readers, who are eager to learn from someone that’s well-established as a trusty person within the given industry. Basically, you’re borrowing their influence. Consequently, another thing you’re borrowing with influencer-centered content is their audience, and that’s where social media comes in.
By reaching out to these people either for collaboration or just to let them know you’ve featured them in your content (which can be done directly or through social media mentions), you’ll encourage them to share your content with their audiences – which are highly targeted and valuable for you. So this is not only valuable and highly shareable content, but it also taps into social media power.
How will you identify the most valuable industry experts?
Start with your link building targets. You can also use FollowerWonk, which will pick out for you the credible profiles that are relevant to the given topic. This handy tool will sort them by social authority and the number of followers to find great opportunities.
Statistics show that infographics are one of the most often shared types of content – which really comes as no surprise, given their rising popularity over the recent years. Visuals are more digestible than textual content, we learn faster with them, and thus they’re bound for more shares and links.
Now, creating infographics would certainly be a phenomenal boost to your link building strategy, but don’t overlook the basics either. Make sure to include compelling as well as useful visuals in your content – everything from featured infographics to charts, graphs, screenshots, and inviting or even humorous (depending on the context) images that pique the reader’s interest.
Lastly, get visual when promoting your content via social media, especially Twitter. Research has shown that tweets with images get 150% more retweets than those without.
Give before asking for shares in return
Social media marketing runs on this motto.
Now, social shares may not be a ranking factor, but they are most definitely beneficial to your link building efforts. It’s simple – the more your content is shared, the more people will see it, visit your site, and hopefully stay on it for a while and convert into subscribers.
But you can’t just churn out post after post about yourself and what you’re doing. Nobody will be listening. Social media is about establishing authority, participating in a community, and building relationships. No matter the size of your enterprise, you need to approach social media as a valuable community member. Be a part of the ecosystem by engaging your audience, sharing helpful content, staying active, facilitating conversations, sharing others’ posts (with credit, of course), etc.
Then, when you actually do post something promotional, such as your latest guest post, and tell people “hey, check it out and give it a like or a share” – you’ll have a loyal and engaged audience to take you up on your offer.
Connect with bloggers before pitching
The previous point sums up to one vital tip: build social relationships before building links. The people you especially want to focus on are the ones you hope to collaborate with. Get acquainted with them on social, follow and share their work, and make yourself known to them. Facilitate conversation by mentioning them in your posts and engage with them by replying to their tweets.
This will open the doors to collaboration and make them more trusting of you so that when you send them a pitch email, you won’t be a complete unknown. If you’re cultivating a genuine and interactive social media presence, they’ll have seen how collaborating with you is beneficial to them even before you send out your pitch.
Ultimately, by properly aligning your efforts across these fields, you’ll give momentum to your entire digital marketing strategy. And remember – it’s all a continuous effort. None of it is set-and-forget. Focus on building relationships with industry influencers and providing value to your audience, and the tactics you do employ will have a lot more gravity.