With all sorts of link building tactics that come into play nowadays, not all of them will work on different types of niches. Some would need to have a creative component in order to fit into a specific industry and it would require a thorough research to do that.
In the fashion industry, executing a link building campaign isn’t simple yet is possible to do so with creative elements, such as:
- Visually-appealing images. Content consumers in the fashion niche are more likely to view images than reading how-to posts and case studies.
- Engagement opportunities. Fashion bloggers have high linking tendencies when engaged in an event where they can be provided with relevant value (benefits/incentives).
In this post, I’m going to discuss creative link acquisition techniques that can skyrocket your link building results and develop brand awareness across your web communities.
Content marketing still play a vital role in link acquisition, as it covers the most important part in building a relationship with a potential linker – trust.
Content develops trust building in so many ways such as:
- Increasing page’s trust score when industry users, especially content creators perceived the content piece as a comprehensive and authoritative resource, thus, linking to it from their own relevant blogs/sites.
- Consistently publishing linkable content assets on different topics with the most useful information and data will establish brand recall for target audience – this approach will help them remember the brand when topics are being discussed on different web entities, such as forums, Q&A sites and blog communities.
- Content brings low to medium profile content creators to established authorities in the industry (if it’s not the content Rand Fishkin shares on Moz, then up until now, we still don’ t recognize him as a digital marketing expert).
- Independent brand publishers who produce data-driven content are being sourced as references on high quality articles from authoritative domains in the niche.
Trust building helps outreach specialists to improve their linker outreach as they can have reasons why someone from the other side of the conversation can link to their page/content.
As content being their main component, these methodologies would bring reasons to your emails to get opened, responded and turned into link opportunities by potential linkers.
- Fix an outdated content on a highly linkable domain by creating a new version of it – adding new information, refreshing data, and changing interests/trends would make it more comprehensive than the original source. Use Outdated Content Finder by Greenlane SEO for this approach. To get the most link opportunities, you can reach out to blogs/resource pages that have linked to the original page and simply note that they might be interested to link to a new/comprehensive content on the same topic.
- Enhance one area in a linkable content through creative ways, such as translating the page to other languages where other target groups will also benefit from the resource or using technical skills to improve the process/tool/product (which will somehow require investment in effort and money).
- Help someone clean up his malware-infected site(s) by reaching out to him and letting him know about a malware-infected link in one of his pages, then suggesting a good resource (your content) for replacement. You can use Scrapebox to identify malware-infected links on niche-specific pages.
- Help bloggers with WordPress sites which are open to hackers and content thieves to be secured. Identify first the site’s vulnerability using tools like Sucuri and w3af. Then let them know about their site’s technical issues. You can check out this post on UKLinkology about link building with wordpress vulnerabilities.
Another way to partner with fashion-oriented sites is to collaborate on a “get the look” or “outfit” content pieces around popular TV personalities, movie characters and commercial models then distributed these output content as guest posts to fashion blogs, women blogs, teen blogs and other related industries.
You might also want to apply this content partnership process that we’re currently testing for some of our clients’ link building campaigns:
- Identify 50 fashion bloggers or non-competitor fashion-oriented sites that regularly publishes content on their blogs – their blogging frequency signifies that they would need someone to help them with in producing blog posts on a regular basis.
- Prioritize your list of fashion linkers according to readership size (subscribe to their blog feeds to see their estimated regular readers), social following (number of followers on Twitter/Facebook), average number of comments per post (for blog engagement) and search rank potential (using SEMrush metric – traffic cost).
- List down their names and possible email addresses in a spreadsheet (use any of the email finder tools in this Matthew Barby’s post).
- Create a custom pitch for each of the fashion blogger. Make pitches straightforward and short.
- Ask if they’re interested in partnering with you for content development and distribution.
Here are a few ideas that you can push through in your outreach campaigns:
- Interview someone from the fashion company and publish the output on your own blog. You can add more exposure to it by promoting on Facebook (sponsorship ads at $5 cost). See this post for an additional reference.
- Combine complimentary fashion images from both ends (from your own brand and from the other company) into one big post. Sharing the content piece on both brands’ social networks can increase the chances of making the post go viral on social.
- Make a variety of content contributions. This will develop the relationship you’ve built with fashion content creators as they can see you as a content authority in the industry since you’re not just publishing text posts but also other content formats like infographics, interviews, animated gifts, etc..
Here is a slide deck by Grant Merriel which was presented at SEO Summit 2015, about the 7 sales techniques that you can use to improve link outreach.
Organized Category Pages
Category pages are best targeted pages for link acquisition as it funnels link equity through its subcategory pages or direct product/services pages which makes them rank for related search terms.
There are tons of fashion ecommerce stores who under-utilized the power of linking to category pages and optimizing them as well for search ranking potential. This led to missing link opportunities given that users might find it easily for them to quickly scan a category page by reading the category page’s description. Then including these category pages as references and/or additional resources for their own blogs or resource pages.
Miss Selfridge brand does a great job in optimizing their category pages by adding above the fold descriptions for each of their product categories. This will be made easy not just for users but also to search engines to understand what the category page is all about.
It’s not effective to just count the value of keywords that you’ll be targeting for category pages by simply looking at available set of search volume of those keywords. You can watch this Whiteboard Friday of Rand Fishkin on how to properly estimate the value and volume of keywords in a given market or niche.
Other useful resources:
Conduct Offline Events
This methodology sounds familiar to seasoned link builders and SEOs out there but what most of the advanced ones usually forgot when conducting offline events is making every single event beneficial for bloggers who they want to target for brand exposure and link building.
Seminar participants are tired of seeing the casual seminar every time they attend events so adding creativity for each of the seminar segments wouldn’t get them overwhelmed but also engaged in a way that they would want to share their experience on their own blogs.
Farfetch goes beyond the usual fashion blogging event. Rather than making each blogger as spectators, they let bloggers dress themselves up as models with high end clothing from their top designers. They hired professional photographers to take high quality images of their guests. Then they created animated images (gifts) from photos captured at the event.
The fashion animated gifts will be emailed to respective bloggers after the event so they can use them in blog posts. This is an evergreen content that targeted bloggers could use for the longest time as long as those photos are relevant to their future blog topics.
Here are some additional ways to add more creativity to fashion blogging events – if you’re planning to conduct one this year:
- Add fashion-related social competitions to your event so you can track which individual bloggers heavily promoted their looks (individual animated gifs) on social platforms. Choose a winner and give a considerable incentive – clothing or any wearable – he/she might also review your brand incentive as a sign of his/her appreciation.
- If you’re planning to start your own blogging event, try to reach out to popular fashion blogger groups in your city/country (e.g. London Fashion bloggers). Get them as sponsors or invite their popular fashion speakers/bloggers to participate in your event – this is doable if you have something to provide to them for free (i.e. pay flights/transportation fees for some of your participants).
- Start your offline engagement by first attending one fashion blogging event across your city. You may want to read this post at Pop Goes Fashion on how to get invited to fashion and beauty blogger events.
There would certainly be an investment of time and money when conducting fashion blogging events but the return of investment in terms of brand exposure and additional high quality fashion-centric links is high.
Other useful resources:
Branded Social Integration
Social media is certainly one of the popular content distribution channels that a fashion-oriented brand/blog would need to take advantage of.
A few reasons why social integration is an important content distribution channel:
- It adds impression to viewers and potential customers of the value that the brand is able to provide since most of the content promoted on social are branded images.
- It helps build a community of bloggers and readers for the brand. Simple interactions on social are good enough to engage potential brand followers and get them involved in some kind of events and brand-driven activities (user-generated content participation, offline workshops, etc..).
- It helps potential customers go through the bottom of the sales funnel. Since they always view fashion products of any kind on Twitter/Facebook, they already have brand recall on what specific company they want to buy products from.
Farfetch started a social campaign which was part of their blogging event discussed earlier.
The campaign was named as #digitaldressup, which is basically getting bloggers to talk about the event with them clothed as models for the event.
The social results obtained from the event are detailed below:
Instagram – uploaded 60 fashion photographs with an audience reach potential of 15,434 people.
Twitter – overall 96 #digitaldressup tweets with total Twitter audience reach of 83,935 people.
Building a memorable social experience is one of the effective ways to attract links in the fashion world, as you get to involve fashion content creators and linkers with your brand and engage them with other fellow fashion enthusiasts.
Manufacturing friendships is the key. It won’t give you a guarantee set number of high quality backlinks at the start but sooner or later, your site’s key pages and your brand itself will get recognition in the community and eventually earn significant amount of links.
Other useful resources:
If you’re looking for link building services for fashion websites, then you can contact us today.
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