Link building is tough, especially when you’re after the links that really matter.
And the hard-earned links that genuinely provide value in terms of impact for branding, traffic, conversions and eventually – rankings, don’t come by that easy. Given that these links, in nature, are:
- Hard to replicate
- Prominently placed within pages that are constantly generating traffic (mostly pages ranking highly for terms frequently searched).
There could be dozens of ways to achieve links with those certain aforementioned criteria, but there’s one that can make it sort of easier than the usual suspects – through collaboration.
Co-marketing is certainly one of the best ways to not just to scale your link building efforts, but also to future-proof your digital marketing campaign.
Because having 2 (or more) separate distribution channels at your disposal is better than one.
The rise of visual content
“94% more total views on average are attracted by content containing compelling images than content without images.”
See: More visual content stats here.
Today’s web surfers have already evolved, in which many are more engaged in content with visual aides, given the fact that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
The rise of visual content has been a game-changer, but to some extent hasn’t been fully maximized by marketers.
Most of the web’s biggest publishers are already heavily invested on high-end visual content and rich media to exponentially improve user experience (and link attraction).
But there are still some who don’t. And that is where the opportunity arises.
So in this post, I’ll just share a few ideas that you can work on if you decide to try doing your own co-branding marketing campaigns.
The simplest one that you can start with is through creating co-branded infographics (which was also included on Brian Dean’s recently published massive list of SEO tips – which you should definitely check out).
I’ve been testing this approach since last year, and this is one sample we did earlier this year for one of our test sites.
We created 100% of the infographic (research, content and design/dev), and sought out for partners/co-presenters who can help distribute the graphic.
We added our target content partners’ logos within the graphic in exchange for distribution.
The only thing they had to do was to hit the publish button on their site.
It’s imperative to have a solid piece for this approach to really work (and having them do less work is just a plus).
By getting the right partners, you’ll be able to absorb readership, and opening the gates for potentially more linking opportunities.
And the exposure can translate to more social shares too.
Which is also aside from getting links directly from their sites.
Build links by repurposing others’ evergreen content assets
Another approach that you can test is by finding text-based content assets and turning them into interactive visual content. This perfectly works for these types of content:
- Checklists or lists
- How-to guides
- Inspirational/personal essays
Find text-based content assets in your space that have succeeded in the past in terms of linking and/or social sharing.
It’s also best to check if they are consistently generating traffic. You can use Ahrefs to evaluate your prospected pages’ organic traffic.
Turn them into embeddable/printable PDFs that they can use on their page (one way to get links directly from highly ranking pages).
Here’s a quick sample (with links within the graphic – but this one’s actually a failed attempt, but decided to include it just for the sake of the post).
What to do when they reject your offer?
Since you’ll be targeting content assets that have already proven to be linkable, ask if you can distribute the visual content version on behalf of them (it’s a win/win, since they’ll still get ton of links back to their page as well).
Start with those who are already linking to them.
HTML5 Visual Content
Another way to make your offer a bit more enticing is to provide interactive visual content built in HTML5 instead.
This could be a more expensive test to implement compared to PDFs and infographics, but there are some tools that you can also explore and play around if you have the time to waste, like Google Web Designer.
Here’s just a sample piece from a quick experiment we’ve done in using GWD to build a sidescrolling visual (you’ll have limited styling options on this one though).
I suggest trying Visme as well (where you can use all their premium features for just $16/month).
As for the outreach, make it easier for your target prospects in using your visual content. Send them the embed codes (I’ll just leave this one here):
Also, it’s better to know the dimensions of the pages you’re targeting.
So you can send embed codes specifically tailored for the sites linking to them.
Note: You’ll have better chances on pages that are being continuously updated. Also, you’ll have higher success rate on recently published works – as they’re more likely to change or add something new to it.
Create Custom Post Images for Bloggers
Collaborating with other publishers may also come in the form of providing high quality images for their text-rich content.
Securing partnerships with several publishers in your space wherein you’ll regularly supply them with images to use for their content marketing efforts can certainly land you some solid links (and brand exposure).
Big thanks to @jasonacidre for putting this together. pic.twitter.com/Uk64eRd7RF
— Glen (@ViperChill) June 7, 2016
Just glad that Glen liked it.
Few other ideas you can also work on is to target posts that would look a lot better with other types of images that you can offer to them, such as:
Just included the last one, as this was quoted from a guest post I did for Moz.
Test co-marketing in other content formats
There are also other formats that you can test, particularly videos, seeing that it’s one of the most effective platforms for brands to communicate with its target audience.
Collaborating through this channel may also take your brand to another level, pretty much like BuzzFeed and Purina’s co-op to get 24M views from this one:
Collaborate to create Co-branded Web Series
Repurpose others’ text-based guides into animated how to videos.
You can even just collaborate with other publishers by recording your discussions on things within the realm of your industry.
I religiously follow One Piece (both Anime and Manga), and yes, I listened to these theory discussion for over an hour.
Convert text content into audio
This is something that we’ve actually discussed, and was shared by Jon Cooper when we were kind of brainstorming in Cebu with Grant Merriel.
Co-create text-based content with other reputable bloggers/publishers in your field (image below is just something on my mind).
There’s so much you can play around when you have collaboration in mind for your marketing efforts. A lot of YouTubers do it, why can’t we as marketers?
Anyway, here’s something more about link building.
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