How to Align Your Content and Social Media Efforts for Link Building Success
Link building. What’s the point? Absolutely everything.
But seriously. Generating high quality links to your website is not only useful for building authority, it also helps to:
- Generate referral traffic.
- Increase brand visibility.
- Reach new audiences.
While the many benefits of link building are clear, SEO professionals are challenged to select the tactics that will have the greatest impact.
It can seem overwhelming. There are so many potential strategies to execute, including:
But backlinks are just one of the many factors that search engine algorithms use to rank a website.
You should also focus on the technical elements of the site, on-page content optimizations, new content development, and the list goes on.
Leverage content and social media to support link building
There are two essential parts to naturally generating authoritative backlinks to a website:
For this reason, it’s crucial to align social media content and efforts with your link building initiatives. In this article, I will provide a variety of tactics to achieve this.
Create link-worthy content
Let’s start with the first part of generating authoritative backlinks to your site – producing high-quality content.
It’s important that content and link building efforts are aligned early on, before the content building process even begins.
Not only will this ensure that you are creating the type of content written, but it will also help you reach and engage key targets when possible, whether that be specific influencers, industry publications, or… other third-party websites.
When it comes to creating valuable, link-worthy content, here are some of the tactics I’ve found effective.
Information about influencers
Create content around influencers or industry experts sharing their unique ideas.
This will deliver valuable content to your readers, further position you as a thought leader in the space, and encourage those influencers/experts to share the asset with their highly targeted audiences.
This content could include:
- Interview-style articles.
- Lists of predictions or trends.
Get creative based on what type of content you know your audience is most receptive to as well.
The best place to start identifying influencers? Your link building targets.
If you haven’t made a list yet, use FollowerWonk to determine credible profiles related to the topic.
For example, if you’re writing an article about the best artificial intelligence predictions for 2019, you can use FollowerWonk to find Twitter bios that reference “artificial intelligence” or “AI.”
Then sort by social authority and followers to find the best opportunities.
Once the asset is published, be sure to contact the people/websites directly and let them know that you mentioned them in the article.
Depending on your relationship with them, you can even directly ask them to link to it.
No matter what industry you are in, research is valuable, which makes it link-worthy.
What common questions do you hear from customers or clients?
It is likely that others within the industry have already been asked, or will be asked, similar questions. These types of considerations should help drive ideas for search-based content assets.
People like to reference statistics that prove the value of their work or research that supports initiatives that are usually harder to get from leaders.
Once you spread that research on social media (and I’ll get to that shortly), this extremely valuable asset will naturally generate links.
You should consider ways to further align this with link building initiatives early on.
If you have a list of specific link targets related to the topic, be sure to share the article once it’s live. If you don’t have a list already established, again you can use FollowerWonk for that.
Or, BuzzSumo also lets you search by topic/keyword to determine profiles that share similar content.
By sharing resources and tools throughout your content, you make the article more actionable for readers and create the opportunity to share the asset with those you promote.
To improve your chances of acquiring a link, it’s important to put yourself in the shoes of your blog subscribers and link building targets.
What would make this asset more valuable to readers?
An overview not only of tactics, but also:
- The specific tools they can use.
- How they can use the tools.
- An overview of what other experts have to say.
- Other resources and guides around the subject.
Bonus: Each of these also offers the option to contact the sites mentioned and encourage them to share the asset and link to it.
What would make this asset worthy of being tied to the mentioned targets?
If you’re referencing a tool, provide an explanation of what exactly it is, why it’s so useful, key features, how they can use the tool, and screenshots of what the tools look like.
If your content includes insights or other resources/guides, explain why the guide is unique, what it has to offer, and what makes the resource so believable.
Strategically promote content
OK, so you’ve created all this amazing content. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s really only half the battle. Now you need to promote it appropriately and strategically.
One of the most effective ways to do this is through social media.
Here are some specific ways to use social media to support your link building campaigns.
How you share content on social media can be key to link building.
With the number of automated messages being broadcast on social media, you need to find a way to stand out to your targets.
My advice is to share individualized, personalized and engaging messages – always.
For example, instead of tagging every person/website in a tweet, send individual tweets that are engaging and won’t be automated.
Use their name, say something that shows you know them, consider using custom graphics or quoting them in separate social updates.
It is important that you contact the people and websites mentioned in your content directly, whether by direct message on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or by email.
Automated messages will also not suffice when it comes to direct outreach. Here, it is particularly important to create personalized messages that stand out to your targets.
In addition to contacting the people mentioned in the asset directly, look for other distribution opportunities in the community.
Take advantage of some of the tools mentioned above (FollowerWonk and BuzzSumo) to find out who has shared your content in the past and who might be interested in the topic at hand.
Or, aim to turn sharers into links by analyzing users who have shared your resource on social media, which can be an applicable link building opportunity.
You can even set up Google alerts using related keywords to determine specific articles or websites that would benefit from linking to the asset.
Don’t underestimate the power of paid social media advertising.
Now that you’ve created this extremely link-worthy asset, make sure it lands in front of your key targets.
There are many targeting options that could be successful here; however, the more refined approach would be to create Custom Audiences using the list of link building targets you gathered and/or those mentioned in the article.
You can target these specific profiles, as well as their followers.
Integrating and aligning your link building tactics with content marketing and social media efforts can help keep things moving. All this while making your digital marketing campaigns more effective.
Remember that high-quality content is essential, especially when your goal is to build links to a website.
Broadcasting engaging and personalized messages on social networks is also essential. These principles should remain the foundation of your digital marketing strategy.
I hope this article has given you practical ways to align your content and social media efforts to drive link building success.
Featured Image: Created by author, February 2019
All screenshots taken by author, February 2019