Let me set the scene for this blog: it’s currently 9pm on a Thursday night (although I’m not sure when this will be published), my partner is at work, my dog has fallen asleep, and I’ve logged on to my computer to do some work to make my Friday a little easier. I’m sat here looking at my computer screen, thinking of things I can put on social media in the coming week.
I am always in awe of the digital PR social media world, with so many great people and companies sharing useful hints, tips, and case studies. It’s partly the reason why I love working in this industry so much, as we are open with each other, share knowledge, and encourage growth.
However, glancing at some of the things I’m seeing being put out on social, I can’t help but think that a lot of what is being said is just the same old content repeated time and time again. It almost feels like we’re all looking for something unique, something undiscovered that we can share with the world that will help us all build more links.
The truth is that there is not a secret formula to building links. In fact, the real truth is that the success of a link campaign is mainly down to the person or people who are outreaching it.
I started in the industry in 2012, and have had the honor of managing and growing three digital PR teams within that time – with the team at connective3 being the fasting growing and biggest of them all.
Over the years, I have realised that although the campaign topic, timing of the launch and visuals of the campaign page are all important, it also takes a digital PR with a certain attitude to really make a campaign a success.
The best link builders or digital PRs I have ever worked with all had similar traits:
They were curious
They all stalked their clients’ competitors, or other agencies results. They looked at the sites that they were getting and targeted them for themselves, whilst also growing on the number of contacts.
Don’t get me wrong, all campaigns need a good media list for the launch, but this curiosity to find new people, look for new angles and hunt down link opportunities will take your campaign from great to good, and your reputation as a digital PR along with it.
They all hustled
They never took no for an answer and pushed on regardless to find link opportunities. The best example of this is a present client of mine who recently launched a gaming campaign. The campaign was doing well regarding the number of links, yet we wanted more, and we hustled to get more.
We found articles on university sites that had covered a similar study and asked them to include our resource. We also rang local businesses who would be interested in our findings, and asked them to include our story on their blogs – we even pushed it to TV and radio, not only gaining links, but also brand awareness and social engagements. This is what it takes to turn a good campaign into a great one!
They had the ability to overcome any setbacks
Being a PR, you need to get used to people saying no. If a journalist doesn’t want to cover your story, you need to take a step back, have a stiff upper lip and carry on until you find one that does. This ability to push on regardless will gain you results – you just need to stick with it!
The truth is, link building is hard, and it takes someone with the above traits to make it work. I see too many agencies struggle to grow as they don’t focus on training result hungry PRs – those that do, however, are seeing not only big business growth for themselves, but also for their clients.