Are you wondering how to maximize the success of your link building campaigns? As this past year has shown us, using hero campaigns is not always successful during times of crisis. With a new normal in digital marketing, there are better ways to build links and handle your off-page search engine optimization (SEO).
Link building has changed during these times of uncertainty and instability. Last month, I attended a session at the BrightonSEO conference called “The Future of Digital PR: are hero campaigns a thing of the past?”. In this session, JBH’s Co-founder and Marketing Director, Jane Hunt, focused on how we’re shifting away from spending large amounts of time, money, and resources on big hype pieces, or hero campaigns, in SEO.
The goal of a hero campaign is to draw in a lot of attention from domains, specifically for link building purposes. When sites build newsworthy and brand relevant pieces of content, the goal is for domains with solid domain strength to gain relevant links.
Historically, hero campaigns were the go-to method for off-page experts looking to maximize their link building strategy. However, with 2020 being full of surprises, SEO has had to adapt to the new digital landscape by offering more with less.
Why is this changing?
March was a pivotal time for digital marketing professionals. We had to change our strategies and expect the unexpected. Here are a few reasons why link building has had to move in a different direction ever since the pandemic first hit:
- As by nature, news changes everyday and businesses do not have the luxury of a few months time to build out and launch hero campaigns
- A large investment may not be possible, as budget cuts have been prominent among many businesses
- There may be fewer people to work on campaigns, as many people have been furloughed or laid off
- The campaigns no longer align with the changing circumstances
There are many new considerations, like the ones listed above, that have impacted the way marketers build campaigns. Gone are the days where SEOs spent months perfecting a campaign before it went live. Now brands have to be careful about the messages they’re delivering to their audience, while also spending as little time as possible on a piece.
Following the spread of the pandemic, the biggest questions for SEOs became “how do we build links now?”. Time is of the essence with the new normal, and no one can predict how things will shift in the coming months, weeks, or even days.
Instead of building out massive link building campaigns, SEOs have realized that they need to be more reactive than proactive. There are many strategies that align with getting pieces of content delivered fast and efficiently.
Less is more
Content shouldn’t be heavily interactive or design-focused, as this would be costly and time-consuming. Many off-page experts have taken an approach to SEO that is often used within content marketing – the copy is prioritized and needs to be the primary focus. It should speak for itself, and be limited in its interactivity and design, as this would use up resources.
Be cognizant of the news
One issue of running hero campaigns is that your content may quickly become dated. For example, a piece launched at the height of the pandemic focusing on live concerts, would be extremely problematic and outdated, as social distancing rules do not allow for live music anymore. With a reactive approach, your content can better align with what’s happening in the world right now.
You can, however, repurpose the piece about live music by focusing on online live stream concerts instead. Remember that the chances of domains linking to your page is slim if your content doesn’t consider current events. Always stay relevant and newsworthy in order to build links successfully.
Sign off today, not tomorrow
With the news revealing a different challenge every week, you need to make sure you stay on top of how relevant your pieces of content are at any given time. Your contents need to consider and align with other events going on in the world.
Because of this, it’s recommended that you launch pieces of content sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that your content will no longer be relevant, meaning your content won’t gain any outbound links.
Remember to keep a strong project management focus on this content, with the intent of getting sign-off in a fast and efficient manner from all stakeholders. The faster the input from stakeholders, the faster your content will launch, giving you a better chance of building those all-important links.
Why does this matter?
Having newsworthy content that’s not heavily designed and interactive can be a challenge – but it’s doable. Given how often news has been changing this past year, it’s very important that you get your content launched as soon as possible.
Given the nature of how rapidly events have been transpiring, there is a possibility that your content won’t remain relevant if it isn’t launched in a timely manner. When this happens, domains won’t link to you, meaning that your efforts building the off-page campaign were fruitless and a waste of resources.
This is why less is more, and signing off as soon as possible is crucial to building links in the quickly evolving times we are living in.
To learn more on effective link building during these uncertain times, or to speak with someone from our SEO team, please get in touch.