Link building is a technical and nuanced practice that is difficult to do well. Building real links requires manual effort, dedication and no shortage of creativity.
To earn worthwhile links, you have to:
Matt Cutts said it best when he referred to link building as “sweat plus creativity.” Effective link acquisition at the enterprise level is even more competitive. But links are foundational to online visibility, and even major brands need link building.
There are several unique challenges connected to enterprise link building, and many of the solutions to these hurdles lie within communication and transparency.
Success in enterprise link acquisition is predicated on effective communication.
Even before a project starts, strong communication (sometimes in the form of marketing) is required to attract the business of Fortune 500 companies. Large corporations can afford to hire the best vendors available, and if you can’t clearly communicate quality, professionalism and competence all the way through the onboarding process, you won’t get their business. Some ways to demonstrate your expertise include:
All of these require strong communication skills to execute well, and they will help make a case that you can handle enterprise-level clients.
Once you’ve secured an enterprise account, you will need to continue open communication throughout a campaign.
Open and direct communication with the client during strategy creation is vital. By collaborating with the client, you can ensure the strategy you develop aligns with client goals and expectations.
Enterprise companies aren’t particularly agile and will not pivot easily if your current strategy proves ineffective. This is why it’s important to ensure you and the client fully understand one another — and can establish clear goals and expectations from the start of a campaign.
Open communication during strategy development also encourages integration. By discussing strategy with the client, you can learn what marketing strategies they are currently executing and explore ways to leverage those initiatives to benefit your link project. Furthermore, you’ll be able to communicate the potential benefits of integration with the client, which is key to truly integrating and building project buy-in.
Integrating with the client and company will also help you find previous marketing initiatives that might have generated unclaimed link opportunities.
For example, an excellent piece of content buried within the company’s giant site could serve as a linkable asset that’s just waiting to be promoted. Or perhaps the client ran a successful PR campaign that generated media coverage and exposure but left behind a number of unlinked brand mentions. These opportunities can offer quick wins and build early momentum for a campaign.
Through integration, you can maximize campaign efficacy, as well as secure links that support other initiatives, helping those initiatives succeed. By making other departments look good, you’ll get buy-in — making integration and collaboration even easier as the project progresses.
Enterprise companies can afford to execute a variety of marketing campaigns at any given time, which might generate extra opportunities for links. However, all these moving parts can lead to potential pitfalls, as well.
These corporations have their fair share of “red tape” and bureaucracy, and the key to reducing these obstacles is earning their trust early through effective communication.
Clear communication is vital to navigating the corporate hierarchy. When dealing with enterprise clients, you will often have a point of contact who still has to convince their bosses (who might not be SEO-savvy) of the validity of your project. By clearly communicating value to your contact, it’s easier for them to communicate that value “upstream” to decision makers and budgetary gatekeepers.
Effective and consistent communication can prevent a link campaign from being bogged down by red tape or a lengthy chain of command.
The old adage of “actions speak louder than words” rings true in enterprise marketing. All the communication in the world won’t mean much without transparency. Don’t just tell your client what you’re doing — show them!
Once you’ve established a rapport with the client, you can build further trust by being transparent in your work.
Transparency in terms of a link campaign means:
You can also demonstrate transparency to a client through consistent reporting and examples of how you represent them online.
Transparency in link acquisition starts with reporting. Large corporations have complex structures — meaning you need to impress your contact, and your contact’s boss. Providing detailed, frequent reports on how your project is progressing (as well as how it contributes to client goals) will keep your contact happy, because their boss will be happy.
However, bear in mind that enterprise businesses are accustomed to seeing high-quality reports. Your reports need to have the following attributes to cater to an enterprise client:
Consistent, comprehensive, professional reports will help build trust and provide your contact with the tools necessary to keep their managers happy.
Transparency is also important when dealing with large companies that have established brand equity and care deeply about how their brand is represented. Showing an enterprise company exactly how you will represent them during a campaign builds trust that’s essential to sustained success.
Of course, you can only build that trust if you’re able to accurately represent your client’s brand. Full transparency means you show the client how you’re representing them within your link campaign — show the client the sites you’re contacting and how you’re contacting them. Enterprise clients will be more trusting and comfortable knowing you’re representing their brand accurately.
Link acquisition is a challenging and nuanced practice, and it becomes even more complicated when working with a corporate brand. Two pillars of successful enterprise link building are communication and transparency.
Here is a recap of why they’re important, and how to successfully execute in these two areas.
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