Knowing where key decision-makers go for information and what type of digital media outlets influence their actions can give you a competitive edge in marketing your products, developing content and securing links. Recently, Forrester Research conducted a survey to determine the value of various publications and how key decision-makers were using them. Almost 1700 business-to-business (B2B) decision-makers and marketers from 21 industries were interviewed and asked to identify which digital publications they used to do their jobs.
According to the survey, industry specific magazines and electronic newsletters were the top e-media outlets B2B decision makers read and/or interacted with to do their jobs. Knowing this, how can you use these digital media outlets in your link building efforts? Let’s look at the link potential of each and how integrating messages across multiple platforms helps reach customers you might not otherwise reach.
- Industry specific magazines. These can also be called trade magazines, trade journals or trade publications. They are printed for and target marketing to a specific industry or type of trade/business. If you look through this resource you’ll see a long list of trade journals by industry. Most of the publications offer classified sections, their own directory’s and/or discussion forums with linking possibilities in each.
- Classifieds. Free or paid, most of the sites I checked were “do-follow”. You don’t have to create a classified ad to sell something, consider using it to direct visitors to your resource (article/white paper) area on your website. Add an incentive to the resource section and encourage people to link to your content. Try to add as much content to the classified ad as possible, this is a good opportunity for descriptive sentences surrounding optimized anchor text pointing to internal pages on your site.
- Specialty directories. A number of the magazines (and newspapers) I looked at had their own directories, they’re set up like most general directories. I did a post on this awhile back and listed some additional sources you can use. Look within the directory for opportunities to submit articles and blog content as well as your listing.
- Discussion forums. Forums related to trade magazines are much like traditional forums, members sign up and participate. Good exposure venue and sometimes, good for signature links. Take note of the posters with the highest number of contributions, check to see if they have websites or blogs. If yes, start commenting and develop a blogger outreach program in hopes they’ll host your content and links. Check out the advertising opportunities and ask if they host a newsletter.
- Electronic newsletters. Known as e-newsletters and ezines, this is a publication distributed via email. Electronic newsletters are an SEO dream; they’re topically focused, have targeted audiences, generally allow anchor text links and are archived after distribution. How do you find relevant newsletters? The easiest way is to find the top associations in your industry and ask about their newsletters. Most make you join the association before contributing to the ezine so factor that expense into your budget. Investing in trade associations may lead to additional networking (and link building) opportunities later down the road as well. You can also do a little utility linking with “newsletter” + “keywords” and use a tool like Google Sets to find variations on the term “ezine”.
While each of these media tactics is unique with strong link potential, they’re most effective when integrated. Make your business visible and spread your message across multiple platforms to become top-of-mind and generate quality links.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.