Link Building in 2012
The work of Google’s Panda and Penguin updates has been discussed ad nauseum, but what remains is a much different landscape for marketers. The value of links is constantly changing from month to month it seems. Even link strategies such as guest blogging and developing infographics are coming under fire by Google and may not be a legitimate source of quality links soon. So what’s a marketer to do?
I want to take a look at a recent campaign put on by Uber, a personal taxi service operating in a handful of major cities, including here in Chicago. They launched a marketing campaign that was truly quite simple; rent an ice cream truck and give away ice cream (!!) to users who requested the truck via their mobile app. The Next Web has a good follow up if you want to see more of the campaign.
Besides the obvious fact that people love ice cream (especially on a 90+ degree day), look at what this campaign achieved:
Rewards existing users – a $12 fee gets the truck to your location. $12 is easily shared amongst a group of co-workers. Or even if you paid the $12 solely, you can brag about buying all of your co-workers ice cream. Win-win.
Recruits new users – There were plenty of sign up flyers being passed out with the ice cream, which included a code for $10 in Uber credits.
Awareness + Links – The amount of social buzz around the campaign, plus the amount of coverage across the web was pretty impressive. Sites like The Next Web, Mashable, and others covered the campaign. Not too shabby.
Social buzz + Press coverage = link building in 2012
Are these the most relevant links? Maybe not by definition – but they are certainly from authoritative sites. Anchor text will be varied, so no worries of being too optimized. Social buzz drives traffic, likes, +1′s, new signups, etc. Media mentions drive further traffic and awareness.
Let’s summarize: press, social buzz, links, plenty of good will. Yep – seems like a successful campaign to me. Welcome to link building in 2012.