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How your customers can help you build links

Customers. Chances are, a good proportion of your budget is spent either finding them, converting them, or keeping them.

They’ll come in pretty handy if you’re trying to generate revenue. And more than simply contributing to your top line, they can also help to inform product development, optimise your customer experience and offer the insights that steer your business strategy.

Yep; they’re quite useful indeed.

But one way you might not be harnessing your customers is by working with them to boost your website’s visibility through search. When outreach to influencers goes stale, or if you’re struggling to make headway with your content marketing, working with your customer and prospect base can be an effective tactic to generate awareness and SEO value. Here’s how…

Use your prospects to build an outreach campaign

How many times have you stared despairingly at your blog schedule and thought: “Oh. We have nothing to write about. Again”? Your clients will likely come up against that same issue too.

Here’s an idea, then. Take a look at your prospect list and you’ll see a bunch of organisations with their own web presence. There’s a good chance they’ll be keen to test out, review or just play with your products or service (ideally on a complimentary basis). And they might even fancy writing about their experience on their own blog.

That doesn’t only serve up awareness, and potentially a link. It gets you a foot in the door at one of your prospects. You now look like a rock star. Bingo.

An age-old B2B PR pillar: the humble case study

Everybody needs them. No one wants to produce them. Case studies – that most elusive marketing of prizes – can be so much more than a mere sales aid.

If your company (and preferably you or your marketing department) is able to strike up a rapport with a few friendly customers, you’ll hopefully be able to encourage them to work with you on a case study. Heck, your best buds over in the sales team may even have secured a few for you already.

Don’t let them stagnate in a PowerPoint one moment longer. Unshackle them and use them to pitch to trade journalists. Case study content is the fabled “PR gift that keeps on giving”. In this case, what it can give you is a nice wedge of coverage for your organisation in an esteemed industry title, along with (hopefully) a link back to your website.

Working with your customer and prospect base can be an effective tactic to generate awareness and SEO value.

Awards that reward

Like the sound of that PR-led approach? Great! Here’s another route you can explore then. How about using those aforementioned case studies to enter industry awards?

Every sector under the sun has an industry rag or body punting an awards ceremony. Whether you’re an international supercar brand or a local toilet paper distributor, there’ll be some form of commendation or honour up for grabs. Scout them out and take a look through the entry requirements.

Provided you’re not expected to hand over any material you don’t want to share (sensitive commercial information), and the fee isn’t too prohibitive (some can be), entering awards programmes can be a great way to generate visibility and potentially even links for your brand.

Even if you don’t win, being shortlisted or nominated will usually serve up a mention on the dedicated awards microsite. Take home the big prize, or come close, and you might find that industry or local press will mention you too. Plenty of great linking potential to be had there.

Share your ideas

So, there are a few suggestions from us. But what’s your experience? If you have any thoughts or alternative ideas, feel free to comment below!