In the world of digital marketing and SEO, the topic of authority strengthening and link building is very much discussed, to say the least. In time, search engines such as Google got smarter and smarter, so over the years, it got harder to manipulate them with artificially made links on other sites. To this end, SEO practitioners realized it is necessary to earn links, not create them, and that this was the way to the actual authority.
In order to be able to win links, we have to analyze how websites (or businesses) get links, especially the ones that do not even dwell on links and SEO. Some of the most common ways are organizing or participating in different events, creating innovative products, different kinds of research, and various types of partnerships.
While working at an SEO agency, one of the first steps to getting links to our client’s site was to check who our client’s partners are. If these partners have a page that could link to our client, we would contact them or ask our client to do so and ask for a link to be made.
This is one legitimate way to get links and strengthen the SEO authority of a site. And for the most part, that was all we could do. Unfortunately, as an outsourcing agency, we couldn’t do much more than that. However, the more effort you invest, the more you will achieve. Here is one example:
Case Study: WolkAbout – Zerinth partnership
As an in-house specialist at WolkAbout, which offers its clients the Internet of Things platform, along with the rest of the marketing team, I also had the opportunity to participate in partnership activities. One of those partnerships was with Zerynth.
Zerynth enables its users to connect microcontrollers to the Cloud more easily, thereby significantly facilitating and accelerating IoT projects. It’s a familiar name in the IoT world and partnering with them is in itself a great ad for startups like WolkAbout.
Shortly after establishing the partnership, our embedded developers did their best to prepare all the documentation necessary for Zerynth customers. Consequently, we also received a link on Zerynth’s website.
However, our developers have gone the extra mile and prepared a small tutorial (or perhaps an example) on how to connect a microcontroller with Zerynth to the WolkAbout IoT platform. We took this opportunity to publish the tutorial on the very popular Hackster portal. On this occasion, we received another strong, relevant link to our site, and the tutorial was shared by some other, less known sites. But that’s not all. The tutorial used MikroElektronika’s microcontroller, who was also our partner. Zerynth, MikroElektronika, and Hackster shared this project on social media, exposing WolkAbout to their followers, who were also potential WolkAbout customers. Besides, Hackster also shared this project via email newsletter.
Lastly, at the IoT Tech Expo, the largest IoT event of the year, Zerynth used the WolkAbout IoT platform to demonstrate one of their IoT projects.
Summing it up
WolkAbout has thus gained some very valuable links that increase the site’s authority and chances for good rankings and online visibility with its potential users through social networks (via Zerynth, MikroElektronika and Hackster), as well as appearing at the largest IoT fair, all with employees working hours as the only resource consumed.
Pros and Cons
There are several advantages of being in a partnership:
- The possibility of being noticed by your partner’s audience
- It is quite common for a partner to invest in your promotion
- Bigger promotional potential
- Improving the site’s authority
- The possibility of creating mini case studies (very important for startups)
- By using partnerships, you show your value to potential clients (you are making a statement that other companies are willing to cooperate with you and believe in your importance)
- Increased attention from other potential partners
- Sometimes, it is perfectly manageable to achieve a lot without an extra budget, i.e. with time or workforce being the only spendable resource.
On the other hand, there are a few downsides as well:
- The partnership from the above case study is difficult to be organized by an outsourced team
- It takes a really good knowledge of the industry or niche, which is one of the reasons why it is hard for outsourced marketing to reap success
- More often than not, such partnerships are forced to include other employees, possibly from C-level employees to the actual performers, which makes the situation even more challenging as they are often too busy themselves
- The invested efforts should be equal on both sides, which also slows down the process.
This is a great example of how a little effort can produce great results. The marketing team, whether outsourced or in-house, could never do this alone without the help (in this case of the developers). The role of a marketing specialist is to advise, direct and utilize the full potential of the partnership in such a case.
Most businesses have ways of making such a company. It just takes some thinking in the right direction: how to demonstrate the potential of our product or service and our partners at the same time. This will also help you to answer the question of your potential partner.