Link Building Assets
Link builders will often focus in on the link-able assets that you have on your website. These are the items that answer the question of, "why is someone going to link to me?" They can be anything from your blog to graphics or a unique product or special offer. But there are other assets not found on your website that can play an integral role in your link building strategy that need to be accounted for.
These other assets are people.
The human asset plays a critical role at all points of your link building strategy, from planning and research to creation and acquisition people are important. After all, links don't just build themselves magically.
The VIPs (besides you)
As the chief strategist, architect or whatever you want to call yourself you have to have a complete understanding of the roles that everyone and anyone could play in your link building strategy. So here's a list of the team that you should be building and the roles they play in the strategy:
These are your power players within any client. They tend to be the faces of the company and when they speak people listen. They have some weight that can be thrown around to basically get things done your way. They are use to be asked for quotes on industry topics or company programs but make sure when they say "not a problem" they really say "not a problem as long as you place a link back to my company in the piece".
Executives aren't always that easy to wrangle. So who else, besides the executive themselves, knows their schedule, movements and just about everything in their daily lives? Their assistants. Keep the assistants close because they will know ever speaking engagement or quote request that comes through the door. They will tip you off to what is happening so you can make sure they are working for links with you.
When something happens or is about to happen these are the folks that know about it. They have a read on the pulse of the industry and company like no one else in the organization. They need to know everything because that is their job. So, when they are planning something or have discovered something make sure you are on their list of contacts. Being the one to blow the top off something or be part of the initial announcement can sometimes be critical to rapid link growth.
The marketing team always seems to be "up to something". And, you need to know what that is. No matter what they do, it is going to make it online somewhere and you better make sure that includes a link. They also tend to do a lot of planning, months and months in advance they know where their dollars are going. So, you better be planning too. As soon as you know where they are going you should be right there with them to make sure every dollar has a maximum benefit across multiple channels, including link building.
Social Media Team
Outside of customer support, the social media team probably has the best understanding of what your brand advocates care about and what is being shared (linked to). Pick their brains and pick them often. What is the hot topic? What do they see people sharing? Is there talk about the brand, the executives or the product? Is it good? Is it bad? All great stuff to know so you cater you strategy to what is working to generate links in the industry you are working in.
These are the folks that are your text generators. They are writing their hearts out on the blog, in the copy of the site and sometimes are crafting the guest posts that appear on other industry sites. This is a great teaching opportunity. You want them to know all about links and what they can do for the site. So, once they know what you are looking for in links they become a real partner in crime.
They know everything there is about the product as it is currently being sold and what the product will look like in the next iteration. So, learning what they know and what is coming is critical to creating a proactive link building strategy. If the next version of a product has a new capabilities like, now also runs on Mac versus being only Windows-based previously, that is huge information so you can begin researching your link targets before they even know what is about to hit the market.
Features, features, features. Web developers are usually working on "something cool" to go on the website. If that "something cool" is unique enough it will be link-able. So, like with Product Developers, get in the know with this team because you needed to know yesterday about that feature so you can be prepared for the launch.
You want that infographic done well, right? So you better be in with these guys & gals. If they don't know the power of a professionally done graphical link building piece, educate them. Once they know what the value is and the potential viral effect, they will be right there with you trying to make it the best piece ever.
Employees tweet, blog, use LinkedIn and have a bagillion Facebook friends. So when something happens, make sure they know about it because they will tweet it, blog about it, share it and ultimately link to it.
Did I miss someone? Who else have you found to be a valuable Human Asset to your link building strategy?