Doing Real Business: How Offline Events Can Impact Link Building

A little while ago the online marketing community was enamoured with Will Reynolds’ RCS video and rightly so. It encouraged us to stop trying to build on hot air and harness the power of the Real Company Stuff that our businesses or the businesses we work with do/should be doing (I know that it is technically not “stuff” but I can’t bring myself to type the other word…you know the one I am talking about!).

To quote Will, “AS SEO’s it’s time we live up to a higher standard, [this RCS presentation is] not about link juice or Do Follow blogs. It is about what we should aspire to be, now let’s go and DO….”

There is no better way of ‘doing’ than through a fantastic event, attended and enjoyed by real people and offering genuine value to everyone involved. This is the kind of real, live ammunition we need for our PR and link building campaigns.

A Quick Case Study

Take this case study for example. A high end clothing store organised a fashion event where fashion bloggers could create outfit combos for models from their clothing ranges. The outfits were snapped and turned into animated gifs for the bloggers to use on their blogs. Oh and there was a free bar, goody bags being given away and a DJ too. That evening over 105,000 people were reached through Instagram and Twitter and a lot of these bloggers went home and (surprisingly) blogged about the event, linking back to the website. I haven’t really done justice to the awesomeness of this event so read about it yourself here.

Exhibitors/Vendors:

If you are an event organiser then there are many ways in which you can leverage your event for links back to your site. Whether you organise craft fairs, food markets or networking events you can start by asking your exhibitors/vendors to link back to your site. Make your events so awesome that it is an accolade for vendors to say that they are a part of them and they will share the link love in a shot.

Venue:

It doesn’t have to stop there. What about the venue you are hosting your event at? Perhaps they have an online diary or blog where they share information about their upcoming events. Work with your event manager at the venue to ensure your details are featured in any resources they have.

Speakers:

It could be that you have booked a visiting speaker who has their own blog or website. When booking them, ask them if they would mind blogging about the engagement on their site with a link back to your own. If your speaker uses slides then upload the slideshow to your website with an embed code so that others can share it on their own website whilst crediting your own.

Local Guides and Press:

Most towns will have a range of ‘what’s on’ guides where you can register your events. Check out the websites of your local council, newspaper and tourist information centre to see whether or not this is an option. Also have a look for niche events calendar websites that curate lists of events happening around a certain theme as you may be able to register your event on their site too.

Depending on the type of event you are running you could look at writing a press release about it. If it is innovative or in aid of a good cause you might find that your local press pick up on it and publish the story on their website. Just make sure that you include a link in the PR, or a mention of your business name at the very least.

Photography:

Most events will have a photographer floating around during the day. After the event you could offer the use of your event pictures to stall holders or delegates in exchange for a credit back to your website (of course you can only do this if you own the rights to the photos).

These quick ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. I strongly recommend that you watch Will Reynolds talk on #RCS.

Vicky