When you create a SaaS product, you create a solution that solves a problem that people and brands battle. Most...
- Sourcing opportunities for link building and digital PR is one of the most significant hurdles for SaaS companies focused on SEO.
- Guest post opportunities are the best way to generate backlinks with highly-targeted anchor text.
- Locate the most popular conferences in your space and scrape the sponsorship data using Import.io.
- Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to map out the content marketing department.
- Use LeadIQ and BuzzStream to research and perform outreach to prospects.
- Use unique email copy to send to each prospect.
According to research by Backlinko, the number of domains linking to a page is correlated with rankings more than any other factor.
The problem? Frequently, links aren’t that easy to come across.
For software marketers, sourcing opportunities for link building and digital PR can be the greatest hurdle they face when looking to build their brand’s authority.
Similarly, finding valuable opportunities is a sizable hurdle for performance marketers. You are expected to build high-quality links to boost your content’s visibility continuously, but you may not know where to start.
We have found that guest post opportunities are the most effective and consistent way to gain links with power. But, didn’t Google’s Matt Cutts say guest blogging is dead?
Today, we are here to counter that statement and provide you with a baseline for how we generate digital PR opportunities for our software clients.
Why is guest posting so important?
Well, when you guest post, you are often able to point links back to product pages on your website that don’t usually earn links on their own. This targeted approach to link building allows us to earn links for our most valuable pages, increase bottom-of-funnel rankings, and, ideally, increase MQLs for our products.
Often, your guest posting partner will allow you to place one link that does not directly promote a product or service; however, you can use exact-match anchor text to a page with its targeted keyword.
For this reason, you can generate a handful of links to your solutions pages and boost your keyword rankings for pages that generate traffic for visitors looking to purchase your software.
This has a direct link to improving sales. That’s pretty essential, right?
So, how do we build links for a new client? Check out this simplified idea our team uses to secure guest post opportunities for our clients.
Building your guest posting presence
In today’s post, we are going to explore one of our favorite ways of sourcing new guest post opportunities, conferences.
We first start with a simple question:
- What are the most significant conferences in your industry?
More than likely, you have a good idea of what conferences your industry puts on every year. In software and SaaS, there is SaaStr, Dreamforce, SXSW, and Adobe Summit, to name a few.
However, if you don’t regularly attend or sponsor conferences, where do you find the conferences that your target audience is at?
If you aren’t sure where to start, a simple Google search can be an easy way to compile an extensive list of conferences in your industry. For example, for finding a list of SaaS conferences, you can Google, “SaaS+conferences”.
More than likely, your Google search results will include various “listicles” that show the top conferences in [insert year].
Next, scrape all of the results of each listicle and take into account the conferences that are mentioned more frequently.
If you want to do more research on each conference individually, access their website for more information or reviews by search “[name of conference] + reviews”.
From here, we go to the different conferences’ websites and look for the Exhibitor or Sponsorship page. Now, we have a competitive map of the industry’s most active marketers.
Scraping the data
Now, we use a data integration tool, like Import.io, to scrape the page. To scrape the page, we:
- Grab the URL of the conference sponsors page.
- Enter the URL into Import.io and click “Get Your Data Now”.
3. Create an extractor, and copy the information into a Google Sheets spreadsheet.
4. Work with the client’s team to remove any competitors that may show up.
We repeat this process for as many conferences as possible in their space. Make sure that you’re deleting duplicates along the way!
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Now that you have developed an extensive list of companies, it’s time to prospect. Our favorite prospecting tool is LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
Start by searching “Company name”, click on “Employees” and search “Content” in the “Title” section. You can use different variations of the term “content” depending on the naming structure of the positions in the company. For the most part, this will list out their content marketing team.
From here, you have mapped out your prospect’s content marketing department and can begin contact research and outreach.
Email and contact information discovery
To get email and contact information for the content marketing team, the Directive team trusts sales prospecting tools such as LeadIq or ZoomInfo.
Here, look for the email contact information for each of the prospects, as well as any phone numbers that you can find (yes, I said phone numbers). Reach out as a human. Don’t get caught up in your five-paragraph email that not even you want to read. Use your personality and get to the point of the email.
If you can not get a response, call them and explain how you’ll provide value for them.
(Link image to https://leadiq.com/2018/01/5-tips-to-conquer-your-leadiq-trial/)
Quality outreach is critical to land guest post opportunities. Your prospect is a real person, and the odds are that he or she wants to feel like you are trying to build a relationship with them and not wasting their time.
For that exact reason, customize your outreach as much as possible. They know when you’re using a templated email. They do!
Do your research before reaching out. Learn the following about them:
- Who are they?
- Do they accept guest posts in the first place?
- Who is their target audience?
- Does your audience align with theirs?
- Do you know what their company values?
- Have you actually read a piece of their content?
If you do a little prep work beforehand, you can have a genuine conversation about creating a partnership that begins with guest posting.
To scale our outreach efforts, we use Buzzstream. Instead of having to scavenge our inbox, we can organize all of our outreach specifically for guest post opportunities into one single folder.
From this approach, we can track our interactions with prospects to determine the viability of the guest post opportunity and stay on top of each response.
Link building reality
Link building is necessary for SEO growth, plain and simple. Yet, it seems like it gives software marketing teams the most headaches.
To powerfully launch your link building strategy, what does your team need to do?
- Be creative and consistently find the right audience watering holes.
- Consistently manage your prospect relationships, which takes time.
- You may need to have a team of writers and editors, which requires time and money.
To see real results we have delivered to our software clients, check out our case studies.