Linkbranding and Influencer Engagement: How to Do It Right

John Doherty recently coined the term “LinkBranding” – moving beyond SEO oriented link building to get links that deliver sustainable brand value. Because these links are for people as well as search engines, they deliver more than just SEO value – they drive relevant, engaged traffic AND build brand equity.

What Does This Look Like?

In great linkbranding campaigns, marketers engage relevant influencers and deliver overwhelming value to them. This is a pretty abstract concept to wrap our heads around, so let’s look at an example.

I was reading one of my favorite startup blogs, Startup Lessons Learned by Eric Ries, and I noticed its great new design. (Eric’s blog is about the lean startup – basically ensuring startups build things people want by using customer development and market validation techniques to avoid the failure of the late 90s.)

But wait! In addition to a new design, there’s this badge from the design company, Digital Telepathy. (I’ve outlined it in red for visibility.)

Linkbranding at its finest

Let’s take a closer look:
digital telepathy badge

This is what great online marketing looks like.

In one fell swoop, Digital Telepathy:

  • Gets in front of an incredibly influential audience of founders, VCs, CEOs, and other executives.
  • Builds trust by associating themselves with a thought leader in startup theory.
  • Gets referral traffic from Eric’s blog.
  • Gets a site-wide exact match anchor text link (things SEOs’ dreams are made of) on a high authority site that will only get better with age.

All for the cost of one custom Blogger theme. And that, my friends, is linkbranding.

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