Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard a lot of our larger clients talking about affinity marketing. For those that don’t know, affinity marketing is a marketing method that links complementary organizations for marketing purposes. These strategic alliances should be established to benefit both parties.
In these client discussions, a lot of the talk about affinity marketing has been about targeting.
“We’re stepping into a niche in healthcare and are partnering with ______ Association to cross-promote our efforts. We’ll advertise through their marketing channels in exchange for discounts to their members.”
However, there’s a missing loophole in these partnerships: SEO. Everyone from Aaron Wall to Matt Cutts talks about the importance of developing quality links back to your website. But no one ever tells you the best way to do it. With all of this current buzz we’re hearing about affinity marketing, here are a few things you shouldn’t forget to make an affinity marketing plan work for you from an SEO perspective.
- Don’t Forget the Press Release. Many organizations develop strategic alliances with other companies every day…but forget to tell people that they did it. A press release should serve two purposes: generate that wonderful PR buzz for your organization AND a way to link back to both sites. If this is done right, and released correctly, you can drop in keyword links in the article for added benefit. PR Newswire offers SEO optimization as does PR Web when you’re sending out a press release.
- Don’t Forget Social. So, you’ve established an affinity marketing program with a massive trade organization. You’re both on Facebook and Twitter…and don’t follow or “like” each other. Why? You should be holding public conversations between your two brands through both of these mediums. Share articles with each other. Generate buzz. That’s what the partnership is about, right? Doing so, can also add to the odds that you’ll generate new followers and “likes” and also, sharing links to your own articles…great for SEO especially if they’re retweeted by your fellow affinity marketing partner.
- Don’t Forget the Links. When you establish an affinity marketing partnership, make sure to cross link between your two sites. While cross linking two sites isn’t quite as powerful as having a sole link to your site, it’s still a quality link and a great idea for you to share traffic with your alliance partner.
- Don’t Forget to Be a Resource. One of the benefits of affinity marketing is sharing expertise. You may know a great deal about a topic that your partner doesn’t and sharing that information can help both of you. This is really what your new partnership should be all about. Don’t be afraid to guest-blog in each other’s blogs or share information with each other. For instance, if you’re an IT organization partnering with a local chamber of commerce, ask them if you can guest write a post in their blog. Or, re-post some of their events related to your services and ask them to do the same in return. All the while, pay attention to the keywords that are placed in the blog and posts for each of you also can be of benefit as you can link those words back to the appropriate page on your website.
There are a number of other great ideas, outside of just these, that you should consider for SEO and other web marketing strategies with your new partnership. If you’re looking for help or have any questions, post below and I’ll be glad to answer. Thanks for reading!