The Works-Every-Time Tactic For Connecting With Influencers AND Generating Backlinks
by Jennifer Spivak | June 14
If there were a simple yet effective content marketing tactic that could help your brand connect with targeted influencers while generating tons of high-quality backlinks with minimal effort, you’d want to know about it, yes?
Enter the roundup post.
A roundup post consists of gathering insight and commentary from people that you deem to be experts, and compiling them (with links back to their website or social media handles) into one blog post for your readers. This is a great content marketing tactic to try for three main reasons. For one, it helps position your blog as an information channel; by aggregating insightful comments and information through interviews, you become known as a source for useful knowledge and new information. Additionally, creating inbound links for the people you quote in your roundup posts helps you foster relationships with people who will in turn share your content with their own on-line (and off-line) communities. This approach is a strong way to increase your distribution reach AND number of quality backlinks to your site. Lastly, the roundup post is an effective piece of content that requires little editorial time on your end; since you are compiling commentary from others, you won’t have to spend a ton of time planning and writing content. The real work, however, lies in the outreach.
Here’s an example of a high performing roundup post: CB Insights published “51 Startup Failure Postmortems” earlier this year. They reached out to a majority of founders that had owned or worked for failed startups to create a bold stack of advice for new entrepreneurs.
The CB Insights roundup garnered a lot of traction through this post because they interviewed 51 startup founders who most likely shared their content (or the fact that they were quoted!) with their social following. This type of content dramatically increased SEO for the post because it garnered over 51 high-authority, relevant backlinks. On a larger scale, it indicates that a high volume of people on the web find the information from CB Insights valuable and reputable in a specific area of content, and thus Google ranks them highly for certain keywords. In the screenshot above, you can see that one of CB Insights’ web pages holds the top position in search engine results for the keywords “venture capital database.”
In addition, the post was filled with valuable information for people who are constantly looking for the right ways to build a successful business. Even though their businesses are defunct, the people behind the startups shared advice that could be leveraged across a variety of industries. This in turn could create teaching opportunities for the individuals quoted in the roundup at accelerators, incubators, and other entrepreneurial spaces. If done well, your roundup post can provide value for you AND your influencers.
Creating Your Roundup
The easiest way to go about creating a roundup post is to pull quotes from articles across the web and compile them in one place. Although this provides some value to a reader—you’ve saved them time from having to scour through 10 articles by aggregating everything in one place—it isn’t of utmost value since you are simply regurgitating old information that already exists. Instead, create a valuable roundup post by planning time to reach out to influencers to gather direct quotes and stories from them. (This also helps build a relationship in a non-promotional way, so that when it is time to promote the post, it isn’t the first time you are reaching out to them, and they’ve had input into the story!) Furthermore, give ample thought to what numbers capture your attention in a headline. Ten is good – but 20 is great. The more new information you can pack into a roundup post, the higher its value.
Reach out to your influencers by stroking their ego and asking for a request in a polite way. Clearly share why you have selected the person; by making the invitation to contribute feel exclusive and special, you can immediately increase your chances for a response. Also be sure to state the benefit you will provide to the blogger if they are to contribute to your post (HINT: backlinks are gold to any blogger). Make sure to be clear on what you are working on, and be friendly in your approach.
When distributing this content, you will want to make sure you use your influencers’ handles or names across various channels. For example, on Twitter, you might compose a tweet that reads:
“@influencer1, @influencer2 and @influencer3 explain why roundup posts are the best: [link]”
This not only serves as a driver for people to want to click on your links (“mmm…Influencer1 said this? I want to read it!”), but also alerts your influencers that you are sharing their insight with your followers. In turn, that influencer’s followers may also share the content, increasing your distribution reach. It’s a win-win for both of you.
Another great way to ensure that your influencers know about your content is to follow-up with a “thank you” email to the people you quoted, and share the link of the post with them once it’s ready. The end-goal, of course, is to have the influencers want to promote the fact that they were quoted, leading them to include a short write-up on their own site with a link back to your roundup.
Three birds killed with one stone? Check.