How to Earn Links by Building Brand Mind Share

by Jason Acidre on October 8, 2012 · 33 comments · Content, Search


Mind share is an element that denotes how powerful a brand is to its market. It is commonly a result of highly effective promotions, which makes the brand really popular, making its target consumers very aware of the product/service/solution that the brand offers.

As an objective for marketing campaigns, having a strong mind share is definitely vital these days as it can stretch a brand’s reach in several ways, such as:

  • Becoming an industry leader, and often becomes a brand that’s on top of people’s minds when asked or when they think about a certain product type or category (which can result to virality and/or word of mouth).
  • Becoming a brand name that can as well serve as a generic industry term, due to its uniqueness or popularity (ex: bandaid, Xerox, Coke, etc…).

Catapulting a brand to this kind of state – whether on or offline – can extremely influence how its audience sees it, and on how it can continuously grow its popularity (and sales).

Best of all, in our case, placing a brand in that position can certainly lead to attracting ton of high-powered and hard-to-replicate links.

This topic was actually covered on my presentation last week at Mastering Online Ranking Conference, and I just thought of sharing this part for those who weren’t there to see my presentation.

So below are some of the methods that your online marketing campaign can execute to achieve better mind share for your brand, and attract/acquire natural links along the process.

Focus on Upselling the Brand’s Unique Selling Point

I really liked Jason Goldenberg’s first advice to entrepreneurs (which I believe also applies to marketers) – “to find your company/brand’s one thing”. That one thing that will set you apart from your competitors falls at the intersection of these three aspects (as explained by Jason):

  • The one problem your brand is most passionate to solve.
  • The one thing the brand has a realistic shot at being the best in the world at.
  • A huge untapped market opportunity.

These things can point your business to a direction where it can have greater mind share, with lesser efforts needed to be exerted.

Focusing your marketing efforts to heavily demonstrate its USP alone will help you achieve better results in a short period of time. Because this component of brand identity is easily retained by those who have utilized or experienced the brand’s expertise/offered solutions.

Building Mind Share through Inbound Marketing

Start promoting your brand as an expert in that specific niche of your industry (that you have high potentials of being a leader). Since there are so many inbound marketing channels that your campaign can utilize to get to your target audience’s radars.

The more people see how passionate the brand is in giving solutions to that one particular problem/niche in its industry, the more they’ll be able to tell how authoritative and useful it is. And that sends strong brand signals to your audience that allows your name to be retained by their memory.

Develop content assets that can solve most frequently asked questions in your niche

For instance, I’ve been an online marketer for over two years now. But half the time of working on and promoting my own brand was somehow focused on writing comprehensive posts about link building (which is only a small fraction of the whole profession).

Why? Because I believed that I had better chances of getting up the ranks in this area of online marketing.

So when people started finding, reading and sharing my stuff, most of them immediately perceived that my blog is a resourceful content hub that specializes on link building.

It’s important to make the most out of your content assets by:

Be everywhere through Brand/Content Seeding

Once your foundation is already solid and ready to exemplify its greatness to its audience, you can start disseminating your brand’s USP through getting content placements from the right places.

When your campaign’s goal is to build a strong mind share, prospecting sites where your brand can get more exposure is easier (though getting them would be more challenging).

Step 1: Find related domains that have high search share

Search share would be the most important metric for this type of campaign. Because pages from domains that have high search share can easily rank on search results (especially for keywords that you might also be targeting).

By getting content placements from these sites, your brand will have continual exposure, as the pages where you have seeded a branded content in can continuously get search-traffic.

You can use SEMRush to identify domains in your industry that have high search traffic.

Step 2: Seed branded content on their pages that have high potentials of ranking for competitive terms

Upsell your brand’s unique selling point through your content contributions to establish authority and your expertise in your field. Because the more people in your industry see you participate and provide valuable insights on these channels, the more you can attract them to knowing more about your brand.

Content may come in various forms (it’s not just about guest blogging). Like standing out on community discussions by sharing high-utility inputs on forum threads, Q&A sites and/or blog comment threads.

For example, that comment was placed on a post on SEOmoz that’s currently ranking for the keyword “link building strategies” (which is obviously very relevant to the audience I’m targeting).

And that comment is sending continual traffic to the blog post I’ve highlighted on the discussion.

That can simply mean that some of the people who saw my comment and clicked-through the link may think that I know a lot about link building.

What more if I’ve built dozens or hundreds of spot on comments on pages that are consistently generating easily-engaged traffic?

Another method is sharing your expertise through guest blogging/authorship on sites that have strong search share. This branding/link acquisition technique can double the impact and efficiency of your campaign.  Particularly if you’ll focus on sharing posts that blend with your brand’s USP.

Hosting content on strong domains can easily allow you to (technically) rank higher for some of the search terms that your brand is looking to rank for.

For instance, my guest post on SEOmoz is currently ranking #1 for the search term “linkable assets”:

Why? Strong search share.

Try to get content placements on other strong domains in your industry and focus on topics that can really build your brand as an authority.

This is pretty similar to what I’ve done with my own guest blogging activities. If you’ll notice, most of my recent guest posts cover topics related to link building:

Because by the time I absorb their readers, they’ll be already acquainted with what I’m really good at.

Bonus: Utilize popular web 2.0 and user-generated sites

You can also use popular websites (like Youtube, Slideshare, Scribd, etc…) in distributing content that targets your campaign’s competitive keyword(s). This can also help in spreading brand awareness and in reaching more targeted audience.

Getting the links you deserve

Continuously providing usable content concentrated on validating your brand’s USP – on or off your site – will eventually make your brand be associated with the niche you’re trying to dominate.

The things that you do excessively, but precisely (the content you provide), will make you be on top of mind, when people come across the term often used to describe your niche/category.

Adding up all the contributions you do to solve your market’s problem(s) will result to constant acquisition of natural brand mentions, particularly when being cited as a resource for others’ works or when curating the best resources in your field.

Pick/create your own niche, and then scale

A good approach to building mind share is creating or reinventing a niche in your industry, in which you can slowly build your brand as its thought-leader.

This is very doable, especially to companies/individuals who truly understand their market’s needs and can provide the best solution to those needs. Here are a few examples I can think off at the moment (mostly from our industry):

  • Inbound Marketing = Rand and Dharmesh
  • Scalable Link Building = Ross Hudgens
  • Agile Marketing = Jonathon Coleman

But choosing to focus on an already existing niche/category and proving that your brand’s value proposition is best and can’t be matched by its competitors is not impossible.

And once you’ve succeeded on putting your brand in a good position on your chosen niche, it’ll be then much easier to explore other aspects of your industry – and have a dominant presence on those areas as well.

For instance, I’ve been recently invited on a group interview about conversions (even though I’m more known in the link building scene).

Building your brand as an authority in a specific part of your industry will open more opportunities for growth. It’ll just be a matter of how you want your brand to be seen in the future.

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to my feed and follow me on Twitter @jasonacidre

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre is Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, marketing consultant for Affilorama and Traffic Travis, and also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre and on Google+.

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Jun October 8, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Spot on as usual Jason! Had a very good read with this one and it’s very timely for a new project I’m handling. Have a great day bro!

Reply

John Garry October 9, 2012 at 1:25 am

I completely agree with you that you should focus on just one thing and become an expert on it. I once read that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in something. If you spend that much time on something, publish your discoveries on a blog or anywhere else, you will be soon recognized by other, mentioned by others and eventually, worshiped for what you do by others.

Thanks for writing this motivating post, Jason.

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Demian Farnworth October 9, 2012 at 7:28 am

You inspire me, man. Always great posts.

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Nick Stamoulis October 9, 2012 at 10:45 am

When building your own mind share, you need to make sure you make an effort to “share” from others. Even if you are doing all the right things by creating great content and promoting it through your social media networks, you need to mix up your offerings. Share content on your social profiles from other sources. The more you share, the the higher chances of them wanting to share your content or invite you to post on their sites.

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Pavel October 9, 2012 at 11:54 am

Great post Jason! Improving a brands mind share can be done effectively with inbound marketing. You gave a great step by step explanation on how to do this correctly and that is the reason why I keep coming back to your blog daily. Very educational.

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Raina Bright October 10, 2012 at 8:23 am

If your thorough article could be summed up in two of your words, I’d pick: “Be everywhere.” There are so many resources at our disposal today that we can use to build our presence as a person or brand. Social media is such a big part of this, of course, and I agree with previous commenters that its not enough to share your own stuff. You have to be a part of the community and share other, relevant content that you think your subscribers might benefit from or enjoy. I think this behavior goes hand-in-hand with the practice of discovering (and adjusting if necessary) your particular place within your chosen market. Active participation in social media will give you lots of feedback about who is interested in what you’re providing and why.

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Lucy October 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Lets face the fact, the ultimate motive for every business is positive promotion and building their brand. This post is really a great helper as building the brand of a company by Mind Share is explained step by step. much of the focus has been rightly shifted on Inbound marketing and Link building. Many businesses are on their way to success for implementing these types of marketing strategy.

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Dhruv Bhagat October 13, 2012 at 4:32 am

This is more like a perfect tutorial.

One should always promote his/her blog as a brand.. Facebook Pages, Twitter Profile are the starting of the blog’s marketing.. Your post is fabulous.. You have mentioned each and every point that one is searching for !! :)

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Alison Wood October 16, 2012 at 2:06 am

Incredible post Jason. Promoting yourself as a brand gives that extra and most needed nudge in the field of internet marketing. Content can definitely come in various forms apart from guest post, like taking part in online discussions, engaging with other commentators, Q and A sites etc.Perfect read and great tips. Thanks :)

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Annie October 18, 2012 at 2:43 am

Stupendous post and ideas. Promoting your brand as the leader and expert in your niche will drive good traffic and readers to your website. Provide useful content that really answers what readers are looking for. It will definitely give you a good brand name and value. Thanks Jason :)

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Luis@diseño,diseño web,magento October 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Great post Jason, really helpful for people like me who are just getting into SEO. Thank you for the advice and tips!

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Robert Koenig October 18, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Thanks for the advice! I like your screenshots with the helpful arrows to illustrate your points. Helps to break up the subject and prove you know what you’re talking about.

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Marcos Baker October 19, 2012 at 12:27 am

Thanks Jason! it Had a very good information with this one and it’s very timely for a new project I’m handling. and i will be using this soon

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Sanjib Kumar Saha October 23, 2012 at 2:10 am

Hello Jason,

Such a fantastic and exhaustive post. Building links is a major pursuit of most of the bloggers always. To achieve this objective, most of them do not leave trying out any option which they are confident about. Really a helpful post for all of us.

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Rajkumar Jonnala October 24, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Hi,

Wow awesome detailed post with case studies. I liked your writing style learned a lot from the post.

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Gabriel October 25, 2012 at 12:56 am

Building a strong brand and making my sites seen as authority sites has always been a struggle for me. I’m not sure if it is simply an inherent skill or something that one gets better with in time. I feel that I am getting better, but have been at it for years. Thanks for the insightful information.

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Sanjib Kumar Saha October 26, 2012 at 8:25 am

Hi, I love so much the way you progressively explain the steps to reach any goal. Great blog with a great subject. Surely practice makes the man perfect. Its your perception that is very effective. I simply love reading it.:) Fab tips with apt descriptions.:)

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Patrik October 30, 2012 at 10:32 am

Must say, this a very valuable post Jason. Inbound marketing, expertise in a niche and so on are largely result yielding methods.

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Jessica October 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm

full of incredible information. actually this is kind of new way to promote yourself as brand. And this stuff is working like hot cakes :) this is what i use to do though learned new stuff from your post too.

Thanks a lot for such a sweet post :)

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rino November 16, 2012 at 10:07 am

This type of article is usually a fee so thank you Jason! Your article is very informative and written with professionalism certainly will try it for my new project I’m about to start.

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Ankush Kohli November 19, 2012 at 6:14 am

I’m liking almost every article of your blog that I read. Best part is: your articles are actually based on practical analysis & research. Hopefully, will read more, thanks!

Ankush

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Saad Masood November 23, 2012 at 2:31 am

its an extensive research thanks for sharing
Great work

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Mukesh @ Online Business December 5, 2012 at 2:26 am

Hi, this is a great post indeed! This is my first visit to your blog and this is the second post I have read. You really inspire me. The concept of getting links by Mind Share is awesome! I’ll be visiting for more for sure!

Thanks!

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Sonny Payne December 28, 2012 at 4:05 am

I must say, your article is one of the best I’ve read today. I never thought promoting yourself as a brand would give such amazing results.

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Tarik January 9, 2013 at 4:42 am

Good job! Your tips are very helpful indeed!
Keep up the good work man!

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Lina@acne products February 10, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I like reading through a post that will make men and
women think. Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!

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Halley@healthy diet plan February 17, 2013 at 8:49 pm

I seldom comment, but i did some searching and
wound up here How to Earn Links through Mind Share | Kaiserthesage.
And I actually do have a couple of questions for you if you tend not
to mind. Is it just me or does it seem like a few of these responses come across as if they
are left by brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are writing at
additional social sites, I’d like to follow anything fresh you have to post. Could you make a list of all of all your shared sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

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