Links – they have always been a buzz word that has sometimes confused company owners. Links are a SEO term, and the idea of a link can be hard for a company owner to understand. What they do understand is value; they can see creativity, they can notice a good idea…they can understand Real Company S#^! (RCS).
RCS is not merely building links, but its creating valuable assets that speak volumes about who a company is, what they stand for, and their personality, which if mixed with SEO techniques, lead to links. But, the first step is answering those questions: Who are we as a company? What do we stand for? What is our personality and how does it differ from our competition?
Here are 5 solid examples of companies doing effective RCS:
1. Dove’s Beautify Photoshop Action
Dove is clear about what they stand for – showing the beauty of “real women”, not women who are supermodels who are then photoshopped to “perfection”. Every single one of their campaigns has this unified philosophy that “real women” with all of their “flaws” and “imperfections” are beautiful and “real women” are who their products are aimed towards.
Photoshop is one of the main pieces of software that post production specialists use to enhance pictures of models. So, what did Dove do? They created a “Beautify” Photoshop action that “helped” to quickly “enhance” images (I know, I know, I’m almost at my quotation mark quota). This action appeared to add a skin glow effect, but what it really did, was revert the photo to its original state before it was manipulated and added this little annotation to the image:
Now you want to talk about links, because what’s the power of this if it doesn’t translate into link juice – I got you. Take a look at all of these beautiful, gorgeous, “real links”:
6,670 listings for the keyword term “Dove Beautify Photoshop Action”! That is at least 6,670 people online that have written about what Dove has done. Plus, they were able to bait links 2 ways – when they released it as a ordinary action and then when people found out it was a “trojan horse”. Most of all, it stayed on brand and echoed the statement directly of who they are and what they stand for – brilliant!
2. Shopify’s Executive Headshots
Shopify, the eCommerce software provider, could be as boring as they want. They are a CMS, a piece of back-end software that sites use to sell things through. The only thing is that they were started by young, fun, visionaries that aren’t afraid to display their personality. They are excited for everyone to know who they are as people and flaunt the fact that they are a young, fun start-up.
6 days ago, they posted this on Reddit, http://imgur.com/a/doncT#XOmcVzh. I thought these were awesome, and the first thing I thought was, “who are these guys”? I immediately did a search, and found out that these were the heads of Shopify. The next thing I did, was I shared this with 4 friends to look at – in that instance, they won. I guarantee that I was one of hundreds to do this – it was viewed on Imgur 25,333 times! Their content positively resonated with me, and now I have an extremely favorable sentiment towards this brand.
This is how you position yourself – do RCS and stand out from your competition. Get people to take notice of you through your personality, build awareness through your amazing content, and wave your company’s flag as high as possible.
3. Naked Wines 2.0
RCS doesn’t have to be external content, as a matter of fact, RCS usually starts with your own site. Naked Wines, the online wine seller, wants you to know that they care about their customers and that service is important to them.
Naked Wine’s RCS is transparency, their real company stuff is not hiding their mistakes, but being real about them and displaying for everyone to see (http://www.nakedwines.com/groups/two-zero.htm?cid=UK). But, what are they also doing? They are showing that they are quick to resolve an issue and providing answers, live, to anyone watching. They are also letting out secrets and sales and telling their customers how they can save money.
They have generated 4,218 user generated posts and have accumulated 879 loyal members in the UK alone that have now all become brand ambassadors through their great customer service and transparency.
We all know what Redbull sells, right? They are an energy drink company, but look at the above image. This is their website above the fold, can you find the product that they sell? Look at the top navigation – adventure, bike, eSport, motorsports…….where is the Redbull, the Sugar-Free Redbull, drink recipes, etc? Check out the upper right hand corner, that dark colored little link:
That’s it? That’s it.
Well, how do they expect people to know what they are and what they sell?
Look at everything else on the page. Its all about who they are, what their brand is about, what they love – that’s how they get people to know who they are. They invest time, money, and resources into supporting things that are most relevant to their brand. They get right in front of their audience by supporting what their audience cares about.
You’ve heard of the old link building “tactic”, sponsor an event or connect with people who like your product. Well, this is that, but instead of doing it as a tactic, it is putting your company behind it and making it a driver. This is turning tactics into RCS. It’s being a real company – knowing who your target market is, knowing how to connect with them and how your brand connects with them, and then supporting things that they love.
5. Blackmilk Clothing Product Shots
Whenever I shop online, I always have some reservations when purchasing because I always am unsure of how the clothes actually look and will look on me. Blackmilk Clothing takes those fears away by adding real life Instagram photos of their customers wearing their clothing.
If you take a look at Instagram, you are bombarded with “selfies”, people love taking pictures of themselves. Especially Blackmilk’s target demographic, the young, tech-savvy, fashionable woman, who is social and fun. They have created such a strong brand legion, where their visitors are now tied to their site as well as strong brand ambassadors. They are saying, “This is Blackmilk Clothing. These are the faces of the brand. Its not models or people forced to wear our clothing. We are real people, who look this way and that way.”
They have thousands of pictures of real people endorsing their brand and sharing them through Instagram, which is connected to Facebook and Twitter profiles, where hashtags are indexed and likes, shares, and re-tweets are all tracked.
Here are some figures:
#blackmilk – 148,529 posts
#blackmilkclothing – 144,722 posts
#blackmilkleggings – 5,018 posts
Imagine if every one of those posts were liked, tweeted, and shared on Twitter and Facebook and seen by a prospective new customer – now that’s powerful.
These 5 examples is what we want to strive for. We want to push for adding value through strong campaigns that will help our clients users to understand who they are and why they are different, and in-turn gain links. We want to help build online brands and not just websites. Stay tuned to see how Point It shows the world who our clients are through RCS.