Relationship MarketingAlthough most SEOs currently stress the importance of content marketing, relationship marketing is a highly effective strategy to add to the mix. As Google continues to debut increasingly effective Panda and Penguin updates, SEOs must adapt in order to maintain their visibility and rankings. Relationship marketing is a successful technique because when it is applied properly, the connections that you build will stand the tests of time and algorithms.

This is a long-term strategy so don’t expect immediate results. However, with patience and hard work, your relationship marketing campaign will bring plenty of rewards. Visibility and social mentions are the primary products of relationship marketing, but this technique also increases organic link building, site traffic, and ultimately conversions.

There are two primary facets to relationship marketing: relationships with customers, and relationships with other industry professionals.

Customer Relationships

Relationship marketing allows you to build a sturdy fan base made of loyal, devoted customers. As your bond with your customers grows, you will see a plethora of rewards that allow you to improve your customer’s experience of your brand.

  • Customized advertising: building a relationship with your customer base lets you get to know the individuals that support your brand. You will soon be able to recognize the needs of your clients. Your customers will appreciate your ability to meet those needs before other companies are even aware of a problem.
  • Direct feedback: if your customers are comfortable with you, they will feel free to discuss problems directly with you. Any problems with your products or advertising will be pointed out quickly so that you can address them before the issue gets out of hand.
  • Deeper sympathy: when things do go wrong, a customer base that has experienced relationship marketing will be much more likely to be sympathetic and forgiving.

So how do you build this kind of relationship with your customers? Offer them great content that tells a story and relates to their circumstances. Develop an understanding of your target audience, so that you can present content with which they can interact. This kind of marketing increases likes and shares and therefore your visibility and rankings.

Industry Relationships

Using relationship marketing to connect to other professionals in your industry is an effective way to establish your authority. Although relationship building has often been a link building strategy, a successful relationship marketing campaign should be more focused on strengthening connections in an honest, trustworthy manner. This type of relationship marketing is ruined the instant that you come off as fake or too focused on gaining links.

SEOs may find relationship marketing hard to sell to clients, since the ROI is difficult to calculate, but relationship marketing is becoming an increasingly critical element to most SEO campaigns. Some of the typical relational strategies include:

  • Creating guest posts for colleagues’ blogs
  • Developing product reviews

However, in order to have the authority to successfully engage in these techniques, you must first produce outstanding content of your own. Subsequently, relationship marketing calls for better writers who can produce better content.

Social media is a great source of contacts for industry relationships. Erin Everhart suggests starting with LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter to find reputable industry professionals. Another great strategy is to use Google Ripples to discover what individuals are interested in your content already.

Above all, keep your professional relationships genuine. The point of relationship marketing is to foster a community that supports your product, even if it takes time. Don’t get so hung up on getting links and visibility that you lose focus on the foundations of great relationship marketing: excellent content and solid relationships.

How are you using relationship marketing to promote your brand?