We recently blogged all about media links and how it was possible for brands to earn high quality hyperlinks from media sites such as the BBC and the Telegraph along with many others.
This prompted a question from one blog reader who emailed in to ask how much we charge to deliver a link from the BBC’s website?
It seems like a straight forward question, but we felt the answer was complex enough to warrant a further blog post!
We want to be absolutely clear on this so we are going to state it in simple terms, it isn’t possible to buy a link from the BBC. It cannot be done and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. Don’t believe them.
The BBC doesn’t sell advertising (although it’s regular plugging of Facebook and Twitter may prompt some to question this). In fact, it’s in the BBC’s Charter, that the Corporation cannot endorse commercial enterprises. This is designed to keep the BBC impartial and above the influence of private companies and marketers. And this restriction includes linking to profit making websites.
So no PR or SEO agency can ‘sell’ you a link from the BBC. It’s one of the reasons why these links are so highly valued. In fact I have heard a link from the BBC described as the ‘Holy Grail of SEO’. Because Google knows these links can’t be bought they are among the most prized in the world of search optimization.
Earned not bought
That doesn’t mean that your quest for a BBC link is hopeless. But like all high value links they have to be earned and not bought.
Over the last ten years several of our clients have enjoyed hyperlinks into their websites from BBC News online and have benefited hugely from the associated SEO benefits such links bring.
But in each of these cases the links had to be earned and we did that by telling the client’s strongest stories in a way that digital BBC news writers found compelling enough to feature on the website.
A good example is this wonderful piece we did together with BBC Futures on our client Richard Dinan and his nuclear fusion plans. This piece offers genuine interest and insight and isn’t just a free plug for the client. But the link to Richard’s company Applied Fusion Systems is very welcome.
Another example is this BBC profile of our online baby gifts client My1stYears.com which includes a lovely link into their homepage.
If your goal is a link from the BBC, or any other high value media site come to that, your thinking must change from, How do I get a link? to What story do I have to tell that a journalist might be interested in? And then, how do I tell it?
Once you have identified your strongest story the next part of the process is to consider which journalist might be most interested. This means taking some time to research who is writing about similar subjects and once you have identified one or perhaps two likely contacts the next phase is to consider how to approach them. Pitching to media is a whole other subject and one we will save for another post.
So a link from the Beeb isn’t something you can buy, but rather something you can earn, if you are prepared to do the preparation, if you have an interesting enough story to tell, and if you are able to build a relationship with the right person and can win their interest and confidence.
It’s not easy and will take time, but then again the most difficult links to earn are often the most valuable in SEO terms. But to obtain them you need to stop thinking about what’s in it for me? and start to think what is it about me that could possibly interest them?
© London PR 2017