Local Sponsorship for SEO: Why You Need It
What Is local Sponsorship
The success of SEO-promotion of your site and the improvement of its position in the search results is directly dependent on two components: quality content and the presence of backlinks. Backlinks from reputable resources give your site significance in the eyes of search engines.
For large companies and well-known brands, getting backlinks is not typically difficult. These companies usually receive coverage in the media, mentions in blogs, advertising from influencers, and much more.
What about the small local business? Getting backlinks for smaller companies is often a race for survival. They either buy a large number of low-quality links (which often does not meet their expectations), or they abandon the idea of sponsorship and give preference to business-related matters. However, backlinks are vital, and this cannot be ignored, especially when it comes to local SEO. Find out more about this topic in Local SEO Checklist 2020.
There is a way out of the situation. Firstly, if this is an independent outreach, it will take a lot of time and perseverance. Secondly, it can be a local business sponsorship. Read about outreach in the Blogger Outreach article.
Local sponsorship involves partnerships with local organizations, where each party receives a certain profit.
What opportunities does local sponsorship give for your business:
- Establish long-term and promising partnerships.
- Present your business to a potential audience.
- Establish contacts with local media.
- Get backlinks from reputable resources. More info here – Build High-Quality Backlinks.
- Get referral traffic to the site.
Local sponsorship usually requires a certain amount of money but not all of the time. It can also be barter where you provide your product or service in return for another, or it can be volunteer assistance in organizing or conducting an event.
How and Where to Look for Partners for Sponsorship
Even though the concept of local sponsorship is easy to understand, the question of how to acquire sponsors can sometimes cause difficulties.
First of all, if you are interested in possible cooperation, this should be indicated on your site. Leave a direct number for someone who can advise a potential sponsorship partner.
- Use services to find local sponsors, such as SponsorMyEvent, SponsorPark, SponsorPitch, or Sponseasy. Such platforms showcase companies that offer their sponsorship services with events that need support.
Sponsor My Event
- Explore events that take place in your area. Contact the organizers and find out about possible sponsorship of the upcoming event.
- Pay attention to competitors in your industry. See who they sponsor and conduct research in this direction.
Here is a list of areas/directions/organizations/events that most often need sponsorship (take a note):
- Sports teams
It can be absolutely any sport (football, basketball, tennis, hockey). Both teams for adults and children look for sponsors. If they compete, they need sponsors.
- Sporting events
Biathlon, triathlon, charity races, and more.
- Art and culture
Thematic exhibitions and music festivals happen in most cities, and they always need support.
- Animal welfare organizations and shelters
Usually, they hold fairs looking for families for homeless animals, but they also have other events that require sponsorship.
- Business events
They can be specialized conferences, congresses, or trainings.
- The fashion industry
Fashion shows, Fashion Week, presentation of the capsule collection for a famous designer – all this can be very interesting for sponsorships.
- Educational activities
Courses, lectures, or training.
- Situational events
Meetings in defense of women’s rights, LGBT parade, and more.
- Street markets and food festivals
In the warm season, this is especially true.
You need to have a clear idea of how you see this dealing working out. What are you ready to offer, and what benefits do you want in return? It is better to make this list in advance in written form as a proposal for cooperation, and then attach it to an email.
What to Look for Before Entering into a Partnership
If you have decided which event or organization you can potentially sponsor, specify the following nuances before signing a contract:
- Type of link
- The reputation of the organization
Check out successful sponsorship cases of the chosen organizations. Have they fulfilled the obligations to their previous sponsors? What feedback did past partners leave about them?
- Thematic and geographical availability
If you make baby strollers in Colorado, it is hardly worth choosing Comic-Con in New York for sponsorship.
- Relevance of content on the organization’s website
If the organization’s website is unattractive, unreadable, or unmodern, do not waste your time.
Think about how much money you can spend.
- The duration of the link placement on the site
If your link will be active for several days and you plan to invest a lot of money, calculate whether your investments will pay off in the end.
What Sponsorship Packages Are There?
The next stage of interaction with the organization that you plan to sponsor is a clarification of the contract and the provision of a sponsorship package of services. The sponsorship package includes the benefits that you get for investing your money. Sponsorship packages are different, and they may depend on the amount of the donation. They could possibly offer you a different set of services. Let’s look at the main ones.
- Mention on the site
Just mentioning your company on the organization’s website will not do any good for SEO.
- Clickable company banner or active link
This is just what you need for additional traffic to the site.
- Content sponsorship
What is sponsor content? This is the creation of unique content by the sponsored organization for the brand sponsor.
Example: A sponsored video by MediaPlanet U.S. for PayPal included a talk about the Recharge Program for mothers who want to return to work.
Suppose your baby stroller company sponsors Mother’s Day in your city. The organizers have access to a large blog for parents and can write an article about the best strollers. The blog can indicate that the article was posted with the support of a partner. This is called sponsored content.
This element of the sponsorship package can be included for almost everyone because any company can become sponsors for content creators.
- Tickets for the event
This service is almost always included.
- Your company logo on the form of participants, event banners, printed materials
This is an integral part of marketing sponsorship.
- Placement of your stand or photo zone at the event
After you are offered a sponsorship package, consider whether your investment will pay off and how profitable and beneficial this sponsorship will be for you.
What is a Sponsorship Activation?
To be a sponsor that lives up to its expectations, pay attention to the need to activate your sponsorship rights.
Sponsorship activation is the direct participation of the sponsor company in marketing activities for direct interaction with the target audience.
What you need to activate the sponsorship:
1. Define your goals
We already mentioned this point but it is worth digging deeper. Think about what you want to achieve and whom to reach out. Based on which audience that you want to reach out to, you can create a sponsorship marketing plan to achieve specific goals. Do this by getting traffic to the site, improving brand recognition, directing sales, and much more.
2. Decide exactly how you want to participate in sponsorship marketing
After you have decided on the goals, you can proceed to their implementation. Consider the possibility of putting them into practice a little later during the first sponsorship activation.
3. Make a plan
Any strategy begins with a plan. Plan how you will coordinate promotions, social networks, and other manifestations in order to maximize the impact of your sponsorship.
4. Decide how you will determine the effectiveness of your campaign
Think in advance about the tools and possibilities for making calculations. When drawing up a report at the end of your sponsorship, you can evaluate its effectiveness. Discuss this with the sponsored party.
5. Get all rights and permissions
Before starting the campaign, you need to clarify all the details and get the necessary permissions. Find out which hockey players you can cooperate with and whose faces you can use for advertising, etc.
6. Proceed with sponsorship activation
When the plan is drawn up and all the details are agreed upon, you can proceed with the implementation of sponsorship activation. Do not forget that a successful campaign can only be considered if the obligations of both parties are fully fulfilled and everyone received the feedback they were expecting.
Here are some inspirational sponsorship activation examples.
1. Heineken: The Candidate Project
For 16 years now, Heineken has been an official partner of the Champions League and successfully uses sponsorship activation to promote its brand annually. They often held local promotions with raffle tickets after the purchase of their products, but there were also larger projects that they participated in.
In 2014, the company announced that it was looking for a person for the position of organizing events and sponsorship and there were about 1734 interested candidates.
There were specifically created stressful and awkward situations for the applicants in order to determine their personal qualities during the interview. Only three candidates reached the final round, and one was selected through an election process on the company’s internal portal. But this lucky person was still not hired in a simple way. They were invited to the Juventus-Chelsea match, and the company informed him of the hiring on the scoreboard during the pre-match ceremony. The video was posted on YouTube and gained millions of views.
Today the company continues to use its bonuses from a global partnership of other events. Formula 1 is a great example. Recently they presented their new campaign “When you drive, never drink” with the participation of two Formula 1 world champions, Keke and Nico Rosberg. They did this to not only to attract attention to their brand but also as an important social message.
2. UBER: “Play the City”
For many years, musicians of different styles have been inspired by New York to create their masterpieces. On the 60th anniversary of the Grammy nomination in New York, Uber decided to share the inspiration of this city with its passengers. Inside the cars, they installed special software for augmented reality. It responded to each fragment of the street outside with musical accompaniment, creating tracks along the routes of passengers.
3. Intel light show at the 2018 Winter Olympics
Sponsorship activation enables companies to be creative just like Intel did. At the opening ceremony of the Olympics, they made an unforgettable light show and just blew up the Internet.
Local Sponsorship for SEO: How to Get the Most Out of Your Collaboration
The main advantage of large sponsorship is that it opens up additional opportunities for outreach work.
If you competently approach the issue of sponsorship, you can get many links and outreach that would not have been possible with a regular outreach.
We are offering to figure out what you need for this.
1. Wisely approach the choice of content formats
You should not give preference to only one type of content. It is better to combine them and make them more interesting. Focus on the following types of content:
Video is always a winning format because it is easier for users to view. Video from top media partners is your surest path to success.
- Interactive content
You can come up with contests or quizzes with a draw of tickets for a sponsorship event through the purchase of your products or services.
2. See how the content of the sponsored organization works
If you’re sponsoring a basketball team, learn where they post news, what’s perceived better, and what’s worse. How does sponsorship contribute? Chat with reporters writing for the organization.
3. Determine where the target audience is
When developing your outreach strategy, you need to consider where your target audience is. If it’s soccer, the focus should be on soccer forums, major news platforms, and social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It may not directly help to increase coverage but it will improve understanding of where to focus your efforts.
4. Consider seasonality
Demand for your advertising campaign may grow and fall depending on the time of year. If you are sponsoring a summer festival, plan sponsorship activation for the start of ticket sales.
Positioning ads and sponsorships are examples of how marketing is inextricably linked to SEO promotion. Targeted sponsorships enable corporate marketers to reach the desired results and subject to well-coordinated and consistent work. In this article, we tried to answer the basic questions about marketing sponsorship and how to get local businesses to sponsor you. We considered all possible manifestations of mutually beneficial cooperation between the sponsor and the sponsored one.
Use the above tips to achieve your goals and improve your SEO.