What do, Reeces Pieces, Gordon’s Gin and Cadillac have in common?
Hint: while the phrases “too much of a good thing” & “over-priced” come to mind, that’s not it
All three brands have paid for promotional product placements.
Product placement is a form of advertising where branded items are used in a visual medium as a natural part of the storyline. It’s not a new marketing tactic; Gordons Gin paid Katherine Hepburn to dump cases of their gin overboard in the African Queen, Spielberg incorporated Reeces Pieces in the movie ET and Cadillac was the central story line in several Seinfeld episodes. All three products paid to be added to the movie/show, were seen by millions, reported increased sales and will enjoy lifetime residual exposure.
Does the concept sound familiar? Even in its simplest form, link building IS product placement. Links are brands; they’re visual, memorable and have huge residual value. When you leave your link on someone else’s website you’ve left behind an identifiable image that reinforces your product for the long term.
Given the constant nature of the Internet/Web and the fact links are interactive, online product placements are even MORE valuable than their offline counter parts. Links provide an opportunity for transactional advertising in a way most offline marketing can’t. We get double duty out of them (triple if you count humans and search engines separately) when creative anchors are used and placed on the right websites. A can of Coke in a movie is just that – a can. Unless you count refrigerator motivation as interactive, seeing that Coke does little to stimulate further action.
The next time you’re link building, don’t just ask for space on a website, ask to pay for a promotional link placement. I’m betting the terminology opens doors and stimulates new link partnerships for your products.