Link building campaigns, especially those created for sales page links, require a special focus on audience and context. This differs significantly from digital PR or content promotion campaigns in that the context MUST include the sales offering itself. 

To effectively close link gaps of your sales pages and drive your rankings we propose that link builders must first consider the entire spectrum of “purchase decision stakeholders” that an offering serves (thanks to Kane Jamison for proving to me that AI could discover these).

In this article we show how to use generative AI/ChatGPT to brainstorm many of the audiences surrounding a given commercial offering and then design your citable elements to power a campaign that will increase your sales page rankings.

But first, some examples of what this guide helps you to create…

Two Campaign Brief Examples – What This Guide Helps You Create:

  1. From our guide to building links to sofas (on Ikea’s sofa category page), we generated this sample link campaign concept. With our approach, you could too:

Challenging Outcome: Accessibility

Audience: Families, individuals with disabilities, orgs that serve

Question: “how do you make your seating accessible to your specific physical requirements?”

Expertise Applied:  Following perhaps from coziness is inclusivity – enabling and ensuring that every family member can participate in the shared entertainment experiences of the sofa.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if IKEA continued today with the important work it started in 2019? And as they design for people with disabilities, why not “open source” their design requirements and specifications? This open sourcing of furniture accessibility guidelines for manufacturers could start important conversations and enable even more families to feel cozy, together.

Closing the Link Gap: Accessible Furniture Design Guidelines could support and justify any number of stand-alone link campaigns, and further establish IKEA’s intention to apply its expertise in advocacy for under-served populations.

  1. In our guide to building links to Panelboards, Switchboards and Switchgear, we generated the following campaign concept that targets CEOs, one of the key stakeholders.

Business/Organizational Visionaries

Board, CEO + advisors, leadership team). The originators of the edict to build a new building to house a fully functional data center, hospital, office, etc…

  1. Offering-Specific Challenges:
    1. Justifying cost of key facility systems to financial stakeholders.
    2. Ensuring the facility’s key functionality – uptime, steady production, etc.
    3. Effectively communicating construction slowdowns, hold ups and other unexpected events
  2. Applied Expertise (as Onpage Citable Elements):
    1. Calculator showing bottom-line impact of the electrical system on various groups within Data Centers, Hospitals, Offices, etc…
    2. “Plain English” communication advice for discussing most-common issues or hang ups within electrical systems installations.
  3. Audience-Facing Publishers:
    1. Business leadership publications.
    2. Data center, hospital, office park, commercial construction/engineering trade publications.
    3. Websites/blogs of electrical systems designers and installers.
    4. Websites/blogs of construction, engineering, architecture and other systems-design firms.
  4. Campaign Concepts:
    1. “The Big Pitch: Communicating the Value of Key Systems in Vital Facility Construction Projects”
    2. “Common Pitfalls to Getting Facility Construction Done On Time and Under Budget”

Here are the steps we’ll be covering in this article.

Steps to Designing Link Campaigns for Sales Pages Using ChatGPT:

  1. Learn your page’s link gap: how many links you’ll need to achieve higher rankings for that page
  2. Prompt ChatGPT to identify and list the purchase decision stakeholders – anyone and everyone impacted by the commercial offering you’re building links to.
  3. Of the stakeholders, use Google queries to determine which ones are targeted by publishers with topically relevant content
  4. Prompt ChatGPT to provide you with topics relevant to your audiences AND your commercial offering
  5. Generate and publish Citable Elements that enable or empower the audience within the context of your offering
  6. Build links via requests, placed content, and even organization or event sponsorships that contain contextually relevant links to citable elements on your sales page

You can cruise right down to the section on identifying purchase decision stakeholders below, but if the term is unfamiliar to you, please read on.

Purchase Decision Stakeholders (and why they matter to link building)

Purchase decision stakeholders are ALL of the participants in a purchase decision – from actual buyers and customers down to the people or circumstances impacted by the long term outcomes of the purchase. 

For B2C – let’s say, granola bars – we can have a fairly limited set of stakeholders (customer, their children, their childrens’ classmates if they have allergies, these children attending birthday parties in their home). In B2B scenarios, electrical panelboards for use in data centers for example, we have MANY more stakeholders.

As marketers, we’re fixated on the buyers – we sell childrens’ granola bars to the parent and panelboards to the procurement teams. This leaves sales pages mono-faceted – with benefits and value propositions that speak to a single “buyer persona.” This is not wrong. It just leaves link builders with very little of linkable value on a sales page.

Sales page copywriters, conversion experts and CMOs will rightfully balk at the idea of pitching to ALL of the potential decision stakeholders, and we’re not suggesting you do that. By using ChatGPT to brainstorm your decision stakeholders, though, you can discover key audiences, targeted by other publishers, who can sustain a SERP-influencing link building campaign.

Before walking you through that process, we want to run through our definition model of purchase decision stakeholders.

Purchase decision participants (stakeholders) for any offering can include categories such as:

  • All Stakeholders
    • Customers/buyers
    • Purchase decision guides or advisors (professionals like doctors)
    • Non-beneficiary influencers (people who influence purchase decision but don’t benefit from it)
    • Beneficiaries (see below)
    • Benefactors (see below)
    • Internal Change Champions/adversaries
  • Beneficiaries (payees)
    • Direct, immediate recipients of the offering’s benefit
      • People/places/things
      • Processes/systems
      • Circumstances
      • Children/pets/elderly
      • Likelihood of occurrence of desired outcomes
      • Decrease of occurrence of unwanted outcomes
    • Secondary non-user recipients of the offering’s benefit
      • Pet owners
      • Child caregivers
      • CEOs
  • Benefactors (payors)
    • Buyers
      • Buyer personas
      • Signatories
      • Payer
      • Fiscal stakeholders
    • Non-financial contributors
      • Intellectual Effort
      • Physical Exertion
      • Emotional Processing
      • Time spent
      • Knowhow/Experience
      • Expertise
      • Authority/Validation

Don’t worry – you don’t have to memorize the above list. Nor is this list comprehensive enough to represent all potential stakeholders. We wanted to give you a sense of the range of potential stakeholders to familiarize yourself with what ChatGPT may be creating for you.

Identifying Purchase Decision Stakeholders with ChatGPT

Here are some examples of prompts that can help you identify purchase decision stakeholders.

B2B Purchase Decision Stakeholder Discovery Prompts:

  • List the industries that benefit from implementing/using <the offering on your target page>
  • For these industries, list the types of organizations within them that benefit from <the offering on your target page>
  • List 10 roles in an organization who benefit from
    • For each of these 10 roles, whose approval is most important to them?
  • Who in the organization is involved in the purchase decision of <the offering on your target page>?
  • Who in the organization benefits from <the offering on your target page> but does not use it?
  • Who outside of the organization benefits from <the offering on your target page>?
  • List 10 roles in an organization who would resist purchasing <the offering on your target page>
  • Who is the most impacted by implementation challenges for <the offering on your target page>, and what are they?

Many of the prompts above won’t really work for B2C offerings. Conceptually, yes. But not in practice. Here are some B2C prompts that should help you elaborate on stakeholder audiences you could target in your link building campaign.

B2C Purchase Decision Stakeholder Discovery Prompts:

  • List the most frequent customer groups for <the offering on your target page>
  • Are these customer groups buying <the offering on your target page> for themselves? If not, who or what beneficiaries are they buying it for?
  • What outcomes do the customers most hope for after purchasing
    • Whose approval is most important to the customers?
  • Which professional groups or experts are most likely to advise that customers try or use <the offering on your target page>
  • What are some of the potential dangers or challenges of <the offering on your target page>, and who deals with them?
  • What are the challenges of getting started with <the offering on your target page>, and who faces them?
  • What are the challenges or dangers of not using <the offering on your target page>?
  • Who or what, besides the buyer, is most impacted by the benefits of <the offering on your target page>?
  • Are there any conditions that people can have that could limit or hinder the usage of <the offering on your target page>?
  • What are the vital but infrequent use cases for <the offering on your target page>?

A quick reminder – at this stage of your exercise you’re generating your stakeholder list so that you can identify the stakeholders who are most-frequently written for or targeted by offsite publishers. As ChatGPT suggests stakeholders, add them to a column in your spreadsheet.

Evaluating Your Stakeholder Groups for Link Campaign Viability

Once you’ve created your list of stakeholders you can begin evaluating them individually for viability within a link building campaign. As a starting point we measure viability based on the total estimated number of potential publishers who target this audience.

Secondarily you could rate each audience’s influence on the purchase decision (1-10) – this could clue you in to useful onpage content that could connect you with the most influential groups (whether or not they enable link campaigns).

Most importantly though, you need to make sure you have enough publishers to close your specific page’s link gap.

When we say publishers we mean:

  • Trade publications and blogs
  • News publications
  • Event websites
  • Non-profit groups
  • Advocacy groups
  • Non-competing commercial interests targeting a “stakeholder audience” with informational content

You could prompt ChatGPT for more help this way:

  • What kinds of publishers would target <stakeholder1> online?
  • List products and services that <stakeholder1> would need. (this will generate product/service categories of businesses who might become content partners)

You could then go to Google and try queries such as:

  • Trade publications for <stakeholder1>
  • Blogs for <stakeholder1>s
  • News for <stakeholder1>s
  • Events targeting <stakeholder1>
  • SaaS/online tools for <stakeholder1>s
  • Companies that sell products for <stakeholder1>s
  • Companies that sell services for <stakeholder1>s

These queries will help you determine which of your stakeholder groups is the most accessible via other websites.

Once you’ve identified which stakeholder group has the most publishers and fits as an addressable audience on your sales page you can begin ideating on citable elements to add to the page.

Citable Element Discovery Prompts for Target Stakeholders:

Once you’ve selected your target stakeholders you can begin brainstorming what kinds of problems – contextual to your stakeholder’s perspective of your offering – that you can address… Ideally with data, advice, a process, a calculator or an approach that comes directly from your organization’s expertise. We call the publication of these answers, directly to your sales pages, citable elements.

In the following prompt examples, <stakeholder1> refers to the stakeholder you’ve selected because of the volume of publications targeting them and/or their influence on the purchase decision.

Try these prompts for generating Citable Element Concepts:

  • What are the biggest concerns <stakeholder1> should have regarding the purchase of <the offering on your target page>?
  • What are the difficulties <stakeholder1> will have in seeing the value of <the offering on your target page>?
  • How can <the offering on your target page> fail, from the perspective of <stakeholder1>?
  • What struggles will <stakeholder1> encounter when implementing <the offering on your target page>?
  • What questions about <the offering on your target page> will <stakeholder1> be unaware that they should ask?
  • What pushback or resistance could <stakeholder1> get about <the offering on your target page>, and from whom?
  • When is <stakeholder1> accountable for the performance of <the offering on your target page>, and to whom are they accountable?
  • Which stakeholders does <stakeholder1> answer to if the purchase of <the offering on your target page> does not produce the desired results?

The answers to the prompts give you the problem space you’ll need to solve with your organization’s data, expertise and authority. 

Solving Problems with Data, Expertise and Authority

ChatGPT helps you brainstorm your underserved stakeholder audiences – the people who will ultimately benefit from you offering but might never see it, touch it or even know that it exists. It can then help you formulate what types of questions or problems they might have that you can help solve.

Some of the ways you solve problems could look like this, an ROI calculator:

This is a simple way to enable a specific stakeholder group (CEOs) to understand the impact of a switchboard on their company’s data center project. Would any CEO reasonably be on a panelboard category page? Not likely. But remember – we’re speaking to CEOs from our sales page so we can embed citable elements that can facilitate link building.

We’re mapping the relevance.

What if you solution requires 10,000 words, a detailed video, a survey of 1000s of people or 3 different articles? Well you’ll have to create stubs or resource sections on your target page, such as this one:

By learning the stakeholders’ offering-specific issues you’re generating topic ideas that naturally fit on your sales page.

And because you’ve done your research you know which stakeholders are connected to the most publishers.

Generating Prospecting Ideas with ChatGPT

So with your citable elements solved for you’ll need to come up with website prospecting methods. We’re still fond of searching Google with our Link Prospector tool. But what queries should you use?

A reminder regarding target websites. First, we’ve selected <stakeholder1> based on the number of publishers who target them with content. So as a reminder you could return to your testing queries above, run them, qualify them and begin writing pitch emails.

To dig in a bit deeper with ChatGPT though, and find as many prospects as you can, here are a few prompts to try:

  • What types of publishers would want to target ? Provide 3 areas of concern these publishers would write about.
    • Note – you could simply query into the concerns you receive – any publishers answering these concerns are likely to be topically relevant.
  • What types of advertisers would want to target <stakeholder1>? Where would they most likely advertise?
  • What tools, services or other products might enhance <stakeholder1>’s benefits of <the offering on your target page>?
  • List 25 content topics that <stakeholder1> would want to read.

When you’ve identified topics, products, services, tools, etc that appeal to <stakeholder1> you can run them directly in Google to find prospects, but also combine them into longer queries that include things like:

  • blog
  • inurl:blog
  • news
  • advice

Placeable Content Outreach!

With your purchase decision stakeholders appeased with citable elements on your sales page and a list of prospects you’re almost ready to begin pitching. But… pitching what?

You’re either:

  • Writing new content for a publisher (guest post)
  • Writing a new paragraph or adding an image for existing content
  • Requesting a link from an existing paragraph

ChatGPT can help with the first of those three pitches:

  • List 10 article titles for <stakeholder1> in which the article would mention or link to a <citable element>?

We hope this guide to using ChatGPT in link building campaign creation highly useful! We’d love to hear how you’ve used ChatGPT in your own campaigns.

Further Reading:

Leave a Comment