Viral Marketing & Link Bait Basic: Part II
Last week we took some time to look at exactly what linkbait is, and how it works within the context of viral marketing. We learned that linkbaiting was the process of creating any kind of content as a means of attracting links, and so increasing traffic to a particular website. We also learned that viral marketing is an important tool for linkbaiters, as the very natural of viral marketing is to be shared among a large number of people.
Today, we are going to look at some of the basic rules that you will want to follow when attempting to linkbait. These are all important guidelines, specifically because creating content for the sake of links will often cause webmasters to delete and ban your content long before it reaches a target audience. If you don’t do it right, you might as well not do it at all. Taking all the necessary precautions will bring in a lot of work, but not a lot of results.
Rule Number 1 – Be careful of your content
Have you ever been on a blog and looked at some of the comments attached with links? Quite often the response will be badly written, have nothing to do with the story, or be blatantly copy/pasted into the text box. It will be followed by a link inviting people to check their site for more information on the topic they have shown no authority on. Who would actually waste their time clicking that?
The same goes for linking within SEO targeted content that has been written purely to host those links. They rarely, if ever, contain any useful information or content worth reading. Not only does this make people reluctant to click on your links, but it is transparent to all those who would report you. Most search engines, blogs, and websites are wise about linkbaiting, and it is is obvious that if there is no other point to a post they will make sure it disappears.
To avoid this, take time to create real, useful, and interesting content. Make it something that people would actually want to link to, especially those that are likely to share it on a wide scale to a large readership. Put in the extra effort to go for quality instead of quantity, and if you are unable to produce well written or created content, hire someone to do it for you.
Rule Number 2 – Be mindful of who your audience is, and aim to please them
A cardinal rule to all business is to aim for a target audience, rather than cast your net wide. But to do this you have to know who you should be looking to interest, and not all marketers seem to be clear on that. While you could look to create backlinking with various small site and blog owners, and hope it brings in a little effect, you can do so much more if you think big.
Remember, there are social sharing sites out there for a reason. The people that you want to have notice you are the ones that know how to work these social sharing sites, such as Digg.com. Not only do they routinely share content, but they are able to vote on what is going to be popular, and what is going to be banished to the far side of the Internet. Aim to create content that will cause these users to want to link to you, and you might find it becoming a reoccurring trend.
You can also work to attract the attention of bigger names and those with a much more significant audience, such as reporters, television personalities, and others who will be sure to get your site out there. But to do this you have to get noticed by a large enough group of people that backlinking pushes you right to the front of the crowd.
Rule Number 3 – Keep ahead of the current trends in media
You should be aware of what is popular at all times. This is actually harder than it sounds, as the interests of the Internet are fleeting and unstable, often changing on a day to day basis in different social circles. But if you can keep track of the current topic of interest you will be able to exploit it to create noticeable content that will work wonders for a successful linkbaiting campaign. (Note: Twitter is a great place to get the latest trends)
This doesn’t just mean new trends, however. There are always old standby’s that seem to stay on the top of the list at all times, and continue to drive traffic even as newer subjects span the web. For example, work and home topics still remain one of the most searched for and shared topics on the Internet, and can create some great linkbaiting opportunities. However, niche marketing and data entry, which used to be forces to be reckoned with, have lost a great deal of popularity.
Current events and entertainment are always great for content, especially as part of basic viral marketing, and so are common ‘memes’, or anything that circulates the web for a short time, generating a great deal of interest.