Viral Marketing & Link Bait Basics: Part VI

Today I would like to talk about using linkbaiting as a means of establishing positive public relations for your company or website. When used correctly, you can use a few well placed items of viral marketing to create an image of professionalism and trust for your business. It is the proper way to go about using this method or marketing, and it is another reason that it is so important to be mindful of what kind of content you use.

It is also a method of using the viral content itself to draw in links, and it is a much more effective way for medium-sized businesses and websites to compete with larger ones, which have a great deal of funding at their disposal for advertising campaigns. Just think of the videos, commercials, ads, contents, and gimmicks that have been used in the past.

An example is the recent release of a website for the movie ’2012′. They created a fake organization called The Institute for Human Continuity, which offers a fake lottery to become one of those saved when the world “ends” in 2012. They created a well formed website, professionally done, to cause a hype, and they didn’t announce it as a marketing campaign. They even managed to secure a .org domain to increase it’s realism.

Great Marketing

This website generated a great deal of interest from visitors, creating a huge draw of traffic, as well as a large list of the names of those who signed up for the lottery. It also attracted the attention of news media sources, blogs, and social networking sites. Even though it has long since been exposed as an advertisement for ’2012′, it has continued to create interest and hits. This is a great example of how you can use viral marketing and linkbaiting to generate PR for your site, product, or service.

A simpler means of doing this is by offering a few well written articles with a decent keyword density for backlinking purposes. You can do this easily enough through free submission sites, or by writing something relevant to the times, and making it informative and interesting enough to be picked up by the formerly discussed Linkerati.

For a more direct approach, you can use press releases for this purpose. This costs a bit of money, as most submission sites require you to pay a fee to generate a release with a live link in anchor text, which will be the way you will want to go. Consider this an investment in your marketing. Make sure that whatever you write truly is news worthy, and announcing something interesting. Hire someone who has experience writing press releases if you do not have training or experience yourself.

Using videos can also be a great help, as they generate more interest than ads ever will. These should always be well done and professional, in order to control the public relations that occur as a consequence. Remember that it is this control that will be the final say on whether or not you use public relations to the full advantage of your company or website.

Finally, always keep a few points in mind:

  1. Create a plan as you would with any marketing strategy before testing it out as a PR campaign. Focus on the tone, image, and content you are hoping to put forward.
  2. Watch the format and construction of any content you create, making sure it fits in with the above point.
  3. Be careful of where you place such content. The submission source says a lot about the originating source. If you use a free site with little traffic, keep in mind that this reflects on the producer. If you are a professional company or business, be prepared to shell out a little cash for your marketing. It is well worth it in the end, and is usually a necessary cost.

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