Drop a viral video into a sea of young and old, democrats and republicans, men and women and voters of all ages (with access to the internet, of course) and you have one of my favorite linkbait videos of the year.
So what is linkbait anyway? Cameron Olthius, CEO of Factive Media, defined it for the audience as content or a feature on a website that compels others to link to it from their website.
Linkbait can very quickly increase brand awareness and can drive a huge amount of traffic to your website. In order to do this, however, you need to make sure the content you are about to promote is link-able.
The first step in creating successful linkbait is to do your research. What are you focusing on? Who are you targeting? Who do they target? Who else is targeting them? You also need to look at current trends and the places your target audience visit.
Next, create the linkbait. Brent Csutoras gave a list of linkbait ideas that always work:
- Top 10 lists
- How-To tips
- Current events
- Offbeat or Extreme content
- Images (best when used in written posts)
You can promote this content on a variety of sites. If you want a huge amount of traffic and you feel the content is up to snuff, submit it to Digg. You can gain a lot of visibility and traffic to your site. However, if you are in a very targeted vertical, Digg may not be the best place for you to promote your video or top 10 list. Donâ€™t neglect your vertical. These 10 links you could get from very targeted sites could be better than 1,000 links from random people who saw your post on Digg.
And when you post this linkbait on your website, donâ€™t ignore it afterwards. You are about to experience a lot of traffic to your site. You want to retain that traffic or it was just a wasted effort. In the few days or weeks following your linkbait posting, post more interesting and beneficial content on your site. Because linkbait can create traffic stickiness â€“ where users continue coming to your site because of what they saw on it once or twice â€“ this traffic can turn into sales and a further increase in brand awareness for your company. So do some more work to keep those visitors hanging around.
When you use linkbait well, you will become part of the pop culture to even people who never would have noticed what you had to offer before. Even my mom sent me a link to a video on YouTube, and I had no idea she even knew what YouTube was. You will also increase traffic and brand awareness and â€“ duh â€“ links. And the more links a page has, the more beneficial it can be for the entire domain. Rebecca Kelley from SEOmoz stated it simply when she said â€œThe rising tide lifts all ships.â€