Social Media Marketing, Baiting and SEO

I read a very good blog post this morning from the old linkmeister himself NickW.

He talks about linkbaiting generally, what makes for good vs what makes for bad and touches on its newly born cousin ‘widgetbait’, a term I heard for the 1st time yesterday in a private discussion with Lyndon . More on widgets further on.

Anyways, getting back to Nick. For those of you who don’t know him or have never had the pleasure/displeasure to encounter his often acerbic wit, he’s the guy responsible for setting up Threadwatch , Performancing and the recently launched click influence and is generally credited with coining the phrase Linkbait. He’s a good egg, who tells it like it is.
Besides damn hard work a big aspect behind Nick’s success with these ventures has been his ability to stimulate debate amongst the community by writing interesting content that actually has something to say.

 

He gets people talking about stuff. Simple huh? Very rarely will you read a longish blog from Nick that doesn’t have something to add to the mix. He wins, we win. He gains links and kudos, we learn a little and maybe grab an idea or get incentivised to modify or adapt or use whatever it is he might be talking about. Does he hit it everytime? No, of course not, he’s human like the rest of us, but he’s certainly worth some closer scrutiny…


Linkbait

The term linkbait for example, is a classic distillation of a topic which when used correctly really can rocket you through the stratosphere and get you ranking for those all important keyphrases.

Before it was coined, no one really had any kind of label for it. You were either that educational person over there in the corner, that rude controversial person, that wisen sage, that idiot or whatever other singular label you had the displeasure to be slapped with. The very term linkbait is now recognised as the umbrella for the tactics used, or hooks that grab peoples attention. By seeing it for the broad strategy it is, it really does help in any strategic thinking process.

 
Just go and look at the link data for his 1st ever post on the topic. Then go and look at all the varying conversations it stimulated ha, google even has a little fun by asking, did you mean linkabit?

Getting those all important links

Which of course goes to the heart of what its all about and why baiting in general is such an important aspect of any online marketing strategy.It might be obvious to say that a good title will attract links, good links too, people won’t just linkabit they will linkalot. Blog posts are seen in places like Digg, in feedreaders, bloglines, MyYahoo, Googlereader, pageflakes and a whole lot of other platforms that share or distribute user content. A carefully crafted headline will therefore, grab the attention of its readers and provided that the content is there to back it up, will get you more readers and help grow your brand.

People like sensationalism, the success of tabloid journalism is a testament to this. In an online world where eyeballs often means increased revenues then one has to pull out as many of the stops one can. Online marketers need as many tools in their box as they can muster.
Widgets get you links, links get you traffic and grow your user base

Widgets pull new users and help grow brands and communities. They really are a phenomenal success and very popular indeed, especially amongst blog users and the myspacer users of this world.

Just look at the success of MyBloglog. Mybloglog is a recent Y! acquisition purchased for 10 million dollars, not bad eh? Look at its stratospheric growth over the course of the last year.

mybloglog.png

What really pushed it to the top? Some might say it was this neat little widget that enabled people to put their visitors faces right there on their blogs

mybloglog.gif

Others might argue that it was a whole lot more than that, the point is though that people love neat and funky. Be it a wordpress plugin, a flickr photo include, a google map even, people will flock to them like birds to birdseed.

The lesson to be learnt would be to get widgetising folks,people like soloseo have the right idea, take a popular idea tweak it and add value. Aff marketing 101 perhaps, but as applicable as ever for building that all important userbase and content.

With organisations like the BBC prepared to invest heavily in the whole concept of social media, it really is one of those areas that are ripe for opportunities. For both bloggers and community content distributors alike.

If appropriate social networking opportunities arise, then we would look at them very seriously, because it’s a growing area of business that we’re not particularly in at the moment.

Interesting words huh?

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