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October 16, 2007

SMX Social: Link Bait Panel

By Li Evans

SMX Social Media:  Link Bait Panel - Creating Successful Campaigns & Success in Social Media

Link Bait Panel featured Danny Sullivan moderating with Rebecca Kelly, Brent Csustoras, and Cameron Olthius.  The following is brief summations from their presentations.

Rebecca Kelley - SEOMoz

Benefits of Link bait- Links & Visibility
Successful Link Bait Creates a Domino Effect
    increases links coming in
    the more relevant Google sees your page
    One page can strengthen your entire domain
    Traffic stickiness

Who are you Targeting
    "Linkarati"
        Bloggers, web researchers, journalists
        Why?  Internet is evolving, people like to link - created content and give it to the right audience
    Do Your Homework
        Research your niche's link-worthiness
        Find things that were similar and see what worked what didn't, what can you improve upon
        Don't neglect your own industry
                can give you more "juice" because they are related to what you do

Brainstorming
    What would you find interesting?
    Ask coworkers and friends
    Write everything down

Link bait is as simple or complex as you want it to be
    Pictures
    Articles
    widgets

Cons of negative link bait
    Are you being brave or just an asshole
    will this affect your brand
    Do the ends justify the means?

Look before your leap
    Do some pre-launch PR
    Keep an eye on your traffic (especially because of Digg)
    Recieve ongoing value from link bait
    Don't just "set it and forget it"

Link bait isn't always successful
Nor does it always target your typical audience
Link bait isn't necessarily a solution but it is a kick-ass strategy

Brent Csutoras from BrentCsutoras.com
Social Media Link bait
    Get Link
    Branding
    Reach

Overview of Link bait Categories
    Crafting Link bait

Top 10 Lists
    Mix it Up
    Negative Lists
Digg is extremely powerful (all of the others together can equal just one digg front page hit)

How To Baits
    Be Helpful
    Easy to Read
    Offer Value
    Ad Visual - Eye Candy

Current Events
    Act Fast
    Research
    Be Accurate
    Add more value to the article
    Use the right jargon and terms, don't misspell

Offbeat or Extreme
    Very Successful
    Clients Wary - hardest to get clients to agree too
        You do not want to hurt your brands
    Don't violate Terms of Service

Image
    use within a post
    less likely to be stolen

Research
    RSS Feeds
    Search Engines
    Communities

Title & Description
    Simple Strong
    Focused
    Point
    Capitilalize
    Use Numeric #'s

Interact & Share
    Comment
    Networks & Friends
    Down vote and up vote comments - based on what they are saying
    Try and control that messages on social news

Social Media Tips
    Relate to the Community
    User Images
    Limit Ads
    Offer a Summary
    No Spelling Errors, Jargon Mistakes or Bad Information
    Is It Duplicate?
    Check What Worked Before
    Digg Effect - be prepare for this, big traffic that can bring down servers
    Be Link Worthy
    Submit at the Right Time - no weekends, no holidays and try an avoid evenings

Digg Users Dislike:
    Poker Subjects
    Self Promotion
    Announcement Pages

    Took a negative approach with BoDog exmaple  "pointed the finger and laughed at them" - was successful went to the front page in less than 12 hours

Cameron Olthius - Factive Media
Make sure you have your server ready for Link bait

Types of LinkBait
    Informational
    Controversial
    Humorous
    News
    Tools, Widgets, Quizzes

Benefits
    Links
    Link Profile
    Traffic
    Branding
    Bookmarks
    Media publicity

First example
    Drug Rehap Center
        Finding Ideas - search the social news sites to see what worked in the past
            Looked at De.licio.us
        Brainstorming
        Guides to identifying illegal drugs - is what they chose
        Results - now ranking #1 for illegal drugs

KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)
Lists
Pictures

Once its up, you have to "Seed" the sites, promote it!
    Stumble, Digg, De.licio.us, Sphinn, etc.
    Make sure it's in a popular account
    Power Account isn't a must, but it helps
    Good titles & descriptions
    Proper category & tags
    Targeted sites

Example 2: Search Engine Smackdown
    Really looked at who were characters in the game, it would make more people link in if they were part  of it
    Garnered over 859 links (value was about 2-3 bucks a link)

Example 3:  LifeInsurance.com
    19 things you didn't know about Death
    over 1000 digs  now ranking #4 for life insurance

Example 4:  20 tips to get more jice from your laptopbatter
    913 diggs, 631 links

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