I’m reeeeeeheeheeheeeeeaaaaaly excited to try out a few new-ish types of linkbait, and I’ll share them with you here and why I think they’re awesome.
1) Free book or poster giveaways.
This is really exciting to me for two reasons.
The first reason is that printing has gotten really, really cheap.
I don’t know the history or when this happened, but to give you an example, printing The Advanced SEO Book cost me only $5 per unit, for a 208 page book. (The digital version of The Advanced SEO Book is now available free.) And that was with an exceptionally short run of 100 books. Had I done 200 or 500 books, the cost would have been much cheaper.
In fact, we at IMN are in the process of editing The Blog Design For ROI (free) minibook for publication.
Similarly, I recently looked at the cost of short run posters. If you do 100, the price is around $1, but 200 gets you $0.60 rates etc. (Basing myself on this company’s price table after converting from pounds to dollars… no, they’re not a client, I just found them on Google.)
The second reason is that everything going digital gives analog greater perceived value.
This is one of the reasons that Internet Marketing Ninjas sends out a physical postcard to customers, even though an email would be easier. And it’s also why offline networking beats online networking.
The relationship is that people appreciate effort. More effort (aka friction) = more value. The growth of everything digital exacerbates this valuing of everything analog.
2) Crowdsourced stories or content.
I know that others may want to avoid crowdsourcing linkbait, but this is such an deep source and such an easy to implement tactic that I find it remarkable how underused it is.
People think that crowdsourcing text means getting some bozos to write “keyword rich articles.” The reality is that the crowd has so much collective experience and ideas that you can find an endless depth of rich content on sites like Amazon Mechanical Turk.
For example, I got people there to review online stock brokerages that they used.
I got people to talk to me about their debt.
About their romantic lives…
One of the most popular forms of question on Quora is “What is it like to be X,” or “What is it like to do Y?”
Guess what – you can get those stories from the crowd. Quora’s proven it. The problem is that asking the question on Quora means that the crowd’s content remains on Quora so you don’t get to draw links or traffic to your own site. If you paid for the content via MTurk, however…
If you’re a journalist and you need a source for a fascinating question that is hard to find sources for through normal means … try the crowd.
Bonus points here because crowdsourcing is relatively new, so the mere fact of having used it makes you cool and newsworthy for many publications.
3) Video contests.
Imagine a Pinterest-like board that features an array of videos on your theme. It’s hard to imagine more engaging content, especially if you can offer a “play all” playlist type of option, perhaps in combination with having first sorted the videos by most-to-least popular. In fact, Youtube’s homepage (for me at least, while signed in), has switched to such a layout:
The question is, how do you do this, logistically?
You have limited customization possibilities with a Youtube channel to do a Pinterest style layout, and besides – we want links and traffic on our site, not Youtube.
Combine with Twitter.
Everybody who wants to enter your contest has to tweet @ your account, and include the video link + a hashtag, e.g. #yourbrand. Have a robot periodically visit those videos, scrape the embed code, and send the embed codes to be pasted onto your site. As a bonus you get lots of twitter action. And you might require that your #yourbrand be mentioned in the opening credits of submitted videos for still further brand awareness over Youtube.
Note that at some point in the process – before or after you embed the videos – you’ll want a human moderator to check for nasty spam entries for the sake of deleting them. It wouldn’t hurt to let visitors flag videos as spam, too.
Sign up to Internet Marketing Ninjas’ newsletter and you’ll get a quick-to-read tip on a fourth super-affordable yet really valuable fourth linkbait tactic that you can use to bait big publications like the Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine.