Brian Clarke has an informed post about Linkbait. The term is considered sleazy by some people, which is a misunderstanding of how the technique is used generally. The problem I have is how people use it to encapsulate a number of supporting techniques. I find the term limiting, it’s not yet ground it’s way into everyones brain to be able to use it without everyone having their own interpretation.
What some people mean when they say Linkbait is:
1. Create content which is irrisitable to link to
2. Use social media to market that content
It’s a new term and so there are different interpretations flying around and that’s cool. language is organic, it grows with the society using it, it changes, adapts and even gets thrown in the dustbin.
But what linkbait is not is:
- Shady tactic to get you to read a blog
- Social media
- Black hat SEO tactic
- Useless for SEO
- Anything to do with fishing
There is nothing shady about it, it’s simply something that has been crafted to appeal to a hungry crowd which are ravenous for the kind of content presented. It’s a marketing term pure and simple, it exists to describe a new concept within a new medium. A word was needed, a word was created.
The social media part is something that lends well to this kind of marketing technique. It’s fast, it’s responsive, it’s predictable. Not 100% predictable, but there are things you can rely on. Any good marketer knows how to find the sweet spot. Digg has a sweet spot, all she needs is a little tickle and she gives it up nicely.
But, it’s wrong to think that social media is the only way linkbait can be marketed. Blog commenting is another good way. Especially if you disagree with the blogger. I love a good old ding dong, it’s not about winning, it’s about the ideas that come from the heat of the arguement. The Directories are dead post did that, I took a postion, other people countered and I learned something. Fantastic stuff.
So going to someones blog and starting a juicey debate can be really useful when trying to market your little bit of viral content. It gets people emotional, and when people get emotional, they get linking.
There are other vehicles that can carry your linkbait to link heaven. Email is the Daddy of viral marketing. Whatever works works, at the moment it’s social media and whilst it’s hot we are going to get our marshmellows out and get toasting.
I like mine crispy.