The Problem With Linkbait
When you have every social media marketing blog loaded in your RSS reader, you soon come to identify a problem within the space. The problem is the term Linkbait, it is overused, misused and stretched to cover almost all content ever published on the web.
Different definitions of linkbait I have heard:
- A top ten list
- Anything that is submitted to digg
- Anything I create
- Any strong opinion
- Anything Shoemoneysays
- Anything Jason Calacanis says
- Anything Michael Gray says
You get the picture.
When talking to a client I find the term initially useful, but then I have to back track and quickly re-educate so we are on the right track. More often than not they have read a few posts around the space and picked up a distorted view of what it is and more importantly what it is not.
- It is not the answer to all your online marketing prayers.
- Linkbait should be mixed up with other types of content
- Linkbait should be targeted, with specific objectives in mind.
Strong opinion is not linkbait, just as a fire engine is red, it doesn’t make a telephone box a fire engine ( the old British ones that is) so when content gets links, it doesn’t make it linkbait.
A lot of this blog is built on linkbait, but it is also built on what I would call, conversational blogging. It’s important to differentiate the two as they have different styles and are used for different objectives.
Why is all this important? Defining online marketing techniques means they can be discussed, shared. improved, argued about, redefined. If you have a label which is being misused, such as “linkbait”, then it muddies the waters.
I’m sure you could argue that all blogging is conversational. Maybe a year or two ago, but blogging has also become an overused term.
I think using the two techniques of conversational blogging and linkbait can be very powerful. It works for me.