Wikipedia defines linkbait as "any content or feature within a website that somehow baits viewers to place links to it from other websites"*. Linkbait in my terms is anything, whether it is content, video, photo, contest or an application, which attracts viewers to your Web site. With the continued growing popularity of Social Media Web sites like Facebook, Delicious and StumbleUpon, creative linkbaiting is even more important in building your Web site's online visibility.
So now you're thinking, we’re in a boring business, so we can't utilize Social Media Web sites. You're wrong! You just need to get those creative juices flowing or enlist the help of outside sources and think outside the box.
Take BlendTec for example. BlendTec continues to have great success on YouTube with their famous "Will It Blend? series of videos in which every day items (cell phone, GPS, shoes) are shredded in one of their blenders. Their YouTube channel has over 160,000 subscribers. The average number of views for one of their videos is close to 900,000. Now that is a lot of eyeballs!
Great linkbait that creates buzz not only helps increase brand awareness but can ultimately lead to more sales. Since the start of the "Will It Blend?" series, BlendTec saw retail sales for the Total Blender grow 700% in the past 2 years. Not to mention, that with all the attention the series generates, many other Web sites link to the "Will It Blend?" Web site www.willitblend.com; which Google currently reports with over 800,000 backlinks. Backlinks generated from viral content such as this can lead to higher rankings on the search engines, especially Google.
There is an unlimited amount of linkbait opportunities to explore. Here are some of the more commonly used forms of linkbait:
- Videos like BlendTec
- Creative photos or art including your product
- How To Articles
- Top 10 Lists
- White Papers
- Industry Humor
- Add on widget applications
There is no question that linkbaiting is worth your company's time and resources. Explore outside the normal realm and develop a creative linkbait campaign. Not only will you have the potential to gain thousands of eyeballs, but when properly implemented and marketed, it can also drive many other Web sites to link to yours.