5 Tips to Maximize the Distribution and Value of Your Link Bait

4 comments

Check this quote from Lee Odden, in which he succinctly describes social media marketing:

“Useful, unique and provocative content plus a robust distribution channel are the building blocks for a long term social media and viral link building strategy.”

I would add “consistent” in there somewhere too – you’re not going to get away with a one hit viral wonder and be able to quit writing and distributing.

I’m sure Odden would agree, he just didn’t include that in the paragraph I lifted from “How Social Media Impacts Search Engine Marketing” to use as a definition :)

So… regarding content creation that’s worthy of a large scale distribution attempt I’m not sure if you can beat Andy Hagan’s recent link bait behemoth post.

I still check back into that regularly to remind myself of best practices.

As far as distribution goes though he’s lacking some key pieces, and the framework of his strategy seems more oriented towards the “one hit wonder” than building an ongoing content relationship with your customers/readers.

He DOES hit social media biggies like:

Digg (we’re not hitting well in this one for our current big project)
Delicious (good for links)
Netscape (I like this one quite a bit – our posts on their site shows up quickly in Google SERPs)
StumbleUpon (lovely for us so far – not big buyers, but very passionate)
Reddit (a trickle so far… not sure of the audience)

Hagans doesn’t mention some distribution channels that I think are strong for my most recent link bait project though… Distribution channels that will maximize exposure and some of the brand and potential subscriber value from all that writing you just finished.

1) Email newsletter:
An oldie but a goodie.

You can bet your butt that our 1,500 list will be getting a link to our recent “link bait” project in the next newsletter. Not only because it took me weeks of forum research and days of writing. It’s also a helpful document targeted at their interests and needs and I want them to know that we care about them.

Also… there’s a link to subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of this massive resource I wrote.

2) Your blog:
Yes of course you probably publish your link bait pieces directly in your blog… but are you calling out to folks to subscribe to your blog at the end of the piece? Letting them know that there’s more great content where that came from?

(Hagans does this, but doesn’t recommend it in his piece :)

3) Comments on blogs:
Am I suggesting you spam blog comments? Not exactly, though I’m certainly suggesting that you aggressively seek out blog posts that are related to your big pieces and leave comments there. If you’re in a fairly under-represented blog space like the one I’m in now it can be fairly easy to saturate :)

4) Emails to related bloggers:
Nope – I’m not too proud to beg. Especially not after working hard on a huge content piece.

5) Forum participation:
I try to base my content as much as possible on forum participation I have, so this one is a no-brainer to me. I simply include a link in one of the threads I started and ask folks for feedback.

If you’re not in any industry-related forums already you should consider joining for distribution’s sake, but be prepared for a struggle in proving that, though you’re a marketer seeking to leech every last dollar from their wallets you still care enough to create incredible content.

(I can’t emphasize enough the value forum participation has brought to me as far as understanding our market and getting a sense of how they talk. Absolutely priceless. Painful at times, but priceless.)

These are just a few ideas – I’d love to hear any other thoughts out there on maximizing distribution and over all value of link bait.

About the Author

Garrett French educates SEO and PR teams on content and engagement-based link building strategies that drive targeted referral traffic and deliver SERP domination. Learn more about him and his services at CitationLabs.com.

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4 Comments

  1. Garrett French

    update - I didn't comment spam anyone... yet. I couldn't bring myself to once I was on their blogs. It's a fairly small space and I think it's best to go through the front door. So I sent several link begging emails :) G

  2. Nice jump off points Garrett! Just having quality content is going to bring in the traffic and like you said usually the returning visitor. I think RSS subscription's are key. Having an RSS subscription link properly placed and tracked can help with distribution, links and traffic. I was on brian clarks site "copyblogger.com" and he had an interesting trick that is related to your first point. This can be used in conjunction with offering a newsletter with a free offer. I will quote him here: "If you have a WordPress blog, use the free Feedvertising plugin to link to the download page for your free gift. Since Feedvertising links only show up in the feed (and not in the post), only feed subscribers will see the link and have access to the bonus." Pretty cool trick. Here is the link to the entire list.

  3. Garrett French

    Hey Chris Garrett used that on ME! lol: I signed up for his blog feed recently to get a copy of his free ebook on killer flagship content, his re-framed link bait/great content concept: http://www.chrisg.com/killer-flagship-content-free-ebook-to-download/ I didn't realize there was a plugin for that... Thanks Joe!

  4. I get most of my traffic by participation in related forums. I do get quite a bit of comments which require responses. You can check it out for yourself at my blogs Blogger Tips and Tricks Dummies Guide to Google Blogger And when I respond to a comment, I go to the commentator's blog to thank him/her for leaving a comment and let him/her know that I have responded to her comment. Peter aka enviroman Enviroman Says