So we often hear that no press is bad press and in the case of Burger King’s Twitter hacking they certainly will come out on top. While a lot of nefarious things were mentioned and done on the account no one will really care, so in the end Burger King will definitely enjoy the buzz.
The reason I hope they don’t care? No one will remember this in a week and during that time, I imagine the will get thousands of links and social followers because of it…so what’s the big deal? Let this sink in and be a lesson on how to turn a bad thing into something good.
If I were them, I would also try and get interviews from highly authoritative places about the incident and perhaps talk about brand image and or social media security…it’s kind of a snooze fest but I imagine a lot of publications are looking to talk to someone over there while the news is hot.
Not really much I can write about this other than take notes as this title has turned boring auto news into a hilarious and a little distasteful topic. So many companies don’t have the balls to attempt this form of humor but if you’re not ready to let your hair down in marketing, you’re not going to get very far. My hat goes off to the writers over at Jalopnik and the whole Gawker crew in general….stay classy!
Writing link bait is one of the most fun aspects of link building and it takes a certain eye to do it right. Keeping on top of what’s trending is so very important and can lead to some quick and easy link bait ideas, even if you’re not a superstar writer. Knowing the trends is always a good asset to any marketing team and you’d be shocked at how many companies simply aren’t paying attention. I use a variety of tools to track trends and then capitalize on them to profit for not only myself, but our clients as well.
The majority of trend tacking tools are free, which is a huge plus for basically everybody. All you have to do is keep your eye out for something in your vertical. Great link bait requires you to always be writing about something fresh, funny and or “horrific”. Your content will go a long way with the right flare so lets see what we can do about keeping you all in the know.
Trends are fresh, so make sure your content is too!
If you can utilize this at least once a month for your brand, you’re going to become a company rockstar. Putting an end to tedious, boring and over done content is where you really start to see real results coming in from all angles… not just links!
You should be using this tactic now more than ever! Why? Well, since the Google freshness update has been brought out of the workshop you have a big opportunity for more traffic. Emerging trends are going to be a major player in your branding power and establishing yourself as an authority on the subject. What’s more is that this is an area where having the most links isn’t an issue.
Social Tools of the Trade
We’re going old school here and producing a list for your reading ease. It also prevents me from rambling on and and and on and on and on… If you’re used to reading my posts then you know I can get a little out of hand at times (like this paragraph for example).
Google Trends – I’ve been using this since it came out and it’s always a great way to discover trends according to Google search traffic. Since so many of us use Google, this becomes an invaluable tool for doing a little trend research. Sometimes it’s not an up to the minute report, but it should be useful here and there for certain data.
I find Google Trends really helpful in determining the popularity of certain products over a certain time period. It’s really helpful if you need to look back a year or so and determine certain things for a specific time period. I find it really helpful with Christmas trends or any other holidays. For even more in depth of a look, you can mosey on over to Google Insights for all sorts of awesome data on keywords and websites. Don’t forget to play around with Google Insights as well, check it out:
——————————— Technorati Authority – Here’s a site I haven’t mentioned in a long while and it’s a shame because it provides great insight in to the blogosphere. We’ve always been a big fan of how Technorati keeps tracks of the sames trends and buzz for each category in their blog directory. This has always lead to interesting and quality link building opportunities, as well as one of my personal favourite link bait idea generators.
——————————— Blog Pulse – If you’re wanting to track more blog trends and find hot topics to cover on your site, you can’t ignore this useful site. I always double check their trend results right after my visit to Technorati. They have a more useful search box that lets you get into specifics, which is helpful if you’re looking for one particular subject/keyword/niche.
I always use Blog Pulse in my link building efforts regardless if I’m writing link bait or not. I really find their conversation tracking abilities helpful for keeping an eye on a subject or two for any given date. You can also really dig deep into some older trends… up to 180 days back, which is a really nifty extra feature.
——————————— Trends Buzz – For a quick and lovely look at some daily trends and what’s trending you’ll want to bookmark this site. They cover all the important sites that you’ll want to know what’s going on with and I check it near daily just to stay in the know.
They have other areas where you can check out what was hot that day or what’s currently trending live and wild right on the web. It’s such a simple and easy to use interface and I hope they keep the site going for a long time. Big thanks to the folks behind the site and keeping it free for schmucks like me.
——————————— Topsy – This is perhaps the most useful and well put together site for tracking trends across videos, images, social news and blogs. They’ve recently added a Google+ trend tracking section of their website, which is something I’ve been using on a daily basis ever since it came out. You could pretty much stop using any other piece of software or trend analyzing website, use Topsy exclusively for your research and still have some of the most topical and interesting content in your niche.
Topsy also has an API and analytics section where things get pretty schweeeeet. You can even use this to go back in time a little and see trends for a whole event during a given time frame. A good example of this could be the recent occupy wall street news/mentions, or during a product launch to measure how well your marketing team did.
Tracking Twitter Like A Boss
Twitter is hands down the best and most up to date source for trending topics. You could only use their trending topics data and be totally fine in your link bait idea discovery. There are a few easy ways to discover trending topics on Twitter so I thought I’d share the ones I use. I’d also love to hear from you folks on the tools I missed out on listing. The beauty of the ones listed here is that they’re all free!
Twitter Trends – I’m sure you’ve noticed the trending topics on the sides of your Twitter searches. They’re a quick update on what’s hot at the moment and it allows you to change a few targeting features. The trending topics are both on the homepage with one of them being “promoted/paid/sponsored” and the rest are in the sidebar after you’ve searched. Once you’ve hit the sidebar trends, you can change your targeting by location and get down right local if need be. It’s definitely my favorite feature and I find myself getting super targeted information for a number of clients and niches that wouldn’t be relevant without it.
———————————- Hashtags.org – This is an excellent site for digging deep into the trending hashtags at any given time. You can also check previous dates if you’re doing some trend research, which is a really handy feature of this site. There’s not much to it other than figure out what you want to do research on and search away.
TweetMeme.com – This is a daily read for our team here at Linkbuildr mainly to see what’s the most Tweeted piece of content. It’s great for picking the right blog posts to comment on. You can also further develop your link bait ideas based on trending news, images and videos. The biggest and best blogs on the planet are using the TweetMeme plugin/app on their site so you know you’re getting a good data scope. You can follow us on TweetMeme or check out any site specifically and keep up to the minute tabs on your favorite websites.
Twitter.com/Tweetingtrends – For those that would like to get their Twitter trends in their social circle, why not follow Tweeting Trends? They only tweet when something hits the top 10 and this, in my opinion, is all you need to spin some funny/weird angle for your link bait. I cannot think of an easier way to keep on top of the Twitterverse and I always keep their stream in a Hootsuite tab for viewing pleasure.
The latest and greatest from the world of trend tracking is Data Sift. They have ponied up for the full on Twitter firehose access and offer the service to you by only paying for what you need. The platform is hands down the prettiest and the most useful when it comes to getting the data you need.
one of two exclusive re-syndicators of Twitter data, we deliver 100% of the firehose in a format that allows you to filter against the meta-data attached to each Tweet.
The data streams are really freakin cool and I wish I had paid access to all the data I need. I highly recommend checking out their example streams to get an idea of what this software suite can do for you and your business.
Other Trends To Watch
Youtube – One of my favorite features of the new Youtube layout is where they show you the most popular videos of the day/week. One other area that’s a little harder to find is the Youtube Trends Dashboard where you can really dig deep into what’s trending. This is a great place to research your niche and come up with awesome videos to embed in your link bait. We’ve had a lot of success to video compilations for clients and this is the first place we go to find out what’s hot on Youtube.
———————— Top Selling On Amazon – Most of us are here to make money and the biggest shopping site in the world gives you all the trend data in the world. This is an essential place for people selling products and or looking for something hot to blog about. It’s almost Christmas time, so just think of all the link bait opportunities here. You can go down into every category and find all the goodies. Since we’re on the topic of trends, check out Amazon’s Movers & Shakers section for what’s spiking off.
I’ve saved the best for last and it’s for the brands with a little extra in their budget. TrendHunter.com is an amazing website for just about everyone and their mother. You can be just a browser, there to network or take advantage of what’s actually hot in the world today. I’ve been a “Trend Hunter” for many years and I’ll continue to read this website every day of the week.
If you’re looking to go above and beyond in the world of trends, then you may want to try out Trend Hunter PRO. They’ve put together thousands of emerging trend opportunities, over 100,000 innovative examples and over a thousand reports for the 2012 year. So many amazing companies are on board and if you’re still scratching your head as to what the hell it’s all about, check out this video:
Resources & Your Comments
As always, I like to leave some other great reading resources on what I’m blabbing on and on about. I also encourage you to leave links and mentions of tools you’re using in your marketing efforts, despite how little you folks comment. There are tons and tons of awesome tools for tracking trends so I want to hear about them.
In the web space, infographics are still one of the best and most cost-effective marketing strategies to build hundreds, even thousands of links to your website. It’s actually quite amazing how viral a well-designed piece of information can become – especially on platforms like Twitter.
Over the last 12 months or so, I’ve watched web agencies (particularly small to mid-sized firms) explode into the industry spotlight all because of a clever infographic that was shared and reposted by the right kind of people i.e. information design junkies like Mashable.
Obviously, nothing stays “bling bling” forever and exploitation will eventually become the demise of this link building buzz tactic. So in the tradition of pushing boundaries combined with absolute curiosity, I find myself wondering what’s next. Then it came to me:
Infographics as we currently know them are static, just like the web used to be. Naturally this means it’s only a matter of time before designers and savvy marketers start to move towards newer technologies to further enhance the viral potential and “linkability”.
Interactive infographics… That’s insane… Or is it?
Enter HTML5 and CSS3
Don’t start panicking; I’m not going to write a guest post on Linkbuildr.com about web design best practices because that wouldn’t be very relevant, but as an Internet marketer and avid blogger, if there’s a new way to spread content that users go bonkers for – I need to know about it.
After a few searches on Google I didn’t find much, and then I stumbled upon a very short but descriptive “challenge” of sorts posted by Mozilla developer and overall cool dude, Paul Rouget, where he asked his blog audience to design an infographic using HTML5 and CSS3.
This is exactly what I’m talking about!
Though there were only about 9 direct responses to his challenge via the blog post, I could already see the potential.
Just imagine how many more people would want to share awesome infographics if they were animated and interactive! The link building possibilities would be staggering.
Enter Live Data Feeds
Companies are fetching live data and using it all over the web, so why not take things a step further and fuse this functionality into traditional information design and create an attractive, viral piece of info-driven content where the data changes as time goes by. Not only would the content be highly engaging and attractive (thanks to HTML5 and CSS3) but it will also be up to date – constantly.
I know you’re probably thinking I’m insane, and the fact of the matter is that I wouldn’t even know where to begin to create my own Interactive Infographic, but from a marketer’s prospective more user engagement means more sharing – and this is what excites me.
What do you think? Too far off the edge or crazy linking potential?
I’m currently writing an article on how big brands can score tons of links just by doing regular updates. I’m a Starbucks junky so I noticed the red holiday cups out and about first thing November 1st, and then I saw the news about it. I thought it would make for a quick but thought provoking post about how large companies can score links with ease. I also took a picture right now of my delicious Christmas Blend for those who are “too cool” for Starbucks and don’t know what I’m talking about.
If you go take a look at Google both in the regular area, blog search and discussions you’ll see roughly 50 thousand websites talking about it. That’s a lot of bloddy links, citations and social media buzz going about all for just a regular update from Starbucks. This is a perfect example of how you as a big brand can benefit from your fans across the web.
I know we already wrote about the wicked cool marketing stunt by Ben & Jerry’s earlier with their Schweddy Balls, but sh!t just got real. Hot on the trail of news of an entire new season of Arrested Development prior to the movie, it looks like a fan has made a Ben & Jerry’s flavour called “Tobias Funke’s I Just Blue Myself” ice cream and it’s going mega viral right now.
This is such a great example of how fans can build your brand online. What’s more is that it works for both Arrested Development and Ben & Jerry’s. Can’t wait to see if the two will bow to pressure and actually make the stuff. Photo credit and work goes to designer ninja Jonny Etc.
I often write about cool as a cat companies doing hot-as-a-dog things with their content. Everything from hotels getting 200,000 views on an imagine of their penthouse suite, to a Tacoma base auto shop getting 2 million views for a video interview. Video is a powerful link bait weapon and I hope these examples inspire you to utilise this platform more often. If you spread you good video to the right channels, really good things will happen which come in the form of brand buzz, links and social followers.
Before I get into the examples, there are a few things to keep in mind when venturing into this arena. Knowing your market is key, and this means knowing what forums, bloggers and media types are lurking out there. Having relationships built up with these people is only going to make life easier, and is crucial for your business to survive in this day and age. One thing is for sure, the Google rewards are plentiful from a well successful viral video marketing effort!
Photo Credit: Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au
Case 1) DC Shoes + Ken Block = Epic WIN
This is how you do viral marketing plain and simple. While this is not exactly a low budget attempt, I’m pleased with how DC Shoes does everything. This is a company that went from being a small skate shoe company to a full blown extreme sports conglomerate. If you haven’t seen this video yet you’re in for the best 9 minutes of your life. You’ll notice the use of Epic Meal Time and other awesome stuff that makes this a sure fire success with nearly 8 million views already.
As for link bait? This one was an ace before it hit the interwebz. Using the intitle: operator shows nearly 200,000 mentions of this on external sites. This of course hit just about every car forum, blog and media outlet in the world and nabbed links not only for DC Shoes, but for Ford as well. All I can say is my hat is off to the production team who put this together, and of course to Ken Block for his bad ass driving skills.
Case 2) How To Sell Make Up Online
We’ve worked with a specific make up company before and one of the best results we got were from getting reviews and tutorials done. There are a ton of talented video bloggers on Youtube and you can really get some reach via this route. This video by Youtube user Michelle Phan has 18 million views for pete’s sake! This was sponsored by no companies but she lists every product used, as well did a bunch of the blogs who wrote about it. This is free exposure those companies are loving I’m sure.
Case 3) Viagra Gets Ballsy
I’m a huge fan of risky marketing, especially in the age of the Internet. There are not rules online and the crazier you go, the better the results are. No press is bad press in almost all situations, so Viagra made use of some cheeky marketing to get a lot of press. Link wise, all you need to do is grab the attention of Adweek.com and you’re going to get all the press you could ever want or need. The amount of money the parent company of Viagra makes is drops in a bucket compared to what it cost to put together this commercial. I imagine they knew ahead of time it would be banned and would make a great PR campaign.
As most of our followers will know I’m a huge motorsports fan, and I’m an even bigger Nissan GTR fan so writing about this was a joy! When it comes to attracting links, buzz and followers within your niche you have to do something unique right? Well in the tuner world the competition is fierce, so standing out is harder th an ever these days. The fine folks at Illtech Auto certainly have done a great job of making noise in just the right way…both on the web and with this monstrous beast of a machine.
So what’s a good lesson to learn from all this? Well them building this amazing car lead to them getting this video done which has nearly peaked to 1.6 million views! You couldn’t ask for better brand exposure, especially for this small tuning company. I took a look closer and this video hit a whole lot of forums and blogs, which in return generated a lot of natural delicious links. There’s not much more that I can write about except get inspired by this and know that one video done right can do you a lot of bloody good!
Find out the results of a year of high volume content marketing on guests blogs taught us money still talks. Read the results!
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Check out the anatomy of a "negative SEO" attack on our own site in our latest post. There's too much worry about these attacks happening, but I wouldn't worry too much about it. Come read what I think and just what to do if anything like this happens to your brand.