link bait

Abercrombie & Fitch VS The Situation: PR Bait Genius

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August 17  |  Viral Marketing  |   Ryan Clark

I just love smart marketing/PR stunts, and Abercrombie & Fitch has got the world’s attention today with theirs. In a world where it’s hard to grab the attention, social buzz, links and viral crazyess their marketing team has managed to that so well. You know you’re doing well for your brand when you’re trending on Twitter! Luckily for Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, this could work out well for him as any press is good press.

“We are deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino’s association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image. We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans. We have therefore offered a substantial payment to Michael ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino and the producers of MTV’s The Jersey Shore to have the character wear an alternate brand. We have also extended this offer to other members of the cast, and are urgently waiting a response.”

This is something to be studied by everyone in the marketing game from student to master because this is how it’s done these days. If you take a quick look on news sites, blogs and the search traffic/chatter you’ll see that they’re coming out big with all sorts of win. The amount of links alone that will be flying at A & F should well be worth it. While I don’t think The Situation will be wearing anymore of their clothing (not a big loss really), this is a good time for some other clothing company to jump out of the dark. So hear me now, if you want The Situation to rock your clothing label, you’d better start beating the doors down now. There’s a seriously good amount of marketing to be gained from this so heed my warning!

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Infographic Marketing Strategies For Links & Brand Buzz

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August 11  |  Link Bait Tactics  |   Ryan Clark

Marketing your infographics properly is a sure fire way to snag natural links, build brand buzz and gain social media followers. It’s a form of content creation that is relatively inexpensive to do and can continue to bring in links for years to come. The latter aspect really gets me excited because I’ve seen some crazy good links come in a year later from some great topical link bait. There’s no doubt that infographics have become the most widely used link bait tactic in the past couple of years, and I don’t that expect to slow down any time soon.

Source: Infographic of Infographics by Ivan Cash

There are millions of ways to tackle the creative end of things, the marketing, however, can be done either correctly or incorrectly. We’re all in the market for links from related sites, so make sure you stick on point. For the most part, I’ve seen mostly topical infographics being used with the right market in mind, but I’ve also seen others where the goal is to just get whatever links from whoever will give them to you. Not to worry though, you’ll want those related links anyway so focus on your niche.

There’s a lot of prep, or at least a lot we do, before starting your marketing efforts, so prepare your spreadsheet of choice. We’ll cover the tasks we lay down and hopefully this helps you structure your campaign better. I typically have this sorted while the client’s infographic is being worked on so that should be more than enough time to prep!

Last but not least, make sure your infographics “info” is really friggin awesome, because it’s going to make life a lot harder if it isn’t. How many infographics have you started reading only to quickly hit stop reading? This is where big flashy pie charts, numbers and eye catching statistics should be popping out like a 3D movie! You’re going to want to also provide an embed code with your infographic for ease of spreading; it blows my mind the amount of people who don’t do this.

Identify The Influencers:

So get out your spreadsheet and think of each point I make here as its own area or tab within it. We’ll need to start finding the social people out there that are within your vertical and you might stand a chance to get a share from their end. Hopefully most of you are already quite active on Facebook, Twitter and have made nice with a few bloggers. Your reach can potentially lead to huge success. To demonstrate visually, let me refer you to the picture below:

Image Courtesy: SocialMediaToday.com

Twitter: – I definitely like to have at least 25 of my most active Twitter friends on my “to contact” hit list for D-Day. Tactics like pulling a pre-emptive strike by contacting them a day or two early to see if they’d be willing to help spread the content are also a good idea. This social network alone can launch your infographic into viral orbit if you’re lucky so make sure to target the beefy and influential users that you are friends with. If you don’t really have strong ties with 25 users on Twitter, then make a list of 50-75 people you can contact in hopes of matching the same ROI… best of luck there! There are always infographics being marketed on Twitter, so check out what’s going on there to get some ideas. (Hint) Guy Kawasaki LOVES tweeting about infographics so much that I cannot tell if he’s getting paid to or not… either way, you get him you’re golden!

Facebook: – This one is tricky because you’re not usually friends with your digital cohorts at this level, just your mommy, friends from school and perhaps a girlfriend/wife if you’re lucky. The same mentality from Twitter applies here. Prep who you can contact to potentially get the Facebook shares going like wildfire. Hopefully your brands Facebook page has some decent followers that can start that initial push. If not, this one will be a tough nut to crack. I’d check for groups and fan pages as well for your brand, then get ready to share with those folks too.

Key Blogs: – This is the really tough part. I’m sure you do enough link begging, but now you need to infographic link beg. Break down a list of the best blogs in your niche and get to it because, again, just a couple shares can lead to big things. If the content is any good, blogs should jump at the chance to collect some of the hype that goes with it. You’ll be able to see which blogs have already shared an infographic from others, which blogs have a “submit news/tip” form and you should also find some other contact details like their Twitter and other social media information. You’ll be surprised at the response you’ll get from fellow bloggers and if they’re fans of your brand, then you’re in for an easy day.

Forums: – While I don’t recommend signing up to your niche’s top forums to spam them with your infographic, I hope you already have built a rep. Forums spread content like wildfire, so identifying the forums that will help launch this to a different crowd is quite important. A lot of niches won’t be so lucky, so if you have a big forum option, make sure you utilize it (or at least prep your accounts for future use). Forums are great for marketing and making friends, and mixing the two together will keep you out of trouble and in a good brand spotlight.

Reddit/Digg/Buzzfeed/Delicious/ETC: – There’s no doubt that Digg still has a lot of influence in spreading your content. The same goes for a number of other social news sites. Unfortunately, the chances of going hot on Digg are next to none unless you pay for it. Yes even after they “changed” their algorithm, the website is still dominated by a few users who get most of the stuff to the front page. Reddit is a deadly serious site that requires no spamming about on your end! Submit that sucker to the appropriate subreddit and hope for the best. If you content is good enough, it should do alright in the right subreddit, but then again, even Reddit votes are bought.

Buzzfeed is also a great place to get your infographic going around the web like crazy. You can buy front page spots for this, but you best have $3000-$5000 PER DAY to spend on this. Because of the huge price tag, the site can send a lot of traffic and get your infographic around if you’ve got the green. The other social media sites out there are up to your reach and influence, including niche specific social sharing sites. This is what we do, so if you’re looking for infographic marketing help, get in touch.

Link Analysis & Social Media Recon:

This is a no-brainer, but do your homework on other infographics both inside and out of your niche. While it’ll give you an idea of what to expect, it will also lead to other market help you may have overlooked in your initial setup stages. There are a whole host of search and link tools out there that will break down the anatomy of an infographic success story. Here’s what we use to do a quick rundown:

- Link Research Tools – know who and what links to a successful past infographic campaign. Take special note of the infographics that provided an embed code, and the ones that did not. You’ll see how the linking patterns evolved and this is pretty important stuff to know. LRT can also report back on the number of social shares which can be valuable information if you know how to interpret it.

- Twitter Search – I love seeing who’s sharing infographics around Twitter, especially in my target niche. People who are already enjoying them are more than likely to give yours a Tweet, so why not beg/ask? This will also lead to seeing how their followers react by checking out the RT love that that Twitter user’s post got.

- Google Blog Search – While we could perhaps just use regular old Google search for this, I want to know specifically which blogs are engaging infographics. Those older posts are a potential spot to drop a link to your related infographic as well, even though that might be a bit spammy in some people’s eyes. For the most part, a few choice blog posts isn’t going to hurt anyone and if the moderator approves it, then you’re good to go!

- Google Discussions – You’ll definitely want to know what forums were picking up past infographics because they’re the breeding grounds for natural links and viral activity. Since you get time stamps on posts, you can tell with your own eyes how that piece took off (or didn’t).

Infographics Gone Viral:


Image Source: Marissa Louie ( Her old site is now dead and links to Viagra )

Hopefully you have all your prep in place and you’re ready to rock once your infographic is good to go. The launch is an exciting part of the whole process, if not the most nerve-racking, so enjoy it and learn from it! There is a good chance you’re going to come up with nothing but fail, but don’t let that discourage you. We continue to see links come in over a year later for past infographics so it will be worth it no matter what if your content is good.

There are a few key places to which you can submit your infographic making life a lot easier as well as providing some initial links to the piece. Remember that people love this type of content so there will be browsers that will kick off the viral aspect of it all. The list provided here is not the end all be all, and more sites are popping up all the time so keep an eye out (hint: set an infographic Google Alert).

Infographic Sites:

- http://infographicsite.com/contact-us/
- http://infographr.tumblr.com/submit
- http://infographicsgenerator.com
- http://videoinfographic.com/submit-infographic/
- http://www.reddit.com/r/infographics
- http://www.infographicas.com/?page_id=39
- http://www.infographicsshowcase.com/submit/ (costs $100 for a review)
- http://www.infographicsarchive.com/submit-infographics/
- http://www.cloudinfographics.com/submit-infographic/
- http://submitinfographics.com/submit-infographics
- http://www.newsilike.in/submit-infographic/
- http://videoinfographic.com/submit-infographic/ (video infographics only)
- http://www.infographicpost.com/submit-an-infographic
- http://theinfographics.blogspot.com/p/submit-infographic.html
- http://visual.ly/
- http://dailyinfographic.com/contact
- http://iheartinfographics.tumblr.com/submit
- http://infographicsbin.tumblr.com/submit
- http://fuckyeahinfographics.tumblr.com/submit
- http://www.styleandflow.com/submit/
- http://infographipedia.com/submit-infographic-4
- http://www.omginfographics.com/submit/
- http://infographic.co.za/submit/
- http://www.bestinfographics.info/submit-infographic/
- http://iinfographic.com/submit-brilliance/
- http://www.infographicgallery.com/contact/

Submit A Press Release:

Why not? If you’re working on an infographic that has a really big reach, then you need to set aside a budget for a press release or two. I’d recommend using PRweb.com’s social media package as well as a release from Market Wire. Some news sites definitely pick up infographics and you an see for yourself with a simple Google news search. I cannot stress enough the importance of the content here for any sort of decent exposure.

Attacking Your Contacts like A Boss:

This is another time when all your prep comes into play. Just like with any viral marketing attempt, be on the ball and make sure you’re out there interacting and keeping the chatter alive. If you’ve got your social media vote buys on the ready, then make sure those are off to the races because you can forward those voting links to people who matter on your end.

Your Blog / Youtube / Newsletter:

I hope to the social Gods that you have at least two of those in place. Your company blog will most likely be the first link it gets and it makes for a great place to show off the social voting buttons for your fans to get acting on. A YouTube video talking about the infographic can’t hurt either, especially if your brand has a big following there (people even make videos of their infographics). Lastly, use your newsletter for what it was intended to do… share news! You can ask in private for your readers to check it out and vote it up if they have the appropriate contacts.

Infographic Resources:

- our infographic design and marketing services
- Infographic design resources and tutorials
- 40 blogs, portfolios, resources and other awesome infographic related material
- TopRankBlog’s infographic marketing post is a must read
- Adobe Illustrator infographic design resources
- Tips for designing and creating beautiful infographics
 

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Boston Pizza Changes Name To Vancouver Pizza

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May 30  |  Link Bait Tactics  |   Ryan Clark

Well our Vancouver Canucks are in the Stanley Cup finals and Boston Pizza has decided to change its name to Vancouver Pizza…well, until the finals are over. I watch half the games at our local Boston Pizza here in Victoria BC, and they always put on a great show. I was pumped to hear this marketing ploy being executed because it’s quite unique and got my interest. It’s even funnier how we’re playing Boston except the Canadian pizza company has no real ties to that city.

While their marketing department is in Toronto, it’s great to see them not being bitter about having a crappy hockey club and promoting the last standing Canadian team. Who ever had this idea should get a big fat raise because it’s brilliant, and I can imagine it will do wonders for business. I’ll have to keep an ear to the ground and hopefully catch some data from them after the promotion is over.

As for the re-branding, every store has got new banners and promotions touting the Vancouver Pizza name. Apparently it cost not much more than $20,000 which even includes custom Canucks menus with unique products..still I doubt we’ll see some Orca meat on the menu(lolz).  I’ll just stick to getting my perogie pizza which is so bloody yummy, and you cannot get it anywhere else.

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Sofitel: Any Press Is Good Press?

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May 18  |  Link Bait Tactics  |   Ryan Clark

With the recent shenanigans with IMF director at the New York Sofitel, you’d wonder how bad is all this for business. I know it’s a touchy subject, this is why I have zero opinion on what happened, but more so one about how badly this will effect business for them…or if it were any hotel for that matter. The NY Sofitel has a long struggle ahead of them, but the press might eventually work out in the long run. I know it may be a little early to touch on the subject, but I thought it might be interesting to see how it’s already impacted them in both direct traffic, social media and of course the links.

I do put out my warmest regards to the Sofitel PR team, they are most likely sweating it right now trying to do damage control. If you’ve turned on a TV, read a newspaper or checked out your favorite blog you’ve most likely heard the story over and over. This is quite the scandal so some of the biggest sites on the web are out writing, linking and tweeting!

This definitely has shown to be driving some seriously hefty traffic Sofitel’s way, and most likely not for bookings at the moment! While this also might not be true for return client’s to the hotel chain because having stayed at a few Sofitel’s myself, I can say that loyalty to this hotel is something they don’t lack in. While I cannot get accurate traffic statistics, we’ll have to rely on Alexa and Compete for this post;

So how is bad press sometimes good press? Well I imagine down the road once no one cares about this in a week or two, all those thousands of links, social media mentions and branding will have gone a long way. According to my current SERPs (and checked with Scroogle), I’m seeing Sofitel just on the verge of the top 10 for “Luxury Hotel New York”. I’ll make sure to check back in on how they’re doing this a couple months down the road.

I’d really be interested to hear from them a month from now as well on how bookings are doing, but I imagine that information will never see the light of day…good or bad.

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Ace Hotels: Boutique Brand Building and Inbound Marketing Case Study

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April 27  |  Inbound Marketing  |   Simon

I spend plenty of time following fashion, travel and hospitality blogs in between the time I’m not actually travelling or shopping, this all of which falls under “reconnaissance” for related Linkbuildr clients (so I’m technically working, if anyone asks). One boutique hotel with stellar online visibility is the Ace Hotel brand, catching my eye on a number of occasions over the last year. The Ace Hotel brand has a focus on their patron’s experiences, and they bring this to them with an art-fashion prerogative, an active social life, and stylish blog to match.  Their reputation and fashion-forward thinking has spawned a range of cross-branded products, which has in turn become linkbait, generating blog content. This is on top of all the links sprouted by their varied events and parties.

Ace Hotel Cross-Branding

With any cross-branding collaboration, brand alignment and authenticity, is crucial. Thiscan’t be forced; it has to come naturally, which it does in Ace’s case.  You take a search for them on top fashion blogs and you’ll find plenty of examples of this, from exclusive Havaianas sandals being offered in their Palm Spring location’s mini-bar to Wings + Horns designed boxing-style robe, a tribute to their NYC building’s boxing history. Most are available on their online store, making great mementos for Ace patrons or just fans of Ace or the collaborating brands.  Check out the Ace blog posts of the Havainas sandals and Wings + Horn boxing robe; both have their own story of the cross-branding involved. These details and insight truly make Ace’s brand shine. Now on to how this translates to perfect linkbait and an excellent example of inbound marketing.

Ace Hotel’s Natural Linkbait

Ace Hotel naturally exudes an inbound marketing and SEO prowess that you can’t manufacture. My cross-branding pick to showcase this is Ace Hotel’s collaboration with Converse on a custom line of Chuck Taylor sneakers. The Chuck Taylor sneakers have been around since the 70s and have held their relevance by serving as a blank canvas to be styled in unlimited ways, similar to Nike’s Air Force 1. This gives each new artist-designed or cross-branded Chuck Taylor release its own character, making each sneaker a little piece of art.  This aligns perfectly with Ace Hotel’s brand, as they host countless fashion, art, music and design-related events and parties.

The first edition was released Jan. 5 with this blog post, which told the story of its unique details and purpose as staff uniform. It was then released in limited numbers to the public to follow. This spread through the fashion blogosphere, appearing on blogs such as HighSnobiety. This hits their prime target audience, people who are interesting in fashion, art and design trends. When they step out for events, parties or head out of town, they want an experience that matches their interest.

The series of posts, tweets and shares that followed grew a wealth of links and traffic. A Google search for this release from Jan. 5 until Jan. 19, found 77 links with Ace Hotel, converse and Chuck Taylor in the title, all linking back to the Ace Hotel store or blog.

A second edition was released Mar. 30, this version fitted for rainy weather, with waxed canvas and rubber navy outsoles. A nod to their rain-prone locations in Seattle and Portland, their staff was equipped with them, with a limited release to the public. A Google search for the second release (Mar. 30 until Apr. 12), yielded 98 links.

Residual Brand Equity and Link Building

Brand equity residuals come in several forms from this example.  The first is through storytelling. The staff gets a stylish pair of custom sneakers, a rare perk at any job, which they get to share with their social circle. The buyers lucky enough to grab a pair get a nice memento of Ace Hotel, along with the story to tell their friends. And I can guarantee these sneakers and their story found their way onto these groups’ social media networks within minutes.

For link building, this example served as a perfect topic for fresh fashion blog content. With the two releases garnering 175 links between them in the first two weeks, searching in just the post title alone. Not including the wealth of social mentions that accompany that many posts.

Blog as your brand anchor, with social media support.

Outside of their achievements in branding and cross-branding, their blog and strong social media presence are integral to their success. The Ace blog carries the brand, personality, and self-conscious style from their hotels across to their online presence. This completes the modern synergy needed to complete a customer’s brand experience. It features event recaps, art, interviews and branded and cross-branded products. They also have a strong following, with 8,500 Facebook fans and over 10,000 Twitter followers. These channels are used beyond just for broadcasting their blog, thanks to their busy social life.  With all the events, shows and activity in and around Ace Hotels, they never run out of interesting things to say. Like a socialite friend who acts as a hub for your social circle, Ace Hotel is this friend.

Boutique hotel brands take note

For boutique hotels, active collaborations, events and parties are essential to build a boutique brand.  This will serve as blog fuel, enabling each post to be inspired instead of mandatory. This needs to be paired with active, authentic social media management to engage your customers and showcase your brand personality. These elements complete the brand experience, which is the value that customers look for in a boutique hotel, over a faceless hotel chain. The personality of your boutique hotel has to be felt from your rooms out to your tweets. This connection is what brings customer back, who will in turn serve as ambassadors for your hotel. This is all something that Ace Hotels does naturally, making them my case study pick for organic seo and inbound marketing in the boutique hotel industry.

Make sure to follow Ace Hotel and check out their blog for more intrinsic lessons in boutique hotel branding:

Their Blog: Ace Hotel Blog
Follow on Facebook: Ace Hotel Facebook Page
Tweets By Ace: TheAceHotel@Twitter

 

 

 

 

Follow me:

S_Gerard@Twitter

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Link Building Tactics In 2011: Keeping It Fresh

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April 13  |  Link Building  |   Ryan Clark

I figured a good ol’ fashioned link building tips post was in order, and now that a quarter of the 2011 year has passed us by, it’s time I dropped some useful tips. I’ve stopped doing what I did when we first started, mainly because link spammers are out of control and there’s no point adding fodder to their link cannons. In doing this, I’ll also spare the hard working site owners having to deal with them dirty spammers and their techniques. I will, however, be dropping some direct link building tips here, but it’s not for everyone. What I have in mind is big brand, big business link building tips to help diversify and explore options for quality, legit links. You’ll also notice that this post is rather large. That is because this is meant to be more of a reference piece than it is anything else. If you get bored of building links whichever way you’ve been doing it, check back here for a fresh perspective and maybe an idea or two you haven’t yet exhausted.

For some reason a lot of people complain about how hard it is to acquire links. This is only true if your company doesn’t have much going on. The more you do as a company, the more you have to put on the Internet and the more people will see it. We’ll take a look at the different types of content your company can produce to acquire natural, quality links. We’ll also take a look at certain overlooked aspects of link building opportunities for big companies that don’t get capitalized upon. These methods will all add a boost to your link profile not only naturally, but they will also continue to build trust with the major search engines.

Big brands have so much room to play in the link building arena that focusing on a concrete strategy can be difficult. For the most part, your social media efforts and consumer interaction will lead to all sorts of natural links, so we won’t be going over that much. On the other hand, seeing as we’re a big brand marketing company, we’ve had the pleasure and opportunity of sniffing out all sorts of link building opportunities in the corporate world. There is no shortage of options for link building and if your company isn’t doing anything about it, perhaps you should seriously start to consider a strategy.

As exemplified by Google’s recent Panda update and an upcoming change to how links are viewed, the link building landscape is an ever changing one. There are also statements about an algorithm update, most notably stated by Matt Cutts, as well as a Google spam engineer over at hacker news. While they haven’t said much, it’s very obvious to our team and everybody in the SEO world what’s about to go down. Too many people are gaming anchor text links and this is Google’s biggest flaw. We still see companies from the largest to the smallest doing this with low quality methods such as over done content marketing and, of course, paid links. This is not a link building tactic built for longevity and, I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be here making money ten years from now. With every link you build, you have to think “will Google treat this well in ten years”?

Some of what I’m going to cover may not be the freshest, but the angles I’m bringing down the wire should be enough to impress and inspire. Lame ass link bandits won’t be able to abuse these tactics, but legit companies who can afford to do good quality content will thrive on them. Some of the other link building tips will also require you to be a large brand, so I’m comfortable dropping that knowledge here for you all. It’s not rocket science but here at Linkbuildr, we like to plan out quality strategies and take some time to do it the right way.

Reviving Your Press Release Strategy

Photo Credit - Illuminated Photography

When it comes to press releases, there’s not a whole lot of diversity from most brands we come across. While submitting your PR to the likes of PRWeb and other press release distributors can do wonders in regards to links and buzz, there still is more to be done. For those who follow our blog closely, you might find a few tidbits from our previous post on press release marketing, so I apologize for the slight regurgitation.

Mix up your sources folks! There are a lot of great wire services out there that have a different reach.  This means the potential for great links is well…great! We have an upcoming study of a client of ours who submitted releases with PRWeb, Market Wire, PR.com, URLWire, 24-7 Press Releases and a few others, which had phenomenal results. Of course the key here is to actually have amazing news to tell the world. Great news is a must if you want to get it picked up on a site that holds some weight. We spread out each release over time and the news was completely different for each release. I wish we could showcase the client because it did wonders for them in regards to natural links from news sites, blog posts and finance sites.

One other thing we always do here is a backlink analysis on press releases done within your industry. This means picking 2-3 releases per major wire service and building a large excel sheet of the reach that they had. This will give you a good idea of the different news sources, blogs and Twitter accounts that are picking up the news in your area. This may make or break your decision on which service to use the most, first or at all!

Another benefit that I’ve mentioned is that a few of these press release sites have quality company directories. I know I’ve said on many occasions that directory link building is lame, but there are always exceptions to the rule, no? While they’re perhaps not the holy grail of links, sites like PR.com and 24-7PressRelease.com hold some good authority and standings with Google, so I’d definitely want a link in their business directories.

Take advantage of the social media options a lot of the bigger wire services have to offer. More quality content built in can only do good things for your release, especially if you want to keep it indexed in the long run. If you can have video done for the release, don’t hesitate! PRWeb even lets you embed a YouTube video, so that will go towards view count and better ranking for that video itself within Google. There are also a few social media specific wire services, like PitchEngine, a huge favorite here with us.

Public Company? Amazing Link Opportunity

Being a public company has more benefits than just raising money and keeping a company growing like a wild flower. There are also an abundance of link building opportunities that are only available to public companies. I’m sure those companies who have a smart in-house link builder will have capitalized on this, but you’d be surprised how many don’t even think of it. Getting links from stock market and finance sites can add a serious positive dent in your company’s link profile, and best of all, it’s all natural! While some of those links will come from being listed in certain exchanges, you might have to do some leg work to get your company profile into others. Let’s take a look at some examples of stock and finance sites that you could potentially get a juicy link from.

NYSE.com – If you’re on the New York Stock Exchange, chances are good your company will get a company listing on their site. Their website provides non spammy looking links amongst unique and quality company profiles. You just can’t go wrong if you can get listed here.

Yahoo Finance – This place goes with out saying, but I might as well mention it to get your link building mouth drooling. Not only does Yahoo Finance carry the latest financial news, it also has company profiles, which provide links and other great information for investors.

Yahoo Biz – Yet another financial service from Yahoo. It is essentially a company profile for each and every public business. You can check companies’ earnings announcements, analyst research reports, and company reports all from here. They have great indexing here and most big corporations are enjoying a nice phat link from them.

StockWatch.com - While this premium domain name practically describes itself, you’ll find it’s an authority site with a lot going on. This site is linking to just about all of our fortune 500 clients from their company profiles as well as each news story they pick up. Just hit up the footer on their site to start your journey into getting listed here…who knows, you might already be.

DailyFinance.com - Here’s another large financial and stock market website that reminds me a lot of the previous site. It has all the latest market news, updates and tickers as well as nicely laid out company profiles. This site is AOL owned and it’s no surprise as that company has done well to keep its web properties alive and kicking.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this form of obtaining links. If you have half a brain, like I like to think I do, you’ll know how to quickly sniff out dozens more high quality sites to work with. I always recommend whipping out your favorite backlink tool and going over some of the bigger companies listed. We’ve found more than 2 dozen finance sites to acquire links from for our clients using this method and it’s really a no brainer!

More Videos = More Links

Video marketing has so many benefits that getting links from it is just a minor part the entire expedition. When it comes to big brands, you should be doing video by now or you’re going to end up doing more harm than good. Video lets your customers see the people behind the brand, and not just another faceless corporation hawking products out to the consumer masses. Transparency is becoming a huge tool in social media marketing and, even if it’s not really fully transparent, consumers really like feeling like they’re a part of the company by living vicariously through your videos. While I may seem like a big hypocrite because you don’t see me in front of the camera often, I have been meaning to do some more videos, so look for that in the future.

While it can be pretty easy to get a YouTube video to rank within the top 10 results, rankings can not be your primary concern because videos can also score you some fantastic links. My recent post on big brand video marketing covered some of the methods you can utilize to get that link juice flowing in. Video contests work wonders, getting different departments within your company to video blog and incorporating video into press releases all result in positive marketing hype.

YouTube isn’t the only option out there. I’m a huge fan of using Vimeo for business not because they provide a quality link, but because it’s a different type of viewer. Vimeo tends to cater to the really tech savvy and the artsy, so make sure you plan your video for this site specifically. There are also other niche video/tube sites that you can research, so take a gander for what’s out there.

There’s not much I can really say other than providing awesome video content will net you links. You have to get your creative hats on and come up with something that brings out emotion in people. When Nike releases a new commercial/interview/sneak peek, it usually gets picked up by hundreds (if not thousands) of websites. The chances for links are better than good, although we are talking about one of the biggest shoe companies on the planet here. What I’m really trying to say is, if you’ve built your brand big enough, your fans will definitely throw you some love back.

.EDU/GOV Links The White Hat Way

Before I get into this section, we all can agree that .edu and .gov are not necessarily any better than a link from a .com. It’s all dependent upon the quality of the page as well as the site, and we all know there are tons of over link spammed .edu blogs or guest books out there. We also get approached by people from universities to sell our clients links because they’re either a corrupt administrator, or a student trying to earn some extra cash with his school blog. This is far from what I’m talking about here because I’m not looking to end up like Overstock.

If your company is looking to diversify its link portfolio within this realm, don’t do it just for the link. When we help clients acquire links from these sites we make sure we have a damn good reason. I think it’s also safe to say that, for quality reasons, you should only look to source these types of links from universities and government institutions in your local area. This is where your company is going to need some good content that is either already available, or you have created it to attract these types of links. Here are a couple of perfect examples:

.Edu Job Boards – A lot of universities have a job board for students and I have no problem acquiring a link this way. Companies hire all the time and how often do they hire students? This is a great place to attract some fresh young talent for that new position and put forth a company profile. You may also be asked to partake in their next job fair, and this *always* leads to more than a few links.

Guest Speaking – There are all sorts of ways to get the foot in the door at your local college/university, and guest speaking can lead to a number of great opportunities. For example, your social media marketing director delivers a speech to the marketing students. We’ve helped companies get everyone from their accountant to the CEO give a talk to only enriched the lives of the students, but further build their brand.

Scholarships – This is another method in which giving back to the economy can really benefit you in more ways than a good feeling. I’ll use Boeing as an example, as they have provided scholarships that have netted them links from the likes of House.gov, Nasa.gov, university resource sites and hundreds of .edu domains from all over North America.

Local Events – A lot of government sites have all sorts of linking opportunities, but they tend to be difficult to achieve. This is a good thing. Being a part of the community is something all big brands should be doing for the greater good. Putting on local events is a great way to involve the locals, spread some brand awareness and of course, the marketing benefits.

There are other unique opportunities within this vertical and they will no doubt take some time to sniff out and discover. Just heed my advice and only pursue them if you have the means to provide a legitimate and meaningful experience for both parties. Abusing these methods will get you caught and in trouble with the big G, no matter how large of a company you are.

Contests = #Winning

Contests are quite easy to pull off for not only the biggest brands, but even the mom and pop shops out there fighting for a piece of the pie. Everyone loves free stuff so it isn’t hard to get the word out and the attention can be achieved through so many sources. Contests should be planned out carefully from the product/prize that you are going to be giving away to how you’re going to go about creating that buzz. There is a lot of potential when using a contest as a marketing device, so make sure you know what you’re in for.

Contests are about brand awareness. With that being said, there are other good things that will come with the territory. What goodies am I talking about? Well of course you’re going to be getting links from all sorts of sources, but there are a lot of social media followers to be had. Let’s take a look at a few resources we like to implement here at Linkbuildr when we’re helping a client run a totally awesome contest.

Contest Sites – This one is a no-brainer! There are already dozens of sites out there waiting and willing to let the world know about your contest. We’ve had a lot of success with some of these sites and a lot of them provide a nice link with your contest pitch. While these links may not be link gold, they’re still going to add a nice bit of diversity to that company link profile. If you’re an avid reader of our blog, you may remember our post about the Twitter contest site Gwazu.

Forums – There are a lot of shopping/deal forums out there that have contest specific forums for announcements. Typically, companies are not allowed to post the contest themselves so you may have to rely on your user base. Another option is to be totally transparent and either email the webmaster, or sign up as a company rep and post in the forum. Gauge it accordingly and proceed with caution, that’s all I really have to say. You don’t want to end up making your company look bad, and the potential to do that is definitely there.

Utilizing Your Fan Base – If you already have a lot of Twitter and Facebook followers, why not reach out to them to help spread the good word. Better yet, make social participation a must for entry into the contest. This will of course lead to all sorts of new social followers, buzz and perhaps a link or two if you play your cards right.

Other options we’ve hacked into our clients contests have included tapping into their email list, select advertising via Adwords and emailing brand fan blogs to help out. Of course, this all depends on your company’s budget, so be selective in what you choose to do. We always recommend going for the gusto because you’ll get a lot of data on how a contest impacted your business and you’ll be able to use that knowledge for campaigns in the future. Future contests will be laser targeted and should run smoother since you’ve fine tuned your methods. Please remember to track the campaign extensively in your favorite analytics software.

Create Mobile Apps

The mobile market is hot right now and by now most of you should be providing, at the very least, a mobile version of your website. Since a lot of our clients are hotels and real estate agents, a mobile application is a must for their overall marketing plan. There are so many amazing benefits afforded by creating an app that it’s hard to ignore, especially if you’re competing for those golden search terms. The better, more creative, and more useful your app, the better it will represent your company and backlink profile. Having an app of sorts is also another great way to produce quality content for your customers. After all, this is what it’s all about, right?

When you make an app for a specific platform, say the iPhone or Android, you open up a lot of great link building opportunities as well. Creating great content will get you links; this is how Google wants you to do it and by golly we’re going to recommend it! There are so many awesome examples of how having, say an iPad app, has boosted business, so unfortunately, I’ll only be able to go into a few of them. What I can say though, is that you should always research how others are doing things and what kind of results are they getting. I can definitely say that a backlink analyzer will bring out some interesting linking opportunities depending on what route you take. Regardless, big brands should have both an iPhone/Pad app as well as an Android one… hell, even a Blackberry or Palm Pre if you have the budget.

So how does link building factor in? For the most part, it’s a natural process that, at the moment, can net you a lot of links. I’ll come back to the content is king mantra for a minute because making a boring/lame app won’t get you very far. Recreate your website’s most important functionality for the biggest uNF! Brainstorm with your team to come up with some unique and interesting features, perhaps something app sites will want to write about. Most importantly, make something that the users of your product would like, and you’ll have no problems attracting links and attention. Let’s get into a few ways you can net links, but keep in mind that there are a lot more techniques to dig into.

“iLinks”(iTunes Directory & Business Profiles) - This one is a given for anyone making a high quality iPhone/Pad/Pod application for their business. Apple does their app directory the way every directory should be done. A really great app write up that covers the functionality, all the company information including a nice link as well as integrated social media such as a video demonstration.  Just take a look at the Hyatt’s iPad application page for a great example of doing this right.

App Blogs, Forums & Directories – A quick Google search will show you just how many quality app blogs, forums and directories are sitting out there just waiting for your listing. Submitting a press release about your app is a great way to get the ball rolling. A lot of these blogs will pick up the news and write about it. Then, it’ll usually hit a few of the forums and snowball from there. With any luck, it will explode into a plethora of links and social media mentions all over the web.

Android App Market – This phone OS has a booming scene and is a great rival to the whole Apple cult. In fact, Android OS has just claimed the largest market share in the smart phone realm, so if you’re doing an iPhone app, make sure you do an Android version as well to prevent backlash from the community. There are a large amount of dedicated blogs, forums and directories just for Android, so jump right in and dig them out. Sites like AndroidApps.com provide a nice link along with your quality app and if you can successfully infiltrate xda-developers, their community is among the most savvy and helpful. Just make sure you’re always giving something to the community and they will pay you back in spades. The same snowball effect seems to take place once you’re listed in these places as well. If you do some link research on other apps listed, you’ll see that the other blogs pick from the scraps here and usually link out as well.

BlackBerry Users – While I almost don’t need to mention this, I thought I would just in case. Blackberries are still everywhere and while they’re losing market share to Android, there’s still room for attracting the business crowd. The Blackberry OS has all the same blogs, forums and app directories to repeat the process with.

Having the apps for these devices just goes to further your branding power, and makes you look more established. Since ranking well with Google is all about trust, this goes a long way in setting you apart from the pack. Furthermore, you can use your app in contests, giveaways and for reviews. It couldn’t hurt to send out copies to some of them most influential bloggers in your vertical.

Banned Commercials

This is one our favorite things with which to help out companies. We really appreciate the risky marketing some brands are willing to attempt, and it almost always pays off big! Banned commercials will almost always get a million views on YouTube, as well as net the company tons of links and social media chatter.

It’s very true that sex sells, take for example this banned commercial from the headphone company Zippears. The video netted nearly a million views, tons of links, embeds, social chatter… pretty much the works! This is a pretty clever ad that has surely done them wonders. Another thing that struck me as really smart about this marketing campaign is that they’re not just going after general ear-buds, but ones that are “the best” for runners. As someone who runs myself, I’m likely to try and snag a pair of them now.

 

This, of course, is a method of advertising that takes a lot of time, skill and patience. Why? Well, you might not hit a home run within the first attempt and that can be quite discouraging. We recommend that you study other company’s attempts and try and pool together the reasons why they people had success or didn’t. Get creative and try something new, but make informed decisions based on research you’ve done.

Have a 1-800 Number?

While this is nothing top secret or uber 0day when it comes to link building, it’s something not many companies take an hour to sort out. If you have a 1-800 number, you can get links! While most people will find your 1-800 number once on your website, there are still a huge number of people who will just use a search engine. These 1-800 sites rank well and provide a decent listing page that usually includes a link. I like this because it just adds more diversity to you link profile. In addition, it isn’t something link spammers are nailing off because it requires you to actually have the number. Here are a couple of sites that you can put on your to-do list:

Inter800.com – This site looks like it’s still sitting in the 90′s, but it has a large database that Google has kept well indexed within its SERPs. Best of all, your listing is free to get and we’ve even seen other business databases scrape and include this information. I know that’s not the best link either, but it surely won’t do you any harm.

Internettollfree.com – This is another directory that looks a lot more up-to-date and provides a link from your company listing. The listing pages are a little content thin, so again it’s not much of an authority link but rather some padding for a unique feature your company has. What I don’t like about the site is the amount of articles that are clearly geared for search traffic…this may or may not be a good thing.

1800canada.ca – Here’s one for my fellow Canadians out there. It’s basically a PHPlD made for Canadian companies with a 1-800 number. While you have to pay a small fee to get listed ($2 CDN), the directory is well kept and has no junk or spam listed at all.

Coupon Marketing For Links

Using coupons for marketing purposes is hardly fresh, but it’s still a viable option in 2011. While there are the big players out there offering coupon listings and links to your company, there are now more niche coupon sites than ever. This is a great way to narrow down your target market and get a more quality link from a site within your industry. Coupon sites come in many forms as well, from custom built sites, to forums and general blogs. In this day and age, the more insane the coupon the better! We try and get our clients to offer a discount that will have them break even, or at times, lose some money (gasp!). The opportunity for links and brand awareness is sometimes worth the risk, and you should at least give it a try once!

The main reason to have a really good coupon is because a lot of the forums don’t allow companies to post themselves. I can see how this does lead to spam, but I see it as a flaw as well for all those legit companies with great discounts to offer the consumer. So, having a wicked deal will more than likely help get the consumer to post it up with their account, especially if someone asks for it. Other sites allow companies to post up legit deals, and some even provide company profiles along with it.

RetailMeNot.com – This is my favorite coupon/deal site as both a consumer and a marketer. They provide an excellent platform that allows people to find the coupons that are currently working. RetailMeNot also provides store profiles with a masked link back to your site. You’ll find that once your coupon hits this site, it will get picked up around the web. We’ve found that it will, for the most part, be from forums in which we see a good link right behind it.

SlickDeals.net – Home to one of the biggest deal community forums on the web, this is a great place to have a deal listed. This is a forum where users post the deals, so make sure your coupon is amazing and you get the word out in hopes of having someone list it here. If you take some time to understand the user base, you’ll see how it all works and how to increase your chances of getting listed.

You could literally hire someone to do coupon marketing for your company full time, so take the time to formulate a marketing strategy. Coupons are just great in general as you can sell off old stock, build hype for a new product and help the consumer out in these tough times. I also recommend reverse engineering other companies’ efforts in order to get the best out of this tactic.

Get Interviewed!

How many blogs within your industry would absolutely love a chance to interview someone important from your company? Here’s a hint, it’s a lot! This works especially well for big brands as they have a lot of influence. With that being said, a new hot, up and coming brand can also net some juicy links and brand awareness just by reaching out. An interview almost always includes a link and if not, just give the blog owner a shout back and ask politely…doesn’t hurt! I love this method not because of the link, but because it puts more of a face on your company and increases transparency, which is something, your customer can relate to.

Want a great example? Social gaming guru and CEO of RockYou Lisa Marino recently did an interview with Inside Social Games. It’s a whopper of an interview rich with amazing content, data and a peak at what they are up to in 2011. There’s nothing spammy about this tactic and only leaders in the industry will get interviews of this caliber. I also love it for the fact that your competitors will have a hard time copying this tactic.

The interview doesn’t have to be with your CEO either. We’ve helped get companies’ SMM director interviewed on branding/marketing blogs, graphic designers doing corporate design interviews and even accountants offering niche advice on some of the best accounting blogs. There are endless opportunities, so do your best to identify your unique employees as well as the blogs out there to contact.

Have A Job Opening? Yes? Booyah!

Here’s another tactic that small, medium and large brands can throw into the mix. Companies hire people, that’s simple enough, but how else can your company benefit? There are a lot of authoritative job sites out there that provide links through company profiles, job listings and other interesting means. The job sites you’re going to want to be listed on are also clean and spam free so you know you’re doing something right if you play within the rules.

The cost of doing business can be a little steep for the smaller companies out there so you might be turned off by the larger sites because of the costs associated with finding someone to fill that job. Of all the big brands we’ve worked with, it was hard to find one that wasn’t hiring at least one position at any given time. I always find it worth the trouble, mainly because it adds to the link profile’s diversity, as well as usually bringing in a lot of ReTweets and other social media activity. The amount of job sites that scrape data is astronomical and yes, mostly downright spammy (especially post Panda). So let’s take a look at just a couple examples and I’ll leave the rest up to your team… that or you can hire us!

Monster.com – The monster of all job sites… and yes that pun was fully intended! Monster.com has a company profile directory for the players out there and this is where you’ll get a natural link if you use their services. This job site is of course not free but well worth it for the hiring process. You can’t use this as just a means of getting a link because it really is an incredible tool that ought to be utilized if you’re paying for it.

CareerBuilder.com – This is another site we’ve all probably used to hunt for jobs and employees and it is without a doubt second to none in the industry in terms of quality. They have excellent company profiles that are content rich with the ability to add video. Your company will also get all its latest jobs listed here so make sure your company has a great profile that stays indexed. The one major problem we’ve seen is that most companies will just copy and paste their “about us” from their homepage. Don’t do this because everybody hates duplicate content. Spend the five minutes and write something unique for the site and your link will pass more juice!

TweetMyJobs.com – There are a handful of Twitter based job sites and personally, I love TweetMyJobs. They have a really slick interface and by far the best feature is the geo-location map featured on your company page. This allows people to hunt for jobs easily within a certain location and see it visually. They will integrate into your profile your Tweets and a link to your company via image, which is another great diverse link to throw in the mix. Check out how Sony Jobs is doing things on TweetMyJobs.

Just Because You’re A Big Brand

There are dozens of unique ways to get a link, build brand buzz and whatever other good that comes with it. While I’m going to be dropping a few gems for you folks, I recommend you get a brainstorming session with your marketing department going. Take what you’ve learned here and try and figure out what other avenues of link building you can exploit because you’re a big company. I can tell you that we have a large stash of treasure that falls under this category, so there are definitely a lot of interesting roads to take. I’ll mention a few things we’ve already blogged about as well as a few new ones for you all. Always think like a link builder: if you’re doing something, anything, there’s a way to get a link for it.

CEO Interview Sites – I know I mentioned doing interviews a few paragraphs above, but these sites are a little more specific and I thought they fit better in this section. There are a good amount of sites that are dedicated to just interviewing successful CEO’s, and these are a cool way to get a unique link. One of my two favorites is CEOCFOInterviews.com, a highly active and great place to get featured. The other is a great resource provided by CenterNetworks. They interview all sorts of CEO’s from all sorts of different companies but with a concentration of tech companies.

Company Rating Sites – A lot of the big business magazines and blogs usually do lists of “the best companies to work for” and so forth. Fortune 500 companies have a great shot at being included in on these lists so take a good look at which companies are there and why. There are also specific sites that touch on this, such as GreatPlaceToWork.com; you can all guess what goes on there.

Company Directories – I’m not talking your usual PHPld site that listed just the company name and link, but rather a new breed of company/business related websites. The types of sites I’m talking about are fresh and 2.0 minded and they provide more than just a link. These sites leave no stone unturned and incorporate social media, networking and company news. These sites have been covered previously, so check out Company.com, Manta.com and of course CrunchBase.com. Make sure to provide a unique profile for each and avoid creating a low quality page.

Your Office & Location Based Apps/Sites – Just having an office is a link building opportunity, which can add more diversity to that link profile. Make sure you have your office listed with Foursquare, Gowalla and even Yelp. There are also local business directories as well as ones that are nationwide with which you can get a listing. Think Superpages, Local.com and Metrobot. There are dozens more to discover and it only takes a few Google queries to find a good list or two.

Using Twitter To Nab Links

twitter logoTwitter can be a huge waste of time, or it can be an incredibly valuable tool for your business. I usually say that it depends on your industry. Twitter can be used to connect with your customer and with industry leaders including bloggers and other media personalities. Even just getting the nofollow profile link is worth some of the minor effort in most cases. Remember that a big part of having a natural link profile includes nofollow and that Google and Bing are definitely watching websites’ social media interaction. There are, however, a few ways to get followed links from Twitter; we’ll briefly cover them below:

Twitter Directories – These are on the low quality spectrum for the most part, but I don’t think it’s something that need be left out. These sites usually provide a link to your Twitter profile as well as your homepage, and if you’re lucky, your tweets are going to be followed links. A great example of this type of directory is Wefollow, and if you look at the Linkbuildr profile, you’ll see what I’m talking about. My other favorite site, which seems to send a decent amount of targeted followers is JustTweetIt.com.

Link Begging 2.0 – Ok I may not exactly mean that you should go around asking for links via DM. Instead, I’m proposing something slightly different. Building good quality links is all about making connections with the right people. Twitter is a direct line into people’s lives, and thus a great opportunity to make connections. How awesome would it be to get a direct message from your favorite brand? Pretty frakin awesome! We’ve used Twitter to get us interviews, links and ReTweets, and so should you.

Link Baiting - I’ve seen so many great examples of link bait via Twitter, whether it was on purpose or not. For example, I wrote about a Chrysler Twitter account dropping the f-bomb and how it made the news all over. Regardless of this looking bad, it still did a lot more marketing awesomeness than they were expecting. You don’t have to necessarily swear a bunch, but something cheeky and provocative could perhaps give your link profile a serious boost. As they say, there’s no such thing as bad press (there definitely is, you just have to be able to pass blame convincingly).

Sponsorships, Partners & Charities Oh My!

While this technique has also been covered by numerous SEO bloggers, I thought it still deserves a mention in the 2011 game plan. We recently worked with a very large corporation that did a lot of charity work, but we found a major problem with it; they forgot to get a link from over a 1/3 of the charities. This is all fine and dandy because they’re giving money to help, not get links. We just got our hands dirty by calling and emailing the no-linkers and managed to get half a dozen extra solid links. This also led to more Tweeting about the charity and talking about the next event.

Partners – From time to time we work with a company that has a lot of partners out in the world. Whether yours is a major retail store, an ecommerce shop or a related business, you’ll be able to find a few unique linking opportunities. If your company isn’t looking deep into your current connections, I suggest brewing a big pot of coffee and getting to brainstorming. The last time we helped a client out with this, we even did an email out to the entire staff just to make sure we had all our bases covered. Sure enough, the sales team knew of a handful of sites that presented plenty of opportunities for us to get some links.

Sponsorships – I’ve seen this tactic used in what would be considered black hat, so be careful in how you proceed here. Finding the right sponsorship opportunity should be carefully conducted and should relate to your business. I really like to see corporations sponsor university teams like Boeing does, as well as countless other corporations. I’m a big fan of open source projects not unlike Apache, Ubuntu, etc. and I love to see them get funding from companies using their software. This is a great way to get a couple links while supporting the free software that powers your business.

More & More Link Analysis

A lot of our link finds come from thousands of hours of link analysis, and there is a lot to learn from sniffing around on your competitors. There are a whole range of amazing tools that you can use to get the upper hand on your competition and you can bet we use a few of them. We recommend using Open Site Explorer, Link Diagnosis, Majestic SEO, Raven SEO Tools and (last but not least) Link Research Tools. If your marketing team isn’t doing this on a monthly basis, then you need to step it up. Not only can you discover new linking opportunities within your industry, you can keep tabs on what your competitors are doing. This is crucial when you’re competing for difficult search terms.

Keep Innovating

In closing, all I can really say now is to keep innovating, keep creating and keep building a positive brand image. I don’t want to see companies outsourcing blog commenting, crap content marketing and other forms of link building that won’t do wonders. Stay away from low quality link building and keep a fresh approach because you need to stay in business. I also tell clients to not keep all their eggs in one basket, and by that I mean don’t rely on Google alone. They can pull the plug within the hour on your revenue stream without any explanation. I know this for a fact because I’m a Google Webmaster Central contributor, and I see some horrific examples of just this happening on a weekly basis.

I need/crave/want your comments so let me know what you think about anything covered or forgotten here. If you have a wicked technique for big brands that you don’t mind sharing, return the favor and drop some knowledge on us. Last but not least, keep up to date with our company via our Twitter stream as well as our Facebook Page. We always drop tons of great link opportunities and knowledge on these two platforms and would love to interact with you there.

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Repairacar’s Dream Job Is Awesome Link Bait

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April 12  |  Link Bait Tactics  |   Ryan Clark

I just love it when I get a chance to cover awesome examples of link bait in the wild, and this time it wasn’t really intended to be link bait. I’m a daily reader of Autoblog.com and came across this post about how Repairacar.co.uk’s latest job offer is a dream position that is going to become reality. The job is basically picking up and returning people’s amazing exotic and luxury cars to and from the shop. What gets even better, that might require him to drive to all corners of Europe! I’d literally pack up and move over there for the job, and I imagine most of you fellow car nuts would as well.

Because of the high-liability nature of the job, Repairacar is being very particular about whom it will hire. Ten years’ experience with high-performance driving is a requirement of the job, and showing up for your interview in a Civic with a fart pipe will likely get you automatically disqualified.

Now I’m sure a lot of you have used a job/hiring process into your companies link building plan, but how often does a job go viral? I already mentioned the Autoblog post, as well Carscoop wrote about it and now they’ll have dozens of other sites doing the same. These are amazing, niche related links and it would do you some good to pay attention to how it all plays out. They’ll surely be getting a lot of Twitter traffic, and I hope they really pimp this on Facebook because it could result in a lot of new followers.

How could Repairacar keep things going in the marketing department? Well if I were them, which I clearly wish I was, I’d do the following to maximize this exposure.

  • Video document the first client’s “trip”
  • Offer a discount for the first client
  • Create a video podcast with the best cars/trips
  • Hold a driving test and release the candidate videos online
  • Press release for more exposure
  • Repeat the process again when they need a second drive(or just hire me)

It’s also nice to see some link bait that isn’t a lame infographic, nor a top x list or anything of the usual sort. I also offer my congrats to whomever manages to get this job, but I also secretly hate you. If you folks see anything like this ever, give us a shout via our contact form, Twitter or Facebook so we can blog about it!

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Big Brand Video Marketing: Let The Consumer Have Some Fun

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April 3  |  Brand Building  |   Ryan Clark

Big brands have a huge opportunity to have a little fun with their fans. and perhaps give your viral marketing team a breather. We’re all consumers, and some of your loyalists may be armed with an HD video camera, editing skills and the creativity to pull off something amazing. You may find it worth you companies while to dabble in the more socially interactive forms of video marketing. I’ve seen dozens of big brands do commercial contests, and from that I’ve seen videos that rivaled the big firms. Throw in a prize, let the winner receive their 15 minutes of fame and everybody wins.

Every moderate to popular product out there has some sort of consumer base, right? There’s always a good reason why your product has worked its way into the lives of all those people. Youtube is a great platform to let them showcase their own talents, for example let’s take a look at a current trend. Tea is undoubtedly making a come back, especially out here on the west coast. If we can dive deeper into the niche, outside the obvious health tea, let’s take a look at Blooming Tea (aka Flowering Tea). I saw this out there, and while it’s no big budget Hollywood showcase, it’s well done and makes me want the tea pretty bad.

This is a freshly done video so it will be interesting to see where it goes. I think this video is a great example of letting the fans do a little work. This isn’t done for BloomingTea.com by any means, but I certainly would have got in touch with the producer on this one. I would personally be thrilled if I saw something of this quality come from the social web. Hopefully these videos will spread the passion the producer has for you product, and the end goal is to make others feel and understand that same ka-pow!

Force The Creativity Out: Contests

 

Contests are always a great way to drive social media buzz, snag some links and spread brand awareness. This should almost surely bring out the talented video editors and bring forth a lot of great content. Large brands should have no problem getting a lot of interest and participation, which is why I’m surprised at the lack of social contests. A few good prizes and recognition will go a long way so talk to your marketing department to get the ball rolling!

I always recommend to clients thinking about it to head on over to Youtube, and just have a look at the other brands that have ran a video contest. From there, you can sniff out all sorts of interesting data such as how much social media interaction was achieved, how many links were acquired and other tid bits such as video views and perhaps even an impact of traffic (via Alexa or other sites).

Youtube offers a promoted video feature which should *never* be ignored by any big brand and their typical marketing budget. A good example of a current contest via Youtube is by L’Oreal Canada, and there opening video has nearly half a million views. Those views are nothing to shake a stick at, and you can get the ROI is going to be well worth the time and effort. For the sake if this post, here’s the video with the views;

 

The last tip we’ll give out here is make sure you identify influential Youtube “stars” within your vertical. L’Oreal has done this and we’ve always done the same for our clients. While your company may not need the help, it is such a fresh approach that won’t cost that much at all. You’d be surprised by how many of these “Youtube Stars” jumped at the chance for the exposure, and of course some free product! Regardless, it won’t cost much and it just builds deeper roots with your fans.

I’m sure most cosmetics companies by now have noticed the sheer amount of makeup tutorials on Youtube, so congrats to them for running yet another contest. I’d recommend to companies interested in all this to keep a close eye on how it all plays out for L’Oreal. If you happen to be a cosmetics company, check out all the things this company is doing online because it’s nothing short of awesome!


Let’s Hear From You

If you’re running a contest or have in the past of this nature, we want to hear from you and I can imagine so do our readers. I wish we here at Linkbuildr have actually done one for our own company, but you know how it is…too much work going on for other people to get anything done for ourselves.

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