viral

Iltech’s GTR R35 Markets Itself

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August 18  |  Viral Marketing  |   Ryan Clark

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!

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Wake Up You C*$%! Virgin Atlantic’s New Slogan?

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June 25  |  Viral Marketing  |   Ryan Clark

If you haven’t heard about the latest kerfuffle brewing with Virgin Atlantic then please don’t be too offended by the title. It seems a message meant for the crew only was accidentally sent to everyone on the flight, and if you’re still wondering what it was, read the title of this post again. I imagine the person who sent this one is going to get the axe, but they might just want to think about a wee ol’ suspension. The amount of links, social mentions and brand buzz will surely make up for a few people pretending to be offended. I personally think it was hilariously, but obviously it’s a place of business and not everyone is going to take it like I did.

Your thoughts?

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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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3 Places To Launch Your Link Bait

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January 25  |  Link Bait Tactics  |   Ryan Clark

In this day and age it is becoming increasingly more difficult to go viral. This is especially true for companies to overcome the feel of spam which means creativity is your only weapon. Comedy is usually the best weapon, and creating the content isn’t the easiest of tasks. Old Spice obviously hit the nail on the head with their commercials and ran with it just long enough to keep the brand in the minds of millions. They’ll most likely never be able to duplicate that amount of buzz again, but take a look at just how much traffic they got blasted with;

For most of the companies out there trying to get a piece of the pie, they’ll most likely not have the option to just launch viral right from their website. Getting that extra push will require the help of the social web, and while getting hot on Digg just isn’t as easy these days, there are other places to turn your attention to. Keep in mind you cannot just jump on these sites and expect to go viral, it could happen but most likely not. Building your social fan base is key, and for this we recommend building up a couple months of fans and social participation on these sites.

Launchpad 1) BuzzFeed.com

Buzz Feed is not only a great site to read on a daily basis, it is also a great place to go viral. I’m an active user here just for the purposes of entertainment, but if you got some hilarious or strange link bait, you stand a great chance of getting attention. Keep in mind on a site like this there are thousands of other content pieces in the queue, so you’re link bait is going to need to be grade A awesome. Have your social media manager build up a strong account here beforehand and put forth a positive image of your brand. From the viral content we’ve launched here, you’ll see a lot of Facebook shares and ReTweets from the users, as well the thousands of sites that aggregate the content.

Launchpad 2) Reddit.com

Reddit is my favorite website, I’m personally a 4 year user and couldn’t live without it! Reddit is not a site you can game very easily, nor do I recommend trying to at all. Their user base is above and beyond the childish Digg user, and they can smell a spam scam from a mile away. The only advice I can give you is to have awesome content and wait for a Reddit user to submit it on their own merit. If you’re team has a good account, make sure you stick to the sub-reddits which will greatly increase your popularity. If you can get content to go hot here, you’re in for a large amount of traffic!

Launchpad 3) Huffington Post

All you right wingers out there might be scoffing at this recommendation, but the left just does entertainment news so much better. This is mainly a news site, but it does have a very popular entertainment section where you’ll find write-ups on the latest viral content going around. This site is also user powered which means you can sign up, write your own posts and participate socially throughout the site. If your link bait is hot hot hot, then you’re chances to getting it to go viral from this site is very good. This is a place you’re going to want to build an account up for as well, don’t bother just signing up for the sole purpose of submitting one piece of content. Social media is about building relationships, so keep that in mind before you try and become a one post wonder.

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This is the section where I plead, beg and ask for our readers to suggest other sites that they are fond of. There are dozens of great sites to launch your link bait from so lets here em! If your company is struggling with its own viral marketing efforts then this is where I’ll offer our link baiting services.

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Conan + Twitter Office = Linkbait Wet Dream

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April 23  |  Link Building  |   Ryan Clark

picture courtesy(Mashable)

I just read about how Conan O Brian dropped in on the Twitter HQ’s in San Francisco earlier this morning, and it got me thinking. Can you imagine if you had access to this kind of viral marketing? I’m going to be watching closely what impact this has on not only Mashable, but Twitter link wise. I’m really interested to see how many links this will net them in a 24-48 hour period, what do you folks think? I would be a happy man to not have to worry about link building with this kind of networking going on, so is this making any of you think?

I imagine if you’re in the local search market, even a little interview with a local celebrity would go a long way in your linking efforts. This is the type of marketing I like to see happen for a few reasons. This isn’t costing them any money, your users do the link building for you and you’ll even enjoy some branding in the process. Last but not least, you’re also doing something your competitors most likely cannot copy. That marketing, and those links will be a wicked asset to your online ranking efforts and keep the competitor’s in your dust.

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Targeted Linkbait Ideas To Ponder

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May 28  |  Link Building  |   Ryan Clark

Linkbait is still all the rage and has always been around, just not necessarily under its branded term. There have been dozens of mind blowing linkbait articles from all the top link builders and I’ve found them to be some of the best reads this year. I’ll make sure to list the ones that have helped me out greatly at the end of this article.

I wanted to get on board and give back to the community with a few ideas I’ve put into action. These ideas hopefully make sense and I would really appreciate your feedback because it helps me learn as well. I’ve taken a few different steps to writing and marketing my linkbait for clients and myself, getting the links sometimes isn’t always easy. We’ll take a look at a few very targeted methods that will attract links from specific websites such as .edu and .gov, as well from sites within your niche.

I’ve stayed far away from taking a stab at a competitor or big fish even though the controversy can result in a lot of links. I believe that it could end up damaging your reputation, and that’s not something I’d risk for a client. I’ve had a lot of success with the humor side of linkbaiting and it can be a lot of fun to do. I’ve lately been really trying to target the types of websites I’d be getting links from with or without contacting them, and it can be tricky! Let’s take a look at what I’m talking about.

Targeting .edu/.gov Sites With Linkbait:

I won’t get into debating whether or not a .edu/.gov link holds more value that any other site. I personally don’t think it does in general, it just happens to be that a lot of the .edu/.gov sites have just naturally built up trust over time. 99% of the methods used to get links from these sites is down right not ethical, but don’t worry I’m not judging :) However, specially crafted linkbait can attract links from these sites.

The task of attracting links from .edu/.gov sites will not be an easy one, and be prepared to make several attempts at it before having it work. You could also be setting yourself up for as massive fail, but it’ll be worth it if your content is good. With that being said, you’ll also have to have the right type of site and content to make it seem like they should be linking to you.

In my experience I’ve tried to go about it two different ways and have managed to rack up some success. I really think these ideas could be pushed further and really do someone serious link loving from some very juicy sites.

Target An Individual .Edu: If your business or website content revolves around a certain location you might want to target your local university. This could be done in a variety of ways, and I’ll drop some ideas below. Getting webmasters and students to find your content let alone link to it is hard to do, but you won’t know until you try. Here are some ideas you could tackle to get links from a single .edu or .gov.

-10 places to study in peace at $insertuniversityhere

-20 money savings tips around/on campus at $insertuniversityhere

-10 famous people to graduate from $insertuniversityhere

So these topics may or may not be the best, but they should hopefully inspire you to come up with your own ideas. Now attracting the links is the tough part so you’ll want to sit down and put some effort into it. Start by finding email addresses of the webmasters of that .edu and fire them off a nice and personal email. Another option is to look for forums or blogs run by the students and get involved, finding out their email addresses or by finding contact forms. If your content is good enough your chances of attracting one link is of course greatly improved.If you’re even more lucky, that one link will go a little viral and spread around campus blogs and resource pages.

These same techniques can be applied to target the education industry and government websites. If you take a good look at a few .gov sites you’ll notice a huge ton of them have resource pages. These should give you an idea of what type of content/sites they’re linking to, and ideas on how to create something worthy of a link. You’ll have to rely on savvy social engineering via email or phone to ask if your content could be considered as a resource. I’ve done this a lot and I usually see a 10-15% success rate in getting an actual link.

Targeting Authority Sites Within Your Niche:

This is another method that will either work great or not so great depending on the niche you’re in. For this method I’ll need you to make a list of 10-30 of the most authoritative sites within your niche, or even closely related sites. Next I’ll need you to think of some killer content ideas, I generally go with creating a *huge* resource list.

Let’s say you’re doing a resource list. To start I recommend just making a skeleton or point form note list of what this resource list will include. I also want you to take down notes about each of those other sites and note their strong points. Before getting deep into writing mode it is now time to email those webmasters and let them know about the resource list you’re putting together. Let them know you want to include something they’ve got into the list, even flatter them a bit and say how much it has helped you out.

This can be a slower process, and I’d give it a week or two to wait and see who contacts you back. Engage everyone who does email you back and try and get them interested in providing a link once it’s complete. You could even ask them to contribute something new which would give them a feeling of community. I strongly believe this greatly improves your chance of getting a link from that webmaster. Once you’ve finished all your contacting you’ll need to sit down and write out the wicked content and get it ready for distribution. Once it’s live you can now let those other site owners know and be on your way to snagging some quick links, and over time newer sites might link to your resource.

Do Your Own Videos? Make your Own Embed Code:

An amazing video is a great way to attract traffic and links, but most people lose out on the link part. This is a form of linkbait that isn’t easy to do either, but if you have the video skills then listen up. I’ve seen tons of small business commercials on Youtube kill it because they produced a really ingenious or funny viral video. Now they surely got exposure, but over time everyone who’s going to see the video has and the traffic starts to trickle in. Why not get a ton of links naturally as well?

Now what if you were to create your own embed code and host the video yourself? This could be a costly option, but if you’re only doing a few videos a year you should be good. You’re not always going to have a video go viral as well so you have to factor that in as well. The bandwidth cost could easily be worth the business you drum up thanks to the links you’ve gained naturally by having your hosted videos own embed code. I talked about how Vimeo switched up their embedded videos to have dofollow links incorporated which you can read here: Vimeo’s Link Building Strategy.

Creating A *Killer* CMS Theme:

Ok now I know what you’re thinking….not another sponsor a WordPress theme blurb. Well it is not quite that bad and I’ve only ever tried this for myself once with positive results. This is another aspect of the article I really want your feedback on so pipe up.

There are a few very popular CMS’s out there like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Elgg etc etc. They all have theme sites where you can submit themes to, and let’s face it, most of the themes are re-hacked and submitted with links to crappy sites. Google has been known to devalue these types of links pretty quickly

So what am I talking about? Well I’m talking about having a programmer design a theme that is absolutely amazing. This is clearly going to cost you but for me was well worth it in the end. If you take WordPress for example, there are themes that were release free and were of premium quality. These themes went above and beyond the re-hacked theme and truly earned their place on the web. This will without a doubt attract hundreds to thousands of links over a 6-12 month period…sometimes even quicker.

Now this method is also not for everyone. I had done some sales and link building on the side for my friends web design business. This is the type of site that will really see the link love a flowing as well bring in a lot of clients. I won’t name the theme here but I’m sure some of you have even used it once or twice.

Must Read Linkbait Articles:

10 linkbait strategies to build links and drive traffic – Econsultancy
The Psychology of a Linkbait – Ryan Caldwell
How To Actually Get Links From Your Linkbait – Tom @ SEOmoz
5 Effective Linkbait And Link Generation Strategies – Adam Singer
6 Real Linkbait Examples and the Lessons Learned – Part 1 – Dave Pye
Search Illustrated: Types Of Link Bait – Search Engine Land
Prepping Your Viral Linkbait for Success – Vince @ Primary Affect
How To Linkbait E-commerce Stores: 15 Tips For Success! – Andy Boyd
Behind LinkBait: Word Play and Creative Semantic Constructions in Hot Titles – Ann Smarty

I hope this post made some sense and has sparked the minds of all you folks out there. I wrote this article really late after working for 12 hours so it may be a little wonky. I’d love to hear feedback in the comments and I’m open to constructive criticism! If you’re interested in having my team handle your next campaign check out my linkbait services.

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