If you’ve been involved with social media at all lately, you’ve realized that getting your linkbait on Digg has become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, especially if you’re trying from a commercial domain. This has left many social media marketers scrambling for ways to please their clients or find new ways to attract links virally for their own sites. While Digg is the big daddy of the social news sites and getting a frontpage Digg is certainly worth its weight in gold, by no means is it the end-all. You can still attract just as many links leveraging other popular sites like Reddit and Delicious.
The key is to step back and refocus on your content strategy. Just about all the linkbait articles from marketers that I’ve seen lately are the hooky, one-off type of stuff. It sticks out like a sore thumb. You know, things like ‘Top 10 Reasons Your Cat is like HTML’. This kind of content works great if you can hit the Digg homepage, but otherwise it’s just not good enough content to collect any significant amount of links.
Generally people don’t want to bookmark or link to this type of article because it provides no real value to them. It can make for a fun read, but otherwise it’s useless. With Digg, it was simply a numbers game — get in front of enough people and regardless of the quality of content, it will get links. For social media sites other than Digg, this isn’t the case. Your content needs to be 10x better because you’re not reaching quite as broad an audience. The numbers game still applies here. However, this time you’re reaching less people so you need to step up your game and give them a better reason to link to you.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Great content alone is, in most cases, still not good enough to go popular on these social sites. You still need to have a solid promotion strategy, but that’s not the focus of this article. The focus on this article is stepping up your content game so you still build tons of links through social media marketing. The fun, hooky type of content needs to go. Instead, you should be focusing on creating valuable resources that will attract links and bookmarks and spread virally on its own from there. People should want to link to you because there is value for them. They want to give their readers links to resources that provide value to them too.
The keyword here is ‘resource’. Focus your energy on building out a great resource that genuinely helps people, and in turn it will help you by attracting links. People don’t want to waste their time reading an article about their cat and HTML. They won’t bookmark that, either. But give them a resource that helps them and not only will they read it, they’ll probably bookmark it too so they can refer to it at a later date.
I know this is all linkbaiting strategy 101. But somewhere along the way it seems like we’ve forgotten what really works. Maybe it’s because we got spoiled with easy Digg homepagers and that made us lazy. The bottom line is that you need to step back and focus on the fundamentals if you really want to have successful linkbait campaigns.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.