We love innovative strategies for earning links and attention in the online sphere. While very few marketers can win without mastering the basics, it takes a bit of ingenuity to pull ahead of your competitors. As part of this two series post, here are 5 more strategies and tactics you can leverage to get that much needed exposure.
Before you start reading, click here to see the previous 5 strategies we covered in the first part of this post.
1. Turn Blog Posts into eBooks and Get them in Amazon
SEOs don’t want to hear it, but consumers are turning to Amazon before Google when they do product research. The good news? If you adapt, you can capitalize on this trend.
E-books are now outselling print books on Amazon, and the barriers to entry are downright minimal. It might sound odd to transform a blog post into an eBook, but it can be a great way to grow your audience. Reach enough people, and you will start building natural links.
Bonus: you get to leverage Amazon’s domain authority and get your keyword at the top of the search results. You can get your blog posts all over the top of the SERPs if you just take the time put them in the right format. It can be a good way to earn some extra cash to invest back into link building. If your goal is purely promotional, you can get your eBook listed for free by publishing through Smashwords.
Bear in mind that growing evidence suggests that impressions have more influence on sales than clicks. Publishing blog posts as eBooks can be a great way to boost brand impressions even if it doesn’t lead to clicks or links.
2. Viral Titles
Sometimes an entire blog post should be built around your title. The title is the first thing people see and it’s typically what makes somebody decide whether or not they’re going to look at the content at all. If you analyze the most viral content on the web, you’ll notice that the titles have a certain feel to them. A quick browsing through Buzzfeed or Cracked will give you an idea of what I mean.
A viral title intrigues the reader. Viral titles almost always involve something that catches the reader off guard by mentioning something they never would have thought of themselves, or by juxtaposing two or more things that they wouldn’t have thought had anything in common.
Why do I say write viral titles instead of write viral blog posts? Because if your concept can’t be boiled down to a viral title, it won’t become viral. Viral content doesn’t need to be short, but it’s most viral component does. If the most shocking, shareable piece of information you want to get across can’t fit into a title, it’s most likely going to end up dead in the water.
Don’t make a mistake and think that this means that your topic needs to be explained in the title. This can actually work against you. Titles like 18 Unexpected Ways to Enjoy Sangria and 5 Reasons Cinco de Mayo is the Most American Holiday work because they surprise you and leave you hungry to learn more.
These titles surprise us because we never would have thought of them, and intrigue us because there’s no way we could guess what we’ll learn from them. (They also work because they’re list posts.)
As long as the blog post lives up to the promise of the title, your odds of achieving viral attention are very high if you start idea generation with the title itself.
3. Guerilla Marketing
Guerilla marketing is broadly defined, but clearly takes its inspiration from the concept of guerilla warfare, where creativity and unconventional approaches are used to accomplish goals when resources are limited in a hostile environment.
The guerilla marketer organizes stunts like flash mobs, sticker “bombs,” and reverse graffiti (where a brand message is “written” by erasing graffiti to form the letters) in order to grab attention and retain customers. Stunts like those orchestrated by the anti-tobacco “truth” commercials are probably the most well-known examples of what guerilla marketing can look like.
The success of a guerilla marketing campaign isn’t dependent on budget and resource constraints. The focus of guerilla marketing is on unconventional, creative solutions. Like the “tools” section discussed above, it’s difficult to design a formula for designing guerilla marketing stunts.
Suffice it to say that, if you care about SEO, your guerilla marketing approach should incorporate the web in some way. Since guerilla marketing often targets people on the city streets, bringing mobile into the fold can also be very powerful.
The more extreme the stunt, the more likely it is to pull attention, but beware the risks. In one example, guerilla marketers tried to promote a cartoon called Aqua Teen Hunger Force with LED signs. The signs were interpreted as a bomb threat, and legal issues ensued. Whenever you’re orchestrating potentially disruptive stunts on public (or private) property, you risk facing legal repercussions. Take this into consideration.
4. Appeal to an Untapped Subculture
Every company or product needs to have a unique selling proposition in order to find a lasting place in the market. There’s only room for one McDonalds and one Wal-Mart. The rest of us need to figure out what we can do to differentiate ourselves and stand out. That rarely means it’s possible to be appealing to everybody.
One road to success is to discover a subculture that could have an interest in a product like yours, and appeal to them specifically, rather than the public at large. This is just as true online, and when you’re promoting your content.
Find an online subculture that aligns with your company’s values, and start targeting them specifically. Frequent their forums and other internet hangouts, use their lingo, and design your content around them. I can guarantee you that there is a subculture that nobody else in your niche has targeted. You can build a tremendous amount of loyalty by showing a subculture that you “get them.”
A word of caution: this is almost impossible to fake. Don’t pretend. Nobody likes the outsider who tries too hard to be something they aren’t.
If there’s a particular subculture you want to target that you aren’t actually a member of, it’s not impossible to appeal to them, but it’s not something that you’ll be able to do alone. You’ll need to hire somebody who is from that subculture, and avoid serious intervention as much as possible. The more you try to control them, the less appeal they’ll have to their subculture.
5. Cash in on Nostalgia
This approach is very similar to subcultures, only it’s targeting age demographics. Think of the sheer number of references to the ‘80s that you come across in an episode of Family Guy. Social networks have made nostalgia oddly trendy. Most people have fond memories of their childhood, and referencing things that happened around that time is an interesting way of building camaraderie.
Obscure references to the past, even the relatively recent past, can be a great way to attract attention. Much like subcultures, they let people know that you “get them.” Sometimes, the more obscure, the better. You may lose out on popularity, but your laser tight focus really helps retention and makes the impact that much stronger for the audience your message does reach.
So there you have it, 5 more ways to approach link building that may not have occurred to you before. We hope these posts have helped inspire you to experiment and explore alternative methods of link building and community building. Let us know how we did, and thanks for reading.