This is a guest post by Steve Morgan of Box UK
A little while back, James Agate of Skyrocket SEO wrote a guest post here on Point Blank SEO about egobait, which is when “an asset… is created to attract the attention of a specific person or group of people. It is essentially producing something that strokes the ego of the person/people/company featured.”
Although the name of the term itself has come under scrutiny, it’s still a very clever link building concept: if you talk about someone (in an especially positive and complimentary light), chances are that they will share it with their audience, whether it be from their own blog, social media profiles or both.
Usually, egobait targets people/companies on an individual basis. Granted, groups of people (as James said) are sometimes targeted – e.g. in a Top 10 list – but it may still be on an individual basis.
But what if you could tick a lot more boxes? Introducing: Communitybait. Communitybait is essentially applying the egobait principle to the broader community – not necessarily just an individual or group of individuals within it (although you’ll often find that certain individuals may be pinpointed and referenced as part of the process).
The beauty of communitybait is that it broadens the number of people who might link to the content and share it socially. If it’s a community site (rather than an industry as a whole), you’re not just appealing to the creators of the community, but all the people within it, particularly the more hard-core contributors.
Here are four examples related to the SEO/inbound marketing community, followed by possible avenues to pursue in other industries.
* Disclaimer: you’ll notice that two of the examples are my own. I’m not including them in order to self-promote and I certainly didn’t write them solely to gain links/shares, either. On the contrary, it wasn’t until afterwards that I realised the additional benefits of this type of content in addition to the fact that – beyond egobait – the concept hasn’t been explored in much detail previously. *
Emma Still’s post made a number of observations on the men of the SEO industry, basically coming to the conclusion that we like beer, plaid shirts, facial hair and glasses, among other things.
It was cheeky, funny and brilliant. A very entertaining read.
As I type this, the post has gained over 250 social shares, with more than 150 of those via Twitter. It’s had 60 comments on the post itself, along with another dozen over at Inbound.org, where it received over 70 upvotes. A lot of the comments were in agreement, with this one being my personal favourite.
Inspired by Alessio Madeyski’s series of industry interviews known as Meet Your SEO, I conducted an analysis of them (33 in all), combining the answers to find out the most popular, frequently-given answers. It uncovered the interviewees’ best tips, biggest pet peeves, favourite drinks and biggest influences in terms of general consensus.
So far it’s had over 250 pageviews and it was shared via Twitter by numerous SEOs, including Alessio (the creator) himself and many of those who had originally been interviewed.
I’m a massive fan of Inbound.org – the inbound marketing news/resource site – and so I go on there regularly, both as a reader and contributor. Self-submission has been a bit of a sore subject for a while, with some people attempting to spam the site with their own content, so I decided to run an analysis of 100 incoming posts, especially as Rand himself had said that even a 1:10 self-submission ratio would be considered too high in his opinion.
My analysis revealed that around 38% of contributors submit their own content. I thought it’d be an interesting insight to share and put into words – not to show the site up, but to give us an indication as to how people use these types of sites, especially given the industry that we operate in.
It’s received over 450 pageviews, with over 60% of that traffic coming directly from Inbound.org itself. There were numerous comments on both the post itself and on its submission page, including contributions from Ed Fry (the site’s General Manager), one of the developers involved with the recent site redesign and a few of Inbound.org’s regulars/top members.
…We’ll just glaze over the fact that I submitted it myself, shall we? Good good.
And now for something completely different… when Rachel Lovinger of Razorfish paired famous players in the content marketing/content strategy industry with their Hollywood doppelgangers.
In news that will shock no one, it got a ton of social shares, especially with the people involved (the content guys, not the actors!), who Rachel @mentioned via her Twitter profile in order to notify them of their inclusion. In fact, the post was so popular – with additional contributions made afterwards via Twitter and the post’s comments – that it was update twice to include more people from the industry.
Based on the above, there are a fair few approaches you can take with this type of content. Here are some possibilities:
Communities in Other Industries
It’s all well and good talking about the SEO/inbound marketing industry as a community – obviously its community is one that many people reading this will already be well acquainted with.
Still struggling? Think about random affinities.
Better still, what if you can compare communities?
[Image credit: Aldo van Zeeland (Flickr)]