Link bait, share bait, click bait. These are all names for tactics designed to get a specific action from readers. Ego bait is the most common and easy to use. Here’s the what, why, and how of targeted blog mentions.
Ego Bait – noun /ˈēgō bāt/
A web marketing tactic involving mentioning a person in a positive way in a blog post or other content with the intention of having that person promote the post, typically by sharing it through social media.
The benefits? If they take the bait, here’s what happens…
They shared… social media traffic from a wider audience
They linked… Search engine rankings and traffic
You kept in touch… It’s great networking!
The ideal target is a blogger with an active social network and is relevant to your audience. Avoid online celebrities since you’re unlikely to get their attention (their egos are well fed). To find people use the same approach that you would use for targeted social sharing.
Once the post is live, it’s time to let them know about it. The most common way to do this is to share it on a social network and mention them. Better yet, share it on several networks and mention them each time. At very least, share on the social network where you’re hoping they’ll share.
A more aggressive approach is to send a polite email with the link, suggesting that they share or link. Including a call to action (as in, a nudge) in the email may get a better response.
Here are five types of ego bait. Some of these are about more than promoting the content, they’re about creating the content through collaboration. Even better.
It could be a simple quote, a link, an embedded tweet, citation, or even a photo credit. Any positive reference to a person can work. Smaller is easier, but If the mention is a big part of the post, it’s more likely to appeal to the ego and get a response.
You might already be mentioning people in posts, but not sharing the post with them. Of course, it won’t work as bait unless you bring it to their attention.
Speaking of egos, few people will decline an interview. And interviewees are almost always going to share the piece with their social networks. Interviewing an expert is a fast way to produce high-quality content in a conversational tone.
Just reach out, get permission to email a list of questions and you’re ready to copy and paste the response into your next post.
EXAMPLE: There are entire websites that are based entirely on this format, such as BusinessInterviews.com… From Zero to $3.8 Million. The Secret? Empathy.
Instead of emailing one person five questions, email several people five questions. Now the readers can compare different perspectives (better quality) …and you’ve got a lot more ego bait (better traffic).
EXAMPLE: I wrote an occasional series for Social Media Explorer called 6 Questions. Each post interviewers with half a dozen people within a specific job role: community managers, blog editors, etc. The Secret to Great Podcast Interviews
Here’s a very clever way to add ego bait to your next list post. Regardless of the type of list, (tools, tips, books, websites, blog posts, anything) you can curate a curated list. Here’s how.
Rather than creating the roundup list of items yourself, email a group of select people, asking each to contribute one item. The items they send become the list, but the senders name and comments are right there with it.
EXAMPLE: Social Media Examiner does this beautifully, showing the picture of everyone who contributed to the roundup. 17 Social Media Books That Will Make You a Smarter Marketer
Even if the person knows what you’re up to, they may take it hook, line and sinker. Who doesn’t like to be mentioned in a positive way? Personally, I’m a sucker for ego bait. Like most people, I’m happy share any post that mentions me.
Don’t be afraid to go big. Create a series of interviews or the quarterly roundup for your industry. And ego bait also works with groups. A positive review of a product is likely to be shared by the brand, an event recap may be shared by the organizers.
Whatever the approach, don’t be pushy and don’t be ingratiating. No one likes a kiss ass! Just be direct, considerate, and positive.