Putting together an ego bait campaign can be a very simple process. Essentially, it’s a way to mention somebody else in a way that will get him to take a desired action. Generally, the desired action results in a link or social share that will get a site in front of a new audience. However, with the wide range of ways to mention someone combined with how easy it is to find a person to mention, there is a high chance of failure if the choices aren’t thought through strategically. Yet no matter what style of ego bait campaign your team decides to go with (e.g., contests, interviews, blog mentions, infographics, etc.) there is one key to a successful campaign: The strategic selection of the person/people that will be mentioned.
How Do You Strategically Select Your Ego Bait Participant?
Whether the goal of your ego bait campaign is a getting a link back to your site or social media shares, the strategic participant selection process is the same. You’ll want to take a look at the potential participant’s past behavior and see if that person is likely to do what you want him to do. Here is an example: The Straight North content marketing team decided to run an interview style ego bait campaign for a client of ours that sells sporting equipment in an effort to get a link. We wanted to talk about field preparation as it relates to safety, so we decided to target sports injury doctors. With a simple search we found hundreds of potential targets, but to strategically select our few targets we had one qualifier: The doctors had to have a media mentions listing on their site, because that meant they would include a link to the post where we interviewed them on the site.
Here’s another example with that same client: We found an association’s news page that asked for readers to submit mentions/interviews of their ambassadors. Our team interviewed one of the ambassadors, posted the blog on the client’s site, and then notified the association via email. The link was on the site two days later.
Even if you’re looking for just a social share, look through a potential participant’s social media accounts to see past behaviors. Does this person tend to share his mentions? Does his community seem to like, favorite or retweet his posts? All of these questions should be answered before the potential participant is approached or used in an ego bait campaign.
Ego bait, like any other link building activity, is a game of chance. You cannot make someone post mentions of your work, share it through his social media channels, or place your link on his site. However, you can improve your chances of getting your desired outcome if you look at a participant’s past behavior and select targets that show a pattern of exercising the desired behavior you’re looking for.