I thought there was NO WAY this LinkBait experiment could fail. The idea seemed solid and outside the box. Let me explain why I did it, and why it didn’t end up making as big of a splash as I had hoped.
At PubCon 2006, a tall thin guy named Kris and I were chatting about how funny it is that SEOs are treated like they’re in a boyband at these conferences. We joked about how we should be throwing our underwear on stage while they are speaking, and they should be signing our boobs.
Both of us apparently took a lot away from that conversation. Kris went on to write one of the funniest blogs ever, and I went on to do that DrinkBait stuff. We both had great success with our campaigns, which kept me thinking. I should do more fun stunts to attract attention and invoke a positive reaction. I mainly was looking to entertain and get a laugh, and of course, create a buzz.
Just creating a post and buying the domain for SEO BoyBand isn’t enough to warrant props for outside the box thinking. I needed to make this good. After pondering it for a few days, I finally had a game plan.
- Register SEOBoyBand.com
- Write story about major SEOs forming a BoyBand
- Hire Skorp to photoshop a few hilarious pics of the band in action
- Here’s the kicker: Max bid on Google Adwords for the phrases SEO, Search Optimization, Search Engine Optimization, etc. the day the Chicago SES Conference begins, and leave campaign running for a few days.
I figured most SEOs search for that phrase rather frequently, and if I owned that phrase during the convention, somebody would notice and I would have created a word of mouth marketing monster. It didn’t quite turn out that way.
Why The Heck Run Adwords? Was it Expensive?
Because I’ve never seen a LinkBait idea marketed that way. I wanted originality points, and something interesting to talk about after the fact.
And yes, it was expensive. I spent well over a grand in less than 2 days on marketing a joke.
Let’s Explore That Adwords Campaign
Pictures speak a thousand words. Just check out this insanity.
A little nutts eh? I was breaking through and placing $99.00 bids to force bonus. I let Google’s ad serving algo keep my click costs in the highest end of the general range that current advertisers are running now.
Here are the phrases I was running:
NOTE: this provides some great insight as to which SEO related phrases people are searching for
The best part of the campaign however, was the ad copy. They were mind numbingly dumb, and I though t they were funny as all get out. Check these ads out
Man, I love that. I thought it would be like playing a harmless prank on the SEO world for a bit.
Why Did it Fail?
There’s probably a ton of reasons, but here are a couple I can think of.
- I overestimated the percentage of people at SES Chicago who would search for the phrases I advertised
- SEO people are probably blind to the PPC ads on their vanity searches
- I didn’t put much effort behind making a splash with it
- Maybe it wasn’t as funny as I thought?
- There was nothing in the post that called for action or interaction of any sort
- People were too busy at SES to be searching for stuff… bad timing
- I didn’t properly seed the joke by telling key people that this was going to be posted
- I didn’t submit it to any social bookmarking type sites (and neither did anybody else lol)
- I didn’t write the story well
What did we learn here?
I don’t know, you tell me! I would still love to see www.SEOBoyBand.com turn into a pop culture phenom. (*note, that was obviously tongue in cheek sentence, and a purposefully gross overstatement) I was even going to make a series out of it by incorporating industry news and the rest of the mainstream SEO celebrities with a reality show type feel… but if the people don’t like it, I won’t serve it!
With such pop stars as Matt Cutts, Rand Fishkin, Danny Sullivan, Greg Boser, and me (again, joking… those dudes don’t have pull like me yet, but they are working on it) how could it possibly fail? Any ideas?