Last week I landed a spot in the most watched television broadcast on the planet.
The International Olympic Committee estimated that 450 million people worldwide tuned in to watch the Women's Figure Skating Finals at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics – more than the population of the entire US – and I was in the TV coverage!
How did I do it? By applying a variation of Ken's link baiting strategy!
Goals of My Link Bait Campaign
One of my more ridiculous objectives in life is to achieve TV fame. Now unfortunately I don't have any acting talents, great looks, or anything else remarkable for that matter – so I figure my only hope to achieve my goal is to ride someone else's coat-tails to TV stardom. (Yes, I know, this is pretty sad). And I don't want to be a guest on some dopey cable access channel at 2 AM, or some random internet pod-cast either. I wanted to appear on every national TV network on the planet.
Creating the Link Bait
As Ken mentioned in his article, the content is the most important element of link baiting. It's the "bait" in link bait. And the same holds true for trying to get the attention of TV cameras. Poor content doesn't have a chance at getting picked up on national or international television broadcasts.
Since my primary goal was to achieve TV stardom from international television stations, I needed a really big hook at a really big venue – something that would tap into the Olympic fever and nationalistic pride that was captivating the world at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
World champion Korean figure skater Yuna Kim was favored to win the women's figure skating event – and if she did, it would be South Korea's first medal at the Winter Olympics in any event other than speed skating. I wanted to tap into this moment of national pride by bringing a Korean flag to the event. But not just any flag – I needed something really big.
I contacted the Korean Embassy in Canada and asked them to send me "the biggest flag they had", and they sent me a 20-foot flag!! This thing was huge! In fact the organizers had a policy limiting the size of flags at the event to one meter in length, so actually I had to smuggle this monster through the security checkpoints that were screening bags for controversial signs and the like. It would be by far the biggest flag at the event and would have a good chance at grabbing the attention of the TV crews working the Pacific Coliseum that evening.
Link Bait Promotion
As Ken wrote in his post, "for your link baiting to be effective, you must be willing to promote the living crap out of it." My huge flag wouldn't get picked up by TV camera crews on its own. I would need to find a strategic spot in the Pacific Coliseum where this monster flag could be seen. I chose a spot on a ledge opposite a row of TV cameras and the international media area.
And timing would be critical too – I would unfurl my huge flag at the precise moment when Yuna Kim finished her performance, took a bow and waved to the audience and when the TV cameras panned to the audience to capture the response. And we would jump up and down, frantically screaming and waving this huge flag.
Location, timing and enthusiasm: that would be my television link bait promotion strategy.
Link Bait Campaign Results
My TV link bait got picked up by the camera crews working the Pacific Coliseum that evening. The IOC had a main TV feed that was syndicated to all the international television stations. Here's what we looked like on Korean national television (it looked the same on NBC, etc.):
Now I realize this is a little ridiculous but if you look very closely, I'm the guy at the top of the stairs wearing a red hockey jersey and waving frantically to Yuna Kim. My wife is the girl in red running up the stairs. And the guy wearing a hat holding the other side of the huge flag is my dad. Mission accomplished!
So there you have it. Subscribe to the WordStream Internet Marketing Blog, read, learn, and become an international TV star! (albeit for 2 seconds). My wife and I were able to replicate this formula to get on other widely watched TV events including the USA versus Canada men's hockey game that was the highest rated TV broadcast in Canadian history!
As for me, I don't know what to do with myself! Having fulfilled my lifelong dream of TV stardom, I guess it's all downhill from here! :(