Ideas that Spread...

If you are struggling to come up with marketing ideas look at what has already worked. Start with a random number, say 5 and work your way up to 120, combining the number with words like

Search for those sorts of phrases and you will run into lots of good stuff in the search results. And you know the story was seen by many people because for it to rank for that sort of stuff it typically either needed to get lots of links or get published on an authoritative site.

If you are in the legal field you can substitute the generic words like tips with laws or criminals. If you are in the tech field you can substitute generic words like tips with hacks or nerds. There are also a wide variety of other ways to find ideas that worked, like

  • search Digg or

  • track what bloggers write about in an industry
  • look for what brands you see mentioned most commonly outside of the core related industry and research why people are talking about them

Marketing is 50% recycling and 50% packaging.

Oddly enough, near the top of 10 ways was the top 10 ways to destroy the Earth. Here is a screenshot:

Looks like AdSense may have jumped the shark. The packaging says it may destroy the Earth!

Published: August 30, 2007 by Aaron Wall in marketing


August 30, 2007 - 5:46am

As much as I hate lists, I find myself reading them 50 times a day. They are quite possibly one of the best ways to get peoples attention, especially if you have one full of good information.

August 30, 2007 - 1:22pm

I know some people recoil at the whole "Top X [insert name of topic here!]" articles, but they're good linkbait and Social Media fodder.

I've been doing pretty well out of my 5 essential StumbleUpon power points article -- ironically enough on StumbleUpon itself -- so I can't complain...

August 30, 2007 - 4:41pm

As a reader, I think lists are cheesy and over done. As a blogger, I use them to the point of abuse because they consistently draw more traffic and links. Something about a good list is irresistible.

August 30, 2007 - 5:21pm

All of which reminds me of a comment I made sometime ago about good 'bloggers and even better marketeers: "... that you become a predatory, opportunistic, self-promotional whore who is largely quite shameless, but shrewd enough to know when to curb the effusive enthusiasm just long enough to close the sale."

Or is that sales people? I can never remember...

August 30, 2007 - 5:24pm

TV in the UK is littered with top 100 shows, why should the blogasphere be any different.

August 30, 2007 - 6:07pm

Hey I have a great list for everyone. This is the top X SEO links that you can't help but click ^_^

Go ahead, click it...

August 30, 2007 - 6:28pm

10 ways to destroy Earth @_@!

August 30, 2007 - 6:30pm

10 ways to destroy Earth .. now that's some pretty scary example for your post.

August 30, 2007 - 7:49pm

Thanks for the post! I think I'm going to test it out in my Adwords campaigns. There is a lot of competition for SEO services, and I need to set myself apart amongst the crowds -- thanks again...

August 30, 2007 - 9:14pm

The problem with most lists though is that they are not actionable, just intellectual entertainment.

Hard to resist though, Jay Abraham's headline resources especially.

August 30, 2007 - 9:25pm

Even the reader feels curious about the top 10 ways. But is it always recommended?

August 30, 2007 - 9:56pm

Yes, at what point do these top 10 headline patterns become oversaturated? I understand they are 100+ years old--but we didn't have 50 million publishers back then.

Should someone who is interested in long-term results avoid them in favor of a less common approach?

August 30, 2007 - 10:03pm

I am not saying that you have to copy their format (although in some cases if it ain't broke don't fix it).

I am just advocating looking around to discover what types of ideas spread. Then from there create a better related idea, format it as you wish, and market it as you wish.

August 31, 2007 - 1:34pm

I was going to comment on your latest post (the ROI one) but it seems the "Your Thoughts" link is missing. what happened?

September 3, 2007 - 10:45am

Yeah seems aaron has turned off comments on his latest posts... id like to see a sitemap example of the internal link structure sample he talks about today.

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