Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Get Your Business Talked About – Start a Viral Marketing Campaign

You can create a buzz around your products and services through viral marketing, although some businesses are more naturally suited to viral advertising than others.

A successful viral marketing campaign always begins with the development of a quality viral, whether it's a video, e-report, image, or interactive game.

Equally as important as creating quality content is seeding your viral ad. Seeding means distributing your content online by placing it within sites, message boards and communities frequented by ‘opinion formers’ – and trusting that they will see fit to ‘pass it on.’

Effective methods of seeding include:
Approaching blog and web editors and encouraging them to post your content.
Online distribution
Uploading content to video sharing and viral websites.
Twitter promotion
Encouraging Twitter users with a large following to share the content.
Paid for placement
Paying blog and web editors to share the content.
Forum posting
Posting content on relevant forums.

Six Key Elements of a Viral Marketing Campaign

1. Give away products or services
The word "free" attracts attention, whether it's free software, a free trial, or free report. Alternatively, if you don’t have any freebies available, consider holding a competition to draw attention to your business.

2. Make sharing content easy
Viral content needs to share easily if it is to spread. Alongside the viral content on your website, include an 'Email a Friend' button. If posted on your blog add a line of links to the main social networking sites, such as:
Add to: YouTube | Digg | Furl | Blinklist | Yahoo! |

3. Design your ad around common motivations
The desire to be popular, liked and cool drives people universally. Design a viral ad that builds on these motivations – and don’t be afraid to use humour where appropriate.

4. Use existing networks to communicate your message
Try to place your message into relevant social networks. Viral marketing companies are particularly adept at doing this as they generate exposure for viral content through placing it on blogs, forums, email newsletters, social networks, as well as video sharing sites.

5. Ensure your business is prepared for large numbers of visitors
Make sure you have enough bandwidth built into your website. There's nothing worse than creating an excellent viral marketing campaign only for your efforts to be hampered simply because your website couldn't cope with the volume of visitors. By the same token, ensure that your staff, systems and stock levels can cope with the extra demand.

6. Utilise other people's resources
Use other people's websites to host your viral content by constructing it so that it offers a benefit to them and their readers. Article submission works in this way, with websites accepting free articles because of the benefits offered to their visitors.

A viral marketing strategy does not have to include all of the above elements, but combining several of them at once will dramatically increase your chances of success. If you are looking for someone to help you with this a consultant who offers outsourced marketing will be able to help.

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