Viral Marketing

Have you ever wondered what is it about viral marketing that makes it so powerful? Everyone tells you how internet viral marketing can make you an instant success. But, how does it work? and what is the magic formula that makes it so powerful?

let’s look at some of the dynamics of viral marketing. Viral marketing is really just a relatively new phrase for an old term called “word of mouth” advertising. Old time marketers can tell you about the powerful surge of sales that can occur when everyone is talking about your product or service.

The chief principle behind viral or word of mouth marketing is that everyone is talking about a product or service or an event. A classic example occurred during the gold rush of 1848-1850. Let’s look at some of the headlines from that era;

Riches Discovered in the Ground!

Thousands Striking it Rich in California!

Stampede heads West to California!

Inexhaustible Gold Mines!

As word spread by wagon, boat, and pony express across the country everyone was talking about the untold riches that could be discovered in California. All anyone had to do was get there and start digging. The gold was practically lying on top of the ground just waiting to be discovered! 

When people talk about something they get excited about it. They share that excitement with everyone they know. Now, it helps if they have actually experienced the product or service but that excitement can take on a life of its own. if they haven’t actually experienced it themselves they share what they have learned from each other.  Excitement is contagious.

That’s why the norm these days for product launches is for the big internet marketers to get together and do a simultaneous launch of a product to everyone on their list. They each have a group or groups of several thousand people they can broadcast to. Over a period of several days they blast the new product information to their groups.

In what seems to be an instant, thousands of people are talking about the new product. Posting about it in forums and on blogs. Emailing their friends and neighbors about it. Talking about it on Twitter and Facebook. And the talk begins:

“Did you hear about the Mega Product?” “It’s the best thing to hit internet marketing since the internet”, “It’s going to make everyone rich…the gold is just practically lying on the ground”.

That’s the dynamic of internet viral marketing. This dynamic has been working exactly the same way ever since we became social. The same principle that drove thousands of people to head west to the gold rush is exactly the same principle that drives people to head over to your product or service online.

People talk about things that excite them. Things that excite people cause them to take action. Action causes people to get excited. and People talk about things that excite them. You see the dynamic?

Now, if you are not one of a group of large internet marketers then it will take a little more work to get people talking about your website or your product. You have to put a little bit of effort (action) into getting people to talk about (excitement) your website, product or service. The excitement initially comes from you. You get excited about your own website. You talk about it. You tell everyone you know how it’s better than anything else and you get them excited (action). and then they talk, get excited, take action, and talk.

That’s really the “magic formula” for viral marketing; People talk, get excited, take action, and talk to someone else who gets excited and takes action and talks…

Easy Ways to Create Viral Marketing:

The idea is to get people talking about your product or service and sharing it with others. To get people talking about it you have to get it in front of them and let them see it, feel excited about it and pass it on.

Signature

Create a memorable tag line or signature with a link to your webpage. Something like  “Never Worry Again!  2 Minute Exercise Totally Destroys Worry!” 

Press Release

Many local papers have a press release page where they hype local business products and services. If you truly have a product or service of interest to the readers you can bet they will be happy to take your press release and publish it. For example, you might write a press release for a highly effective anti-virus software product that you are an affiliate for. Be sure to include a link in the article to your web page where you have a content rich article telling them all about the powerful benefits of this product.

Create A Blog

Create a blog and write about the product or service. How does it solve problems? What are the drawbacks to it? What other topics will interest people who are interested in this product or service?

Social Media

You have all seen the little icons enticing you to share an article or website to your RSS feed, Facebook, Twitter, or Linked In feed.  Always give your audience a way to share your content.  There are numerous ways to add those little buttons to your content.

Post in forums

When you join online communities you can have conversations with that community using forums.  Remember, the purpose is to be part of a community.  So, engage, share information, be helpful.   The idea is to establish yourself as credible, trustworthy, and/or an authority on the topic or topics.  It helps if you choose communities that have a relationship with your product or service.  For example, if you run a blog that helps people learn how to detail their cars and add really cool after market parts such as spoilers and flames on the body work then joining  a community that is all about customizing cars would be a good fit.

Write Articles

One of the best ways to become recognized as an authority on a topic is to write articles about it.   You can publish the articles to online directory of articles such as EzineArticles or Seeking Alpha.  It takes time to build up an audience this way but once you hit critical mass and have people sharing your articles it can generate a nice amount of buzz about you or your product.

Participate in an online chat room  or Video Conference

Forums are static.  You post your comment and then you wait for the response.  A detailed conversation can take days.   One way to speed up the conversation is to become part of an online chat or video conference.   your replies are read almost instantly and the responses are returned quickly.  This is a great way to do a presentation, teach, or learn about a topic.

Warning:  Don’t Use Shortcuts

There are lots of ways to get people talking about your website, product or service. One word of warning though. Negative viral marketing is a killer to your marketing efforts. So, stay away from the spammer techniques such as harvesting 2 million emails online and shotgun emailing everyone or using software to spam forums. Remember, you are a member of an online community. You wouldn’t drive around town with a bull horn at 2 a.m. announcing to the whole town “YOUR PROBLEM SOLVED….GO TO PROBLEMSOLVED.COM” would you? so, stay away from the internet equivalent. Besides, it’s actually illegal to spam people. Or to drive around town at 2 a.m. with a bullhorn waking everyone up.

Negative viral marketing happens when people become annoyed, upset, or angry with you, your methods, or your product.  Once they start telling all their friends how terrible you are it’s very difficult to overcome the perception that you are untrustworthy or a scammer.

Conclusion

Viral marketing is all about getting people to talk to each other about you or your product with excitement.   Remember they hear about your product or they try it.  They get excited.  They talk to their friends, family, and acquaintances.   Their friends get excited and start talking to their friends, family, and etc.

The best way to generate that excitement is to use as many effective methods as you can to make sure people are hearing about you or your product.

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