Author Topic: Get Viral  (Read 9516 times)

Online Jim Burney

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Get Viral
« on: August 13, 2008, 07:15:20 AM »
Get Viral

Hi everyone,

     This is a short report I wrote explaining my view of Viral Marketing using the Internet. I hope you enjoy the contents.

     Right let us get straight in there. Viral marketing is NOT related to computer viruses. A computer virus infects computers and creates serious problems for computer users. Although computer viruses work on a similar principle to that of viral marketing, they infect computers in a malicious way. This type of virus helps no one! Viral marketing is so much more useful and productive than any malicious computer virus. Get viral marketing right, and you can drive enormous amounts of traffic to your websites. This then becomes a win win situation to all involved.

     Viral marketing is a term used for marketing which spreads itself, and so is named after the same convention as a human virus which spreads from one person to another person and so on.  The point of viral marketing is that certain computer users who have been selected to receive targeted information will then choose to pass it on to others with a similar interest of the product or service.

     Viral marketing is an awesome method for generating web traffic. Outstanding marketing tool when used as a pre sell for your sales campaigns. It is a powerful tool used to pass on a marketing message to others and in creating brand awareness. Best of all it is very low cost marketing.

Quick Pop Quiz
 

Do you remember any of these advertisements from the past?

Naughty …But nice!   
Advertisement for cream cakes

Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet
Hamlet cigars

A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play
Mars bars in the United Kingdom and Canada


Yes, I bet you do!

     These are all great examples of branding (spreading the word), before the Internet was a viable commercial alternative. Consumers would talk about these products to friends and family and purchases would be made.

     A great example of viral marketing using the Internet is Hotmail. Every email sent out from Hotmail had a self promotion on it.

Get a FREE Email account with Hotmail.

     How successful was that viral marketing campaign? The rest, as they say, is history.

     It is fair to say that viral marketing is a conception that has been around for a very long time. You have heard the expression 'word of mouth'. Well, this is the exact same type of method that 'savvy' Internet Marketers are using to get their messages across to the masses. They use the platform of the information super highway that is known as the Internet.

     Marketing virally using the Internet has been around for over a decade. This method of marketing has many advantages and not very many drawbacks. Traditional marketing methods as used by large corporations had extremely high costs associated with them. This was the case in the examples above that were mainly television advertisements. Viral methods using the Internet involve much less expense.

     Larger companies in general have still not tapped into the potentially powerful viral methods of the Internet and the associated cost savings. Using some of the techniques outlined in this report could position you ahead of the crowd in your particular niche/s.

Understanding How Viral Marketing Works

     There are good viral marketing campaigns and there are bad ones. Which one would you choose? Yes I thought so, the good ones.
Creating a campaign that has the best chance of success and that hopefully generates extra cash into your business due to the increase in sales of your products or the increased awareness of your services. So let me explain a little of the theory behind viral marketing.

     Viral marketing is virtually a clone of a human virus. By itself the human virus is stagnant. Once it binds to a human cell it changes the way the original host cell works. It uses the host cells resources and replicates itself. The virus continues to multiple. Let us say you are ill. A virus has infected you. You sneeze into the air. You spread your virus. In marketing terms that analogy transfers to your campaigns being replicated with NO or little additional cost to you. That is obviously a simple explanation, but I guess you can see where this is leading.

     This is the real bonus with viral marketing. You are using existing networks of people and also their resources. It does not get much better than that.

     With viral marketing nothing happens until there is activation. One of the best types of activation is by producing a FREE e-book with lots of outstanding content. You see with good content it is very likely people will share this content with their family and friends. The viral effect has started. How easy was that? I thought you would be impressed. This is obvious because people tend to trust their relatives and friends more than the any salesperson in the world. Nothing beats a recommendation from somebody you trust. Not even the best sales letter. Viral marketing when done well will help establish your credibility. Viral marketing success happens when your information is about what people want to share. Make your message memorable. Think like a potential customer. Get into their minds. Understand them.

     If one of your friends tells three people about your e-book and those three people tell three other people about it each, you can work out that the growth is exponential (rapid) and not linear, causing a great increase in the number of persons meeting the objective you originally set. This objective could be increased visits to your website for example. Are you starting to see how POTENT viral marketing can be?

     The best way for your information to be passed on virally is by 'word of mouth'. This is because you can actually make sure that the information is clearly understood. This is achieved by using all of your senses and asking for feedback. This makes sure your viral message is fully understood. So remember, words are the most important way of transmitting a viral message. Most people love to talk!

     There are important considerations to look at when deciding on a viral marketing campaign. You have to be honest. You have to overcome the resistance of consumers who may have had a bad experience with you or your product or even a competitor’s product. How you overcome these types of problems goes a long way on deciding how successful your viral message will be.

     To get your message across effectively it needs to be short and catchy and to the point. Look at the messages portrayed in the quiz section above. Viruses also only spread when they're easy to transmit. For this reason you should not ask for e-mail addresses in your viral campaigns. Asking for sign up in exchange for FREE information causes resistance. Your viral message may come to a stop before it gets off the ground. Do not worry about collecting e-mail addresses at this point. If the quality of your FREE information is outstanding, most people will rush to sign up for your newsletter / ezine etc. There is an extra bonus for you as a viral marketer when you impart wonderful content for FREE. If your potential customers think your FREE content is great, what do you think their opinion will be about your paid products?

     Your potential customers want to know 'what's in it for them'. By addressing these points you are on your way to creating a real buzz for your business. As always with any marketing campaign, test, test and test again until you find out what works best.

     One very important point to get across to you is this. Attempt to get your message across socially. What do I mean by this? Getting people to pass your message on without the message looking like a commercial. This one matter can substantially increase the viral effect. Nobody likes to be sold to. People do like to purchase though.

    As is common with other sales and marketing processes, viral marketing is a numbers game. You will not always get it right first time. It pays off big time when you actually hit the correct promotion. Just do it! Success will eventually arrive. Now that you have observed the basic theory we will progress with some ideas to get your campaigns off to a flying start.

     The first time I met my business advisor he gave me some advice I have never forgotten. What was this piece of wisdom he imparted? Have FUN with your business. I think this applies to viral marketing also. Have fun creating your campaigns.



*************************************


P.S. This information is top secret. Please DO NOT share this message with anyone else.


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Did I get your attention? I hope so. Just use a little creativity in you viral campaigns.


The Many Faces Of Viral Marketing

     In the beginning, e-mail was the only way that a viral marketing campaign was able to start. Since then, viral marketing has gone from a marketing strategy to an art form and there are many ways to accomplish the objective of creating a successful viral marketing campaign. Several of these methods are shared below.

1. E-mail: It was first but it is still around and still used. It is, however, getting a little harder to use as more and more government regulations are placed on it. Also ISPs capture e-mail as being spam when they are actually not. This is a cause for concern to most marketers’ Still… it does work.

2. Newsletters: This is an extension of e-mail but it is very effective. If you include enough timely and valuable information, not   just sales pitches, a good newsletter can drive up the number of visits to your website. You could start your newsletter off in the email and finish it off on your website. If you have good content, (and why wouldn’t it be), you have visitors to your site. Offer Freebies to visit your site.

3. Blogging: Create a blog. This enables customers and other bloggers to interact with one another. It is a wonderful way to get the message about your product or service out and being talked about. Bloggers have their ears to the ground for new products and services. They are masters of sharing information.

4. Chat Rooms: A chat room is a great way for you to communicate with your prospects and customers. You can also use the chat room to schedule special events, such as having an expert speaker available to answer questions.

5. Tell-a-friend Script: If you add this with a statement saying that e-mail addresses supplied will never be shared with third parties, you can increase your potential customer list greatly. You have to offer something of value and FREE to get people to share their friends’ information. You would also need to offer something FREE to the friends.

6. Video Clips: Including cool video clips will keep the interest of and increase the traffic to your website. I will go into more detail with this method later.

Getting A “Buzz” Going

     Viral marketing has evolved considerably over the years. There is now a definite transfer to the web for the main reason of creating a buzz before products appear on the television and in newspapers, magazines, etc.

     Buzz works! A good campaign has to be Buzz worthy. It works for small and start-up businesses as well as larger corporations. The planning stage of a viral campaign will set out objectives and develop the viral theme for a buzz. There are three core components to any viral campaign and businesses of any size can use them. They are:

1. The creative material: The viral agent that embodies the message you want to spread in a digital format (image, video, text, etc). The trick is to put together material that people will be eager to share with their family and friends. People are much more likely to share something they have been given for FREE. Creating something that is newsworthy, controversial or contains humur has proven to be successful.

2. Transmission: You set up a webpage offering your e-book. You then get visitors to your site. One method to get visitors to your site is by having your signature file in forums that are related to your promotion. You need to make good posts in these forums so that people will become to trust you. Be careful not to spam. More information with regards to forums may be found later in the document.
 
3. Tracking: Measuring the spread of the campaign. It is absolutely vital that you know what is or is not working. The only way to get that information is to track your results. Test, Test and TEST again.

From experience, lessons have been learned, trends have been formulated and there is a definite correlation involved in creating a buzz successfully. The buzz technique is here to stay and, if used strategically, it can make a difference to the success of your business. Test, Test and TEST again. Got the message yet?

Some Ideas For Your Viral Marketing Campaign

1. Write your own e-book about the niche you want to promote. It is not too difficult. This method is cost effective apart from one matter, your time.

2. Use various PLR products to produce your own report. You are in the right place to get some PLR products. Use your Resale Rights Weekly membership.

3. Purchase the branding rights to a viral e-book. This can usually be done for a few dollars. That is where you can include your own name, website, and contact information. Allow people to give away your FREE e-book to their visitors. Then, their visitors will also give it away. This will just continue to spread your campaign all over the Internet.

4. Do you have any HTML knowledge? Great, you can now create some templates, graphics, etc. and ftp them up to your own site. Now you are set up to grant people permission to give away your FREE web design graphics and templates. Just include your message on them or require people to link directly to your web site. You must make sure that your resource information provides a link back to your site. The copyright notice and any links must not be omitted.

5. Can you write software programs? Or do you know somebody that does? Viral software is very popular at the moment.

6. Write articles that pertain to your product or service. Allow people to reprint your articles. It is important to include your resource box and the option for article reprints at the bottom of each article.

7. Short video clip on You Tube

8. Join a membership site that offers quality reports, like RRW. ;)
 
Good Reasons To Use Viral E-books

     It is an accepted fact in the world of Internet marketing that e-books and more specifically ….FREE e-books…are one of the best weapons in a viral marketing campaign. Below are four good reasons why this is true today and will continue to be true for some time into the foreseeable future.

1. E-books are cheap to produce and do not require too much technical knowledge to set up. If you have articles that you have already written about the subject you are promoting, you can simply combine these articles into an e-book.  Alternatively if you do not have the inclination or time to produce your own e-book you can either use rebrandable e-books, which I have mentioned previously, that have been produced by others or ask someone else to write an e-book for you. Use your favorite search engine and search for “rebrandable e-books or e-books”. You will have many to choose from.  If your e-book contains material that people will want to share with their friends and family, they will pass it along to them and eventually you will gain some customers and make some money.

2. E-books are capable of reaching a large audience. The only limiting factor is the enthusiasm of the participants.  Therefore, it is absolutely vital that your e-book contains something that people will want to share. Breaking news in your niche is good.  Something that most people will find humorous is another.  Remember that people like to know something that the rest of the world needs to know. They will pass along something that makes them look like they are in-the-know. It makes them feel exclusive.

3. E-books are a way to sell other products other than the one you originally targeted. An example; if you are selling plumbing products, your customers could also be interesting in e-books about installing a shower, interior decorating, etc.

4. E-books are effective in building your reputation. It is an implied recommendation that if you give away a quality e-book and users are willing pass it along to others. You are now an expert. How does that feel?

5. Digital information in the form of an e-book duplicates easily. No postage and packing costs and instant download are some of the benefits.

Your E-book Is Your Viral Salesman

     E-books are the future and the future is now. The printed word on paper and bound into books used to be the only way information was given and received. They were great, you could take them with you and put them on shelves and they do still exist and will continue to for the foreseeable future but the time of the E-book has arrived.

     The marketing E-book is a slightly different animal from just an E-book. Marketing E-books contain text, images, links to web pages and navigation controls. The marketing E-book has become a very important part of marketing on the Internet.

     With a marketing E-book you can present your story in an effective way and include links to your web sales pages. Your E-book can become your best salesman.

     First, your E-book needs to be interesting and informative. It always has links back to your web site and to your sales page. Next, be sure that you have a prominent section telling readers that they are FREE to give your E-book away. Let them know that they can post it on their site as a FREE download, that they can use it as a bonus, and that they can bundle it with other products. This is the way to create viral marketing for your products or services. Remember those links back to your site contained in the E-book? Last but certainly not least before you send your E-book out to the world, double check spelling and grammar and be sure that you have tested every link to verify that it goes where it is supposed to go. Obvious errors will reflect badly on you and will not be of much value to you, it could even by damaging. Post your E-book to some of the E-book directories. Many let you post it for FREE, or will let you post a link on their site to your E-book.

Humor Turns E-mail Viral

     A study by Sharpe Partners, an interactive marketing agency, revealed that 89% of adult Internet users in America share content with others via e-mail. This is excellent news for the viral marketer. The study generated some interesting results regarding the type of content that is most often forwarded. The most popular content is humorous material.

     The second most popular category is news, followed by healthcare and medical information, religious and spiritual material, games, business and personal finance information and sports/hobbies… in that order. So it is easy to see that humor is the best content for your viral e-mail campaign. 

     Cartoons, jokes and funny video clips are among the things that can be added to an e-mail to insure that it will go viral. People will want to pass along something that makes them laugh. They are a lot more likely to hit the forward button and send your email to their friends and relatives if it contains humor. Remember that people are much more likely to share a joke or a funny picture than anything else so you would be well advised to include humor in your e-mail campaign.
 
Successful Viral Marketing Using Forums

     In order to be successful using forums to do viral marketing there are some things that are required. Do Your Homework: Prior to joining any forum, you must do some research.

1. Join relevant forums that are in some way related to the promotion’s primary sales market. For example, someone involved with a health related product, many types of forums could apply….everything from holistic medicine to stay-at-home moms.

2. Choose popular forums.  There is no point in wasting your time and energy on forums that few members and few posts. Page ranking and the amount of active members are two good ways to check for this. You can check page rank of a site the instant you visit it if you install the useful Google toolbar.

3. Choose forums that allow signatures.  If it’s possible read the rules before joining and pay attention to them. Your time is important.  It is better to find out that a forum doesn’t allow posts with signature tags before you go to the time and trouble of joining.

You have chosen two or three forums that meet your requirements…now what?

4. Keep your signature short and update it regularly. The ideal thing is to limit yourself to one link, preferably to your main website.

5. Never create posts that are nothing more than an advertisement. This is common sense. It is a general rule of most forums and only displays the marketer’s lack of experience.  At best this kind of post will be deleted by the forum administrators and at worst, it is grounds for being prohibited from using the forum.

6. Be an active member of the forum. Plan to spend at least some time each day there. Take the time to get to know the other members. Introducing yourself with intelligent questions is a good way to develop relationships in forums.  As a marketer becomes a regular member, they will develop a good reputation.  Without saying a word about their promotion, those who are interested in their product will approach them.

Using Video Clips In Viral Marketing

     Online video advertising is really taking off. Users’ attention can be captured much more easily when using short video clips. Therefore using short video clips to produce viral marketing campaigns’ has become very popular with Internet marketers’ and it looks like it will continue to be used well into the future. So I will spend a little time with this method of viral marketing.

    Like everything else in business, there are good ways and bad ways to use video campaigns. So let us have some hints on creating a great viral video.

1. Do you have a video camera or a mobile phone with a camera? Yes? That is a great start. No? Buy one, borrow one. Not too much cost involved? Great, let us continue.

2. There are many video hosting sites you can upload to. I would recommend using You Tube. It is free to upload to. It is the most popular. It is also easy to do. You need to create an account first.

3. You do not need to hire professionals to make your video clip. Do it yourself or get your friends who would feel comfortable with this. Remember television programs like Candid Camera and You Have Been Framed. The stars were ordinary people like you and I.

4. The video clip only has to be two minutes in length. No longer than this, and shorter is very cool.

5. Make follow up clips.

6. Put your keywords in the video title.

     Whatever you come up with, don't forget to make it simple. You Tube also supplies the necessary code to enable to put your video on your own sites. Make use of it. How will you get people to spread your video like wildfire? Tell them about it.

What Works & What Doesn't In Viral Marketing

     Do not use enforced e-mail forwards! Trying to force or bribe people to forward your information to a friends’ or family email address in order to be rewarded looks unprofessional and possible comes across as spam in today's ultra-permission-based world. Especially when you tell visitors nothing about their friends’ or family’s privacy in the space directly next to the e-mail form. A true viral campaign gets forwarded because consumers are compelled to do so by the glory of the content, not because you bribed them with points or something else.

What absolutely will not work?

     Suggesting that e-mail recipients forward your message to their friends and family will not work. Adding a line at the bottom of your e-mail that reads “Please feel FREE to forward this message to a friend” is more likely to get it deleted than forwarded.

What absolutely will work?

     Offering something worthy of sharing like a valuable discount, vital information or offering an incentive for sharing like additional entries into a competition or an added discount or premium service will work.

     Relevant or timely information, research, or studies that are included in your e-mail might encourage the recipients to share with their family and friends. Interactive content like a quiz or test, especially if it’s fun, will inspire forwarding.

     Jokes and cartoons are almost always forwarded to everybody the recipient knows.  Why?  Because they are entertaining and entertainment is meant to be shared.

     A really cool multimedia experience is always going to achieve a lot of viral activity. Rich media is new and the freshness and technical factors alone are often enough to make the e-mail recipient eager to share it.

     Almost forgot one really important thing. You can craft a superb e-mail following all the rules, but if a prospect visits your site and has an experience less than what was promised, you are going to achieve viral marketing that is unwanted , the bad kind.  So be certain that your giveaway, product or service is ready and as advertised and thus allowing your visitor to have a great experience.

     It comes down to looking after people, especially prospects and future customers.


Prosper

Jim Burney
Article Writer



Offline Mark Austin

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Re: Get Viral
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2008, 11:57:14 AM »
Hey Jim,

Great post!

Mark
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that,
but the really great makes you feel that you, too, can become great.”
~ Mark Twain

Offline KarenMcG

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Re: Get Viral
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2008, 12:07:59 PM »
Jim,

I second Mark's exclamation. Great post is right.  What a gold mine!

You and Mark have incredible knowledge banks.  :)

Kkaren


mj

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Re: Get Viral
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2008, 04:35:02 PM »
There are some great in depth reports in this forum.

Amazing insights

Thank you

Mark