Viral marketing is the buzzword used to describe creating and spreading interest like a virus. This can be employed to market everything from media events to household goods. Such marketing business techniques require at least one spark-generating piece of information that can be spread among Internet users in a variety of social networking formats and by e-mail. Generally speaking, to be a successful viral marketer, you must be skilled at crafting engaging marketing messages and spreading those messages across the Web.
How to start your viral marketing campaign
Create a captivating, high-quality video. Put as much work in the video as you might into a television commercial. Present the marketing message yourself or use the services of actors, paid or unpaid. Post the video in social networking forums and entice viewers with “hints” that inspire them to seek more information about your message on your website.
Offer a free product to spread the word faster. Giveaways items should be highly sought-after by your target market. You could, for example, give away a designer fashion accessory if fashionistas are your viral message’s target market. If the program involves selling a product, make sure the product is readily available.
Provide graphics, links and email referrer options so the campaign can be easily forwarded which makes the marketing message spread like a virus. Add such links to blog posts, videos, podcasts and on your social networking profiles. Send direct messages to individuals who display enthusiasm for your message expressing your appreciation for their support. Sending direct messages to your supporters could also encourage them to keep spreading the word.
Monitor your viral marketing campaign’s progress on websites like Digg, Delicious, Technorati and StumbleUpon and seeing where it is ranking on Google to gauge the strength of your message.
Do not wait for people to start talking about your marketing campaign, take the initiative and hire a “street team” of marketers, depending on your budget. Virtual street teams simulate the work of real-time street teams: they pass out information that spreads the word. Get the ball rolling by hiring street team members such as bloggers and other social networking forum buzz generators to link to and share your message with their followers.
- Show sincerity by responding to inquiries and taking part in conversations about your marketing message.
- Avoid the impersonal bulk e-mail strategy as it could give your company a bad name.