Starting Your Own Viral Marketing Campaign

Viral marketing needs four things to work properly: (many of these you would have found in the Hubspot Webinar on April Fools Day) Never before has it been easier to reach potential customers. Using digital technology, you can reach your audience for pennies. But as it turns out, inexpensive marketing is a double-edged sword because it attracts more competition. This is because the technology that makes production of media inexpensive, also creates a low barrier of entry. As a result, the market is flooded with products, and the consumer is overwhelmed. The range of products and brands to purchase has become numbing to the customer. Proven strategies of the past are being abandoned, because they clearly no longer work. That being said, brand-building is one strategy that will never go out of date regardless of technological advances. And the good news is that building a brand has never been more feasible than it is now—if you are willing to use social media and use it well. Simply blogging or having a presence on Facebook is not enough. Viral marketing needs four things to work properly:
  1. An offer (preferably free) that has value
  2. An easy way to distribute the offer
  3. An incentive to get consumers to pass the offer along to their friends
  4. A way to make the campaign profitable
  1. An offer (preferably free) that has value. When thinking about viral campaigns, many people think of funny videos. Funny videos do have value, but I would encourage you to consider something different. There are just too many companies trying to do funny videos and it is hard to stand out. Rather, come up with an offer that has more legitimate value. For example, I offer free online piano lessons for church pianists. I have also offered free downloads of CDs and printed piano arrangements.The key is that whatever you offer has to have real value, and it probably needs to be free. People will not jeopardize their relationships by promoting an offer that has no value, and they will usually not promote offers that are not free (unless the brand is already very strong). Think hard about an offer you can make available that is inexpensive but has great perceived value to others. Be creative; there are numerous possibilities, particularly if you create digital media.
  2. An easy way to distribute the offer. You must provide an easy way for people to get your offer, and ideally, it should be delivered automatically without requiring your involvement. For many of us, our offers can be distributed digitally on our websites. If you can host your offer on your own website, that is the best scenario. If you cannot, there are other websites that allow you to do these kinds of campaigns. For example, musicians can use BandCamp to deliver their music offers to consumers.
  3. An incentive to get consumers to pass the offer along to others. It is critical that your consumers are “reimbursed” to pass along your offer. Sometimes, their payment can be as simple as the thanks they get from their friends when they pass along funny videos. But, I would not count on that being enough. Try to find a way to offer something extra to people who will post your offer in places like their Facebook status or on their blogs. These are the people who are critical to your viral marketing success.
  4. A way to make the campaign profitable. Viral marketing is primarily about brand-building. But it is also a great way to sell other products, build a fan base, obtain concerts and speaking engagements, and much more. Don’t make your offer something that you can’t afford to give away. Also, set goals for what you hope to obtain from your campaign
Don't go into this just to be the next Great Orator. Paid speaking engagements are far fewer than those seeking to host them.  They're also limited to those who are truly qualified to deliver a strong message and have something so innovative that no one else will bringing it to market.  I myself will not being doing that, as there are four different post of other offers combined into this one to make a stronger thought.  The main goal is to bring your brand, products and clients to the top of their markets. Execution is the key to all types of marketing. Plan and experiment before you launch. When you start something virally, there is no way to stop it and no way to fix mistakes; so make sure the message is the one you wanted. When you are ready to launch a campaign, you simply have to send out a short email to your fan email list. After that, if it is going to work, you simply manage which direction it needs to be steered(you won't have much influence to provide, but can turn it to the next hit you have in waiting).

Viral Marketing PDF April 2010

After watching the Hubspot's "Grateful Dead Marketing" webinar today, we felt a bit inspired to link a lot of additional Viral Marketing E-books through a post.  The sharing of material is actually one of the preferred and strongest methods of gaining strong readership and increasing traffic reliability. We've included four PDF E-books about viral marketing and techniques.  We hope to offer the different perspectives that are available and give the opportunity for others to compare and contrast the different schools of thought. While all of them are linked back to their authors sites, we ensured that they would be available for re-post on line and have avoided uploading any that wouldn't be.  We also thought it important to ensure that they be more educational than... Well marketing for their own services.  Keep in mind, just releasing these publications was a form of marketing that produces far more name recognition than any form of paid service or bullied email campaign. Feel free to Download the items and ensure that all credit is given to the actual authors:

Millard Browns POV

Ok, I realize there will immediately be a bit of confusion with this selection.  2007?  Why on earth would you be interested with Viral Marketing theories from this time period?  The answer is simple.  The concepts of breaking away from established marketing techniques begins to get real traction with this publication.  There are certainly many earlier publications that have to deal with independent concepts of viral marketing, but this one Nigel Hollis is able to relate the more "out of the box" concepts being elevated by Web 2.0.  I would also suggest reading The Dynamics of Viral Marketing.  This is another from 2007, but filled with great information of the virgining Web 2.0 world.

The Viral Marketing Short

Here's a gift to all of those who enjoy the mathematical calculations involved in marketing procedures, planning, and predicted outcomes.  At this point, there are plenty of analytic resources available to compile the same information (most of them free, and if they aren't you paid to much).  This may be antiquated for a lot of our "I want it now" mentalities, but it's never bad to at least learn the methods of determining your true traffic flow.

The New Rules of Viral Marketing

No list of modern marketing E-books would be complete without this publication. David Meerman Scott has had over One Million downloads of this E-Book and it has become the foundation of the modern principles being introduced into the marketing world.  While competition is still a large factor for the top position of any market, the methods described in this E-book are a necessity  for anyone attempting to market their website in a viral manner. I do hope you like this list and more will be coming.  Please give credit to the original authors and expect a publication of ours to emerge within the near future.