Viral Marketing eBook
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  • 1. 12/7/2012COMPUTERENGINEERING& STATISTICS VIRAL MARKETINGAGENCY Mahaman Sani Dan Mallam www.cesa-consulting.net
  • 2. Computer Engineering & Statistics Agency 2012SUMMARY I. How to Get the Most Out of your Marketing …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 3 II. How Hotmail Became Hot The history of viral marketing ……………………………………..……………………………………………. 4 III. How To Make Your Marketing Viral …………………………………………………………………………………………………….………………….…. 5 IV. Creating a Viral Marketing Campaign …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…. 6 V. Why Viral Marketing Works …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……………………. 7 VI. Interesting Resources ………………………………………….…………………………………………………………………………………..……………………. 8 www.cesa-consulting.net 2
  • 3. Computer Engineering & Statistics Agency 2012I. How to Get the Most Out of your Marketing Viral marketing has become a respectable and most importantly, very effective means of marketing among businesses worldwide – that’s if it is done correctly and respectfully. Correctly and respectfully? What does that mean? It means not abusing the system. It means using viral marketing tactics to spread the word about your business, your product and your service without offending others or being self-serving. But, viral marketing is inherently self-serving, isn’t it? Well, yes and no. To be truly effective, viral marketing must include a give and take approach. You must engage others, take part in conversation, and give as much as you get. In other words, don’t expect your message to spread itself. viral marketing takes time, careful planning and well-thought out execution. It has, for lack of a better word, an incurable need for attention. While viral marketing can be applied in a number of ways, there are 3 main approaches: #1 – To Share. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are in fact products of viral marketing themselves. While they’re sole purpose is to allow (and encourage) users to share information, they too must share their service via their users. It’s simple, really. Their users believe in them and enjoy their websites so much, that they share those websites with others. Knowing this and trusting this would take place, these social media powerhouses have become multi-million, some billion dollar businesses thanks to, you guessed it, viral marketing. #2 – To Add Value. Adding value is not a characteristic unique to viral marketing. It is a common marketing approach across the board. For hundreds of years, business owners have understood the importance of offering their customers “more”. For instance, buy this product and receive this additional product for free. You get the picture. So, this notion of adding value applies to your viral marketing in the same way. However, rather than simply applying added value to your products and services, make value-added offers to those who share your message. For instance, send this message to an additional 10 people, and receive a free product. Incentivize and you will see results! #3 – To create buzz. Similar to sharing, creating buzz is can be extremely effective. How is it different? While sharing refers to others literally sharing information with friends (i.e. Like my Facebook page? Sign-up for your own Facebook page today and see more of what I’m up to, including photos, favorites and more!) creating buzz is more about spreading the word. Consider how gossip spreads, or the way in which gossip magazines create stories based on hearsay. The idea is to get people “talking” about you and your business in a positive way so that they begin to encourage others to become customers, sign-up or carry on the conversation on their own. As you can see, viral marketing is about more than inundating your audience with your message. It’s about strategic planning and taking an approach that puts your business in a positive light while enticing others to not only become customers, but to spread the word as well. www.cesa-consulting.net 3
  • 4. Computer Engineering & Statistics Agency 2012II. How Hotmail Became Hot The history of viral marketing When you hear the term “viral marketing”, you probably don’t get a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. That is, unless you know the history of how it began and the incredible story of what it’s become. For internet marketers and business owners alike, viral marketing has not only woven its way into the advertising and marketing culture of modern-day success stories, but it is quickly becoming as necessary as billboards, newsletters and direct mail campaigns were just a decade ago. In fact, some may argue, it has already surpassed these archaic forms of marketing and is now the single most cost-effective, reliable and strategic way to share information while gaining customers through an approach that truly offers the most bang for your buck. So how did this technologically-driven marketing approach get its start? One word – Hotmail. Thanks to Hotmail, the first among free web-based email service providers, viral marketing has taken on a life of its own. When Hotmail first began, they decided that the best way to entice new customers would be to reach the friends, family and colleagues of each user they had. So, in the footer of each and every email that was sent from a Hotmail account, the Hotmail team placed a link that read something like this: “Want a free email account? Sign- up for Hotmail today!” And yes, believe it or not, this strategy went, as we know call it, viral. Hundreds of thousands of users hurriedly signed up for their free email accounts and the rest is history. That Hotmail model is the foundation for the viral marketing we are familiar with today. From Facebook, to Twitter, to YouTube and LinkedIn, viral marketing takes many shapes and forms. It can vary in approach and evolve within each format, but the bottom line is to share information and do so on a large-scale – for free. Rather than spend thousands on expensive advertising campaigns, businesses (both large and small) have come to recognize viral marketing as a cost-effective way to not only get their message across, but to increase sales and improve business overall. It truly is a phenomenon that continues to gain momentum. And the more businesses that recognize viral marketing as an acceptable and reliable form of marketing, the more intriguing this approach becomes. Why? Because more and more people and businesses are joining the conversation. More and more we are seeing the positive effects of viral marketing and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. While Hotmail has suffered the consequences of major competition, they are still an important player in the email game, and an extremely influential model in the world of internet marketing. As the grandfather of viral marketing , Hotmail will forever be recognized as the service that started it all. Thanks to them, we have all been bitten by the viral marketing bug and our businesses are better for. www.cesa-consulting.net 4
  • 5. Computer Engineering & Statistics Agency 2012III. How To Make Your Marketing Viral An idea will only catch on if people like it; A marketing message will only become viral if people believe it. So, how do you use viral marketing to gain customers and increase your revenue stream? Here are three key tips to follow: 1. Be Creative. If you are selling widgets, make those widgets stand out! Nobody wants to buy a widget that is simply “easy to use” and “better than the rest”. People respond to innovation, to creativity, to things that appear to be exciting and new… even if they are not. Don’t waste your time with sales driven messaging. Instead, spend your time carefully crafting creative marketing that will grab the attention of others. Once you have their attention, going viral is the next logical step. 2. Be Different. There’s nothing worse than more of the same. You and your business have to stand out in the crowd. And even if your product is one in a million, make that one appear different and most importantly, the best. How? Add value to your offerings by incentivizing your products. Make customers feel appreciated and deliver on your promises. And above all, stay on top of the competition. You can’t do it better than them if you don’t know what they are doing and how they are doing it. Find out what message your competitors are sending and differentiate yourself with a stronger message, more strategic campaign and overall better offering. 3. Be Consistent. Without proper management, the attempt to go viral with any campaign can quickly turn sour. Consistency is key with any marketing, but when attempting to go viral, you will need to stay on top of every single message you put out there… and do so often. viral marketing takes a lot of time and quality management. Prepare yourself to make this part of your daily routine, and invest your time as you would invest your capital into any advertising projects. While viral marketing is essentially “free”, you will need to spend valuable time and effort in order to make it work for you. Whether you are a veteran of the viral marketing world or new to this approach, remember that it’s about what you put in that really matters. The more you manage all aspects of your online marketing, from tweeting to status updates, to feeds and daily blog posts, your message can only go viral if you are putting it out there on a regular basis. And don’t simply plaster your social media accounts with sales copy and unattractive pitches. As we’ve discussed, be creative. What would interest you? What would you want to share with your friends, family and colleagues? What would you encourage others to take a look at? Take the time to respond to others, to craft creative messages and pay attention to what others are saying. In order to become part of the conversation, you have to engage in it and that is what viral marketing is all about. www.cesa-consulting.net 5
  • 6. Computer Engineering & Statistics Agency 2012IV. Creating a Viral Marketing Campaign Creating a viral marketing campaign, while not difficult, does take careful planning. You must be strategic and clearly define your goal (or goals) as well as the means you will use to achieve them. Here are a few simple steps to follow that will guide you through the process of creating and devising your viral marketing campaign. Step 1: Clearly define your goals. What is it you are trying to achieve? Are you trying to attain a certain number of click-thrus? Are you trying to grow your customer base? Or simply attract visitors to your site? No matter what the goal, you must know what it is before you can achieve it. Step 2: Choose which outlets you will use. Do you plan to employ social media to apply your viral marketing messaging to? Will you focus on your blog as a means to get your message across? Or will you submit articles to multiple directories in hopes of driving traffic? No way is better than the other, but try to choose at least 3 means of viral marketing, ensuring that each approach is unique, yet compliments the others. For example, if you write a blog post as part of your viral marketing campaign, you can then drive people to read the post by tweeting about it, as well as emailing the link to your list. Another example might be, if you create a video and post it on YouTube, you can drive traffic to the video by sending the link as a download or embedding it on your Facebook wall. Step 3: Carefully craft your message. Once you know what your message is going to be, it will be much easier to know how to apply it depending on the outlets you plan to employ. In other words, say you set out to write an article. Once you know the title, you can then craft that title into 140 characters or less for Twitter, and post a slightly longer description on Facebook. Do you see how this all weaves together so beautifully? That is why viral marketing has become such a strong force to be reckoned with in and among the online business community. It truly is a powerful way of communicating, of advertising and of doing business. Now, more than ever before, we have the ability to communicate in real-time in such a way that carries a single message to millions within seconds. While marketing in general has its limitations, the possibilities are endless. It’s up to you to make the most of your messaging and turn your target market into paying customers. And remember, its not only about them. It’s about who they are willing to share your message, your product, your business with. That is the essence of viral marketing. Keep this gold rule in mind and you will be on the path to success… or to going “viral” as they say. www.cesa-consulting.net 6
  • 7. Computer Engineering & Statistics Agency 2012V. Why Viral Marketing Works Viral marketing is a phenomenon. It works and works well. Why? Because it puts the power in the hands of the people. It doesn’t rely on advertising executives, million dollar campaigns or celebrity endorsements. It is real, down-to-earth, grassroots marketing that, when it comes down to it, might be advertising in its purest form. Viral marketing, while driven by strategy and well-planned messaging, is only successful when its audience is captivated. A marketing campaign will only go “viral” if people like it and ultimately, share it with others. Therefore, they have the power. Not the marketer. Online business owners and internet marketers alike understand the important role viral marketing plays in the success of their businesses today. Social media networks have become just as much about business as they are about pleasure. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and other key players are now joining us in the boardroom and in sales meetings. Blogs are replacing news media in many ways, and we must adapt our marketing approach to become players in this game. From reaching the masses with special deals, invitations for sale events and enticing customers to purchase new products, viral marketing is a lucrative business tool, approach and strategy all wrapped in to one. Say, for example, you are an internet marketer. You create and sell valuable sales tools, including E-books, reports, videos and webinars. Not only should you have a list to which you apply your email marketing campaign, but in addition, you can share your products by posting them on Facebook, tweeting about them on Twitter or uploading lessons to YouTube. The possibilities are endless. With a little bit of creativity and a true understanding of your target market, viral marketing has the ability to skyrocket your business to new heights. Not only should you consider the favor of your current customer base, but approach your viral marketing campaign in such a way that encourages – and makes them want to – share your business with others. You could offer free products for every ten people your customers share your link with. The more you incentivize, the more likely people are to share with others. Think about it, if you were your own customer, what would entice you to share your products? Would it be quality customer service? Great deals and monthly specials? What grabs your attention? Start there and see what works. The other great thing about viral marketing is, if one approach isn’t working, you lose nothing by switching gears. Just be careful to settle in to a consistent message, no matter what your approach might be. You don’t want to run the risk of turning people off. So, engage in your viral marketing campaign. Be social on social networks, share others information and they in turn, will share yours. viral marketing is a give and take and the more you give, the more you will get. There is an unspoken set of expectations that accompany viral marketing, and the most important of all is to respect those you are marketing to. If you do, they will recognize that and most likely help you on your way to going viral. www.cesa-consulting.net 7
  • 8. Computer Engineering & Statistics Agency 2012VI. Interesting Resources How To Build a Professional Website How To Do Business in America How To Do It Yourself How To Make Big Money Online How To Drive Free Traffic To Your Website How To Get US. Visa Easily The True About Making Money Online What You Need To Know About Viral Marketing Viral Marketing Stampede Work Less, Accomplish More Home Business Handbook iPad Video Lessons www.cesa-consulting.net 8