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How to Influence Viral Marketing and Word of Mouth Communications
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How to Influence Viral Marketing and Word of Mouth Communications


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2009 Bowling Green State University Marketing Symposium: How to Influence Viral Marketing and Word of Mouth Communications. Today, right now, customers are talking about your company and your …

2009 Bowling Green State University Marketing Symposium: How to Influence Viral Marketing and Word of Mouth Communications. Today, right now, customers are talking about your company and your products, and much of that conversation is taking place online. WOM (Word Of Mouth) communications carry more credibility, are delivered faster, and are more likely to influence buyers than official company messages. Bill Balderaz will discuss current viral trends, how companies can influence internet communications, and ways to create positive buzz.

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  • 1. How to Influence Viral Marketing and Word of Mouth Communications
    Bill Balderaz
    Webbed Marketing
  • 2.
  • 3. “We can't open this up to our employees, it will pull them away from work."
    "What about legal implications? The FDA regulates all our communications. An employee can distribute un-reviewed content to the world and we could liable."
    "We lose control of our brand."
    Sound Familiar?
  • 4. Quick, that's a corporate executive talking about what?
    Sound Familiar?
  • 5. Wrong.
    Sound Familiar?
  • 6. The year is 1997 and that's a conversation about email.
    A Trip Through Time
  • 7. We won’t have time to check email because we spent a lot of time faxing, reading & writing memos and on the phone. Email reduced our dependencies on these communication channels.
    Today with the flood of email we all receive, no one has time to Tweet. Done right, Twitter and other social networks reduce the amount of email you send, just as email reduced the number of memos we all typed.
    Other Parallels
  • 8. Email is purely a social application and a way to distribute get-rich-quick-scams and pornography.
    The same thing is said about social media every day. We've all become pretty good at sifting through the garbage and using email as a key part of our work environment.
    Other Parallels
    Other Parallels
  • 9. Email is a fad and a disruptive element that new college grads want.
    Just like email, Twitter, LinkedIn Groups, Facebook and other social networks have fundamental benefits over other forms of communication.
    Other Parallels
    Other Parallels
  • 10. Teach a Man To Fish…
    Sales – Give a man a fish
  • 11. Teach a Man To Fish…
    Marketing – Teach a man to fish
  • 12. Teach a Man To Fish…
    Social Media Marketing – Give a man a bass boat, 12 rods and reels, a case of beer and free weekend.
  • 13. What is a Social Network?
    An online meeting place for consumers and influencers
    to create,
    share and
    interact with
  • 14. What is a Social Network?
  • Why Social Networks Matter
    47% of all respondents said they would go to a social networking site to download coupons or search for gift ideas if those services were available;
    45% said they would visit a social networking site to find out about upcoming sales in stores or discounts on products;
    22% said they would read or write a product review on a blog.
  • 28. Using Social Media in Your Marketing Plan
  • 29. Set Clear Goals
    There are three kinds of people in the world: those who can count, and those who can’t
  • 30. Set Clear Goals
    Can’t measure “more buzz”
    Define measurable metrics – 16 media placements, 40 relevant links, increase sales 12%
    Take baseline metrics before campaign starts
    SEO metrics, social media metrics
    Break metrics down into quantifiable goals
    Mentions in blogs, social networks, links to the site…
    You can quantify metrics
  • 31. Determine the Hook
    Set goals before determining the “hook”
    Questionnaire to determine need – what gets the participants excited?
    Examples: free sample, white paper, video, online calculator/application, stunt
  • 32. Determine Distribution Plan
    Earn your way into distribution
    Avoid using the word “free”
    Look for specialized networks or “celebrity” bloggers that don’t often get pitched
    Rate the value of each participant and determine the pitch
  • 33. Determine Distribution Plan
    Think in terms of most efficient coverage
    Examples: pitch a blogger, obtain a following on MySpace/Facebook, use tagging sites, Tweet to your target, make new connections on LinkedIn and build a presence on targeted social networks
    Great Content + Great Distribution=Great Word of Mouth
  • 34. Case Study: Shizuka New York
    Located in midtown Manhattan
    Cosmetology & skin care with “Eastern holistic knowledge”
    Featured in international media, including Marie Claire, Shape, Vogue, and Harpers Bazaar
  • 35. Shizuka New York
    Following Word of Mouth program:
    Mention on Jay Leno
    Mention on CNN
    Home page of
    E! “The Soup”
    The Hollywood Reporter
    Featured on the Today Show
  • 36. We Set Clear Goals
    Branding and awareness
    Increased site traffic
    New clients
  • 37. Used that Compelling Hook
    Highlighting “Bird Poop Facials”
  • 38. Determined the Best Distribution Plan
    SEO Press Release
    Blogger Outreach
    Social Networks
  • 39. SEO Press Release
  • 40. Blogger Outreach
    Identify bloggers in key categories:
    Already talking
    Skin care
    Pop culture
    News of the weird
  • 41. Blogger Outreach
    Read the blog!
    Clearly identify who you are
    Tailor your message
    Provide only relevant content
    Ask yourself again before you hit “send”
  • 42. Video
    Spoof interview produced
    Uploaded to YouTube
    Embedded in press release
    Sent to bloggers
  • 43. Video
    The YouTube Geisha Facial video – 20,000+ views
  • 44. Web Results
    Ice Rocket Web results were at 3,960 at the beginning of May and are now up to 20,700
  • 45. Summary
    Create a great hook, you can’t fake it
    Find the right mix of complementary channels
    Measure results
  • 46. Get Social Today
    Attendance and enthusiasm are half the game
    Dedicate time to making this work
    Bring wine
    Seek first to understand, then to be understood
    The conversation is going on right now, the only decision is if you will be involved
  • 47. Questions & Comments
    Bill Balderaz
    Twitter: @bbalderaz