So you want to setup a viral marketing campaign, but where do you start? A viral marketing campaign is simply a strategy that you can use to get people who like your website and web materials to consciously or unconsciously promote your site while they’re going about their business online.
1. What to promote - The first step in your viral marketing campaign is to identify what you want to promote. Is it your main URL, your newsletter or your web products? The most successful viral marketing campaigns are consistent and promote one thing at a time. You might think that it is useful to put all 20 of your website URLs in your email signature, but it would be more effective if you used one and made it memorable.
2. Identify your tools – You can use email signatures, ebooks, free software, paid advertising, newsletter subscriptions, assorted freebies and privileged information, members’ only sites and more in your viral marketing campaign.
3. Start giving out your free goodies – advertise your freebies in free information directories or by giving away your articles to the many online article directories. List your free products on strategic web pages. You don’t want to list it on every page because you don’t want your free items competing with “for sale” items. The freebies will probably win most of the time. Whatever you give out, make it easy to download or transfer. Stick to quick downloads, secure ebooks and other items that are available directly from your website.
4. Give others permission to distribute your products – For the viral marketing to succeed, you must give other people permission to distribute your products. Free ebooks for example, can be posted on a website as long as the links remain in tact. Rebranding is also a good option. Customers can rebrand your product by adding their domain name and logos to the product, but an active link back to your site must be maintained on every page.
5. Be prepared – If you are creating your campaign to build up traffic, can you scale up quickly and add more bandwidth if your campaign is effective. If you are using multiple methods and multiple products in your campaign, traffic can spike or surge unexpectedly. Do you have the email capacity to handle the requests for more information? Is your site copy updated with FAQ’s to answer some of the most common questions that you will receive? Do you have a reliable shopping cart application to handle orders around the clock? These are just a few of the items that are necessary for you to take advantage of the resulting traffic and orders that you will get from a successful campaign.
6. Collect contact information – always have a way to collect contact information from each prospect that you gain. You can require a valid email address, for example, before a customer can receive a free item. This method is increasingly popular among internet marketers because it’s a great way to build up your mailing list and it’s an opt-in list. You can also reuse the list over and over again as you create new products or create subsequent editions of existing products. It’s a way to get more money from the same subscription base without investing the same amount of marketing money each time.
These are just a few the tools and strategies that you deploy to create your own viral marketing campaign.