Viral Marketing: Help Your Audience Help You


viral-marketing3If you haven’t already realized that in today’s business and economic landscape you need a solid web presence, stop reading already and start from square one. For the rest of you, let’s build on that knowledge foundation and take a glimpse into the marketing power that rests at your fingertips.

My watch is like yours, it clocks in at 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As a website owner, the question arises, “How much can you accomplish in one day?” The answer lies in two areas:

1. How efficiently do you use that time?
2. Are you truly willing to invest in your own success?

In the grand scheme of driving targeted traffic and helping grow your business, the above two questions end up being a tedious process if you are to go about it on your own. But, there are helpful, working options to reduce the tedious nature of doing so and one glaring one is to work with a digital agency like Overit.

But what kind of marketing options are out there than can help use time and resources efficiently? Wouldn’t it be great if you could get your audience to help you do the marketing for you? If you didn’t answer ‘yes’, um, we need to talk.

For those who did answer ‘yes’, well, saddle up partner, because viral marketing is right up your alley.

What is Viral Marketing?

Have you ever gone to a restaurant because someone you know recommended it? Surely you have. That’s word-of-mouth, and it works well (and has for generations). Nowadays, we can couple that with what we like to call ‘word-of-mouse’. Now you’ve got yourself a winning combination of marketing power that can take brand awareness from point A to point B more quickly than the standard word-of-mouth strategy that we’re all so very used to.

Word-of-mouse? Please Explain.

This ‘word-of-mouse’ communication can happen in many ways, but more succinctly, we can employ the strategies of viral marketing to get your message to a broad audience, practically on auto-pilot.

Viral marketing is kind of what it sounds like. Something is introduced to a set of people and it gets passed around and around. Most of us do this with hilarious pictures and videos we happen upon while online. Why not apply that same kind of thinking to you business and encourage your customers to share your content? All in all, viral marketing helps you do more, with less. There’s your time efficiency.

Let’s use the above example! If you invest in a single video that has value to your target audience, and also has the ease of sharing built into it, your audience is then helping you do the marketing for you by passing it around. In other words, your audience introduces your content to their friends and those friends do the same with their friends, and so on. That’s the basic nugget of viral marketing.

viral_marketing-crowdThink about it, almost 40% of purchases stem from a review or recommendation posted on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Social media presents a free and open platform pre-populated with hundreds of millions of people; where sharing is not just a component, but it is expected by almost everyone.

When your content gets shared in a viral manner, you reach more people with less time invested. Unless of course you’re into finding one customer at a time and then making your ‘pitch’. Okay, scratch that last sentence because no one has that kind of time or wasted resources. We know you get the point, let’s move on.

So, viral marketing is a set of tools and strategies that have been around since the start of the era known as Web 2.0. It builds on, and is the evolution of, word-of-mouth. It keeps growing because of the speed at which the Internet grows, the Internet user-base grows and the use of social sharing increases.

Prior to what’s called the Web 2.0 era, the Internet was more unidirectional. All that means is that you owned a website, you populated it with content, people would visit, consume your content and (hopefully) act on the conversion behavior you intended. More so today, than ever, the interactions with website and content are multidimensional and site owners and their visitors are able to do more than just consume. It’s easy, today, to share and interact. It’s commonplace. It’s how people use the Internet.

So, when your piece of strategic viral content is created it has to have: overt value to your customer and ease of sharing. Viral content can be many things, such as blog content, video, an eBook, PDFs, social media posts, images, etc. Here at Overit, we help create valuable content, set goals and measure success in the strategic attempt to make adjustments that help find even more success. Which brings me to one of the most important aspects of marketing online — measurement.

Measure, Tweak, Succeed

Once you’ve got your viral marketing tools for your website or blog, you’ll need to determine your viral marketing goals. Because we’ve been in the digital business since 1993, we can help you see goals that you might not have considered. But measurable goals, nonetheless, are key to your viral success and the next campaign you’ve got coming down the marketing pipes. You need to monitor your progress and work towards improvement or else your time and efforts will feel like a waste and you’ll wind up frustrated.

quote_indentedSimple goals, like number of Facebook “Likes”, blog comments, visitors per week or sales per month are easily measured. Once you’ve determined those goals you can set out your viral strategy to move you towards them.

As simple as it can sound, viral marketing requires planning and know how to get it right. So very few, if any people, set out with a piece of ‘viral content’ and get the overwhelming results they’re dreaming about from the start. So where is the best place to start? Come say hello and let us know the details of your project and we’ll help you take it from zero to hero.