Part 24 Viral Marketing: Conclusion!

The key is to get your name and your website address noticed as often as possible, and in as many different places as possible. Do not limit yourself to the items that were mentioned here. If you think it might be a good idea, try it and see.

You might strike gold in areas where others have tried and only found limited success. It all depends on you, your product, and your ability to catch people’s attention.
Using viral traffic building techniques is a great way to bring a flood of traffic to your site. Some of the methods in this book will be a perfect for you and your business; others may only have a limited use, or not be useful at all.

It all depends on what you want to do with your marketing. You have to decide which one will work best for you. The danger is to start trying to build a viral marketing campaign before your website is ready.

It is natural to be anxious about getting people to come to your website, after all that is the way online businesses make their money, but if you are not ready, you could lose a great opportunity. Many businesses try repeatedly to get their message to go viral with only limited success.

Even those marketers who are very successful at it will tell you that it does not happen every time. You need to be very clear about why you want people to come to your website, and what it is you want them to do once they get there.

Are you selling a product or service? If so, make sure your sales letter is compelling enough to get the visitor to respond to your sales pitch and make a purchase.

If you are relying on pay-per-click advertising, you need to make sure the content on your site is interesting enough that your visitors will return to see what other things of interest are on your site.
Take a good, objective look at your website.

Once the traffic comes, what will they do when they get there? You have to make sure your design is right, your website is easy to navigate through, all of the links are working, and your message will convince people to do what you want them to do.

A final reminder; any one of these methods are not meant to be used as the only marketing you are doing.

They should be used as a part of a larger marketing campaign. Everything you do to spread the word about your site can bring you traffic. Only a few of them will ever go viral, but each of them has the potential to send traffic to your site, even without going viral. Do not waste opportunities waiting for something to happen.

Continue working on building traffic to your site, and being ready when the traffic arrives. Be prepared. When one of your marketing techniques does go viral, hang on for a wild ride. It will all be worth your efforts.

Part 23 Viral Marketing:Take Your Marketing Offline

Believe it or not, there are still people out there that do not get all of their information online. They use the internet for business or email, and occasionally will shop online, but if you want to reach them you will have to do it offline.

There are a lot of ways to make people aware of you offline. Some are better than others, depending on your business, but they all share a common purpose with the online techniques; get your businesses name front of as many people as you can, as often as you can. Sales people use the term, “It’s a numbers game.”

If more people get exposed to your message, more people will go to your site. More people at your site will mean more sales.

From pens to calendars to neckties, company names, logos, and web sites appear everywhere. Some companies have built a strong enough brand that people will pay to wear their logo.

Coke and M&M‟s are just two of many corporate brands that people proudly display. There is a small sporting goods store I know of that prints and gives away hundreds of shirts every year. Anyone even remotely involve in local sports has at least one shirt form this store.

At any casual event in town at least one person will show up with a shirt bearing that stores name and logo. I have seen pictures from as far away as the 50 Dominican Republic wearing one of those shirts. Anyone new in town or from any of the surrounding towns quickly learns where to go for their sporting goods.

A quick search online will give you a wide range of companies to choose from that specialize in providing promotional materials.

There is a wide range of quality, price, and products to choose from, so depending on your budget, you should be able to find something that matches with what you want to accomplish.

Part 22 Viral Marketing: Write Press Releases

Like many websites, newspapers need content.

A lot of newspapers, especially smaller local newspapers, have a hard time coming up with enough fresh content to fill all of the space they have. With limited budgets, they do not have the staff needed to come up with fresh material every day.

This creates a great opportunity for you.

While papers are not just going to give you free advertising, they will allow you to write an article about something that your businesses is doing, especially if it involves a service or a community event.

The newspapers understand that they are allowing you to advertise in exchange for the free content, but it cannot be blatant advertising. All you have to do is write the article, making sure you mention your businesses name, and list your web address so they can get more information.

You just have to make sure the piece is well written, and that your business is doing something worth telling people about. Not only does this get the name of your business out to the community, but it also helps enhance your reputation.

Even without knowing you, people will make a judgment on whether they like you, and can trust you.

By building a positive reputation as someone who is active in the community, it makes it easier for them to like you, and by extension, your business.

Part 21 Viral Marketing: Get Affiliates to Market Your Products

If you have never thought about using an affiliate program to sell your products, you might want to consider it. There are thousands of people on the internet that want to be able to tap into the online sales game but do not have a product to sell.

If you allow them to sell your product, you can have an unlimited amount of sales people marketing your product on a commission only basis. The easiest way to set it up is to use one of the affiliate marketing sites like ClickBank or Commission Junction.

There are several programs around, so you will have to do a little bit of research to find one that is appropriate for your product. For instance, ClickBank specialises in digital products. If you are selling an e-book or a downloadable software program, this might be the program to use. Commission Junction specialises more in tangible products.

For a small fee, usually a percentage of the sale, these programs will do all of the work for you. They will list the site in their searchable database where people interested in selling online can find you. If they are interested in what you are selling they sign up and become an affiliate for your product or service.

They are then assigned an affiliate code. When someone goes to your site using a link containing that code and makes a purchase, that affiliate gets the credit for the sale. The affiliate program tracks all of your sales, processes the transaction, and makes sure the correct sales person gets their commission.

There are pros and cons to using an affiliate program to sell your products. On the plus side, you have a motivated sales force that actively markets your product on the internet. They do the work, and take on all the expense of getting your message out to your customers.

With a sales force of a hundred or even a thousand people, it does not take very long to reach a very wide range of potential customers. Even if people do not click the link to go to your site, it still helps increase your brand recognition.

On the negative side, while it does not cost you much in terms of out of pocket expenses, there is significant cost involved. In order to convince someone to bear all of the expenses of marketing your product, there has to be ample compensation for them.

Commission rates of 50 percent of the sale price are not uncommon for digital products. The rates for tangible items are lower, but they are still high enough to make it worth your affiliate marketers time and effort.

The high commission rates will significantly lower the amount of profit you make on each sale. You can make up for this decreased profit with increased volume, but you have to keep a close eye on your costs to make sure you do not lose money on the transaction.


Part 20 Viral Marketing: Use Your Employees

The best advocates you have for your business are already on your payroll. Your employees already have a vested interest in getting the word out about your company. If you succeed, they get to keep their jobs, but if you fail, they may find themselves unemployed.

Your employees know your business like no one else does. They can discuss the ins and outs of your business, and tell others why your product or service is superior to the competition. Enthusiastic employees will spread the word to family, friends, and colleagues about your company, and you do not even have to pay them anything extra to do it. It is part of their normal conversation with people. Back in the early days of the computer industry, IBM ruled the world of technology.

A lot of computer companies were trying to get their legs under them, but IBM was the king. One of the reasons IBM was able to continually withstand the ever increasing competition was that they understood the power their employees had to market the company.

They had a ready-made marketing team made up of engineers, secretaries, accountants, and programmers. By harnessing that power they were able to build a stellar reputation in the computer industry. From the day they were first hired, IBM employees were taught how to be advocates for the company.

They were trained in the company‟s values, and were shown the quality of the products they were helping to build. They bought into IBM‟s corporate culture, and they, in turn, shared what they knew with anyone who would listen.

The technology world heard the message so often, and from so many different people, that they never questioned the fact that IBM was the best. The key to success is your ability to assemble a loyal dedicated workforce. If you can do that, then you have the potential to tap into some of that power as well.

Turn your employees into a marketing team and let them spread the word about how great your company is. If they truly believe it, their enthusiasm will become infectious. People will believe what your employees say, because it is obvious that your employees believe it themselves.