Part 16 Viral Marketing: Offer A Digital Game Or Tool That Carries Your Message

Games are another thing that can make content go viral on the internet. I’m not talking about intensive multiplayer games that take place in a virtual world, just simple games that people can play at their desk on a break at work.

If you or someone you know has any experience using Macromedia’s Flash, this can be an excellent way to get your businesses name in front of a lot of eyes. Like everything else, if you do not know how to do it yourself, all you have to do is look around and you will find someone who is willing to do it for you.

This is another area where being creative will serve you well. The game does not have to be an entirely new idea, but the more unique it is, the more interest, and traffic, it will generate. Do a search for “flash games” and you will see thousands of games that people can play without any downloading or programs to install.

You can also see that all of the games are not entirely unique.  Some are simply a twist on an older classic game, but there has to be something different for it to work for you. The internet probably does not need another version of Tetris, but a Tetris like game with different shaped animals instead of blocks might get you some attention.

If your game catches on, there are quite a few sites that will advertise your game for you, and some that will even host a copy of your game on their site. When someone decides to play your game, you can put an advertisement about your business that they can see while they are waiting for the game to load.

One great example of using a free game for marketing is Peerflix. They created a game called “Paparazzi” that made fun of celebrities. The idea went viral and was quickly picked up by Entertainment Weekly, E Online, and most of the game sites. Within 90 days of the games launch, it had logged over 2 million unique visitors.

The great part for Peerflix is that nearly 5 percent of those visitors made their way over to the main part of the website, which was the reason they created the game in the first place.

Another option is to offer a free tool or resource that people will find useful. While some of these options might cost you a little more to develop and host, if they get exposure and become popular, they are an excellent way to get people visiting your site repeatedly.

Calendars, organizers, and reminder services are all ways to get your businesses name in front of your potential customers. Quirky screensavers are another great program to offer. Every time the user’s computer sits idle for a few minutes, your message pops up on the screen.

The trick is to put your message in a place where it can be seen, but it should not be the focal point. People are not interested in downloading your advertisement, but they will accept the advertisement as a small price to pay for something of greater value.

If your program works well and is seen as useful, users will tell other people about it, they will write about it on their blogs, and they will link to your program from their websites. That is what going viral is all about.

The great part about both of these options is it gives you repeated visibility. Marketing experts have determined that on average it takes being exposed to something at least 7 times before people will act on it.

The more often people see your message, the more likely they are to do something about what they see. Advertisers and politicians put their message in as many places as possible so people will get exposed to it multiple times. That is what gets people attention.

That is all for now. If you missed Part 15 here it is again.


Part 13 Viral Marketing: Run a Contest!

People love to win things, and they love to be recognised for

winning. Be creative in deciding what the prize should be, but

consider how much your customers will think it is worth.

 

While a prize doesn’t have to be something of great value, it does have

to be something that is useful or of some value to the winner. Make

sure that it is something they want, not just a blatant advertisement

for your business.

 

A bumper sticker marketing your web address is not

going to generate a great deal of interest. Your advertisement or web

address should be plainly visible, but it should not be the focal point of

the item you are giving away.

 

If you are running a business to business website, free advertising on

your site for the winner is something that wouldn’t cost you anything,

but if your site doesn’t attract very much traffic the prize may not be

seen as being very valuable.

 

The great thing for you is that running contests is a great way to drive

large amounts of traffic to your site. Other than the cost of the prize,

there is not very much cost involved in this technique. There are

websites and blogs that are in the business of telling others about

contests that other people are running.

 

They will do your marketing for you. All you have to do is contact these

sites and let them know about your contest. If it’s worth mentioning

they will tell their subscribers.  If the contest is good enough or creative

enough, it may catch the attention of a blogger who will spread the word to others.

The better the prize package, the faster and farther it will spread.

 

A good way to take advantage of this technique is to have a repeating

contest, or a series of contests. This method will keep customers

returning to your site.

 

Not only will they return to sign up for the new

contest, but they will also check back periodically to see what the next

contest is, and when it begins.


Part 10 Viral Marketing: Use an RSS Feed

Another way to build returning traffic to your site is to provide an RSS

feed. In its current form, RSS stand for “Really Simple Syndication”.

RSS allows someone to place a link on their homepage, website, or

RSS reader that sends an update every time you update the

information on your site.

 

This is especially popular with news sites and blogs. If you are posting

to your blog every week day, your readers will get an update 5 times a

week.

 

That means 5 times a week they will be reminded of your name

and your website. This can really work to your advantage because they

are getting that reminder because they asked to be reminded, not

because you are forcing yourself on them.

 

Every day they have a chance to read your message, and have the

opportunity to visit the main part of your site. The more traffic that

comes to your site on a regular basis, the more sales and advertising

revenue you can generate.

 

Another way to use RSS feeds is to bring news or information about

your niche that will add value to your site. By putting fresh, up to date

information on your websites main page, you give visitors a reason to

come back to your site on a continuing basis. If they are interested in

your topic, the will return to your site to get updates.

 

Both uses of RSS are designed to keep your customers coming back.

The more often they come back and get new, useful, or entertaining

material, the more likely they are of spreading the word to their

friends and family, and that is the first step of going viral.


Part 8 Viral Marketing: Start a Blog!

Of all the techniques we have listed, blogging is the most work to keep up with.

It is also probably the slowest growing method on the list. In order for one of your blog posts to go viral, people have to know your blog exists.

With so many quality blogs already in existence, it may take some time to get your blog noticed.

It requires persistence.

Before you decide to begin blogging, make sure you are interested enough in the topic to write about it on an almost daily basis.

For a blog to be effective, you need to post at least 3 – 5 articles a week.

While the posts do not need to be long, they should at least contain the elements that any technique needs to go viral; a unique point of view on a subject, informational, entertaining, and fresh. Not only do you need to be consistent in posting new information, you also need to work at marketing your blog.

There are several easy ways to start getting other people to pay attention to your blog.

Start by finding other popular blogs that cover a similar subject as you cover. Leave insightful comments on their blog. When you leave a comment, you can include a link back to your own site. If some reads your comment and like what you have to say, they may head over to your site to see what else you have to offer. If the blog you leave a comment on is very popular, this could drive a fair amount of traffic to your site.

Another method of getting your blog noticed is to write a post on your blog commenting on something you read on someone else‟s blog. You add a link in your post pointing back to the blog you mentioned. In blog language this is referred to as a “trackback”. When you put the URL of the other blog in the trackback section of your blogging program it sends a message to the blog you are linking to informing them that you mentioned them in your blog.

They come and read what you said, and if they like it, they may write something on their blog about your post.

Their viewers can also click the link, which will drive traffic to your blog.

It is very easy to get started blogging if that is an area you are interested in. There are several good online blog services that will allow you to set up a blog for free. Some of these services, like Blogger.com, even allow you to set up AdSense advertising on your blog, which will let you earn a little extra income with your blog.

If you would rather have the blog located as part of your own website, programs like WordPress are very easy to set up and use. The best part is, it is free to use. If you write good blog posts, and can effectively market your blog, your readership will grow.

The more readers you have, the greater the chances of one of your posts going viral.

The key to success is quality material that is fresh, and holds the readers attention. You can not get away with recycling what you read on someone else‟s blog. When visitors come to your blog, make sure you give them a compelling reason to go to the main part of your site to look around.

If your blog becomes popular, this method could drive a flood of traffic to your site that will continue on an almost daily basis.


Part 7 Viral Marketing: Create a Brandable E-Book

Have you noticed the number of sites that offer free e-books to subscribers?

Give your email address, click the link and you have instant access to an eBook full of useful information.

The reason so many sites use this method of advertising is because it works, and here is how you can make it work for you.

Write a short eBook on a topic that relates to your business. In that book you include a little information about your business, and at a couple of key places include a link that will drive traffic from the book to your website.

Now post it on your website and let anyone interested download a free copy.

However, it does not stop there.

Encourage anyone who likes your eBook to offer it as a free gift on their website as well. If the information is useful, and the book is well written, the number of websites that are offering your book will begin to grow, Soon 50 or 100, or even 1,000 other sites will be helping you spread the word about your business.

A successful campaign with timely information could keep driving traffic to your site for months or years to come. Be careful not to overdo the information about yourself, or include too many links back to your site.

The more about yourself you include, the less likely others will be willing to give your book away for you. Another advantage of having your eBook before thousands of people‟s eyes is it establishes your credibility.

People give more credence to a published “expert” than they do to someone who has not written a book, even if the book is very short. You begin to build name recognition, and when people see your name associated with something in the future, they will be more likely to check it out. Internet marketer David Meerman Scott used this successfully when he released an eBook titled The New Rules of PR.

He posted a link to the book on his blog, and sent link by email to friends and colleagues. Within 3 days his eBook had been downloaded over 1,000 times. At that point it caught the attention of a couple of internet marketing gurus who talked about it on their own blogs. In the 3 days following those blogs Scott‟s eBook had been downloaded over 15,000 times. To date, the eBook has been downloaded over 60,000 times, and it has resulted in a continuing flow of traffic, and several speaking arrangements. He is now considered an expert in the field of internet marketing, largely because of his eBook.

Do a search for eBook compilers to find a program to create your eBook, or find a program that will allow you to save a document as a PDF. Whichever program you decide to use, make sure it allows you to include active, clickable links.

If the person reading the eBook has to copy and paste the link into a browser, many of them will not. Make it as easy as possible for them to get to your site.

Also, make sure the program you use will not let anyone change the information in your eBook. There are less than honest people who will remove references to you and the links to your site, and include their own information into your eBook.

Many programs will allow you to safeguard your information, so take advantage of them.

PDFBrandable is a good piece of software that allows you to create brandable eBooks.

Or you could just hop on to fiverr.com and get a designer create one for you as a one off cost.