Guest post by Anna Lieber
“An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo
VIRAL MARKETING is getting a bad rap, in part due to its name. Nobody wants a virus, medical or computer. But what exactly is viral marketing? It’s simply word-of-mouth via email. Maybe we should call it buzz marketing instead.
Why is viral marketing successful? Everyone likes a free sample. It’s a time-honored strategy – give away a taste of the pie and then sell the whole pie.
DIGITAL MESSAGES spread rapidly and easily at a fraction of the cost of other marketing vehicles. People are social and as they communicate, your message takes on a life of its own. Each time it’s transmitted the circle of receivers grows exponentially creating ever-widening exposure.
As a marketer, I like that idea. Provided your message is clear, useful and compelling, tasteful and legitimately delivered.
HOW TO CREATE BUZZ WITH VIRAL MARKETING
€ publish an ezine, encouraging people to forward it to their network
€ send email news releases about free articles on your web site
€ create a giveaway like a CD or ebook to showcase your expertise
€ ask clients to write testimonials and feature them on your web site
€ trade web links with synergistic businesses
€ write an article, submitting it to various informational sites
€ add an email signature including your contact info and offer
ADD VALUE Use viral marketing to spread the word about your expertise and products. But can the corny jokes and pyramid letters. Send information of real value to your target audience. Be extra careful not to overdo frequency or reveal email addresses publicly.