All Internet Marketer know that traffic is king. Ok, content is king too, but that content won’t do a thing for you if no one visits your website and sees what you have to offer them. There are various ways that marketers use to get traffic to their sites and one of the best is to use Viral Marketing techniques.
The name ‘viral’ comes from the way a virus spreads itself around. If you’ve ever fallen victim to a bad flu virus or cold virus, you know how it can spread quickly, especially within your family or any group that spends time together.
A viral marketing campaign relies on social networking sites to spread the word about you or your product or both. You’re using pre-existing social networks to do this-so there’s no time spent on how to get your brand awareness across because you’re going to let the networks do it for you.
Look at Facebook. It’s a prime example of a social networking site that reaches a high number of people across the world. Imagine the benefit of tapping into this incredible flow of traffic and bending it to your will. That may sound a bit Machiavellian, but it’s true; you can manipulate a social network to do your bidding and your bidding is to bring traffic to your website.
The way you can do this is to encourage people to pass on your message to others spontaneously. You plan for it to happen, but you can’t make someone pass on your funny video, text message, interactive flash game, advergame, ebook, pictures or brandable software, but you can make your contributions to the social networking site irresistible so they’ll want to pass it on to their friends.
It’s been said in internet marketing circles that a happy customer tells (on average) three people about their good experience and an unhappy customer tells eleven people. Can you see the importance of making sure your customers are happy? Can you also see the value in creating something to put on Facebook, Myspace or YouTube that catches the attention and imaginations of the people who visit there?
Word of mouth advertising is a powerful tool. In order to tap into the viral marketing phenomenon you’re first going to have to identify your target audience on the social networks and craft your message directly for them. There are some on these networks who have a high social networking potential and these are the people you want to target.
Hotmail is an example of a successful viral marketing campaign, as is The Blair Witch movie. Do you remember when you heard about either one of those? Do you recall the excitement and the curiosity it aroused in those who hadn’t yet used hotmail or who had yet to see the movie? People tend to trust their friends and when a friend passes something on to them in an email or a text message it’s very different than when a marketer sends that same person an email.
Social networking is an incredibly successful way to brand yourself and your products and put yourself on the map as an internet marketer.