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It seems like lately, there has been so much written about Viral Marketing, and why you should be using it to drive traffic to your site. If you are not already using it, you need to start giving it some serious thought. So, what is viral marketing, and why should you give it a thought? Is it possible that it just might be another craze that will soon wither away? Viral marketing involves getting other people to willingly spread your message for you. People who appreciate what you have done tell other people, and the message spreads from person to person like a virus. When that happens, it is referred to as your message totally “gone viral.”
It simply relies heavily on word of mouth advertising; someone sees or reads what you have to offer and tells a few of their friends. Their friends see or read your message and they tell a couple more of their friends, and so on , and so on. The number of people who are aware of you and your message multiplies exponentially. The more folks hear about your site, the faster your traffic grows. How large will it grow? It is really difficult to tell. If a single person saw your message and told 2 people, who told 2 people, who told 2 people, and that continued, your message would very quickly be in front of tons of people. If each person just told two other people, it quickly multiplies.
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Is Viral Traffic Generation something for my small business?
You will be wrong in thinking that viral marketing techniques are simply for the big players with large budgets, and that it can not work for small businesses with tiny budgets. If that is your line of thinking, you can relax. It might not be possible for you to churn out the highly polished ads like the big guys, but there are still a lot of opportunities for success.
Any small business or person with a message to get out or a service or product to promote can benefit from a well crafted viral marketing campaign. There are quite a few reasons why you must be using viral traffic generation techniques to build your business and pull customers to your website.
1.) It is a fast, effective way to drive traffic to your site. Just as I mentioned above, once the word starts to spread, it can spread very quickly, and there is really no limit to how many people can hear your message. Because your message often comes to someone from a person they already know, it has more credibility than if the message showed up uninvited in an email from someone they do not know. Once the message starts to spread it picks up speed and size as it goes, like a snowball rolling down a hill.
2.) All of the cost and effort of spreading the word about what you have to offer is taken care of by the people spreading the word. More than likely, the biggest expense will be the upfront set up or production costs. Depending on which technique you decide to use. After that initial expense, the remaining costs are nominal.
3.)It can help shield you from negative comments. One thing to remember is that a negative message can go viral, too. Unfortunately, it is not possible to please everyone.
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Being in business means, eventually you are going to have someone who is unhappy with you and your business. If people are not content with the service they received, they are more likely to tell people about it than if they are happy customers. Once dissatisfied customers start spreading negative messages about you, the word will start to spread, and there is not much you can do to stop it. All you can do is have enough of a buffer in place that the negative messages do not over shadow the positive.
How much does Viral Traffic Generation cost?
The cost of viral marketing really depends on the type of marketing campaign you decide to use. With the 6 Viral Traffic Generation Techniques listed below, some are free, or very low cost. Some might cost a little more to produce and get started, while others could become quite costly. What you spend and the methods you choose is entirely up to you. One of the great things about viral traffic generation is, once you get the initial message out, it really doesn’t cost you any more once it goes viral. Your customers bear all of the time and expense of spreading the word. All you have to do is be prepared to deal with the traffic when it comes.
How can I succeed in making my message go Viral?
This really is an often asked question, and there has been a lot of time and money spent to find the solution. The fact of the matter is, there is no guaranteed way to make your message go viral. There are certain things you can do to increase the chances that it will take off, but you can not “make” it happen. Successful viral traffic generation is part skill, part creativity, part timing and circumstances, and part luck. You may try dozens of things with no real success, and then strike it lucky unexpectedly.
6 Viral Traffic Generation Techniques
1.Provide quality content, products, or service
2.Create a Brandable E-Book
3.Use Social Bookmark Sites
5.Make it easy for visitors to refer others
6.Build a community
Now let's take a brief look at each
Provide quality content, products, or service Providing good quality content, products, or service is by miles the best way to build your reputation, and build repeat traffic to your site. Lots of study has indicated that on average, when someone has a positive experience they will tell two other people about that experience. On the other hand, if they had a bad experience, they definitely will tell seven other people. That action of telling others is simply how the viral traffic generation techniques start. If your customers never tell anyone else about you and your site, you are back to doing all of the marketing on your own.
As your reputation as a good quality content,product, or service provider increases, other websites and bloggers will start to take notice of your website. They will start to talk about what you are doing, and will even give links from their website to yours. All of a Sudden every one of their readers turns into a raving customer. The more you produce high quality material, the more often your site will be linked to.
Remember each link to your website is an opportunity for new visitors to fraternise your business. One last point,If you believe you do not have the ability of creating something that will strike a chord with your potential customers, you may possibly have to splash some cash and hire someone else to do it for you. Luckily for you, there are quite a lot of services that will put you in touch with freelance writers, site designers, and program designers. Simply type in the service that you want in your browser and take a look at the top ten results in that field.Alternatively, go to elance. If you have an idea about what you want, chances are there is someone available to do it for you, obviously for a price. A note of caution though; very often you get what you pay for.
Create a Brandable E-book I bet you have taken note of the sheer number of sites that offer free e-books to subscribers? Provide your email address, click the link and you have an instant access to a very useful ebook of relevant information. The number one reason so many sites use this method of advertising is because it works, and here is how you can make it work for you. All you need to do is write a short ebook on a topic that relates to your business.
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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 end there. Try to encourage anyone who likes your ebook to offer it as a free gift on their website or just share it with friends. If the information is helpful, and the book is well written, the sheer number of sites that are offering your book will start to multiply, 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 website for months or years to come. A fantastic benefit of having your ebook before thousands of people’s eyes is, it establishes your credibility. In general, people give more credence to a published “expert” than they do to someone who has not written a book, even if the book is a short one. You start 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. It is easy to 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 choose to use,it is a good idea to 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 people will simply not bother. By nature, humans are lazy. Try to make it as easy as possible for them to get to your website. One last tip, be certain the program you use will not allow anyone to make any alteration to the information in your ebook. There are people who will remove references to you and the links to your website, and substitute their own link into your ebook. Many programs will allow you to safeguard your information, so take advantage of them.
Use Social Bookmark Sites The one phenomenon that has really flourished in recent years is the popularity of social bookmark sites like, Digg, Stumble Upon, and del.Ico.Us. These sites allow users to search, bookmark, organize, read, and rate anything on the internet. If you write something and have it posted to one of these sites, other readers get an opportunity to vote on whether or not they like it. If someone thinks it is good, and worth sharing, they can vote for it. The more people vote for it, the higher up in the rankings it moves. The higher it goes,the more people see it. The more people see it, the more opportunities there are for someone else to vote on it, which helps it to rank even higher.
The good stuff for you is, even if a reader doesn’t vote on your article, they still might go to your website to check it out. One important point to note is, these social bookmark sites do not like you to vote for your own articles. In fact, if you do vote for your own, it might possibly cause it to move lower in the rankings. These incredibly popular sites draw hundreds of thousands of visitors each day. Just in case you are fortunate enough to have your message ranked toward the top on one or more of these sites for even one day, the flood of traffic to your site could be absolutely fantastic.
Run Contests Everyone loves to win things, and we all love to be acknowledged for winning. Try to be a little creative in deciding what the prize ought to be, but consider how much your customers will think it is worth. While a prize doesn’t have to be something of an enormous value, it absolutely have to be something that is useful or of some value to the winner. You also need to be certain that it is something they want, not just a blatant advertisement for your business. A very nice looking bumper sticker marketing your web address is not going to generate a huge deal of interest. Your advertisement or web address should be plainly visible, but it should not be the focal point of the item that you are giving away. The great thing for you is that running contests is a great way to drive large amounts of traffic to your site.
Apart from the cost of the prize, there is not very much cost involved in this technique. Believe it or not, there are websites and blogs that are in the business of informing others about contests that other people are running. They will do your marketing for you. All you need 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 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. Another great way to take advantage of this technique is to have a repeating contest, or a series of contests. This method will definitely keep the customers returning to your site. Not only will they return to sign up for the new contest, but they will also surely check back from time to time to see what the next contest is, and when it starts rolling.
Make it easy for visitors to refer others I bet you have noticed the amount of websites that include a button that lets you tell others about the site you are visiting?They really are increasingly becoming more widespread, and that is because site owners have learned that if you want your visitors to do something for you, you have to make it as easy as possible. Notice i have social media buttons across my three websites and my online store. This makes it incredibly easy for visitors to recommend my pages to their peer group and families. If you want visitors at your site to tell others, it does not get much simpler than giving them a button to click.
The nice thing is, if you design and build up your own site, it is quick and easy to add the button. The hardest part is deciding where you would like the button located. If you did not build your site, It is a small cost to have a designer do it for you but worth every penny. Trust me on this one. The button runs a small bit of code called a “tell-a-friend” script. When your visitor clicks the button it opens up a little window that allows them to enter their friends email address and a short message so they can tell others about your website. The power of this script really goes back to what I discussed back at the beginning; folks will pay attention to what their friends and family say. You can say there is a level of trust there that you can not come close to, at least not initially. That kind of trust is built over a period of time. The big question is, does a tell-a-friend button flood your site with traffic? Maybe not, but it surely will bring new traffic, and the traffic that comes is more than likely to come back time and time again.
Build a community One of the big reasons for the constantly increasing popularity of the internet is that it allows like minded people to get together from literally anywhere on the planet. From politics to sports to chewing gum wrapper collectors; if it is something you are interested in, chances are you are bound to find someone, somewhere who shares your interests. Check out Yahoo Groups. They host hundreds of thousands of different groups from around the world.
While I’m not suggesting you try to turn into the next Yahoo Groups, it does show the appeal for internet users to get together with people who share the same passion and interests. A very good method you might consider taking an advantage of, is to host a forum on your website. Start by finding an area of interest that is related to your business, and set up a forum on that topic. Allow your users a way to leave messages in the forum, or to contact each other using email or an instant messaging program, and maybe even set up chat rooms whereby they can engage in lively discussions. As the host of the forum, you could help answer any questions, which will help to get you established as an expert in your field. You would also help moderate discussions, and share new and exciting information.It will be a great opportunity to encourage your users to participate? They make it very very easy for you to set up forums, chat rooms, guest books and much much more. Building a community in this way will bring people that are interested in your line of business to your website. Once they are there, it is easy for them to look around at what you have to offer them.
Give them the facility to exchange ideas and to establish themselves as experts.Make it a safe, cordial environment where they can share their opinions (within reason of course). If your community stays active, it will continue to grow, and some of the community members are likely to become your customers. You can find some high quality forum programs that are available for free.Just download the program and upload it to your web host and you are up and running. Many of the web host companies have software as part of their hosting packages geared toward building communities on your site.
After thoughts The crucial thing is to get your name and your website address into the public domain as often as possible, and in as many different places as you possibly can. Please do not limit yourself to the items that i have mentioned here. You really need to get your creative juices flowing and keep thinking of ways to grab peoples attention. I for one absolutely love using viral traffic building techniques.It surely is a fantastic way to bring a whole load of traffic to your site. I will be the first to admit, not all of the viral marketing methods mentioned will be perfect for you and your business; some may only have a limited use, or not be useful at all. It all depends on what you want to do with your marketing. It is entirely up to you to decide which technique will be beneficial to you. It is never a good idea to build a viral marketing campaign before your website is ready. It is only natural to be anxious about getting visitors to come to your site, after all that is the intention of an online business. To make money.
But if your site is not ready,and your viral campaign is in full flow, you could lose a great opportunity. It is absolutely vital to be clear about why you want people to come to your site, and what it is you want them to do once they actually get there. Is it a product or service that you are selling? If so, make sure your sales letter is compelling enough to get the visitor to respond to your sales pitch and to make a purchase. On the other hand, if you are relying on pay-per-click advertising, you need to make sure the content on your website is attention-grabbing enough that your visitors will return to see what other things of interest you have on offer. A good thing to do is take an objective look at your site. Once the traffic comes, what will they do when they get there? You need to make sure your design is right, your site is easy to navigate through, all of the links are working, and your message convincing enough people to do what you want them to do. One final reminder; any one of these methods are not meant to be used as the only marketing you are doing. No successful business employs just one method of marketing, they should be used as a part of a larger marketing campaign.
Continue to use different viral marketing methods to spread the word about your site. Not all of them will ever go viral, but each of them has the potential to send traffic to your site, even without going viral. Try not to waste opportunities waiting for something big to happen.It is essential to continue working on building traffic to your website, and being ready when the traffic arrives. You need to be prepared. When one of your marketing techniques does go viral, hang on for a wild ride. It will all be worth your efforts. Bookmark this site. New contents are continually added, and it is a great resource point.
Charles Friedo Frize
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