Viral Marketing

Description: One of the most powerful forms of promotion there is online today goes by the name of viral marketing. Read on to find out why you should be using this to increase the traffic to your website.

There are plenty of ways to advertise and promote your website online, but all the methods you try will have one thing in common - they will eventually burn themselves out unless you keep putting more effort into them.

A classified advert only usually lasts a specific length of time before the replies stop coming. Blogs are a good method for attracting traffic but if you don't keep posting entries to them to attract both the readers and the search engines, that traffic will eventually dry up. Most other forms of advertising are the same.

But there is one avenue you can try that is different, and that's viral marketing. As the name might suggest, viral marketing has the tendency to take on a life of its own and keep replicating and spreading out across the internet, even when you are no longer taking an active part in it.

The idea behind this form of promotion is to let other people do the advertising for you. In order for this to happen it's vital that people will naturally want to spread the message you are giving them. It's not enough to simply ask people to tell others, because they will feel as if they are purely advertising. You need to make them want to do it without even asking.

Viral marketing is a numbers game. If you give just three people a message and they each tell three people that same message, who then each tell three others and so on, that message will reach hundreds and thousands of people once it has gone through just a few generations. That's the power of viral marketing - with the right message it doesn't take much to make an impact.

But what exactly is the right message?

If you have something free to give away then you have an offer which would do well as a viral marketing campaign. To achieve the best level of success it needs to be something that most people would be interested in however. For example you might be able to offer people the best e-book in the world on fly fishing, but if that audience is quite narrow then your message will not travel far.

But if you have an e-book to give away that reveals the best and fastest methods for making extra cash from your own home, that product could do very well indeed. It's all a matter of thinking about your product and how far it could travel.

Since the nature of viral marketing requires that something is passed on to other people - whether that is a product or simply a message of some kind - it's important to make sure that the item has your website address included in it somewhere. If it's an e-book simply embed your details into it and include a hyperlink to your site. Giving away a freebie is a fantastic way of promoting your own interests.

The reason why e-books work so well is that they offer value to everyone you send one to. You can also give them permission to send them on to anyone else they want to, perhaps to offer as a freebie on their own website. All you need to do is inform them that nothing can be changed - including your website address and details. So long as it is passed on exactly as it is, you will often find that a free e-book will spread out all over the web, and bring you a steady stream of traffic and new customers as time goes on.

Other typical examples of viral marketing methods that have worked extremely well are emails containing an intriguing, useful or simply amazing piece of information, and videos posted on YouTube. It's quite easy to help spread the word about your website by using a signature link at the bottom of each email. This is a basic way of spreading a message, particularly if you know that your email is likely to be forwarded on to other people.

Of course, the success of any viral marketing program depends on the type of person you try and involve in it. Since people will only pass a message on if they feel compelled to share it, you need to find people who are naturally predisposed to do just that.

The advent of social networking has made viral marketing even easier than it once was. If you have a free e-book aimed at helping people start a business from home, you will want to distribute it among people who are thinking of doing just that. Once you have located the websites that tend to attract those people, you can start to tell them about your product. You will usually get a much better response and a healthy kick start to your viral campaign by going to the right sites to begin with.

While all viral marketing campaigns essentially follow the same procedure, they do vary in their complexity to begin with. As a rule the more places you can start to spread your message from, the better the end result is likely to be.

As with any form of advertising - whether it's online or off - you will improve on your results as you gain more experience. So whenever a viral marketing campaign gets extremely good results, make sure you keep a record of what you did, so that you can replicate it in future.

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