5 Tips for the Cheapest & Most Effective Way to Promote Your Business Online
By Bob Speyer, Web Success Team
Businesses are always looking for that magic bullet to penetrate the clutter and help your business stand out from the competition. What if I told you that you could sit back and have others do your promotions for you. If done correctly, you can accomplish this through Viral Marketing. It is the single most effective way to market your business online or offline. Some call it marketing by referral. I call it smart marketing. But there is a catch (isn’t there always!).
Viral marketing depends on how well you plan out your promotions and where you seed the information. Pushing out your message for others to embrace requires sound ideas, good value, enticing content and social networking skills. Here are a few tips to help in your viral marketing efforts:
1. Give-a-Ways: We are conditioned respond to deals. Perhaps it’s in our hunter-gatherer genes or our Pavlovian conditioning. Whatever the reason, we know the model works and it works especially well on the Internet. The Give-a-way offer has to have perceived value such as 20% off, money back guarantee, free download of a white paper or closeout specials for example. Place your offer or opt-in in a strategically viewable area of your home page and post it throughout the site on key internal pages as well.
2. Videos: We are visual creatures. Creating a clever, entertaining or informative video with personality can help promote your business. Upload it on YouTube and onto your site. Videos are viral-friendly and there are many examples. One of the most famous is You Blend It where a manufacturer posted a series of videos showing how their product will blend anything: cell phones, books, toys, etc. Each video got millions of views and sales exploded.
3. Social Networking: This new media is tailor made for viral marketing. You need to build up your social network and pass your message on through your Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin connections. It’s all about building relationships and being helpful. Dominos Pizza had a recent promotion that went viral using Twitter. They offered free pizza slices to the Chicago area between 4pm and 8pm on a specific day. The response was overwhelming and was retweeted en masse reaching a potential hungry target market. Customers not only came in droves to the locations to get their free slice, but they also ordered pizzas as well and sales rose dramatically during that 4 hour promotion. If people like your offer, they’ll share it and create inbound links and page views for your products and services.
4. Affiliate Marketing: One of the best ways to go viral is to ask your affiliates, friends or colleagues to promote your offer to their followers. For example, when we do a promotion for our clients, we ask our network to spread the word to their followers or mailing list. Affiliate marketing is a high target value because followers will open their emails from recognizable sources and give more attention to people in their social networks as well.
5. Contests: Another effective viral marketing strategy is to develop a contest. People love entering to win. If the contest is quick and easy to take, fun and creative, informative (like a trivia contest), and one that gives instant gratification (like a score and verification of entry), you will have more chance to build a successful viral campaign. If the contest is entertaining, it will catch fire and your name and website link be widely circulated.
In conclusion, if you have a well thought out plan of action with a carefully crafted message, you will have a better chance of going viral. Your promotion doesn’t have to be unique, but it does have to be an attention grabber. And remember to test the offer or promotion before blasting away! Following these aforementioned tips will help you jumpstart your viral campaign.
Grow Your Business Online: These tips are meant to be used as a guideline to improve traffic to your site, increase your conversion rates, help turn visitors into buyers, and keep you ahead of the competition. Turning to a web marketer can ultimately save you time and money and increase your success online. The Web Success Team has many proven marketing strategies and techniques. The Team would be happy to discuss your web marketing needs with a complimentary consultation and web marketing assessment of your current site. Simply mention this article when contacting email@example.com or call 818-222-5643 for an appointment. Please visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter for more information. To your web success!
June 22nd, 2010 20:33 /
I am in the service industry and have recently published a book. We retired from teaching in 1992 and are enjoying learning about the benefits of the internet. Your viral marketing tips were helpful and thought provoking. Thanks! Judy
June 23rd, 2010 13:43 /
You are welcome, Judy. Glad we could help.