Viral Marketing – 5 Ways to Make Your Website Get Noticed
Everyone is looking for a magic formula to make their brand’s social media content go viral. The truth is there is no magic formula. A business can’t force their content to become viral no matter how much they try. Viral marketing is a confusing concept to most. After all, what does a virus have to do with marketing your business? WebMarketingToday.com describes viral marketing as any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message’s exposure and influence. Much like a virus, these viral marketing strategies should take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands, to millions.
Viral marketing is often referred to as “word-of-mouth,” “creating a buzz,” “leveraging the media,” “network marketing.” With a little luck and some good research there are a few things businesses can do to create content that has the potential to go viral. Here are 5 tips to help your social media go viral.
For content to catch on like wildfire, it needs to have something special – something that sets it apart from every other similar business trying to achieve the same goal. The best thing you can do to help your content stand apart is to determine your company’s vision. Invest time in building what your brand stands for and what it wants to promote.
Another great way to get your company’s foot on the right path is to make the content fun. When brainstorming, don’t be afraid to be a little absurd, unique or different. It’s generally the unusual that catches people’s attention and ends up going viral.
According to bizjournals.com, in December 2006, Sony wanted to promote its new PSP handheld gaming system and decided to try to harness the power of viral marketing. It had a website created that claimed to be the PSP “fan site” created by video game enthusiasts, not Sony. The website featured a “homemade” rap video called, “All I Want for X-Mas is a PSP,” which immediately began spreading across the Internet. But soon fans found out that the site was a campaign orchestrated by Sony. They were livid and Sony found itself on the defensive.
This is an example of what not to do when trying to make your company’s social media content go viral. Be straightforward with your viewers and let them know who you are and what your content is about. Don’t pretend to be something or someone you’re not just to get the exposure. In the long run it will back fire and you’ll be stuck trying to explain why you deceived your audience.
Give Your Audience Something to Talk About
Engage your target audience with something funny, interesting and maybe a little bit unusual to get them talking and spreading your word. When you’re trying to make an article you wrote go viral, Entrepreneur.com suggests posting snippets of your article or the article title in forums and on discussion boards that are related to your target market or topic focus. Don’t forget to include your full name and website or blog URL where the article is located as well as your links to your social media profiles.
Compile articles into an e-book
If you own a dance studio and want to get more people in to take classes, offer an e-book on the top 10 health benefits of dance. Share these e-books through your website, to your email list and on your social media. “Give your readers the right to distribute them as well. If your e-book is for sale, offer to share revenue if readers distribute it to their list and sell it. This is called an affiliate marketing program,” according to Entrepreneur.com.
Make It Easy To Share
The majority of content on the Internet goes viral through sharing on social media. Remember, when posting anything on your social media networks, make sure it’s easy to share. If you are posting to your website make sure you have the link and/or a button to let your audience share it with others. If your audience can’t share it easily, it won’t go viral. And don’t forget about mobile sharing. Buzzfeed says,” Now something needs to work on mobile phones or it can’t go viral. One of the main ways people get to BuzzFeed, for example, is opening the Facebook app, checking their newsfeed, seeing a fun BuzzFeed story, and clicking through to a mobile web version of the story.”
Three Girls Media & Marketing Inc. is a public relations and social media management agency with teams in Silicon Valley and the Seattle area. We love working with small and emerging companies across the nation to raise their brand awareness and name recognition. I offer a complimentary 30-minute phone consultation and can answer your questions and discuss your specific marketing needs. Email me today at Info@ThreeGirlsMedia.com to arrange yours!Written by Erika Taylor Montgomery