We are one of the most experienced social media vial marketing consulting companies. As a full-service social media consulting company, we provide keynote speaking, coaching, mentoring and training to create productive online business relationships. In addition to training and speaking nationally, we specifically mentor solepreneurs and small businesses in private and group sessions to enhance the power of their presence in the online social media world.
For example: In our own viral marketing campaign, our social media team created 1.1 million references to our brand in 60 days and we went from page 17 to #1 on page 1 of a Google search for 13 of our 17 keywords. As a result we now dominate page 1 on Google while our viral marketing campaign referrals generates 63% of our sales and we doubled our business last year during one of the worst recessions in history.
What is Viral Marketing?
What does a virus have to do with marketing? Viral marketing describes 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. Like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands or millions.
Off the Internet, viral marketing has been referred to as "word-of-mouth," "creating a buzz," "leveraging the media," "network marketing." But on the Internet, for better or worse, it's called "viral marketing."
Elements of a Viral Marketing Strategy
Accept this fact; some viral marketing strategies work better than others, and few work as well as the simple email strategy. But below are the six basic elements you hope to include in your strategy. A viral marketing strategy need not contain ALL these elements, but the more elements it embraces, the more powerful the results are likely to be. An effective viral marketing strategy:
Gives away products or services
Provides for effortless transfer to others
Scales easily from small to very large
Exploits common motivations and behaviors
Utilizes existing communication networks
Takes advantage of others' resources
Many companies are unaware of the rapid growth of social networking platforms and the fact that they are already represented in the online communities whether they want to be or not. An example of this amazing growth is the relative growth of Facebook vs. MySpace. A little over three years ago, the two companies were roughly the same size. Since then, with many companies and individuals embracing the power of Facebook as a business relationship building tool, they have more than doubled their size while the growth of MySpace, a pure social network, except for bands, has remained relatively flat. Companies that capture the audience are the ones who have the edge over their competitors in this new environment of online relationship marketing.
Why Viral Marketing?
The reason to add viral marketing to your online marketing tool kit is twofold: to find, and to be found. By search engine optimizing (SEO) the profiles of employees, companies enable people (potential customers) in the online community to find their products and services and to find the people most likely to assist them. In addition, having a strong online presence and building a large network of connections enables a company’s sales and marketing staff to find new opportunities for sales and expansion. It also fosters direct communications with the people who can make decisions to purchase.
Finally, companies who fully utilize this online social media space begin to understand the power of viral (stronger than grassroots) marketing. Word of mouth, recommendations, introductions, fan clubs, new media press releases, and many other methods for communication and exposure serve to get the word out about the company, new products, services, events, special promotions, and other news rapidly to a broadening base of businesses and consumers who are interested in doing business with them.