Viral Marketing 101: A Quick Overview

What is Viral Marketing? Viral Marketing is an idea that spreads almost everywhere and while it’s distributed it helps your product or business and even your brand to be marketed. It is a method of product endorsement that relies on getting target demographics to market a product, or service on their own by sharing it to various marketing channels available today such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and StumbleUpon.

Sounds impossible? It’s very possible, in fact many of them exist and are now populating the web like this. All it really takes is to have a really compelling and well-researched content that will make users to voluntarily share the piece.

This article will cover marketing techniques that you can do to drive more visitors to your website by including viral marketing on your campaign.

One of the most used online strategies for creating a viral campaign is through link baits.

Link Bait – Any content or feature, within a website, designed specifically to gain attention or encourage others to link to the website. Matt Cutts defines link bait as anything “interesting enough to catch people’s attention.

Link baits comes in various forms of images, an audio or a video clips that people finds interesting to share. Link bait is a strong marketing tool because it is viral in nature and drives massive traffic and natural links.

Types of Link Baits

Informational Hooks – This type of link bait serves useful information (how-to, data and insights) for searchers.

Sample Informational hook:

Link Bait Guide by Distilled

  • Total Facebook Shares: 275
  • Total Tweets: 956
  • Total +1s: 343
  • Total LinkedIn shares: 216
  • Total Delicious Bookmarks:391
  • Total Links: 1,358
  • Total Linking Root Domains: 181

Linkbuilding Strategies by PointblankSEO

  • Total Facebook Shares: 474
  • Total Tweets: 1,293
  • Total +1s: 610
  • Total LinkedIn shares: 361
  • Total Delicious Bookmarks:195
  • Total Links: 3,775
  • Total Linking Root Domains: 307

*Numbers provided by Sharedcount and Opensiteexplorer

News Hooks – Expose a genuine story/news. State information regarding a recent event just like Mashable and Techrunch does.

Humor Hooks – Write something funny about yourself or your industry or the people in it.

Sample Humor Hook: SEORyanGosling

  • Total Facebook Shares: 649
  • Total Tweets: 548
  • Total +1s: 47
  • Total LinkedIn shares: 101
  • Total Pinterest Pins:124
  • Total Links: 372
  • Total Linking Root Domains: 73

Web Tools Hook – Create and share a free/paid powerful tool in your industry.

Sample Web Tool Hook: Opensite Explorer

  • Total Facebook Shares: 1,142
  • Total Tweets: 1,766
  • Total +1s: 316
  • Total LinkedIn shares: 353
  • Total Delicious:2,389
  • Total Links: 4,344
  • Total Linking Root Domains: 54,526

Most of these successful link baits offers high-value information/experience and have a unique concept for the content.

There are a lot more of these types of link baits circulating around the web and are successfully gaining popularity and links over time. Pretty amazing isn’t it? Now take time to research for your next blog posts, video clips or info graphic to make it go viral.

How to Create a Viral Content

Starting to spread a viral content will require technical knowledge on how to start. The most basic would be to create a totally new online experience by creating unique and compelling contents. It should be share-worthy that the web surfers will definitely want to distribute. Here are some basic steps on how to create your viral content.

  • Brainstorm – Always start with an Idea. Call the attention of everyone in your team to share topics and ideas for your “viral campaign”. Your main objective is to move people, stir their emotions, have them talking about your content in your blog or website and allow them to share through social buttons and embed codes.
  • Take Advantage of Link Baits – Always think of how to capture your audience’s attention. Create one of the sample Link Baits above. I can’t promise you to have those numbers but you have to start of somewhere; research and disseminate ideas for your audience.
  • Measure and Repeat – There will be sudden traffic spikes; Measure your viral campaign from its performance and replicate that result by learning from your previous campaigns.

How to Make Your Content Viral

  • Find Your Audience – Establish a plan on how you can put your content in front of a particular kind of audience. It is important to know them, their behavior  their needs and their wants, among other things.
  • Promote Your Content – The essential part of most successful viral campaigns lies on how it will be promoted. There are lots of ways for you to do this; be creative in promoting your content for it to attract more natural links and social shares and to constantly generate traffic, brand awareness and possible leads/clients.
  • Social Outreach – It’s easier for your content to have a wider reach and amplify your promotion when influential people (that have a large following on their social profiles) in your industry are promoting your content in front of your target audience.
  • Optimize for Search and Social Shares – Research for keywords that get enough search volume from your target market. Optimize your content by tweaking your content’s title, permalink and Meta tags so you can have better chances of ranking for those keywords on search results page.
  • Call to Action – Improve your calls-to-action on post or pages, since if these pages are going to attract lots of visitors from various traffic sources, you’ll definitely want a fraction of them to convert to leads and/or sales along the process of gaining new visitors.

Viral Marketing Further Reading

http://www.webbythoughts.com/link-bait-viral-marketing-strategy-businesses-missed/

http://www.leadsleap.com/blog/viral-marketing-ideas-and-examples/

http://webmarketingtoday.com/articles/viral-principles/

http://techcrunch.com/2007/11/22/the-secret-strategies-behind-many-viral-videos/

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