Start Viral Marketing Campaigns Using eBooks
Viral Marketing sounds like something bad but it is actually something very good. It is, also, a powerful way to generate traffic to your website.
Think about how a virus spreads from on person to another. One person gets sick and just by sneezing they can give the virus to many more people… those people get sick and share their germs with everyone they know and the next thing anybody knows is that there is an epidemic. That is the very concept of viral marketing. The idea is to get everyone to spread your marketing message around because they want to.
Now let’s look at using an E-book to start your viral marketing campaign. First you create an E-book… a really good one that has links to your website, to your sales page and affiliate links to products and services that you recommend… and you give it to three people. In the book you encourage those three people to give it to their friends and family.
Before you know it the E-book is spreading across the Internet like wild fire. Digital information duplicates easily and quickly so before you know it, thousands of people could be reading your free E-book.
Make certain that you let people know that they have permission to forward the E-book around the Internet. When you create the E-book, you have the right to give people certain rights. One of those rights could be that you allow them to give the book to other people. Make it clear that this book is free to give away.
You can write the E-book yourself, use private label content or you can hire a ghostwriter to prepare the content. There are a lot of ways to create an E-book. Once you have your E-book written, use software to create your E-book.
6 Ideas for Viral Marketing
Here are six ideas to help you start your viral marketing campaign:
1. Purchase the branding rights to a viral E-book. Allow people to give away your free E-book to their visitors. Then, their visitors will also give it away. This will just continue to spread your ad all over the Internet.
2. If you have the ability to set up a forum or other bulletin board, you really have a great tool. Allow people to use your online discussion board for their own website. Some people don’t have one. Just include your banner ad at the top of the board.
3. Do you have a knack for web design? Create some templates, graphics, etc. and upload them to your site. Then, allow people to give away your free web design graphics, fonts, templates, etc. Just include your ad on them or require people to link directly to your web site. Make sure that you include a link back to your site in the copyright notice and require them to keep your copyright notice in tact.
4. Write an E-book. Allow people to place an advertisement in your free E-book if, in exchange, they give away the E-book to their web visitors or E-zine subscribers.
5. Write articles that pertain to your product or service. Allow people to reprint your articles on their website, in their E-zine, newsletter, magazine or E-books. Include your resource box and the option for article reprints at the bottom of each article.
6. You can easily find products on the Internet that will sell you a license allowing you to distribute the product free of charge to other people. Look for those products that provide “branding rights”. That is where you can include your own name, website, and contact information.
Humor Turns E-Mail Viral
A study by Sharpe Partners, an interactive marketing agency, revealed that 89% of adult Internet users in America share content with others via e-mail. This is excellent news for those companies who use self-propelling word-of-mouse” e-mail techniques to sell their products.
The study generated some interesting results regarding the type of content that is most often forwarded, as well. The most popular content is humorous material.
The second most popular category is news, followed by healthcare and medical information, religious and spiritual material, games, business and personal finance information and sports/hobbies… in that order. So it is easy to see that humor is the best content for your viral e-mail campaign.
Cartoons, jokes and funny video clips are among the things that can be added to an e-mail to insure that it will go viral. People will want to pass along something that makes them laugh.
They are a lot more likely to hit the forward button and send your email to their friends and relatives if it is an “advertainment” rather than an advertisement.
Not along ago, about 35 million people got an e-mail containing a picture taken in Disneyland. It took a minute to see it but there was Donald Duck lying prone in front of the famous Cinderella Castle. The title of the picture was “Bird Flu has hit Disneyland”. It was a viral e-mail advertising Disneyland and used the edgy strategy of making light of what’s serious… and it works.
I’d guess that most people who own a computer have seen that picture… and thus the advertisement for Disneyland. The bird flu epidemic is newsworthy and has the potential to attract an enormous amount of attention to any brand that might, for whatever reason, associate itself with it.
Remember that people are much more likely to share a joke or a funny picture than anything else so you would be well advised to include humor in your e-mail campaign.
Using Video in Viral Marketing
More and more advertisers are adopting video as broadband continues to rise and ad-serving technologies become more sophisticated. Online video advertising is really taking off. Users’ attention can be captured and ads stand out from the crowd in an increasingly ad-cluttered online environment. It is true that video formats cost five to ten times more to serve than standard banners and they involve a lot more production and implementation work but they may well be worth all of that if they achieve greater response rates.
Where to use online video if wishing to maximize its effect, is what advertisers must carefully consider. Video to be used on the Internet should be information and communication focused while video to be used on television should be focused on entertainment.
Like everything else, there are good ways and bad ways to use video advertising. Right now most marketers are incorporating their audio-visual content into existing embedded ad formats like banners or over-content formats like pop-ups. Though this could reach a potentially large audience, viewers are likely to be less captivated and more annoyed by these disruptive and distracting placements.
Cached or streaming video on a specific destination site offers the best chance of interesting consumers in brand messages, but it is not likely to reach a large audience unless it generates a viral outcome.
Whatever you come up with, don’t forget to make it easy to open and distribute. File size is important, as is the media format. If your viral video has been created for a particular type of software that not many people use, how will you get people to spread it like wildfire?
Also, if you’ve made a video the impact will be better if you send the clip as an attachment rather than stream it. It’s cheaper and, if you’re not hosting it, it’s more viral, too.
Viral Marketing using Forums
There are different types of forums, beyond the obvious topical types, of “marketing” or “special interest”, etc. “Marketing” and “special interest” are two types of what are commonly referred to as “open forums”.
There are, however, business and professional forums, which do not operate under the same rules and, more often than not, disallow any and all types of advertising or self-promotion. Forums that have been created to support the membership of a particular program are especially adamant on this topic and often demand that all members refrain from all types if advertising on their sites.
Still, even with all these hurdles, it is possible to successfully advertise in forums. In all cases a pre-requisite for success is developing a good reputation and a good relationship and maintaining both. So, while it is true that this a form of free advertising, it does require a certain amount of investment as far as time and energy are concerned, not to mention subtly and finesse.
To successfully market on any forum, the first requirement is to take a personal interest in the main topic of the forum. That means visiting it on a regular basis and developing a good relationship with the members and the moderators. It, also, means taking an active roll in the conversations and being willing to help others. Of course, it goes without saying that it means abiding by any and all rules that exist. In this way, one can develop a reputation, and business will just naturally develop because humans tend to work with people they trust.
Since the main purpose of a forum is the exchange of information and/or ideas, marketers must respect that objective and abide by it. Marketing forums, where everyone there has something to advertise and sell, usually have even more stringent rules.
Your E-book is your Viral Salesman
E-books are the future and the future is now. The printed word on paper and bound into books used to be the only way information was given and received. They were great, you could take them with you and put them on shelves and they do still exist and will continue to for the foreseeable future but the time of the E-book has arrived.
The marketing E-book is a slightly different animal from just an E-book. Marketing E-books contain text, images, links to web pages and navigation controls. The marketing E-book has become a very important part of marketing on the Internet.
With a marketing E-book you can present your story in an effective way and include links to your web sales pages. Your E-book can become your best salesman.
First, your E-book needs to be interesting and informative. It always has links back to your web site and to your sales page.
Next, be sure that you have a prominent section telling readers that they are free to give your E-book away. Let them know that they can post it on their site as a free download, that they can use it as a bonus, and that they can bundle it with other products. This is the way to create viral marketing for your products or services. Remember those links back to your site contained in the E-book?
Last but certainly not least before you send your E-book out to the world, double check spelling and grammar and be sure that you have tested every link to verify that it goes where it is supposed to go. Obvious errors will reflect badly on you and will not be of much value to you, it could even by damaging.
Post your E-book to some of the E-book directories. Many let you post it for free, or will let you post a link on their site to your E-book.