Marketing techniques that help increase your brand’s awareness through incredibly self-replicating viral processes, like word of mouth publicity on your Internet or mobile networks, essentially contributes towards marketing buzz or viral marketing.
And just how viruses require hosts to proliferate and thrive, marketing efforts through viral methods expand through the way of your followers on social media. And as your users grow, along with the time they spend on social media sites or emailing/sharing, more of them end up viewing news and forwarding it through their preferred social networks every minute.
This is more often used as a stand-alone tool by smaller businesses just starting out, as it’s super-cost effective, saves time, gives your brand mainstream media exposure, and eventually results in rapid lead generation. Viral marketing techniques can even become part of larger marketing campaigns.
But a lot of people may scare you by saying that viral marketing is a super-hard thing to do and it all just boils down to getting really, really lucky; It’s part correct and part wrong.
It might be a little too hopeful to think that whatever content you ever post will be liked and forwarded with every single engagement registered, but in reality, a large chunk of those people are probably going to simply smile or nod and move on. This way, your content will become ether soon.
And for that to not happen, you need to up your game. Seed your content with the largest possible audience at one go. According to ChannelMeter’s CEO (a YouTube analytics company), Eugene Lee, “Most videos we track see about 75% or 80% of views in the first 3 to 5 days.”
So your job here is to share or promote it on social media multiple number of times in a day, so that those who missed out on your content in the afternoon may go through it on their bus ride back in the evening. Plus, you should also have a good idea of what type of content will work good for your niche.
In this post, we’ll show you three dead-simple ways through which you can use viral marketing to drive more traffic, backlinks, and sales to your websites. And we’ll also show you examples of how to do it.
You don’t even have to spend days making the perfect viral video (hell, you don’t even have to make your own video or write incredible pages of content most of the times), and you certainly don’t have to rely on luck.
Basically, you need to look for content that is already proven to go viral, add your own flavor to it, and post it to your websites. So this is not going to be a guessing game, we’re not going to first create content and just “hope it goes viral.”
As also mentioned earlier, for this to work, you need to have established social profiles built up already. This doesn’t mean that you need to have hundreds of thousands of followers, a few thousand would do just good too, but they have to be real niche-related followers and not fake followers that you bought off a dodgy website somewhere.
Your content needs to get shared and liked in a short span of time, and this number doesn’t even have to be in millions, a couple of thousands will do well too at the beginning. You can grow your followers on a range of social networking websites today: Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, Google+, anywhere.
For now, let’s just assume that you’ve got these social accounts built up, so your next step would be to build viral content and release them on your followers through these accounts.
Tip #1: The Viral News Story Way—For Those Just Starting Out
Find out which story is trending related to your niche, re-write it, post it to your blog, post it out from your social profiles, and boom, it goes viral.
And, how do you find a viral news story?
Let’s say, you’re just starting out with a music blog that covers music festivals, concerts, artist profiles, album launches, etc. So you head over to Google News and search for what’s trending in your niche, pick the one that has a ton of shares, and start working on it. The finding bit is easy, as most of the news websites give you a number for how many times their article’s been shared, upvoted, or liked.
For example, the news article displayed below got shared 7826 number of times with 370 comments within a couple of hours of it appearing on Guardian.com (and by the time you read this, it would have got more shares).
News like Aretha Franklin’s retirement announcement can work as viral content for your music blog.
Now, it is also interesting to know that this viral marketing hack that we just shared with you is not even that revolutionary, nor is it a shady or an unethical thing to do, because if you look at most of the big news websites, they often end up posting the same news stories but just written differently, because that is what is going viral at the moment.Next, you re-write this article while remembering to add something new of your own, add other images, an eye-catching headline, and start posting it out from your social accounts. And bigger your social accounts are, the more viral your blog posts will go, which is why building up social accounts is the most important thing here!
You’d be amazed to know how many times we’ve seen a video or a story go viral on Twitter and then an hour or two later it comes on the front page of Yahoo news or Huffington Post. This is how the big boys do it, and there is no reason that you can’t do it too.
But let’s say, you’re too lazy to even write your own article, then here’s what you do.
Tip#2: The Viral Video Method—For Those Operating on a Shoestring
It may be a terribly bad idea to spend a lot of money and time initially on creating your own perfect “viral video” and then just crossing your fingers and hoping that people like it and that it goes viral. But, a much easier way to leverage the power of viral video marketing is to find other videos that have already gone viral, post them on your blog, and post it out of your social accounts.
As a start, you can either go to YouTube or Reddit and see which have got over a million views or thousands of upvotes, copy the YouTube embed code, post it to your blog, add an image and a unique description, and post it out.
With 197,324 views, this video is good to go on your blog
It’s literally that easy. But, always remember to post native links to your social media accounts.
Tip#3: The Infographic Way
Even if you haven’t heard about the term infographic before, you have definitely seen it. And the cool thing about infographics is that the people who create them do not mind it if you embed it to your own blog, they actually want you to do that, because they place a link to their website at the bottom of their image, so it’s a win-win situation.
You get free content for your website and they get a bit of promotion. So all you have to do is find a viral infographic, embed it into your blog posts, and post it out of your social accounts.
And if you’ve been thinking for quite some time for including Reddit/Imgur into your viral marketing arsenal, then it’s a good idea to do it for its brilliant infographics!
You should ideally embed these infographics directly from either of these two sources.
With 407 upvotes and 116 comments in the thread, this Imgur infographic hosted by Reddit should work well on your music blog
Now, on top of the free traffic that you get by posting viral content on your blog and social accounts, there’s an even bigger benefit, which is the SEO benefit of posting out this content. The viral articles that you posted will help you rank better on Google by bringing many social shares and backlinks to your website.
Suppose an article of yours has been shared 300 times, this means the link has been shared on 300 different profiles over the web on some of the biggest domain authority websites in the world! And a lot of the times these articles will get found and re-shared on all sorts of other places on the web too, such as other people’s blogs, forums, and social websites that you’ve never even heard of.
Essentially your followers are doing all of the SEO work and the link building for you through your viral marketing efforts. Furthermore, you can link your articles containing the viral content to your money-making pages.
Let’s say you’re selling music festival merchandize (T-shirts, bags) on your website, you can add a link to such pages within your viral articles. So when you get backlinks and social shares to your article, not only will it help that page, but it will pass on the “link juice” to the money-making pages that you eventually want to rank.
Finally, remember that there is no way to predict that a piece of content will definitely go viral. So go ahead and experiment with some of these hacks, and get back to us if you think these tips on viral marketing worked for you!
Look out for this space for more marketing tips for those new to this world.