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Viral Marketing

Viral Marketing. Finding Websites by WOMM. Introduction to Viral Marketing. Viral Marketing is a buzz term referring to “techniques that seek to exploit pre-existing social networks to produce exponential increases in brand awareness”.

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Viral Marketing

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  1. Viral Marketing Finding Websites by WOMM

  2. Introduction to Viral Marketing • Viral Marketing is a buzz term referring to “techniques that seek to exploit pre-existing social networks to produce exponential increases in brand awareness”. • Viral Marketing introduces a campaign to the public, then allow individuals to pass it to friends, family, colleagues, and peers, resulting in rapid information dissemination and effective adoption of the campaign ideas.

  3. A Virus Among Us • Because the marketing message is spread by a trusted source, recipients of a marketing virus are less suspicious of the message, and are more likely to pass it on if they find value in it. • As the metaphor (a virus) suggests, the marketing message infects a host who then actively spreads the message.

  4. Steve Jurvetson coined the term in 1997 in his appropriately named article “Viral Marketing” (http://www.dfj.com/cgi-bin/artman/publish/steve_tim_may97.shtml), but the concept of a virus has been around since the age of the Greeks. • “Viral Marketing”, Wikipedia. .30 Jan 2006. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viral_marketing>

  5. Viral Campaigns Do 6 things • Gives away seemingly valuable products, services or content - FREE • 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 the resources of others • Wilson, Dr. Ralph F. “The Six Simple Principles of Viral Marketing”. Web Marketing Today. 1 Feb 2000. <http://www.wilsonweb.com/wmt5/viral-principles-clean.htm>

  6. Some Examples • One powerful example of a successful marketing campaign is Hotmail (pre-Microsoft buy out). • Hotmail gave out free web email and added a small tag at the bottom of every email message telling email recipients about the free service and how to sign up. • The word spread quickly to new customers who adopted the Hotmail service then proceeded to market it themselves just by sending more email.

  7. Obey Giant 1989 Viral Marketing Campaign

  8. Obey Giant • Viral Marketing is not a web only phenomenon, though most recent dialog about it almost always groups the two together. • The Obey Giant campaign (http://obeygiant.com) spread rapidly throughout the globe starting in 1989 as its ambiguous message sparked the curiosity of millions, enticing them to learn more about its meaning, and eventually become involved in the campaign themselves.

  9. Anti Marketing Marketing • Obey Giant does not try to sell products. The campaign seeks to draw attention to our environment and the many forms of propaganda/marketing that floods it. • It is an anti-marketing marketing campaign. • The Obey manifesto describes the campaign with the term Phenomenology, coined by philosopher Martin Heidegger, and defined as “"the process of letting things manifest themselves”. • Fairey, Shepard. “Manifesto”. Obey Giant.. 1990. <http://www.obeygiant.com/main.php?page=articles>

  10. Other Successful Viral Campaigns • Subservient Chicken http://www.subservientchicken.com/ • Tupperware parties • The Blair Witch Project • Evite http://www.evite.com/ • Ecrush http://www.ecrush.com/ • Star Wars Kid http://ebaumsworld.com/starwarskid.html • Jib Jab “This Land is My Land” http://www.jibjab.com/

  11. Common qualities to be Successful • Creativity and originality • Authenticity, often validated by a third party (awards, endorsement, etc.) • Resonance – a place of significance with the consumer • Measurable call to action • Lewis, Kent. “Get the Bug: Viral Marketing Unmasked”. Site Point. 12 Sept 2005. < http://www.sitepoint.com/article/get-the-bug-viral-marketing >

  12. A Place of Value • The information being shared needs to be valuable to the end users. • It should be original or a very good spin off on an original idea (Subservient Chicken has a number of spin offs such as http://subservientpresident.com and http://virtualbartender.beer.com). • It should be informative or entertaining enough to cause someone to pass it on.

  13. Many successful viral campaigns do not originally start out with moneymaking aspirations, but after gaining popularity introduce some advertising or other means of cashing in. • The measurable call to action of a Viral Marketing campaign can range form a “Tell a Friend” link to a donation button that helps pay for bandwidth or the creation of more unique content.

  14. Blogosphere Helps to Spread • A powerful component of Viral Marketing is the blogosphere, which continually scours the web, and madly blogs and re-blogs about various noteworthy topics. • Bloggers are early adopters of Viral Marketing, spreading the message fast. • A powerful example is Slashdot.com, which allows any author to post about a wide variety of topics, attracting millions of readers daily.

  15. Sites that have done something worthy of a Slash Dot post instantly receive floods of visitors, often bringing their servers to a screeching halt from excessive bandwidth demands. • Bloggers adopt and spread Viral Marketing because of the basic human desire to be part of a group, and to be seen as an important member of a community by being the first to spread the word. It is a central, driving factor in the blogging phenomenon.

  16. DIY Viral Marketing Techniques Some proven web techniques to create the Viral Marketing buzz include: • Tell a friend about the site, product, or event (on site link) • Tell a friend in rich email with link • AIM a friend about this item • RSS • User comments or reviews • Print collateral in public places such as stickers, fliers • Personalized emails to influential bloggers

  17. Doing It The Old Way Analog Marketing

  18. Analog Marketing • Analog marketing, though often more expensive than some digital alternatives, remains a very effective means of letting people know about your site. • The right print collateral to use entirely depends on the recipients and the context of your message.

  19. Popular Analogy Techniques… • Paid print ads in magazines with a similar target audience • Stickers (great for youth oriented urban campaigns) • Graffiti (illegal and dangerous as it may damage the reputation of a brand) • Post cards • Brochures • Billboards • Radio (yes, radio is still mostly analog) advertising via NPR or other popular programs • Business cards

  20. What about TV? • Interesting question, until last year when all stations in the US switched to Digital it was still analog but it remains as the highest cost (often highest ROI) method of advertising. • TV is bought by a CPM technique similar to the CPC method of advertising on the web. • Some experts doubt that TV advertising will ever go away, but consumer indicate they prefer that it would, • Technology such as DVR and Tivo allow consumers the luxury of watching TV without the ads, but they soon feel “left out” if not exposed to the information they receive in advertising.

  21. Lot’s of Ways to Market Your Site’s URL • Of course there are so many more analog marketing options, some more specialized to target niche markets. • All of the above methods do offer specialized methods for getting your URL and brand to your target audience. • Some resources for getting inexpensive print collateral for a campaign: • PS Print (brochures, flyers, and much more. Good quality) http://psprint.com/ • Platinum Cards (post cards, business cards, direct mail campaigns. Good price and quality) http://www.platinumcards.cc • Sticker Man http://stickerman.com/ • Over Night Prints http://www.overnightprints.com/ • Vista Print http://www.vistaprint.com

  22. It is also possible to get free analog marketing by submitting press releases and soliciting magazines and newspapers to do articles on your site, product, or endeavor. • An important tool for successfully getting free press is the creation of a Press Kit, which might include:

  23. Press Kit • A press release (see the sites for detailed info: http://www.stetson.edu/~rhansen/prguide.html, http://www.publicityinsider.com/release.asp, http://www.xpresspress.com/PRnotes.html) • High resolution images for print • A cover letter preferably personalized for the recipient • Product or business fact sheet • Biographies or company history • Past press coverage • Contact information • Optional (depending on recipient of press kit): a professionally produced mock article with imagery in layout clearly introducing the desired type of press

  24. More about creating a press kit can be found at http://www.marketingpower.com/content18917.php. • Take a look at some professional examples of Electronic Press Kits created by AOL at http://www.corp.aol.com/presskits/index.shtml.

  25. A Few More To Look At… • http://www.sitepoint.com/article/get-the-bug-viral-marketing • http://www.dfj.com/cgi-bin/artman/publish/steve_tim_may97.shtml • http://searchcrm.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid11_gci213514,00.html • http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Make-A-Great-Press-Kit---A-Musicians-Guide&id=59384

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