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Thread: Getting Viral

  1. #1

    Getting Viral

    I have made a couple of other posts regarding my site http://www.childrenwebmag.com but I am keeping to one question/post.

    I am know offering totally free job advertising to the anyone working with children. And would like to get a bit of viral campaign going. I've encouraged all involved to add it to their email signature and I tell those I can about it. What advice would you give to get word around about this facility? Would a Free press release work on prweb for instance?

    Thanks in advance
    Jeremy

  2. #2
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    Press release, "tell a friend" e-mail link, stories on related blogs & websites. Thats where I would start.
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  3. #3
    Administrator Chris's Avatar
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    Those things may work, but its not really going to achieve viral marketing I don't think. I don't see there being enough of a draw to get people to really promote it for you.

    The easiest way to promote something virally is to offer an incentive for your users to "pass it on."
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    Getting Viral Results from PRWeb

    Hi Jeremy,

    I have a lot of experience with creating Viral campaigns, and thought you might benefit from a couple of informational pieces I've done in the past. But before I do that, here are some quick thoughts:

    1) PRWeb just launched "Trackbacks " to help PR become even MORE viral (I already receive from 250-350 backlinks for every press release I do... sometimes more than 500. So if you folow my directions at the PRWebSecrets site in my signature, you'll be well on your way). Look for this recent addition to really create some media buzz with your PR.

    2) In any viral marketing process, you need to build momentum. I provide a simple scratch view of this here: http://301url.com/Viral-Coffee (This is how I got the attention of Starbuck's back in 1999 with very few dollars).

    3) I've also written an article on how to create unlimited momentum with online PR by "stacking" releases. It's easy to do, and this link tells the whole story: http://301url.com/Viral-PR

    4) One final comment on this is: I have a series of case studies: from our PRWeb promotion of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to getting StairCycle in Times Square with Sir Richard Branson (the founder of Virgin). If you create the right buzz, and your product rocks, and your presentation is pretty good, you can create a buzz machine that lives forever.

    Let me know if you have any additional questions. One think you need to do is: Maintain Media Momentum. Once you grasp that concept, you'll find it relatively easy to keep your viral processes happening.

    And best of success!
    ME
    Mark Alan Effinger
    RichContent Brainstorming & Creativity Software
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    In my experience, there are four stimulants for a successful viral campaign:

    1) Value
    2) Controversy
    3) Outrageousness
    4) Humor

    I might be missing one or two, but that list should get you started.

    Your free job advertising campaign might send you a little traffic, but it doesn't meet any of those criteria above. So, I doubt you'll see any huge results.

    Here are a few half-baked ideas:

    Value: Write a free e-book, detailing all of the scientific research from the last 10 years concerning child care. Your goal is to create something so immensely valuable that people will pass it on.

    Controversy: Write an article titled, "Lying to Your Children: A Time-Tested, Effective Strategy" or something else that will get people talking. Your goal is to start a debate, leading to mentions on other web sites or magazines.

    Outrageousness: Keep up with all of the news stories about parents mistreating or killing their children. Publish a yearly award for the parent that should go straight to hell. Your goal is to do something so unusual that people will talk about you.

    Humor: This one is tricky. I've been too much of a coward to try it, but you might gather a list of stories from parents about funny things their children do or say. Publish it in a book, kind of like Chicken Soup for the Soul. Your goal is to create something that makes people laugh and tell others about it, so they'll laugh.

    Once you come up with something, issue a press release or start pitching magazines and radio shows individually. You'll get some attention. If you go through several dozen pitches without any interest, the idea probably isn't good enough. Trash it and start over again.

    Anyway, I'm going through this process for myself right now. By itself, my site is a little boring, and I want to pump up its profile a little bit. I've gone through several dozen ideas over the last month, and I've finally centered on two that should hit home runs. It just takes some trial and error.

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    Excellent overview, Dural!

    These are great, proven Viral strategies. In fact, these are killer elements of ANY good marketing strategy (just look at this year's Super Bowl ads as a testament to the power of a clever, funny line).

    Well done.
    Best,
    ME
    Mark Alan Effinger
    RichContent Brainstorming & Creativity Software
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    Saying Sir Richard Branson name gets my attention! Do you have a link to the case study you refered to above?
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    Site Contributor KLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dural
    In my experience, there are four stimulants for a successful viral campaign:

    1) Value
    2) Controversy
    3) Outrageousness
    4) Humor
    Viral marketing can be a hard thing to do with the subjects I cover on http://EnvironmentalChemistry.com. While I can achieve the value really easily and sometimes have articles on controversial subjects (e.g. the current Presidential administration's reliance on pseudoscience), it is really hard to impossible to pull off numbers 3 & 4. I mean just how much humor can there be in a discussion of mercury pollution in lakes or PCBs in the Hudson River?

    The biggest controversy I stirred up was when I started denying access to my content to people who were blocking my ads. That ruffled a few feathers for awhile, but links from ad-blocking forums doesn't exactly create lots of attention. Nor is that kind of attention really wanted.

    I'd love to figure out a successful viral marketing technique for my site, I just don't think it is realistic.
    Ken Barbalace - EnvironmentalChemistry.com (Environmental Careers, Blog)
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  9. #9
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    It seems that when many people think of viral marketing they want to take a shotgun approach and come up with something that will target the entire population. For many niche topics such as Environmental Chemistry or Child Care this is just not feasible. I think that the answer is to target just your niche with your viral content. Come up with something that your target audience will want to feature on their websites. It doesnt' have to be funny or controversial, just interesting and useful to members of your target audience.

    For example, if I ran KLB's Env. Chem. page I'd set up some kind of easy copy-and-paste code snippet that people could add to their webpages to automatically display the latest environmental chemistry headlines or random Env. Chem. facts (all with links back to your site, of course.) Also stick an "add this to YOUR website" link in there to encourage it to spread among people interested in that subject who see it on other sites. POOF! Instant nich-targetted viral marketing.

    Here's an example of what I mean in action: www.crazymonkeygames.com/rotator.php

  10. #10
    Registered ses5909's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLB
    I'd love to figure out a successful viral marketing technique for my site, I just don't think it is realistic.
    From what I've seen, it's often the fun things that really get passed around. You could try to create a quirky quiz or "What kind of chemist are you" type of questionaire similar to the "how geeky are you" type of quizzes that programmers spread around. I cant tell you how many of those i've read and forwarded on.

    You can get all of these chemists laughing at what dorks they really are, much like I do at myself. You'd just have to be creative and find some funny things that all chemists can relate to.

  11. #11
    Site Contributor KLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Westech
    For example, if I ran KLB's Env. Chem. page I'd set up some kind of easy copy-and-paste code snippet that people could add to their webpages to automatically display the latest environmental chemistry headlines or random Env. Chem. facts (all with links back to your site, of course.) Also stick an "add this to YOUR website" link in there to encourage it to spread among people interested in that subject who see it on other sites. POOF! Instant nich-targetted viral marketing.
    I do actually do something along this lines. At the bottom of every page is a code snip that provides everything necessary to link to the page in question. Another thing I do is make sure every page provides the proper citation text for bibliographies as many students have to make use of my site for class reports. I also provide an RSS feed and encourage people to link to the page they are visiting from the side menu bar.

    In the old days when everything was new and exciting on the web, it was really easy to build links. Now that the web has matured quite a bit it is harder to build links. This is why I started a blog so that I could try to use it as a springboard to generate links from within the blogging community.
    Ken Barbalace - EnvironmentalChemistry.com (Environmental Careers, Blog)
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    Nah, you can still be viral. It's just more difficult. For example, consider half.com. Basically just another discount store during the tech boom. Nothing innovative about it. But they grew like wildfire.

    The reason? They pulled publicity stunts. For example, they convinced a town called Halfway to rename itself Half.com. Nearly every journalist in the country picked up the story.

    You can do similar stuff. Real estate isn't an easy topic either, but after thinking about it for a few days, I came up with some nifty ideas. As I unveil them and measure their success, I'll post the results here.

  13. #13
    Site Contributor KLB's Avatar
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    One thing that is important with viral marketing is to have a network of friends and associates who will help promote your activity in their blogs and websites. I think the recent SP/Chris episode is an example of this. Look at how people have come out to support Chris by encouraging others to come over from SP to mentioning his new blog in their blog or linking to this forum from their website/forum. Those who are most successful with viral marketing are those who have the best network of supporters.
    Ken Barbalace - EnvironmentalChemistry.com (Environmental Careers, Blog)
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    How about a silly flash animation openly attacking politicians who let some bull**** go on?

    Seth Godin had a very good post about something which might give you some additional ideas: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_b...oblem_wit.html
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  15. #15
    I never thought it would create such interest. Good topic to debate obviously. having read all the responses and thought about it I can see that free jobs is a bit boring. I can understand eAgent's point of building momentum. It's obvious now, but I have an illustrator friend. I just need to think up the right idea now to get him to draw something that will get passed on. Even better, get him to do an animation.

    Free publicity for him, free publicity for me. Everyone wins.

    Given that press releases has already been mentioned in this thread. Do you think the following PR would work? By way of background:-
    - my business is called Rugged Rhino
    - the online magazine is Children Webmag and has been going for 6+ years
    - without me it would have closed (sounds arrogant but its makes the story)

    So the headline is "Rugged Rhino save Children Webmag from Closure". Additionally, free job ads and I used open source (Joomla) to build it (and I wonder in my late nights if that was a mistake!). I thought dropping in the 2nd point might be good because it would get picked up by anyone looking out for open source stories.

    Does that sound more promising?
    Jeremy
    Children Webmag - Child Care Articles
    Dunstable.tv - Just Dunstable
    Rugged Rhino - Web Marketing & Web Design, Dunstable

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