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July 9, 2007

3 New Strategies for Marketing Viral Success

In the b.i. days (before the internet), the success of a mom and pop store depended, among other things, on the big boys of industry. Once they came to town and set up shop, there was no more mom and pop. They were driven out of business by the sheer volume of the mega companies’ advertising and capital. Not a pretty site.

The internet has gone a long way to reviving the mom and pop industry. It affords many small businesses the opportunity to compete by using simple cost effective techniques repeated on a continuous basis. One of the techniques is viral marketing commonly referred to as word of mouth.

In the old days viral marketing for small business owners had limited appeal. Yes they could be successful in that particular city, town or even region but it’s still nothing compared to the global word of mouth that business owners can tap into right now thanks to the internet. Once you launch your viral marketing campaign, it requires very little follow up on your part and even this has been taken a step further with the emergence of Web 2.0.

Here are some new ways to get the best out of your viral marketing:

1. The Small Report.
There have been some excellent ebooks on the internet chock full of good information but let’s face it: many people are not going to read them due to the length. Enter the small report. Putting together a five to ten page report can be done in no time. The same goes for reading it. We suffer from information overload in this day and age so giving people useful information in smaller quantities makes sense.

Find a hot topic and write several articles on it. Place the articles in a pdf file with your name and contact information branded on the report. Tell readers they are free to distribute your report as long as they do not alter it in any way. Then advertise your report in forums on your website and anywhere else you can think of. People want information fast and utilizing small reports is a good way to give them exactly that. It’s also a good start to making money from your viral campaign.

2. Video
In 2005, Kevin McCarthy one of the pioneers of online marketing predicted that within a year there would be an explosion of online video. Prediction accomplished. The internet is at the dawning of the video revolution. It is becoming easier and easier to make a video and upload it to places like You Tube or Google Video. In fact Google bought You Tube late last year for 1.65 billion dollars. That’s a good indicator of how things are going.

Like the small report, try to keep your video brief and to the point. While people would rather watch than read, you still don’t want to overload them. The point of a using a viral video (like reports) for your business is to give visitors useful information but just enough. In the end you want them to get more information by going to your website

3. Folksonomies
Wikipedia defines folksonomy as “a user-generated taxonomy used to categorize and retrieve web content such as Web pages, photographs and Web links”. In plain english what they are referring to is tagging; a way to not only retrieve information you want but more importantly to share that information with others. Tagging is nothing more than keywords specifically related to bookmarking social sites like Digg, Technorati or Delicious.

As an example let’s say you join Technorati. You then make a video, tag it with the keyword phrase “funny online video” and upload it to your account. Now all individuals within the Technorati community will be able to access your video when they type in that particular keyword. This is very powerful. Tag viral and bookmarking social can put you in front of a large audience immediately.

No matter how new the strategies keep in mind if you want your viral marketing to truly take off then make sure its free. Charging money for your report or video will guarantee you a limited appeal. Free is a powerful psychological trigger for many of us so use it. Also make sure you are providing quality. No one is going to be in a hurry to pass around below average information.

The internet has in many ways leveled the playing field. Just stay alert to any new innovations and be ready to incorporate them into your internet web site marketing strategy. A smart viral marketing campaign can make any small business successful.

Author:  Daryl Campbell is a full time online business owner and internet marketer. Get more free tips, video, step by step coaching, tools and up to the minute internet marketing information to grow your business the right way at Internet Marketing Guide