"Viral Marketing" is giving something away for free and allowing people to pass it on to others. The main purpose of viral marketing is to spread your message to as many people as possible without having to spend any money for advertising.
In order to start an effective viral marketing campaign, you need to provide people with a reason for passing your information around. For example, jokes are often passed around just because they are funny. However, how often have you forwarded an ad for an eBook on to other people? Unless you were an affiliate of that eBook, you probably never sent it on to a single person.
So, when you think about using viral marketing online to obtain free traffic for your website, be creative! Think about the various reasons that a person would have for passing your message around. Freebies are a good way of using viral marketing online. Provide something to your visitors, customers, and mailing list and allow people to giveaway and use your free product or service in order to multiply your marketing quickly over the internet. The idea behind viral marketing is that you include your ad with the freebie people giveaway or use.
Below are ten high impact viral marketing strategies:
1. 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 ebooks. Include your resource box and the option for article reprints at the bottom of each article. If you have an affiliate program, let them include an affiliate ID in the resource box!
2. 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. Then, simply allow people to use any of these "freebies" as free bonuses for products or services they sell. Include your ad on all your freebies.
3. 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. (Don't have a way to set up a forum or bulletin board? Some hosting services allow you to set one up for free just by using a "snap in" script. For example, you can check out our host that includes tons of these services at no extra cost!)
4. If you are using a dedicated server (instead of simply using a one site hosting account), you can allow people to sign up for a free web site on your server. Since you are giving away the space, require them to include your banner ad at the top of the site. (Note: Even if you are using a single hosting account, you may still be able to take advantage of this idea if you can set up unlimited subdomains with their own domain names. Many hosting companies will let you do this for a small, one time charge.)
5. Set up a reciprocal links directory on your site. There are tons of reliable software programs that are fairly inexpensive that make doing this a breeze! You simply allow people to add their link to your free web site directory. Just require that they return a link back to your web site, advertising your directory. Make sure you provide people with a link from your main pages to get to your directory and add their reciprocal link.
6. Allow people to provide your free online service to their web site, visitors, or e-zine subscribers. This could be free e-mail, e-mail consulting, search engine submissions, etc. Your imagination is the limit! Think about this for a little while. What do you have that you can give away free? How about a short report on your niche market? Use the tools that you have available (such as an autoresponder) to make this even easier for you to manage.
7. Allow people to give away your free software. Just include your business advertisement inside the software program. There are many tools available that allow you to "brand" the software with your contact information and message. Simply pay for these rights and the software is yours free! Or, you can even find some programs that allow you to create your own software. Use the search engines for some ideas.
8. 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 as well and require them to keep your copyright notice in tact.
9. Write an ebook. Allow people to place an advertisement in your free ebook if, in exchange, they give away the ebook to their web visitors or e-zine subscribers.
10. Purchase the branding rights to a viral eBook. Allow people to give away your free ebook to their visitors. Then, their visitors will also give it away. This will just continue to spread your ad all over the internet.
(c) Copyright 2004 by ViralMarketingOnline.com and The Abundance Group, LLC.
About The Author
Gina Gaudio-Graves, Esq. is an attorney and an Internet Marketing Consultant specializing in internet advertising. Gina founded The Abundance Group, LLC in 1996 which provides assistance to people looking to make an income online. Gina has written a series of viral eBooks which are available through ViralMarketingOnline. Visit: http://www.ViralMarketingOnline.com for a free viral eBook as Gina's gift and sign-up for our newsletter.