Target Your Audience Through Viral Marketing
One of the greatest strengths of viral marketing is that it can reach so many people without being expensive. One of the biggest downfalls of viral marketing, though, is that it does reach a very wide range. Studies have repeatedly shown that targeting marketing is far more effective than general marketing aimed at everyone. If you market your product only to those people likely to buy your product, you are far more likely to get a better return on your time and effort investment.
Many companies think that this is not a concern with viral marketing – after all, if viral marketing creates a strong word of mouth momentum that spreads your marketing message, then you are not investing much time as the marketing propels itself.
However, consider this: for every person who gets your marketing message and decides not to pass it on, the marketing has halted. If enough people get your message and decide not to pass it on because it is of no interest to them, then your viral marketing strategy will slow down or fail because your message will simply not be passed along enough.
However, there are several things you can do to help ensure that your message is passed to an audience that will pass it on:
• Do your market research. Find out who will be most interested in your company and most likely to need your business. Then, do your research about your target audience. What do they do for fun? Where do they go online and in person? What sorts of marketing have worked with this group in the past? What are their likes and dislikes? What are they looking for from a company like yours?
The more you know about your target audience, the easier it will be to reach them. You can do your market research through a market research company or through your own chats with your customers, but you must not ignore this step if you want your viral marketing to work in the long term.
• Do your initial marketing to your target audience. Even in a viral marketing program, you will likely have to do some traditional marketing at the beginning. You will need to hand out incentives, send out press releases, and tell others about your web site and company.
This traditional marketing, if done well, will begin to create the buzz around your company that you need in order to create word of mouth advertising. At this stage, it is quite easy to contact your target audience.
Based on your market research, simply hand out your incentives at a place you know your target audience frequents or provide links to your page in places where you know your target audience spends time online. At this stage, you will also want to double-check to make sure that your viral marketing incentives are appropriate for your audience.
If you are trying to market a skateboard company, free downloads of arcade games may be appropriate. If your finance company is trying to target seniors who need pension help, these games can prove less successful.