The Six Simple Principles of Viral
In a few short generations, a
virus population can explode.
The Classic Hotmail.com Example
The classic example of viral marketing is Hotmail.com, one of the first
free Web-based e-mail services. The strategy is simple:
- Give away free e-mail addresses and services,
- Attach a simple tag at the bottom of every free message
- "Get your private, free email at http://www.hotmail.com" and,
then stand back while people e-mail to their own
network of friends and associates,
- Who see the message,
- Sign up for their own free e-mail service, and then
- Propel the message still wider to their own
ever-increasing circles of friends and associates.
Like tiny waves spreading ever farther from a single pebble dropped
into a pond, a carefully designed viral marketing strategy ripples outward
Elements of a Viral Marketing Strategy
Accept this fact. Some viral marketing strategies work better than
others, and few work as well as the simple Hotmail.com strategy. But
below are the six basic elements you hope to include in your strategy.
A viral marketing strategy need not contain ALL these elements, but the
more elements it embraces, the more powerful the results are likely to
be. An effective viral marketing strategy:
- Gives away products or services
- 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 others' resources
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All experience marketers know the old adage that “the money is in the list “.Network marketers have developed contact lists in many different ways over the years. Generally a sign up form is offered with a free giveaway. Someone simply fills out the form with a name and e-mail address to “opt in” to the autoresponder and the free giveaway is provided to them. In return for that, they generally understand that they have granted permission for whoever made the offer to follow up with other e-mails with other offers.
Several years ago the singular e-mail opt-in was taken a step further when software was developed that asked the first recipient to forward the offer to 4-5 of there friends in order to qualify for the free giveaway, or perhaps even a very low priced offering. Hence, list building became viral, meaning that a single e-mail to a single individual could be multiplied in a near exponential manner as each level of opt-ins continued to forward the offer to even more people.
The Web 2.0 World
Of course the latest to trend in the network and internet marketing community is the Web 2.0 world of blogs, YouTube, Twitter and the like. The use of videos in various social networks in order to communicate and establish a following with the subscribers has become ubiquitous. The net result of all this is that seemingly the most effective way to communicate with potential subscribers, or even to acquire subscribers and customers these days is probably through the use of videos.
Videos have a number of advantages, including the ability to present yourself as a sincere and a knowledgeable person in a face-to-face way. A potential subscriber or customer is more likely to buy from someone they they feel like they know. So
consequently, it’s almost imperative these days that you use the video medium in order to communicate with potential prospects to turn them into eventual customers.
The New Viral Video World
Interestingly, a new video software system to build a contact list and potentialcustomer list virally has been introduced. Internet guru Joel Therien, CEO ofKiosk.ws, is in the process of launching very easy to use video building software called Easy Video Producer that has the potential to be a very effective way of generating contacts in a viral manner. This system is unique because the software itself is being offered as the free giveaway for this video “tell-a-friend” system. Essentially, the system will offer you free and extraordinarily easy to use video generating software that builds and posts your personally produced video and information capture form on a website or blog. A contact management system is included with the free offer as well.
The viral concept is that you would then attract traffic to introduce yourself to the prospect in a more personal way, offering them the opportunity to opt in and use the same free software that you used to prepare the video. The prospect and new contact would in turn use his free new system to attract even more potential contacts for his list and yours as well.
As in the earlier e-mail systems, the originator of the viral distribution of the free software would have access to every subscriber in the levels below him. So, what is offered is a system that provides a free and very simple (even a cave man could
The Issues I See
The problems with this system are not dissimilar from those in other earlier systems of using free giveaways to build a list. . You first must be able to get your video in front of an audience and in order for them to subscribe, and they in turn must have an audience to subscribe in order for the system to work effectively. It can probably be most effectively used by someone who already has a subscriber list and wants to expand it rapidly.
Another potential negative is that the the new contacts you generate with this list, both directly and indirectly, are not yet buyers and it’s likely that many of them will have no interest in your particular marketing niche. Proper strategy of course is to build credibility over time through a series of value adding free offers that are designed to help categorize their interests. Only then should you move on to the stage of offering them the opportunity to buy your stuff.
This new easy video producer software system appears to offer a simple and easy, no cost way for the experienced, and particularly the relatively inexperienced non-technical networker to make effective use of videos for viral list building, and business promotion.