Viral Marketing

Stone Reuning

Using Twitter to your Maximum Advantage

While you've likely heard about Twitter, you may be experiencing uncertainty as to how you can use this interesting tool to reach new customers online. And while things unfamiliar to us may seem intimidating, Twitter and the type of micro-blogging platform it represents is meant to be fun as well. Continue reading to learn how you can use Twitter to your maximum advantage....

Aditya Mahesh

A Guide to Pitching Bloggers

From an SEO standpoint, the blogosphere is a goldmine. It provides the opportunity for marketers to build targeted natural "in-content" links which are not only great for increasing search engine rankings, but also can drive significant amounts of targeted traffic...

Mack Collier

The One Thing You Should Start Doing TODAY to Grow Your Blog

I consider myself to be a pretty good blogger, and over the past 4 years, my blogging has definitely improved my writing skills. But there had always been one area of blogging where my efforts were failing, and that was holding me back.

Jennifer Laycock

Sparking Viral Spread - Make it Easy For Them

With more and more people signing on to social sites like Twitter and Facebook, companies are working overtime to figure out how to make the companies, products and offerings go viral. While I've written quite a few article about the theories behind preparing a campaign that's likely to go viral, the truth is that some of the most effective viral campaigns are also the simplest. Sometimes it's less about creating a great idea and more about enabling the spread.

Manoj Jasra

Interview: Mitch Joel, President - Twist Image

Search Engine Strategies is set to take the stage next month in Toronto (June 8-9). Mobile Apps, as usual, will be one of the hottest topics at this year's conference. Mitch Joel, President of Twist Image will be moderating the panel: "Follow the Carrot: Cool Mobile Apps" so I thought I'd get some of his insight on the topic of mobile....

Mack Collier

How Do You Decide If Social Media is Right For Your Business?

You've heard the hype about social media for years now. Everyone is talking about it, and companies of all sizes are launching blogs and Facebook pages, and joining Twitter. You've heard enough and are ready to take the plunge into the social media waters. But there's one question left to answer; How do you know that social media is right for YOUR business?

Eric Brown

Compound Return on Social Media Marketing

The Great Debate; What is the ROI (Return on Investment) on your Social Media Marketing. Perhaps a better question is this; Is your Social Media Marketing efforts performing. I am not so convinced that businesses know as much about what piece and part of their traditional marketing approach works well, let alone what part of Social Media works. But, maybe, as with lots of things it isn't all that tough either, tell me what you think about this; ...

Jennifer Laycock

Six Keys to a Viral Message that Sticks - Part Six: Tell a Story

I've spent the last month offering up a series of posts based on Chip and Dan Heath's book about viral marketing. In the last article of the series I'll be examining the craft of telling a story. The idea of using a story to make a point stick is an ancient one, going back to Biblical times when parables were used to explain spiritual principles.

Jennifer Laycock

Six Keys to a Viral Message that Sticks - Part Five: Tap into Emotions

We all do it. We fight the battle between our hearts and our minds as we try to decide which one is right. Some days we try to bury our emotions and think with logic, other days we cast aside reason in favor of following our hearts. It should come as no surprise then that consumers are the same way about making buying decisions. Logic and data has it's place in marketing, but ultimately consumers tend to spend more when they let their emotions lead them.

Jennifer Laycock

Six Keys to a Viral Message that Sticks - Part Four: Carry Credibility

Anyone who knows anything about viral marketing knows one of the primary reasons it's so effective is because the message carries the credibility of those who share it. While we may not be willing to listen to a message from an advertiser, we're nearly always willing to listen to a message from friends and family. Of course there's a challenge in getting your viral campaign to pick up the credibility that comes with being passed from one person to another. You have to get that first person to pass it along.

Mack Collier

Wal-Mart Says No to Black Friday Ads on Internet, Goes After Sites and Search Engines

Failing to get the memo that it's 2008, Wal-Mart has decided to get even more aggressive in battling the 'pre-mature' leakage of their Black Friday circular ads.  The Bentonville, AR retailer is not only going after the sites that post the circulars, but the search engines that link to and index the sites....

Jennifer Laycock

Six Keys to a Viral Message that Sticks - Part Three: Be Concrete

When it comes to getting your point across in a marketing or viral message, there's no room to be vague. You have to focus in on your message and deliver it in a way that's crystal clear. Unfortunately, many companies fall into the trap of speaking in generalities. Why? Because it's easy. Companies tout lines like "we do the right thing" or "we have the lowest prices" and fail to get specific enough to differentiate themselves from the dozens (or hundreds) of other companies touting the exact same thing.

Jennifer Laycock

Six Keys to a Viral Message that Sticks - Part Two: Deliver the Unexpected

If there's one thing people are used to doing today, it's ignoring advertising messages. We switch the radio station when songs give way to commercials, we TIVO our favorite shows and play them back later without the commercials. We surf the web with "banner blindness" and we flip past the first twenty pages of a thick magazine because we know it's all ads.

Jennifer Laycock

Six Keys to a Viral Message that Sticks - Part One

I've written quite a few articles about building and launching a viral marketing campaign over the past couple of years. In general, I write about the brainstorming process or how to put your pitches together. In this new series, I'll be looking at the six key components that make people remember a message and therefore, make it more likely they'll pass it on.

Diane Aull

Viral Marketing Workshop - SBM Unleashed

Have you considered launching a viral marketing campaign? When it goes well, viral can be a cost-effective way to get the word out about your product or service to huge numbers of people... but, unfortunately, most viral marketing campaigns fail. What do you need to know, what do you need to do to maximize your chances for success? Jennifer Laycock shows us the way, with real-world examples of campaigns that worked. Learn not only what succeeded, but why....

Karri Flatla

Bet You Didn't Know Micro Blogging Could Be This Simple

When I finally did get on the micro blogging bandwagon (and no, I don't count Facebook, not even the "new" one), I put my profile on pretty much all of the Twitter-ish sites I could find. Hey, why not? It's sort of like one of those drinking games where you do a bunch of different shooters in about half an hour, realize most of them just make you want to throw up and go back to your favourite beer the following Saturday....

Jennifer Laycock

Turning the Gears in the Viral Machine

I've written a lot about the thought process that goes into creating a viral marketing campaign. I've also written quite a bit about how to form your actual pitch when you get ready to seed the message. What I probably haven't focused on near enough is the need to understand the concept of interlocking gears and how it relates to viral marketing.

Jennifer Laycock

The Fourth Commandment of Viral Marketing - Thou Shalt Tie in Your Message

Everyone wants to celebrate a viral success at some point in their marketing life. After all, who wouldn't be thrilled to have their message take off like a streak around the web? The problem comes when you get so focused on the spreadability of an idea you miss the marketing ability of an idea.

Jennifer Laycock

The Third Commandment of Viral Marketing - Thou Shalt Try, Try Again

My mother always said "nothing worth doing is easy." Generally good words to live by, but especially practical when it comes to viral marketing. While some of the most talked about viral marketing successes appear to have happened effortlessly, chances are high you'll need to put a lot of time and effort into yours. That's why it's absolutely essential to understand the adage "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again."

Jennifer Laycock

The Second Commandment of Viral Marketing - Thou Shalt Be Remarkable

We all know the viral campaigns that travel the furthest and carry the most impact tend to be the ones that leave the greatest impressions. Viral campaigns are, by their very nature, remarkable. Otherwise they wouldn't carry the emotional impact required to make us pass them on.

Jennifer Laycock

The First Commandment of Viral Marketing - Thou Shalt Know Thy Customer

Perhaps the biggest misconception about viral marketing is that it's a style of pushing your message. Companies convince themselves it's like launching a blog or running a paid search campaign...it's simply something you decide to do. In this three part series I'll dig beyond the hype of Viral Marketing and look at three key lessons companies need to learn before diving into this style of outreach.

Jennifer Laycock

One Pet Peeve Viral Marketing and Search Engine Optimization Have in Common

While my roots rest firmly in the camp of search engine optimization and search engine marketing, I've spent the last year or two leaning more heavily toward the blogging, social media, viral marketing side of things. I'm often struck at the similarities between these methods. For instance, knowing your audience and creating content that makes them happy is generally the key in all four areas. Yesterday, I also realized the similarities in terms of pet peeves.

Jennifer Laycock

Hard (but Important) Lessons About Viral Marketing

Viral marketing may be one of the most misunderstood forms of marketing. This gets proven to me over and over when some company calls (or emails) and tells me "we've just created X and we need you to make it go viral." While it's flattering to have people think I'm THAT good at what I do, each and every one of these companies tends to get the same response. "Thanks, but next time you need to call me before you create X." Not long after, I find myself thinking about what makes up a good viral campaign and just how much of that is misunderstood by companies.

Jennifer Laycock

More People Share WOM Offline, But Does That Make Offline Stronger?

Almost anytime I talk about viral marketing, the subject of offline word of mouth verses online word of mouth comes up. People ask questions like which is more powerful, which has more potential and which leads to higher conversions and purchases. The truth is, it depends on the campaign and the product. Still, two new sets of data have been released about word of mouth marketing that are worth looking at.

Mack Collier

Marketing From the Customer's Point of View

How often do you hear that it's all about the little things? Every time I go to a store such as Wal-Mart, I always wonder about the cart before I get one. Who had this before me? Did they leave anything in the cart? Is it really clean?

Mack Collier

Social Media Conversations Are Leaky

This weekend I was reminded of how quickly ideas can generate buzz and discussion on social media sites when a blog post I wrote immediately sparked conversation on my blog as well as two other social sites.

Mack Collier

I Want a Viral Video!

Don't you? Have you ever heard a client say they wanted a viral video? Have you ever told someone to make you a viral video? There's just one problem; you can't make a viral video.

Mack Collier

Knowing the Rules of the (Social Media) Road

At the first Small Business Marketing Unleashed, one of the case studies I explored was how Stormhoek involved bloggers in the marketing of their wine. Stormhoek now has its sights on Twitter users as marketing partners, and small businesses looking to explore social media should pay attention to their efforts.

Jennifer Laycock

Shopping for a Viral Video at YouTube

It's no secret consumer generated content is hot. Both McDonald's an Apple have bought the rights to content found on YouTube and turned them into commercials in recent months. Consumer generated content has a "real" feeling to it and can often be purchased for far less than the cost of custom created ads. So I'm wondering, why haven't more small businesses thought of exploring this option?

Jennifer Laycock

Reaching Women via Word of Mouth Marketing

As a hobby blogger in the "mom" realm, I often get swamped at conferences by companies looking to market their products to women. These companies have figured out that women are online en masse and they're communicating their likes, dislikes and daily lives with friends and strangers. I applaud their initiative in trying to reach out to women on the web, but sometimes I wish they'd take a step back and think a little harder about how they approach these women.

Diane Aull

Unleashed: Viral Marketing Workshop

Considering a viral marketing campaign? Not sure if it can work for you? While there are no guarantees about what will go viral and what won't, Jennifer Laycock had some great hints, questions to ask yourself, and ideas for planning/pitching to give you the best possible chances....

Debra Mastaler

Use What's In Front Of You To Attract Links

If you have an offline store supporting an online presence or even if you exist only online, it makes sense to expose your URL's and special promotions at every opportunity. Doing so helps to build credibility and natural inbound links.

Liana Evans

Most Public Relations Firms Are Not Online Marketers

If you are a small business and you are looking to hire an online marketer, be weary of public relations firms that claim "we can do that" or "we'll bundle that with our services".  Public Relations companies that truly understand online marketing are few and far between, and the ones who really do understand it and do a good job at it, are usually swamped and not taking on new clients....

Jennifer Laycock

How to Set Yourself up as a Viral Success

As we head into the new year, small businesses across the web will be looking to boost their presence by sparking conversation, attracting links and driving new sales. If you're looking for to walk the path to viral success, consider two statements made by popular marketing bloggers this week.

Jennifer Laycock

Another Boring Product Made Fun With Social Media

Back before the holidays I made two posts about how a church and a bank put a new spin on an old idea and created something with great viral potential. Today, I want offer up another example of how a company that creates a pretty boring product (a blender) put a David Letterman style thinking cap and created a viral video sensation.

Sage Lewis

Video: The Secret Sauce of Social Media

Let's have a reality check about social media and your business. You can't just barge into these communities schlepping your wares and expect everyone to get excited and buy, buy, buy. You need to use the secret sauce if you are going to have success.

Debra Mastaler

A Step by Step Plan on How to Market Your Site on Facebook

If you've heard about Facebook and understand it can help grow your business but aren't sure how to get started, read on. This article is a step-by-step outline on how to market yourself on Facebook.

Jennifer Laycock

Still Intimidated by Online Marketing?

Something I hear now and then from small business owners and small business in-house marketers is that they aren't afraid of marketing. They're just afraid of internet marketing. After all, most people have a general understanding of how things like the yellow pages and newspaper spots work. Even if they don't run good campaigns, they probably can't end up doing a lot of damage. To them, the internet moves at lightening speed and a bad campaign can turn into a true disaster. While these are valid concerns, they shouldn't be enough to scare you off.

Manoj Jasra

My Facebook Group is Setup, Now What?

So you were all excited when you first discovered Facebook Groups and noticed that all the cool kids had their own and you quickly jumped on the bandwagon to create one for yourself. You went through the process of creating an enticing title/description, selected the perfect logo and then proceeded to invite all your friends to join...but now what???

Jennifer Laycock

Viral Marketing is NOT the Same as Word of Mouth

I can't tell you how many times I've heard an old school marketer say viral marketing is just the fancy new name for word of mouth marketing. In their mind, the two work exactly the same way. The only difference is that word of mouth marketing takes place offline and viral marketing takes place online. They're wrong.

Paul Jahn

Houston, We Have Some Social Sites

There's a really good article in the Houston Chronicle labeled Internet Startups Going Social. Normally, mainstream articles like this can be pretty vague, but I thought this one really hit the spot. Plus, I've always liked the Chron.com format.

Jennifer Laycock

Building Relationships Works for the Media Too!

More than a year ago I started pushing the idea that link building is relationship building. It's since become a cornerstone of my small business marketing advice. After all, small business has almost always been about networking and word of mouth marketing. It only makes sense to carry those concepts over to the web. Unfortunately, many small businesses limit their relationship building to business associates and social networking communities. Duct Tape Marketing's John Jantsch explained over the weekend why relationship building should also extend to the media.

Jennifer Laycock

Consumers Consider Online Reviews Far More Trustworthy Than Search Ads

Marketing is a tricky game. Walking the line between selling your product and maintaining the trust and respect of your audience can be tough. That's part of why word of mouth and viral marketing are so attractive. When it comes to common forms of online marketing, it's interesting to note that for the money companies being poured into paid search advertising may be better spent elsewhere.

Jennifer Laycock

A Successful Viral Campaign Relies on Knowing Your Audience

Last week in San Jose I found myself reminding people over and over that a good social media campaign focused more on reaching your target audience than it did on reaching "a lot of people." Sites like Digg, Facebook and YouTube get a lot of press, but they may not be the best outlet for your company's viral campaign....

Jennifer Laycock

Making Link Bait and Viral Marketing Work - Part Ten

In this ten part series, I'll be covering many of the things that you need to take into consideration when planning a link baiting or viral marketing campaign. Today, in the last part of this series, I'll look at the idea of capitalizing off of your competitor's failures....

Jennifer Laycock

Making Link Bait and Viral Marketing Work - Part Nine

In this ten part series, I'll be covering many of the things that you need to take into consideration when planning a link baiting or viral marketing campaign. Today we'll take a look marketing the unexpected....

Jennifer Laycock

Making Link Bait and Viral Marketing Work - Part Eight

In this ten part series, I'll be covering many of the things that you need to take into consideration when planning a link baiting or viral marketing campaign. Today we'll take a look at the need to be able to act quickly when it comes to link bait and viral marketing campaigns....

Jennifer Laycock

Making Link Bait and Viral Marketing Work - Part Seven

In this ten part series, I'll be covering many of the things that you need to take into consideration when planning a link baiting or viral marketing campaign. Today, we'll look at the need for scalability....

Jennifer Laycock

Making Link Bait and Viral Marketing Work - Part Six

In this ten part series, I'll be covering many of the things that you need to take into consideration when planning a link baiting or viral marketing campaign. Today I'll explore the idea of using other people's resources to help you spread the word about your product or your web site....

Jennifer Laycock

Making Link Bait and Viral Marketing Work - Part Five

In this ten part series, I'll be covering many of the things that you need to take into consideration when planning a link baiting or viral marketing campaign. Today, I'm going to look at the issue of building relationships and why relationships are necessary to launching viral marketing and link baiting campaigns....

Jennifer Laycock

Making Link Bait and Viral Marketing Work - Part Four

In this ten part series, I'll be covering many of the things that you need to take into consideration when planning a link baiting or viral marketing campaign. Today we'll find out how to use existing networks to make sure the word spreads to the right audience quickly....

Jennifer Laycock

Making Link Bait and Viral Marketing Work - Part Three

In this ten part series, I'll be covering many of the things that you need to take into consideration when planning a link baiting or viral marketing campaign. Today, I'll be helping you understand how to find and exploit motivating factors in order to get more people interested in your product or service....

Jennifer Laycock

Making Link Bait and Viral Marketing Work - Part Two

Today, I'll be talking about the need to make your campaign easy to spread. While the benefit of both viral and link baiting campaigns is that they tend to take off and spread on their own, it's still essential to make sure that you've put plans in place to help things spread....

Jennifer Laycock

Making Link Bait and Viral Marketing Work - Part One

Two of the most popular buzz words in the online marketing realm right now are link baiting and viral marketing. These two tactics are a great way to build links and to build branding when constrained by small marketing budgets, but there are several things you need to remember when planning these types of campaigns....

Stoney deGeyter

Finding Success Outside Your Target Audience

It's not often that a company finds success outside of its intended target market. But that seems to be what is happening with the makers of Slingbox....