From zero to thousands in a day--a lesson in viral marketing

From zero to thousands in a day--a lesson in viral marketing

I wish I could take credit for this article but I stole it off of the Element Fusion Blog.  It was written by Justin Boeckman:

Viral Marketing zero to thousands in a day

Creating a buzz on the internet can be as hard as walking a tightrope 50 feet in the air, but it doesn’t have to be if you follow a few simple rules.  For those of you enjoying my series The Internet, Search Engine Optimization and You Part I and The Internet, Search Engine Optimization and You Part II I’m sorry but you are going to have to wait another couple of days for part III.  

One of the guys at the office came to me Monday and said we should start a site called Mike Gundy is mad at you. Being that I am a big OU fan and an Internet marketing person I laughed before I saw the video of why he wanted to create the site. Once I saw the site I knew that I could not only have a little fun with the “other state school” (sorry Tulsa) but conduct a viral marketing experiment to show the power of viral marketing. 

The idea was simple, guy gets mad, calls out media (bad idea) and we capitalize on the press around the situation.  The steps involved in creating an effective campaign:

  1. Look for or create a buzz.  If you are attempting to market something make sure it is something people will look for. You don’t want to waste time and money marketing something that only one person will see. The buzz doesn’t have to be on the scale of our experiment as long as it reaches the audience who uses your services.

  2. Act Fast. You are dealing with something hot and time sensitive so you better act fast. He who gets his/her site out first usually wins. I knew as soon as the idea was brought up that in order to get anyone to the site we needed to act immediately, so we found a program to create E-Cards and a web template and launched the site in about an hour.

  3. Spread the word. People won’t come to your site just because you put it online. It takes time and effort to start the buzz but I say why waste my time and effort. I piggy backed my efforts off of those posting about the original story, sent emails and commented on their blog about the site we created. Since what I was trying to sell wasn’t in direct competition with their article/site it worked.

    Start by telling your friends and family via myspace, facebook or your favorite social networking site. Visit blogs about your topic and post something intelligent on them with a link back to your site (remember if you don’t post something intelligent then they will probably delete your comment). Also look for additional attention offline I called in to a couple of morning radio stations on my way to work just to spread the word.
Bam, it was that easy. I will admit I was just happy to get the site online and send it to the members of my family who are unfortunate enough to wear orange and black (OSU fans). I was pretty excited the night it went live (Monday September 24 at 9:30pm) following item three in the points above told me that we could expect this to be a good viral marketing experiment because of the amount of media being generated around this topic. I must admit I submitted the site to numerous blogs and it only took me 2 hours of searching/posting (brings the total up to three to four hours) to feel like I had done enough to start a buzz about our site.

My wife (she doesn’t get what I do and calls me a nerd) asked me as we were getting ready for bed “What is the point of the site and what I hoped to accomplish”. That one took me a bit because up to that point I hadn’t really thought about my goals for the site and what would make the site worth my time. After thinking about this for about a minute I said if we send out 100 emails (not including the emails I send) that will make me happy. Well I guess I didn’t set my expectations high enough because when I woke up Tuesday morning we had a total of 400 visits and 40 cards sent from the time I went to bed till the time I woke up.

The buzz had been built from my time hitting the blog sites and I had pretty good expectations for day one. On my way to work I called a local radio station because they were talking about the ordeal. I talked a little about the situation but you can be sure that I plugged the site before I got off the phone.

At the office we were able to share the experiment with the office geeks, who in turn helped us create more of a buzz by sending it to their friends. By lunch we checked the stats and noticed that the attention gained was over 1,000 unique visits for a site that was only 12 hours old, I would say our campaign was already a success. To add even more joy to my day when I got home one of the local television stations plugged us on the 6:00 and 10:00 news. The total count for the day 3,429.

This little experiment has turned out to be quite a success and hopefully with my documentation it is clear to see that online there are many ways to capture your audience. Heck you can even introduce yourself to a completely new audience on a limited budget if you have the tools and resources available. If you don’t have the necessary skills or time to create a viral marketing campaign contact one of our internet consultants (specifically Andrea Decker!) to discuss how we can help get your business the traffic you deserve. 

If you have any questions about the services we provide, helping you create a viral marketing campaign or a solid search engine optimization campaign fill out our free quote form or contact one of our Internet Consultants.

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