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Viral Marketing Campaigns Drive Targeted Traffic

Aug 17, 2007
Viral marketing is a great way to use the power and nature of the Internet to reach a large number of people quickly and drive a continually growing flood of targeted web traffic to your website. With a successful viral marketing campaign, your website traffic could go from almost nothing to thousands of hits or even hundreds of thousands of hits per day almost overnight.

Viral marketing is a term used for marketing campaigns that grow and spread like a human or computer virus. In a successful viral campaign, people pass the marketing material on socially so that the marketing campaign grows like a snowball rolling down hill.

The basic idea of viral marketing is that you can increase your sales by increasing your targeted website traffic and you can increase your targeted web traffic by giving away or spreading something for free that people will pass on to their friends, family, or business associates like a virus.

Viral campaigns may spread through emails or eBooks that people pass on or through articles or viral videos that people pass on.

Microsoft's Hotmail service was probably one of the biggest early successes of viral marketing. Free web-based email is common today, but it was a new concept in 1996 when Microsoft first promoted Hotmail by adding a short advertising teaser at the end of its users' email messages. Who would have ever expected how big the results of this marketing campaign could be?

But as huge as the success of Microsoft's viral marketing campaign was for Hotmail, it only set the stage for what was to come during the 2004 American presidential campaign. Who can forget JibJab's flash animation political parody of George Bush and John Kerry singing, "This Land Is Your Land?"

By marrying the concept of flash video on the Web to viral marketing, JibJab took the Internet by storm. According to Internet statistician ComScore Media Metrix, the viral video received over 10.4 million unique hits in July 2004 - more than three times as many visitors as the official campaign websites of the two presidential candidates!

Now you may never experience the phenomenal success that JibJab did with one of your viral marketing campaigns, but the concept is simple and easily implemented. It works on the idea that if people like something or can profit from something, they will pass it on to their friends, family, and associates.

Viral marketing can be as simple as writing an article and having it published in article directories where newsletter publishers and webmasters may pick it up and republish it. Be sure to include an author bio or resource box at the bottom of every article that includes your name, your website link, and a call to action that entices people to click on your link. Webmasters and publishers are always looking for great content, so be sure to provide value.

Alternatively, you could send a funny, informative, or controversial newsletter to your subscriber list. Be sure to encourage people to pass your newsletter on with a short note at the bottom of your newsletter.

When people click through to your website, you would like to capture their email address and get their permission to contact them. Otherwise, they will often surf away, never to be seen again on your website.

Squeeze pages (pages primarily designed to get subscribers) are one proven way to do this, and offering people a free eBook or free report is a great way to get people to subscribe to your newsletter.

Want to kick your viral marketing campaign into even higher gear? Grant people the rights to give away the free eBook or report to their own customers or contacts. Be sure to brand the eBook or report with links to your website, so that anyone who receives it from others will find their way back to your website. Also, if you let your customers rebrand some of the links with their affiliate links or other links, they will really be motivated to pass the eBook or report on!

The Internet is perfect for viral marketing. This is one of the most powerful marketing techniques you can use on the Internet. Because many distribution channels are free (e.g., email and article directories) or relatively low cost (web hosting), viral marketing can be an incredibly cost-effective marketing technique. Once you have launched your marketing campaign, it can potentially grow and spread for years all by itself, making viral marketing possibly the most effective Internet marketing technique of all.
About the Author
Mike Adams has been marketing on the Internet since the early 1990's. Need private label rights eBooks, reports, or content that you can edit or rebrand for your viral marketing campaigns? Get a free Silver membership at PLR-Content.com.
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