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Why Is Viral Marketing So Powerful?

Aug 17, 2007
Viral marketing is without doubt one of the most effective forms of marketing out there, and one of the cheapest as well. While a number of people will spend huge sums of money advertising their online business, with no guarantees of making any return on their investment, the smart marketers are using the power of viral marketing to drive hordes of traffic to their sites. So why is viral marketing so powerful, and how can you utilize it to it's full potential?

Viral marketing is best achieved when you initially create something of value that will subsequently spread around the internet like a virus, as people pass it on and effectively promote it themselves, meaning no further action is required from yourself.

This makes viral marketing extremely powerful because it is often very cheap to implement, if done correctly, and the results can be almost instantaneous. Not only that, but as word spreads, the overall effects can be long-lasting and you can often continue to see results in years to come.

As you can see, this is a far quicker and more cost-effective way to drive targeted visitors to your site than spending many weeks and months trying to optimize your site to get high search engine rankings, for example, which can take several months before you start to see any results.

So how do you successfully create this viral effect?

Well the first method I want to discuss is writing articles. This is one of my favourite ways of generating traffic to my various websites. By writing good quality articles and distributing them to various article directories you can get significant traffic not only from the article directories themselves, but also as a result of ezine publishers picking up your article and running it in their ezine.

Because you can include a resource box with each article, where you can provide a link to your site, you can generate significant traffic from people clicking this link to find out more about you and your website. For greater distribution you can even approach website owners and ezine publishers directly to offer them your articles.

Another form of content that you can produce relatively easily, that can be passed around virally, are free reports and ebooks. Again by creating good content, placing links to your site within the content, and offering giveaway rights, you can effectively see your work being shared all over the internet as people offer it to their list, offer it as a bonus to a paid product, upload it to a forum, etc.

To create an even greater viral effect, you can make parts of the content rebrandable. For example, by placing affiliate links within your content, and stating that the recipient of the report can change these affiliate links to their own, there is a greater incentive for them to pass on the report to others.

Another way of creating a viral effect with your reports or ebooks is by not making the product free, but instead offering master resale rights to the product. This is also very effective because people can actually profit from selling as many copies of your work as possible.

The last point I want to make relates to the actual website that you are trying to drive traffic to. You should try and make your website as compelling and unique as possible so people will gladly talk about your site on forums, blogs, and social networking sites. Don't be afraid to be different or do things that other websites aren't doing because this is what will make people talk about your site and share it with other people.

Let me give you a case in point. One of my niche websites talks about tips and strategies for winning on betting exchanges. I was a full-time trader on the exchanges for four years so I know quite a lot about this area. Anyway, instead of selling this information in the form of an ebook, like many marketers are doing, I gave away this information for free on my site.

This had a dramatic viral effect because although I have promoted the site to some extent, the vast majority of my traffic (around 400 visitors per day) comes from other people talking about my site on forums, discussion boards, and social networking sites. Therefore this means I have a constant supply of traffic to my site with no additional effort needed from myself. I simply cash the cheques from the strategically placed affiliate links on my site.

So to conclude, if you haven't yet considered viral marketing as a way of driving traffic to your site, then you should seriously start considering it. It's one of the most underused but effective ways of driving traffic to your site.
About the Author
James Woolley is a full-time marketer who successfully runs a number of niche websites. His main site helps people make money online, and is essentially a complete internet marketing resource guide.
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