Reach a wider audience without paying for advertisements or partnerships
When people talk about your company, whether in person or in print, it’s great publicity. An endorsement from a friend, colleague or like-minded person instills a higher level of trust in its recipient than a traditional advertisement.
Once people start talking, they tell a few interested friends, and the discussion spreads like a virus. This is the “buzz” effect, and creating it is called viral marketing.
A major benefit of viral marketing is that the discussion should only spread to people that are interested in your company’s products, because nobody wants to talk about a topic they are not interested in.
One good way to start viral marketing is to foster a community at your website where users are encouraged to contribute their comments, opinions and content.
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There are lots of ways to get users interested enough in your website to start contributing to it. You can incorporate
- Chat rooms
- Discussion boards and forums
- Commentary on articles
- Surveys and daily polls
- Clubs that meet on a regular basis
- Free games
- Classified listings and bulletin boards
- Live online events
- Opportunities to email articles to friends
All of these features can encourage people to start telling their friends and colleagues about the great people they met, the things they learned, and the rant they let off on your website—and the virus will start spreading.
Building an online community will do more than create some word-of-mouth viral buzz about your business. It will also enhance your
- Customer Loyalty
- Repeat Visitors
- Website Traffic
- Content Offerings
Another type of buzz is traditional publicity through public relations campaigns. You can learn new techniques for generating publicity online, and how to convert the unique visitors it brings to your website, by reading our Making the Most of PR and Earned Media special report. It’s a must read for anyone that needs to drive up website traffic.