Two not-too-easy but extremely effective marketing methods are getting reviews of your product/services and viral marketing. Another method that looks easier but, in reality, is not is social media marketing. You need to have a vast professional network to make these methods work in most cases. You might get lucky sometimes, but for the most part these methods involve hard work.
If you are an extremely well known seller or a service or product, bloggers will review you without your asking for it. But a very small percentage of sellers fall into this category. Chances are that you have never had a review of any of your products or services.
The biggest hurdle is providing a reason for others to review you. What do they get in return? Do they get a link back from your site? Do they get paid? Or do they get affiliate commission if someone visits you through their site? The last one is a win-win situation and borders on affiliate marketing. Paying for individual reviews doesn’t usually work well.
What about link exchanges? Well, they don’t work too well either. If you are looking for some serious marketing, you will need a few reviews every week. Your blog roll will stretch for miles after the first few weeks!
Jokes apart, nothing has ever given webmasters better results than viral marketing. One successful campaign can give you more visitors than thousands of dollars spent on Adwords. But the problem is that most true viral marketing campaigns happen by luck, not by planning. We say ‘true’ viral marketing campaigns, since it is possible to successfully plan a viral marketing campaign by using astroturfing (more on this later).
Two very simple rules of creating any viral campaign are sending across a message that touches people on an emotional level and totally surprising them with an unexpected activity. We dug up a few of the best videos that went viral. A quick look at them shows that they all have a few elements in common. All of them make the user sit up and say, “wow!” That is the kind of reaction that you need to generate from people if you are to successfully use viral marketing.
Social media is a great way for some word-of-mouth publicity. It can be used on its own or to complement viral marketing. On its own, it can be used by allowing users to share links to your site by integrating social media buttons (like Digg, StumbleUpon, Like, Tweet, etc). Re-tweets are famous for their ability to instantly shoot up traffic to a website. Facebook like button does a great job of getting visitors too. Sites like Reditt and Stumbleupon, though lost in the noise about Twitter and Facebook, still hold a lot of potential and you should be looking at them seriously.
Remember we mentioned astroturfing a little while ago and then completely forgot about it? Well, we didn’t really forget about it. Tomorrow, we will be featuring a whole article on how to use Astroturfing for some great results!