Mention the word "virus" on the Internet and you'll most likely get people in a frenzy to update their antivirus software. But viral marketing is not dangerous to your computer or anyone else's for that matter. Quite the contrary, it is the kind of frenzy you should seek to create: about your products or services. Viral marketing is a form of marketing where news about your products, services, or company are spread by word-of-mouth, very much like a virus. Believe me, this is one bug you'd like everyone to catch. As word of what you're doing spreads like the flu, new customers naturally flock to your website to see what the hype is all about, thus boosting your chances of increasing profits.
Here are some great viral marketing strategies:
1) Offer Top Quality and Superior Customer Service
If viral marketing is about spreading the word, you have to give customers something to talk about, better yet, something to get excited about. Get satisfied customers to offer testimonials on your website to report on your fantastic product or top-notch customer service.
2) Write Insightful, Informative Articles
Write great articles about your niche market. Make them interesting and provide useful information. Don't forget to use the right keywords. Finally post them on several article distribution sites. An interesting article will eventually end up all over the Web.
3) Allow People to Reprint Your Articles
Post your articles on your own website. Include a resource box and the option to reprint at the bottom of each article. Encourage people to reprint your articles on their websites, in their e-zines, newsletters, magazines, or ebooks.
4) Offer Freebies
People are naturally drawn to free stuff. You can provide anything from a free consultation or trial to free screensavers, software, videos, or samples of your products.
5) Allow Embedding
Allow users to easily embed your content on their own websites.
6) Allow Users to Recommend Your Site
Make it easy for visitors to bookmark and recommend your site by facilitating a link or "AddThis" button for social networking sites like Facebook, Digg, MySpace, Twitter, and YouTube.
7) Allow Downloading
Provide users with a simple way to download content from your website, in a usable format (PDF catalogs, videos, pictures, and whitepapers).
8) Participate in Forums or Discussion Boards
You should especially use those which use signatures, thus allowing you to leave yours along with an interesting, informative post.
9) Encourage Comments
Provide your users with the chance to voice their opinion and share it with others. But don't forget to comment back. It's a great way to get a dialogue going and keep the fire burning.
10) Email Signature
Create an email signature as a mini-advertisement of your company. It shouldn't be too long, just good enough to peak people's interest and refer them back to your website. Make sure you contact others in your niche frequently by email and compliment them on their website or services, offer some advice or an opinion, or just ask a question.
11) Offer a Specialized Link Directory
Create a customized link directory of your link exchange partners; a fantastic way to direct targeted traffic to your website.
12) Get Incoming Links
Ask other sites in your niche market to link to yours. Contact site owners who provide services that compliment your own. The more popular a site is, the more traffic will be sent to your own site.
13) Use RSS Feeds
RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication". RSS Feeds are used to automatically distribute articles or content to blogs, website owners, and ezine publishers.
14) Set Up an Affiliate Program
In affiliate programs, you pay affiliate websites a commission to send you traffic, in other words, these sites have a financial incentive to link to yours and everyone wins. These affiliate websites post links to your website and are usually paid for each sale or lead they bring you.
15) Never restrict access
I you want news about what you do to spread like a virus, access to it has to be free. Do not require people to register or become members to access information. This will only discourage them.