Applying Viral Marketing

What Is Viral Marketing?

Viral marketing is one of the more powerful communication mediums in marketing, and yet, due to its complexities and people’s little understanding of it, it remains one of the most difficult marketing methods to implement. This article will help you place some of the principles of viral marketing into perspective and hopefully give you a basic understanding of the topic and some strategies to implement it.

Let’s picture a scenario where you are a starting entrepreneur with a business of selling chocolates to a small neighborhood. To begin the business, your stakeholders must first be informed of the product that your business sells; therefore, marketing plays an important role in the launch of the business.

The most straightforward way of selling your chocolates would be achieved through direct door-to-door marketing. This involves approaching one household at a time with hopes of closing a sale with each attempt. Of course, this method is inefficient and time consuming with no guarantees of a high conversion rate. A second method would involve sending direct mail or print adverts that you place in mailboxes throughout the neighborhood. While this approach saves time and increases awareness, you would have little hope in attracting any sales as your message will be placed amongst a clutter of other junk mail. Also, with such a small population, the profits may not cover printing cost for the adverts. Finally, you can broadcast your message through mediums such as radio or television and attract a fair sum of consumers but the high cost of doing so may not be affordable to a small starting business.

The role of word-of-mouth advertising is to generate buzz by getting the whole neighborhood to be talking about your chocolates. Not only will it be relatively cheap, but also the spread of message through word-of-mouth can have potentially epidemic effects. The exclusive use of word-of-mouth advertising on the Internet is known as viral marketing and we will take a look at some simple techniques of applying this method to your business.

APPLYING VIRAL MARKETING: While the prospects of viral marketing are appealing, we must bear in mind that for every case of successful viral marketing campaigns, there are hundreds more that failed. There is a low chance of success when creating a viral campaign. However, by following a list of simple guidelines as listed below, you can drastically increase your odds. The lists are the essence of a successful viral marketing campaign compiled from a list of various sources and real life observations.

FREE PRODUCT: giving out free trials and products may be overrated but remains fast and effective ways of generating buzz. By providing gratis value to your consumers, you encourage word-of-mouth communication, as they will tend to inform their peers of the free product you are offering. In the case of the previous example, handing out free chocolates in the neighbourhood would attract people to you and would generate enough buzz to increase brand awareness.

INTERESTING MESSAGE/STORY: People love sharing interesting stories with one another, and it is this inherent psychological motive that pushes the sales of gossip magazines. Similarly, if your product is accompanied by an interesting/funny story, it will encourage buyers to forward the story (and thus product and brand) to other stakeholders. In 1999, the film ‘The Blair Witch Project’ creatively released a series of stories and rumors about a group of lost teenagers throughout the Internet prior to the launch of the film to generate awareness for its movie. The film turned out to be a huge box office success

INCENTIVES: An easy way to encourage people to promote your product through word of mouth would be to provide incentives for them to do so. This is most prevalent in gym memberships, which usually include discounts, and perks for those who ‘bring a friend’. The growth of affiliate programs on the Internet also exemplifies this motive. By providing additional value to customer ‘promoters’ encourages them to spread the word of mouth.

EASY CHANNEL OF COMMUNICATION: If you have already convinced your customer to forward the message along, you want to make the process as easy for them as possible. This involves reducing the process of information forwarding and one effective and commonly used method today is to direct them to social networking sites whereby a click of a button can inform his network of peers that he ‘likes’ your product.

PROVIDING A GOOD PRODUCT: While it may seem like an obvious point, many people underestimate the importance of having a genuinely innovative and ‘good’ product. By selling a product that enhances the consumer’s lifestyle or is able to improve one’s quality of life does not need much for the satisfied customer to recommend your product to their peers. If your chocolates can cure baldness, you would have no need to sell it to middle aged men-they will come to you. Altruism is a powerful motivator.

Best Approach for Email Marketing

Selling products or services via the internet these days is commonplace. Due to the rapid progress in this mode of business marketing people are taking more and more interest. On the other hand a fast growth in online business dealing is also observed.This also requires a fast and reliable source of communication. In this situation when everyone is need of quick source of marketing, email marketing is in a sense a blessing for many.

Email marketing tools are significant due to their extensive technical support worldwide. At the same time it provides continuous updates and plug in facility that enhance your marketing efficiently. It is fast cost effective and reliable source of marketing. With the help of email marketing you can achieve high goals in the field of marketing. Gone are the days when you need to hire advertising companies and design ads, handbills or brochures for your campaign. It was a costly and long term method of advertising. However, now with the help of software you can achieve the similar and in some case more effective results in marketing your product or service.

There are a lot of email marketing approaches. However, one of the best and most effective are to create a website of your company and display your product or service there with essential basic information. Then Attract people so that they subscribe to your site with their email address. From here, your marketing campaign would be started.

When we talk about email approaches, there are two popular methods.

1. Buy service of a marketing firm.

2. Direct through software.

An online email service provider provides bulk email marketing.They market your product effectively via emailing to thousands of people in a very efficient manner. However, it is little expensive method no matter work better.

The next good approach is direct emailing. It is done through email software. As compare to a campaign run by a company, it is really cost effective and fast. You need not to consult any firm or sign a deal, just need to purchase software and sit before your computer and start your email marketing and surely you will find it quick easy and interesting.

Direct email marketing provides huge benefits. In this strategy all your work is done through email marketing software.

This particular software is easily available in market. When you search online, you can even find freeware. In that case you do not even need to pay something. They are best for small business marketing campaign and you can manage it single handedly. Nevertheless, this free email marketing software does not allow users to take the advantages of advanced option available only for paid version. However, one can at least get start with them and later can update it by paying little fee.

What Is Digital Marketing? A Guide to Marketing in Today’s Digital World

In the world of business development and branding, going digital is all the buzz. So just what is digital marketing and how can we use it to grow our businesses?

Digital Marketing Defined

Digital marketing is the advertising and promotion of businesses and their brands through digital media channels. Digital media, at the moment, includes websites, social media, radio, television, mobile and even forms of traditionally non-digital media such as billboards and transit signs. Essentially any marketing media that is delivered electronically is considered digital marketing.

This leaves only various forms of person-to-person (P2P) marketing, print advertising and direct marketing outside of the digital marketing umbrella. Even then, print ads, direct mail, print directories, billboards and posters are all starting to connect to their digital counterparts. With items like URL landing pages, QR codes, web banner advertising, online directories and text codes, traditional marketing and advertising almost always has a digital marketing connection.

Why the Focus on Digital Media?

The shift to digital media is being driven by marketing agencies, business owners and consumers alike. The ever-increasing demand to show quantifiable results makes going digital a dream for the digital marketing agency. Most digital media, including websites, social media and mobile advertising is much easier to track than traditional marketing media such as print advertising.

For business owners, many forms of digital advertising are very low cost. Having a web presence, engaging customers in conversations through social media and e-mail marketing are low cost alternatives to print advertising and direct mail. These digital channels are available to businesses of any size, and help to even the playing field for start-ups, small businesses and independent consultants seeking new business.

For consumers, the fast pace of life makes digital advertising a must. When consumers are in need of goods and services, gone are the days of thumbing through a phonebook to find them. Now, we whip out our mobile devices or head to our computers for answers – and we find them fast.

Using Digital Media to Build Your Business and Brand

No matter what size your business is – large or small to medium sized business / enterprise (SMB or SME) – you can effectively market your business through low-cost digital channels. The foundation of your marketing efforts will be your website. Invest wisely in your website, and be sure that it does the following:

Adequately represents your business and brand (look and feel, messaging)
Adequately speaks to your target audience
Can be found by searchers on top search engines
Is up-to-date and easily navigable
Provides multiple channels for customer communication
Connects to other marketing efforts
It is recommended that you work with a professional web design firm that is skilled in web development and search engine optimization. Because your website is the foundation to and from which all other digital channels will lead, it should be considered one of your top business investments.

Once you have your website complete, the next steps would be to launch regular monthly or bi-monthly e-mail campaigns, and connect with customers via social media. If you are truly on a shoestring budget, these are efforts that can be done in-house (by someone with the proper knowledge) or for a low cost by an outside digital marketing agency. Be sure that all of your efforts lead customers back to your website where they can fully engage with your business, products and services, and choose the channels through which they contact you.

If you’re interested in getting aggressive with search marketing, you can set aside some digital marketing dollars for search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising. Many businesses today rely heavily on being found online to gain new customers. A common misconception among business owners is that simply having a website means that customers will find it. Not so. Your site must be built with specific key words and phrases, meta data, page content and linking strategies that will help it reach top search rankings.

Because many key words and phrases have stiff competition for top search rankings, you will need to supplement your organic search engine optimization efforts with pay-per-click advertising. Getting established with pay-per-click advertising campaigns can be a little daunting, but with a little time, effort and instruction, that too can be accomplished in-house, or for a reasonable cost through an outside digital marketing agency.

Beyond e-mail, social media marketing and search engine marketing, you can venture into a host of other digital marketing efforts. Mobile advertising, radio, television, electronic billboards and much more are available as marketing outlets. Whatever digital efforts you choose, they should all connect and tie into your foundation – your company website.

If you have the means, a wise investment would be to engage the services of a digital marketing agency to assist in your marketing efforts. Today, many digital agencies offer multiple levels of service to accommodate businesses large and small.

Digidaze is a digital marketing agency in Maryland that offers digital marketing services to small to medium sized Maryland businesses. We are a full-service digital marketing agency in MD providing a host of in-house digital marketing agency services.

Top 3 Reasons Why Banks Need the Aid of Marketing Incentives

Banks have started to implement incentive marketing because of the heightened competition there now is in the financial services field. They do this as they try to keep their existing clients, persuading these individuals to subscribe to more services while also gaining new customers through referrals. New clients are also gained by presenting them with marketing incentives. Although the banks get to enjoy a wider customer base in the process, the customers also benefits from incentive marketing by getting higher deposit rates, reduced interest rates, gifts or other perks. Banks that are gearing up against competition offer innovative marketing incentives, and the following are the top 3 reasons why.

Gain More Customers

Banks use incentive marketing to attract more clients. This is a major reason why banks employ incentive marketing. Business is brisk when there are more clients. When business is doing well, income levels are also at its peak. At the present time, almost all banks give out marketing incentives to clients who’ve opted to open a new account like basic checking, current, or daily savings account. Some banks that utilize incentive marketing often offer cash rewards or other privileges to clients who decide to transfer their accounts or just open a new one.

Additional marketing incentives are normally granted to clients who avail of a bank’s direct deposit or automatic bill-pay program. These are also offered when existing clients have successfully referred a prospective client to the same bank. This practice is very popular among banking institutions and typically, rewards of up to 50 US dollars are doled out to the existing client who made the referral while the new client is usually rewarded with gifts or tokens.

Sell Additional Services

The benefits of an incentive marketing program should not end with just drawing clients to the bank and keeping them. It must likewise entice existing clients to avail of other banking programs and services offered by the bank. A lot of banks nowadays give out marketing incentives just to encourage clients to try out their other services or products. To achieve this, banks usually post information about new or improved service at the bank’s mezzanine area or on huge glass windows so even onlookers can see and read them.

Incentive marketing can offer a reward to customers in exchange for making direct deposits or paying most of their bills online. New customers can also be rewarded when they choose these options as an add-on service when opening a new account. These types of marketing incentives create additional client activity, and these customers are transformed into an optimal source of profit as the client-bank interaction is transformed into a much broader relationship.

New Clients through Referrals

All businesses, banks included, benefit from word-of-mouth advertising as a simple but fast way of acquiring more and more customers. Banks employ incentive marketing to make existing clients feel that they are important. Clients feel good about this and they are more likely to refer their favorite bank to their family, friends, co-workers, and other acquaintances. When a bank uses marketing incentives, it usually gains new clients. Cost-wise, this is one of the most effective methods of getting more business out of clients.

Although incentive marketing costs a little more than direct mail, e-mail blasts or cold calling to tap possible customers and generate new business, the huge amount of benefits you will potentially reap is beyond compare. You are most likely to keep customers that you won via marketing incentives compared to customers you gained via other means.

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