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Viral Marketing and It’s Place in Your Business

When most people hear that there is a virus in the area, they begin to get uncomfortable and feel as if they are going to end up catching it themselves. Whenever Internet marketers hear that there is a virus going on, they tend to get excited about it and to study it closely in order to figure out how they can do it themselves. I’m not talking about a virus that makes you sick, I’m talking about viral marketing, something that can take your business to a new level very quickly.

The basics behind a viral marketing campaign are quite simple to understand. You begin with an e-book, webpage, video or other online service that is easy for people to pass around. You make the information compelling in some way or another, perhaps giving a comedic slant to it or making it very controversial. Either way, people are going to hopefully find it interesting and are going to pass it from one person to the other. This is the entire concept that drives the number of online businesses, such as youtube. You can use it for yourself and drive additional traffic to your site automatically. Here are some of them most popular ways to do so.

One of the ways that you can do this is by offering a free product that is downloadable and easy to pass around. In many cases, this comes in the form of a downloadable e-book, usually in PDF format. You would want to make sure that this e-book was compelling and that it offered enough information that was of interest to the audience that they would pass it on to somebody else. Other forms of downloadable products that can be used are small programs that are interesting enough to warrant being passed along.

Another very popular type of viral marketing is done through online video. It is not difficult to see the popularity of online video, considering some of the new websites that are popping up which offer this very service. Many of these are some of the more popular sites on the Internet and by offering videos to your users, you’re giving them a compelling reason to come to your website and to tell others about it. The real secret is making sure that the video is interesting to your audience and that it offers a slant which will cause them to pass it along. Make sure that you include your URL in the video as well, just so that people will be able to type it into their browser.

Although viral marketing in this way is an excellent way for you to gain additional traffic, there are times whenever you might run a viral campaign that flops. The beauty of this is the fact that you can simply run another and another until you get one that takes hold and really takes off. Once one of these campaigns begins to go, it will quickly get a mind of its own and you would be surprised with how much traffic you will receive as a result of it.

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There’s ice.
going viral
Image by plums_deify
So I was challenged by Chris Malloy for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. You might have heard of this.

At this point, the 2014 round of the challenge has most definitely reached viral proportions. As of this writing, the challenge has raised .7 million dollars. I congratulate the ALS organization.

You know what though? ALS is just one disease that needs help. There are many, many charitable organizations that do good work every day. I applaud ALS for their creativity in getting their message across; my money is not for them.

I choose to donate instead to the American Red Cross, which is an amazing organization. I gave 7 years worth of volunteer work, helping certify emergency responders to help make my community safer, and have seen those people I assisted go on to serve as nurses, doctors, and EMTs. They have saved countless lives.

The American Red Cross holds donations for blood, to which I am eternally grateful. My father had a quadruple bypass before I moved out of Washington, and it is because of those blood donations my father would survive such an invasive, potentially devastating procedure.

So no, I’m not going to pour a bucket of ice water on my head. What you see above is a relatively quickly built representation of a nurse’s hat, circa 1880, or the best approximation I could find to honor Clara Barton, who is credited with founding the American Red Cross.

So, there you have it. There’s ice, there’s a bucket, and I am choosing to support the American Red Cross!

Since most people I know at this point have already endured the bucket of ice, I simply ask this: donate to a charity or cause that’s near and dear to your heart and does the good you want to see in the world. That’s all.

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