Accept this fact. Some viral marketing strategies work better than others. Few work as well as the simple Hotmail strategy. But below are the six basic elements you hope to include in your strategy. A viral marketing strategy need not contain all these elements, but the more elements it embraces, the more powerful the results are likely to be. An effective viral marketing strategy:
Your customers aren’t going to want to refer a friend if it’s the first thing you ask them to do. In fact, if you start an interaction by asking for a referral, you may lose the sale altogether. You have to wait until the right time. This is also where it can be very beneficial to have insight into how your prospects funnel through to become customers and the journey thereafter. Studies have shown that the moments following a shopping transaction - commonly referred to as a "shopper's high" - are a highly effective time to ask for a referral, since the rush of the purchase is still lingering. Or, you might wait until after the customer has received the product or services and are satisfied. And not every incentive has to be directly linked to referrals. For example, are there ways that you can reward customers who make X or more purchases within a given timeframe? Offering free shipping, doubling rewards points, or providing additional discounts for your most loyal and enthusiastic customers is a great way to energize true word-of-mouth referrals.

Content marketing is more than just blogging. When executed correctly, content including articles, guides (like this one), webinars, and videos can be powerful growth drivers for your business. Focus on building trust and producing amazing quality. And most of all, make sure that you’re capturing the right metrics. Create content to generate ROI. Measure the right results. This chapter will teach you how.

Online referral marketing is the internet-based, or Software as a Service (SaaS) approach, to traditional referral marketing. By tracking customer behavior online through the use of web browser cookies and similar technology, online referral marketing can potentially increase brand awareness, referrals and, ultimately, revenue. Many platforms allow organizations to see their referral marketing return on investment (ROI), and to optimize their campaigns to improve results. Many of the newest systems provide users with the same experience whether they are on a desktop or mobile device. Offline referral marketers sometimes use trackable business cards. Trackable business cards typically contain QR codes linking them to online content for sale while providing a way to track that sale back to the person whose card was scanned.
Brian Dean, an SEO expert and the creator of BackLinko, uses SEO tactics to rank #1 on YouTube for keywords like “on page SEO” and “video SEO”. Initially, Dean admits his YouTube account struggled to get any views. Employing SEO methods like keyword optimization has enabled Dean to rise to #1 on YouTube for search results related to his business. He published his full strategy on Backlinko.
Let’s say that you’re running a company that specializes in shoes. Your customer base knows that you’re a shoe expert but also values your input on other high quality products — like handbags. Maybe your customers have asked you about handbags, and you find yourself recommending the same options over and over again. As a shoe vendor, you’re acting as a marketer for the handbag company.
All viral marketing examples — deliberate or accidental — have three things in common: the message, the messenger and the environment. Each part must be leveraged to create a successful viral marketing campaign. Viral marketing campaigns may be created by any size of business and can stand alone or be a part of a larger traditional campaign. The campaigns themselves may utilize a number of tools, such as videos, games, images, email and text messaging, free products, appealing to the emotions of users or viewers, raising awareness to a worthy cause, and making such products, ideas or media easy to consume and share. Viral marketing often relies on the help of an influencer, who has a large network of followers.

"All of the staff at Internet Marketing Ninjas have done an incredible job helping us with our SEO strategy. We are always particularly delighted to speak with Jim Boykin during our performance reviews since he has incredible SEO knowledge that has helped us put together a winning strategy for our business. The professionalism and thoroughness of the IMN staff is greatly appreciated and we look forward to continuing to work with them moving forward." Bryan M.
Using an omni-channel strategy is becoming increasingly important for enterprises who must adapt to the changing expectations of consumers who want ever-more sophisticated offerings throughout the purchasing journey. Retailers are increasingly focusing on their online presence, including online shops that operate alongside existing store-based outlets. The "endless aisle" within the retail space can lead consumers to purchase products online that fit their needs while retailers do not have to carry the inventory within the physical location of the store. Solely Internet-based retailers are also entering the market; some are establishing corresponding store-based outlets to provide personal services, professional help, and tangible experiences with their products.[24]

Sponsored search (also called sponsored links, search ads, or paid search) allows advertisers to be included in the sponsored results of a search for selected keywords. Search ads are often sold via real-time auctions, where advertisers bid on keywords.[19]:118[53] In addition to setting a maximum price per keyword, bids may include time, language, geographical, and other constraints.[19]:118 Search engines originally sold listings in order of highest bids.[19]:119 Modern search engines rank sponsored listings based on a combination of bid price, expected click-through rate, keyword relevancy and site quality.[21]
It is important for a firm to reach out to consumers and create a two-way communication model, as digital marketing allows consumers to give back feed back to the firm on a community based site or straight directly to the firm via email.[24] Firms should seek this long term communication relationship by using multiple forms of channels and using promotional strategies related to their target consumer as well as word-of mouth marketing.[24]

Using influencers in viral marketing provides companies several benefits. It enables companies to spend little time and budget on their marketing communication and brand awareness promotion.[47] For example, Alberto Zanot, in the 2006 FIFA Football World Cup, shared Zinedine Zidane's headbutt against Italy and engaged more than 1.5 million viewers in less than the very first hour. Secondly, it enhances the credibility of messages.[48][49][50][51][52] These trust-based relationships grab the audience's attention, create customers' demand, increase sales and loyalty, or simply drive customers' attitude and behavior.[50][51] In the case of Coke, Millennials changed their mind about the product, from parents' drink to the beverage for teens.[53] It built up Millennials' social needs by 'sharing a Coke' with their friends. This created a deep connection with Gen Y, dramatically increased sales (+11% compared with last year) and market share (+1.6%).[53]
If affiliates don’t answer your offers in the affiliate network, it’s time to put your sales hat on and perform some email outreach. There are a lot of different cold email template strategies to use, but the five easy steps to a good cold email are: creating a list of targeted affiliates, finding the right contact information, making the emails personal, providing value, and following-up.
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