Even the most viral of content needs to be promoted a bit before it will really take off. The idea is to get a large base of initial viewers. That way, the spread of the content will take off much faster, and you are not in danger of a good viral campaign fizzling out.
These 20 ideas to promote a viral marketing campaign should keep you busy, and will help you get your viral marketing campaign off the ground.
The juggernaut of viral marketing, YouTube is the most powerful medium available to share video content. In a matter of hours a video can receive thousands of views from people around the world.
If your business isn’t actively building an e-mail list it’s time to start. When you have a list of people who have given you permission to send them periodic e-mails, you have a viral marketing weapon you can use any time you want.
Reddit is an community based news website. However, unlike regular news websites Reddit allows users to pick what will show up on page 1 by allowing users to vote up content they like.
It takes quite a good campaign to get traffic on Reddit, but it will result in a lot of exposure if you can pull it off.
Twitter is a great tool for getting extra eyes on a viral marketing campaign. Like e-mail, you need a pre-existing group of followers to get any mileage out of Twitter. If you have a strong base of followers, or if you know people who will Retweet your content, Twitter may be able to help you launch your viral marketing campaigns.
#5) Guest Blog Posting
Guest blog posting involves writing a blog post on blogs that have a lot of traffic. In order to do this, you really have to know blog owners in your industry.
If you plan to release a viral campaign, start building some relationships with blog owners in your industry who you would like to approach to make a post about your campaign when it launches.
#6) Online Press Releases
Submit a press release to free or paid press release websites which includes words people would type who would be interested in your viral marketing campaign.
Press release websites such as PRWeb have thousands of publishers (such as newspapers and website owners) who have opted in to receive press releases related to their industry. If your campaign is truly viral, these press releases will get picked up by dozens or maybe even hundreds of bloggers, and could lead to some great exposure.
#7) Online Article Writing
There are hundreds of article directories that accept articles. Write a few articles about your viral marketing campaign, and distribute them to the most popular article directories for some extra eyeballs to your campaign.
#8) Google AdWords
Advertise your viral marketing campaign through Google AdWords in the search results for keywords related to your campaign, or on websites that have visitors who would be interested in the campaign (and likely to spread it).
Unlike most of the ideas we’ve talked about so far, this one costs money.
#9) Backchannels – Limewire, Torrent Websites
Many people think of Limewire and Torrent Websites as being shady and unscrupulous. Yes, they are where people share pirated software and download free music.
But... they are also places where you can distribute legitimate content. After all, that’s what they are *wink* made for (and what the owners say when they are taken to court). If you want eyeballs, this is a perfectly legal and effective way to market your viral content, even though they seem a bit shady.
MySpace has fallen off the radar a bit… but, that’s because the audience is mostly too young to buy anything. However, who shares things more than any other group? Young people of course. So don’t write them off when talking about viral marketing.
Facebook is clearly a great place to launch a viral marketing campaign. And there are so many great ways to do it:
• Posting About it on Your Wall • Asking Friends to Post About it on Their Walls • Creating a Fan Page • Creating a Group Page • Facebook Pay Per Click Advertising
Flickr is a popular photo sharing website. Flickr offers users the opportunity to join groups, and post photos to share with those groups. If you can find groups on Flickr related to your viral marketing campaign, you may be able to attract significant attention to your campaign.
#12) Forum Marketing
There are hundreds of forums on every topic. Join forums related to your viral marketing campaign, build up a bit of a reputation in each one, and then announce your campaign on each forum you participate in.
If you are active in a forum, put a description of your campaign in your Signature if the forum allows it to get a few extra views for your campaign.
#13) Google Alerts
Google Alerts helps you identify webpages that are talking about any subject whatsoever. You enter a phrase you want Google to watch for, and Google e-mails you whenever they find a page that contains the phrase.
Simply visit each page and leave a comment in the comments section of that page with a link to your campaign. Now, there is a proper way to do this, and an annoying/spammy way to do this. Just ask yourself, if it was my blog would this comment annoy me? If the answer is yes, don’t post your comment on that webpage. Try to contribute something useful, and post your link as a resource rather than a blatant self promotion.
Still, Google Alerts is the best way to find blogs and websites that are currently talking about things closely related to your campaign.
#14) Complimentary Content / Crosspromotion
Another way to promote viral content is by creating complimentary content that attracts the type of people who will be interested in your viral marketing campaign, and then promoting your viral marketing campaign to those users while they are at your website.
#15) Share This Widgets
People may share your content without using a Share This Widget, but it definitely increases your chances if you make it as easy as possible.
Two popular applications are www.sharethis.com, and www.wibiya.com.
Squidoo and Hubpages each have vibrant communities you can take advantage of. Simply create a Squidoo lens and Hubpage about your viral marketing campaign, and you will likely see some added traffic. You can get extra benefit by promoting your Squidoo lens and Hubpage , but that’s a subject for another article.
StumbleUpon is a great social networking site because it is one of the most accessible for building traffic. As soon as you’ve stumbled the page you like, others will start to see it, and it doesn’t take hundreds of Stumbles to start getting traffic like most social bookmarking websites-- although it sure helps!
Digg is the most popular social bookmarking site on the Internet. As a result, if your site makes the first page you can bet on receiving a lot of traffic.
Digg is a great tool which should be a part of every viral marketing campaign.
#19) Friends, Family,and Coworkers
Start your campaign off by telling every one of your friends, family, and coworkers about your campaign. Hopefully, they'll all do the same, and your campaign will truly go viral.
#20) Traditional Offline Advertising Methods
This last suggestion could spawn a whole new article. But we’ll keep it simple. Any marketing method people use to promote a business can be used to promote a viral marketing campaign. From radio to newspaper to networking, all of them work.