Viral Marketing Blog

03

Duis porttitor massa non

Nulla in mi neque, nec porttitor enim. In quis mauris bibendum nunc porta feugiat ullamcorper non orci. Morbi eu ante felis. Sed tincidunt commodo nibh in volutpat. Sed adipiscing, sapien in elementum imperdiet, lectus risus elementum enim, nec pellentesque lectus turpis tristique lorem. Etiam commodo mi et orci adipiscing nec imperdiet ante consectetur. Pellentesque viverra tortor et velit accumsan a ornare diam vulputate. Mauris aliquam erat at augue mattis dapibus. Sed quis nibh eu elit ultrices fermentum eu accumsan felis. Nulla luctus dui non elit porttitor gravida. Donec velit quam, vulputate id lacinia quis, tincidunt nec nunc.

Nam eleifend quam non urna sollicitudin dapibus. Proin iaculis tortor id nisl sodales blandit. Proin lobortis est eu velit laoreet sit amet auctor massa ultrices. Aliquam erat volutpat. Nullam volutpat, felis vel ullamcorper gravida, justo odio rutrum metus, vel hendrerit ipsum odio quis augue. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Sed ultrices porttitor purus, ut porttitor elit tempor sit amet. Praesent massa metus, consequat et feugiat a, lacinia ac turpis. Cras in nisl ac tortor commodo dignissim quis et est.

Nulla eget lacus ipsum, sit amet elementum elit. Curabitur ornare orci a est sollicitudin in mattis tellus auctor. Fusce in nunc ut felis gravida aliquam id ut lacus. Donec diam mauris, egestas ac vestibulum sed, tempor vitae est. Vivamus dictum blandit tellus nec placerat. Duis et velit quam. Fusce vitae nunc nec purus interdum gravida. Praesent lacus odio, hendrerit sit amet rhoncus eu, lobortis eget leo.

Nulla eu nisi ut metus viverra tristique ac id sem. Nulla pretium, mi condimentum suscipit volutpat, quam mi posuere turpis, vel rhoncus tortor magna a lorem. Sed at convallis magna. Nullam sollicitudin dui et sem adipiscing scelerisque. Aliquam adipiscing velit nec ligula facilisis sagittis. In hendrerit lectus sed ante gravida et auctor lorem tincidunt. Sed rhoncus volutpat lectus at hendrerit. Maecenas at diam purus.

Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Vivamus lacinia feugiat erat, imperdiet vestibulum erat commodo at. Donec id velit nisl. Etiam ac diam non elit ullamcorper cursus quis ac ante. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Vestibulum erat sapien, consequat et porttitor eget, dapibus et nibh. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Praesent molestie porta nulla in vestibulum. Proin pulvinar tempor libero, vel dictum augue mollis ut. Cras quis dictum dui. Vestibulum eu justo nec ante condimentum porta. Suspendisse at volutpat purus. In varius condimentum dolor et placerat. Sed facilisis, magna vitae adipiscing bibendum, nisl orci blandit mi, cursus aliquam lorem nibh ac dolor. Quisque ut suscipit urna.

Curabitur in velit sed arcu venenatis fringilla in scelerisque massa. Proin euismod blandit elit, nec ultrices nibh feugiat vel. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Duis et nunc diam, ac laoreet quam. Vivamus commodo, magna ac laoreet fermentum, nulla turpis pulvinar dolor, sed eleifend ante sapien vitae velit. Mauris gravida aliquam ante ac ultricies. Nam quis lacinia velit. Proin nec egestas nisi.

Praesent urna libero, mollis sagittis condimentum ut, varius vitae est. Maecenas nec metus magna, at iaculis magna. Ut ultrices nulla ac diam elementum cursus sed nec nisi. In dolor purus, lacinia non placerat et, semper a dolor. Proin lorem felis, lobortis vel vulputate sit amet, pretium a arcu. Fusce in risus a tellus dignissim luctus tincidunt vitae purus. Integer sed neque tincidunt eros elementum pellentesque eu et eros.

Integer elit purus, rutrum euismod dictum in, facilisis id dolor. Aenean a orci non ipsum sollicitudin venenatis at eget lacus. Donec nulla odio, tincidunt ut viverra volutpat, gravida sit amet metus. Phasellus feugiat congue ligula, a aliquam quam ultrices commodo. Nunc tellus dolor, tempor vel aliquam in, varius vitae sapien. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Aenean nec tortor enim, ut luctus risus. Duis pharetra, nibh sit amet scelerisque euismod, nisi tortor imperdiet leo, id eleifend lorem dolor non ipsum. Aenean est lorem, porta eu scelerisque id, mattis sed nulla. Morbi a malesuada turpis. Quisque diam eros, rhoncus pretium porttitor in, pellentesque et dui. Duis in ante nibh. Nunc vulputate pharetra metus, id hendrerit diam dapibus vitae.

06

Sed hendrerit faucibus tortor

Donec vel aliquam felis. Proin congue magna nulla. Mauris mi felis, malesuada quis vestibulum a, bibendum eu elit. Vivamus ut ligula et urna molestie hendrerit. Cras augue nisl, adipiscing ut ultrices ultrices, interdum a ante. Nunc pellentesque felis magna, nec gravida orci. Duis a justo odio, ut tincidunt arcu. Nulla et nisl libero, egestas imperdiet turpis. Cras nulla turpis, placerat et feugiat a, hendrerit hendrerit lorem.

Vestibulum sit amet lacus at nisl molestie volutpat. Vestibulum elementum mauris nec orci fringilla ac faucibus nisi varius. Etiam id urna magna, ut adipiscing nisi. Etiam urna quam, blandit vel rhoncus quis, aliquam non odio. Nulla a felis et elit viverra tempus eu sit amet est. Sed suscipit, libero sit amet bibendum adipiscing, nulla urna laoreet nunc, a luctus nulla tortor adipiscing ante. Integer elementum pharetra odio, eu tempor lacus egestas sed. Maecenas ut urna nisl, vitae dignissim diam. Integer ut nibh tortor, ultricies posuere dolor. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas eget sapien ante, congue gravida mauris. Duis diam turpis, porta quis condimentum sed, tempor eu neque. In eros erat, posuere ac pharetra ac, accumsan ac tellus. Suspendisse id venenatis neque.

Aliquam erat volutpat. Vivamus lobortis rutrum nisl at viverra. Quisque iaculis ligula a lectus ornare vel elementum arcu blandit. Proin dignissim urna commodo velit hendrerit at euismod urna elementum. Sed sapien libero, vehicula sed porttitor vel, sodales ac lacus. Sed in purus arcu, ut ornare est. Mauris dictum dolor non leo accumsan iaculis. Pellentesque neque magna, fermentum at blandit id, aliquet nec sapien. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Nam turpis massa, sodales vitae aliquam a, dignissim tempus massa. Pellentesque at tortor vitae ligula semper venenatis id eget odio. Sed congue diam vel elit tristique et mollis tortor vehicula.

Sed scelerisque dignissim libero. Quisque suscipit est a magna interdum suscipit. Sed sit amet ipsum nisl. Vivamus sit amet magna est. Cras gravida risus tortor, in faucibus quam. Phasellus ac arcu vel ante lobortis gravida. Nam et ullamcorper dui. In bibendum quam mi. Aliquam sed mi at nisl varius pellentesque id a dolor. Curabitur congue nisi sed turpis faucibus vitae convallis eros eleifend.

Mauris quis mauris sapien, vel hendrerit ligula. Sed aliquet varius tellus, vel euismod tellus vestibulum et. Phasellus ullamcorper neque ut ante pharetra et accumsan dolor fermentum. Phasellus venenatis suscipit sem, sed ultricies dui fringilla a. Curabitur vitae sapien elit. Nam pulvinar interdum mi ac semper. Quisque orci ligula, fermentum sit amet scelerisque ac, dapibus et dolor. Donec ut lobortis nunc. Donec ut metus tortor.

Donec ullamcorper orci ac augue vulputate eu faucibus nisi tincidunt. Donec tristique mauris sit amet ligula eleifend hendrerit pellentesque urna commodo. Sed ac lorem enim, id pretium turpis. Pellentesque congue lectus vitae sapien feugiat aliquet. Quisque suscipit, orci vel dignissim pharetra, ante orci ullamcorper tortor, non laoreet lacus velit eget neque. Donec feugiat aliquam tortor, eu egestas felis gravida vel. Etiam semper, lorem eget scelerisque molestie, elit arcu sodales urna, vel laoreet arcu justo eu orci. Morbi semper, arcu sed pellentesque rutrum, eros enim mattis nibh, id blandit quam magna vitae leo. Nam dictum pulvinar sapien. Morbi consequat dignissim iaculis. Aliquam interdum laoreet lectus ac congue. Ut commodo, augue eget mollis dignissim, augue lorem bibendum est, nec dapibus velit risus id massa. Fusce ullamcorper quam vel nisl aliquam sit amet egestas metus interdum. Suspendisse sed neque tortor. Duis placerat, turpis nec venenatis consequat, turpis velit placerat odio, quis luctus elit ipsum et est.

04

Proin malesuada pretium risus

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam nunc elit, molestie vel lobortis nec, sollicitudin in lorem. Praesent consectetur, ligula sit amet imperdiet varius, urna nulla aliquet tellus, non lobortis dolor neque non ipsum. Cras eu diam non tellus placerat fermentum quis sit amet mi. Aliquam ultrices augue non arcu sollicitudin ac malesuada tortor ultricies. Duis tempor luctus elementum. Sed quis diam metus. Cras quis justo quis elit pellentesque molestie.

Donec metus ligula, faucibus sit amet ullamcorper id, malesuada elementum ante. Duis in lacus non leo dictum tincidunt sit amet et ligula. Proin dignissim feugiat eleifend. Pellentesque sagittis molestie bibendum. Duis velit mi, ullamcorper non tristique dictum, pellentesque nec lectus. Fusce ut risus tortor, vel egestas enim. Phasellus ultricies, magna vitae mollis tempor, dolor justo gravida erat, nec tincidunt tortor dui eu lorem. Vivamus id lacus eget elit pharetra tempus ac vitae nulla. Aenean elit ligula, hendrerit ac ultrices quis, varius nec nunc. Donec semper suscipit nulla, sed feugiat odio hendrerit ut. Pellentesque sed purus at elit laoreet eleifend. Pellentesque dignissim ligula a risus tristique pellentesque. Integer non libero at nunc mollis convallis et ut dolor. Aenean facilisis lacinia eros, non egestas risus dignissim et.

Donec vitae neque nec orci pellentesque tempus ac et tellus. Curabitur ac tellus est. Nulla nec nisi vel diam aliquet lobortis. Sed aliquam lacus vitae dui lobortis eu tristique urna vestibulum. Ut nulla tortor, scelerisque non auctor vel, condimentum molestie risus. Vivamus semper risus a odio accumsan molestie. Etiam a placerat enim. Pellentesque lacinia auctor venenatis. Vivamus tellus tortor, viverra vel sodales ac, bibendum ut est. Vivamus eu urna nec lorem commodo luctus. Donec in diam ut turpis convallis tempus. Sed a quam nisi, ut vestibulum felis.

Quisque suscipit scelerisque tortor eget cursus. Vivamus tempor orci vel turpis eleifend in egestas orci lacinia. Sed et mi quis leo accumsan dictum. Proin massa felis, bibendum in rutrum ac, fringilla ut risus. Quisque sed quam nibh. Suspendisse eu hendrerit purus. Aenean urna nulla, adipiscing at dictum eu, commodo in massa. Cras hendrerit suscipit metus eget vehicula. Proin laoreet hendrerit risus, sit amet vestibulum leo rhoncus eu. Aenean nec mattis enim. Phasellus pretium, risus dignissim viverra viverra, felis dui volutpat mi, in aliquam enim urna quis lectus. Suspendisse potenti. Duis gravida, erat nec malesuada cursus, tortor purus mollis urna, suscipit sagittis dolor justo et eros. Nunc pretium eleifend nisi, vitae condimentum massa fermentum eget. Fusce vulputate tempus dui, eget lacinia quam rhoncus vulputate. Nulla est massa, sollicitudin ut tempus ac, fermentum ut sapien.

Morbi et blandit est. Curabitur vel gravida massa. Phasellus venenatis dapibus ligula condimentum ornare. Cras libero erat, iaculis vel feugiat in, consequat sed lectus. Mauris euismod ligula in dolor facilisis a interdum mauris luctus. Pellentesque sapien enim, iaculis a sagittis a, dictum ut lectus. Cras augue risus, adipiscing elementum malesuada et, sollicitudin nec erat. Integer eget eros eget quam varius porttitor. Morbi a mi non sapien laoreet dignissim eu et nibh.

GuaranteedViral Tests Thumbtack

We are trying a new service for marketing.  They list you in various engines and websites to drive leads to your business.  Naturally, if we see decent results from them we will incorporate this product into the services we provide.

The company is called Thumbtack and the services look promising.

To learn more about them and to see the add we placed, click here: Get more leads our your money back

How and Why Viral Marketing Kicks the Crap(py traffic) out of SEO

How and Why Viral Marketing Kicks the Crap(py traffic) out of SEO

An important comment was posted on an internet forum in regards to SEO versus Viral Marketing. Here is a paraphrase:

“Social media might get loads of traffic but their conversion rates are very much dismal. I’ve had sites/stories which made the front page of Digg.com and surpassed our website’s usual monthly traffic in just 3 days. However, earnings only went up by 12% which actually is nothing great and a waste of time and resources.”

Having been in web development since 1998 and business development since 1993, I have noticed a problem faced by most small business owners. This problem is generally in regards to the ROI of marketing efforts and specifically in relation to making money via the internet.

There are two major issues that many website owners do not factor into account in the various types of web campaigns designed to generate traffic, and the commenter touched on them both by using the term “conversion”.

Website traffic alone is meaningless if it does not “convert”. In other words, visitors should take the desired action directed by the site owner. The desired action normally is for the visitor to make a purchase, but could be anything, like signing up for a newsletter or registering for a free membership.

The two issues many site owners’ face and often do not realize are:

1) “Targeting”, “Identity” and “Positioning” are important aspects of all areas of their marketing efforts.

And

2) “Instant conversion” is only a small portion of total conversions.

POINT #1

PLANNING

I won’t go into detail on this, but all marketing should start with a PLAN. The plan should include the Target, Identity and Position of the brand among other things. The vast majority of internet campaigns fail from their start because they do not even have the simplest of marketing plans. (Saying your strategy is “getting more customers” or to “make money” is not a strategic “plan”!)

TARGETING

To say a web surfer is searching for “cheap jewelry” is one thing, but to say a website sells “cheap jewelry” is another thing altogether.

What exactly is your “cheap jewelry”?

Is it costume jewelry?

Is it Rolex watches at wholesale pricing?

Is it knock-off name brand jewelry?

Is it Jewelry for men? For women? Sophisticates? Costume? Bling?

Exactly what KIND of jewelry is it and it’s “cheap” in relation to what?

The fact is, the phrase “cheap jewelry” will mean different things for different people.

Any site owner who has ever PAID a search engine for every click into their website (whether the visitor buys or not), knows these kinds of phrases bring a ton of untargeted people who never buy or should never have even been a visitor at the website in the first place.

Let’s talk a minute about the facts of web traffic and conversion. Especially in relation to search engines.

According to the Internet Retailer Survey published in May 2010:

72% of Internet Retail Merchants said LESS THAN 25% of their website visitor traffic comes from paid search and 48.5% said less than 25% came from natural search.

Only a mere 30% can say they attribute more than 40% of their sales to Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

61% of site owners say less than 30% of their sales come from search engine based marketing.

For 70% of online merchants, search engines can only produce a maximum of 40% of sales volume as a result of their marketing efforts. 37% generate less than 15% of their total sales through SEM.

Here is the worst part of what the survey shows:

94% of web retailers see a conversion rate of LESS THAN 15%! 59% see less than 2% and 39% see a 0.5% to 1% conversion rate.

39% of webmasters who market through PPC say LESS THAN 1 person out of every 100 visitors makes a purchase.

How do you like THAT stat for traffic that does not convert?

This is not a fluke either, in the last year, for 55.1% of retailers, conversion rates stayed the same or WENT DOWN by up to 25% or more.

So we are not only seeing a trend of less and less traffic coming from engines, but also seeing fewer people coming from search engines making a purchase. I bet your PPC sales person won’t tell you THAT!

I run across merchants all the time who spend 5, 9, 14 and even $20,000 or more on pay-per-visitor (PPC) search engine marketing. Only to ultimately find themselves extremely disappointed with the results. Words such as “failure”, “dismal” and even “crap” have been used in response to me asking how their PPC efforts went.

Granted, there could have been issues with their landing pages, using good keywords or even writing a proper ad could cause low conversion. However, this is the apparent trend, not the exception to the rule as the survey also pointed out the vast majority of respondents were making strong efforts to improve conversion rates.

If you think this does not apply to you, know that 44% of these businesses make less than $1 million in annual sales and 69% make less than $5 million. Also, 67.3% of these are web only-merchants, letting us know that the bulk of PPC is done by small business owners.

Considering the fact 37.7% of them spend 50% to 75% or more of their total online marketing budget on PPC, it is discomforting to know the vast majority of them will never break even, much less make back their advertising investment in the form of sales.

IDENTITY

Website owners end up with “non-converting” traffic because they get people who do not know enough about their brand before visiting the website. This is why you have to know the identity of your own brand and then make that position clear to consumers before they visit your website.

Consumers do not know enough about a brand’s identity because it has not been expressed to them properly by the brand managers (and often even the site owners themselves are not clear on this point.)

Because brand managers have not properly established their identity in the websphere to the masses, in the broader search patterns (whether viral or engine-based), the website receives unqualified, untargeted people visiting their site. These visitors end up as looky-lou’s who realize there is nothing of interest to them and leave.

This is an issue caused by the marketing strategy of the company (or lack thereof), not the vehicle or method used. Whether they use SEO, PPC or Viral methods, the end result will be the same: poorly converting traffic. The only variable will be how fast this phenomenon occurs.

The Digg.com commenter felt that viral marketing just brings a lot of useless traffic. The reality is it simply bought a higher volume of traffic in a much shorter period of time than other methods previously used.


If your website does not normally convert incoming traffic, it will simply continue to “not convert” faster and in greater numbers through viral marketing.

THE PROBLEM

Engine-based Search does not and CAN NOT alleviate the problem of an inability to express identity in short form advertising. All engine-based search marketing is designed to be a part of a media-mix. It requires other methods of consumer impression to augment the position and identity of a brand BEFORE a searcher sees them in the search results.

If a person encounters a brand for the first time through search results, outside of the scant description and information that can be provided with optimization, they know little of the identity of the brand. In order to find out if the site offers anything that appropriately matches their need, they must visit, if out of nothing more than curiosity. This increases the chance of the visitor being the wrong person on the wrong site and therefore not taking the site owner’s desired action once they visit.

The commenter mentioned they made it to the front page of Digg.com. That is a great place to be as it gives one plenty of exposure. And as they mentioned, it drove a ton of traffic. However, there should have been information within the Digg.com article that would have assured only the target market was attracted to and bothered to visit the website.

THE SOLUTION

In a properly managed viral campaign, an initial marketing plan would have been created, thereby assuring any creative pieces (like the DIGG article) would have reflected the identity of the brand. It also would have acted as a blueprint on what should have taken place on the part of the site owner to improve conversion on the backend.

“It is impossible to improve what you do not measure, and it is almost impossible to measure what you do not plan”

– Maurice Evans, Business Coach

Viral marketing is not about simply having some eye candy for people to look at (like a game or a dancing baby) that drives a ton of traffic for the sake of traffic because it was “fun”. Even when attempting to drive massive traffic through “cuteness”, you should know how to tie the creative pieces to the identity of your brand (like Evian’s break-dancing babies http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PHnRIn74Ag).

Most website owners have little education or training in marketing, so they do not even know what brand identity is, much less how to position their brand’s identity or how to express the identity of their brand to the marketplace.

Identity management is a key benefit of a viral marketing campaign. As word spreads, so does the identity of the business. As time goes on, the consumers spreading your message on your behalf for free are also spreading your brand’s identity. This causes an automatically increased market position. Your target audience gets educated (and even indoctrinated) each time your message is passed on.

Too many scam –uhm, er, excuse me — “gurus” — tell people that internet marketing is some kind of new and exciting business model. It is not. It is merely a means to market a product or service. The typical, time-tested and standard principles of business are still absolutely necessary for success 100% of the time.

Going back to the forum comment, if the Digg.com article had properly emphasized the brand’s identity and maintained the brands position, the earnings of 12% increase would have been much higher. Proper viral marketing campaigns “filter” out the bad, non-converting traffic when done properly.

Although, I must say a 12% increase is great when you consider it came in a 3-day period of time. What if that happened every 3 days? 120% increase? Sounds like viral marketing did in fact, INCREASE your site’s conversion…in a big way!

But that is not the bigger issue I am concerned with, the real question is, what is this websites “normal” conversion rate? In other words, in relation to the previous traffic that came in, what was the rate of conversion for this new viral traffic by comparison? What is the site’s conversion percentage before adding the 12% increase? Does this site even create a conversion of traffic typically higher than 12% as a baseline?

The fact is there was an increase, but unless I misunderstood, the poster implied their previous conversion rates would produce something higher. Were the previous conversion ratios truly higher? Or was this simply the same percentage of conversion when you factor in higher numbers of visitors? Or did it actually out perform typical conversions as I suspect they did?

The actual answers are not as important as how we come up with the questions.

As the reader of this article, I want you to be able to gauge the performance of your own website. In our sample, did it receive good or bad traffic?

In other words to truly say this was “bad” traffic, you have to look at the simple formula.

Number of desired actions (conversions)
{divided by}
Number of Visitors
{equals}
Conversion Percentage.

If on average out of every 100 visitors to your site, you normally see 12 desired actions taken, our formula would look like this:

12 / 100 = .12 which is 12%

So to clarify, if 12% of the people from a viral campaign “convert”, to know if it was better, equal, or worse than a previous campaign, you must compare 12% to what the previous percentage of conversion was.

Again, going back to the Digg.com article that made it to the front page, they were clearly disappointed with their conversion rates. In light of the above information of what is “average”, a 12% increase over the normal (1%) is gangbusters, that is, relatively speaking of course.

Seriously though, here is the truly bad part, since the word “conversion” was mentioned in such a final form, I can tell this site also does not fully understand point 2.

POINT #2

CONVERSION

Conversion should not be considered a one time event or possibility. Many site owners are so focused on INSTANT conversion, they miss the big picture. Such instant-conversion focus only serves to make one solely concerned about the person who visits them ONE TIME, for the VERY FIRST TIME, and then makes a purchase after their first and only contact with the website. Instant gratification has no place in marketing ROI expectations. The big picture focus requires more of an understanding that every visitor is a potential convert, even over the course of time.

Whenever a business brings up the topic of sales or conversions or traffic, I often ask these specific questions in the following order:

1) How Much Traffic Did/Do You Get On An Average Month?
(The answer varies but is usually a decent amount.)

2) How Many (Percentage) Of Those Visitors Become Customers?
(The answer is normally very low.)

3) Why Didn’t The Other Visitors Become Customers?
(The answer is normally “I do not know.”)

4) Why Don’t You Ask Them The Reasons?
(The answer is “I don’t have a way to.”)

And there, in question 4 we see the real problem. People are coming to your site and leaving, yet you have no way of communicating with them. You are looking for instant conversion, and it causes you to ignore those who need more information, are on the fence or just not quite ready to buy from you…yet.

CONVERSION MISTAKE #1

Many site owners send people to confusing home pages, with 4-20 different menu choices. The vast majority of these people came to the site as a result of something other than just curiosity. They read an article, did a search, got a recommendation or responded to social influence and are expecting to see more information related to whatever caused them to visit the site.

Instead, of more information, once they arrive they are greeted with a generic home page with too many options and very little direction on where to go or what to do next. Have you ever experienced that? What did you do?

Statistics show, when presented with too many choices, people generally just chose to not make any decision at all. On the internet this means they leave the site without taking any action (converting) other than clicking that little [x] in the top right corner of the screen.

CONVERSION MISTAKE #2

Sometimes, people are sent straight to some sort of e-commerce page or shopping cart, asking for payment right up front. Imagine walking down the mall and deciding to stop in a jewelry store you are passing. Then the minute you walked through the door someone says “Hi! Come follow me to the checkout counter…this is $200, this is $1500 and this is on sale for $799…Now, which of these are you going to buy right this second? And will that be cash or credit?”

That scenario would be off-putting at best and considered overly rude and aggressive at worst. In either case, whether online or off, for the majority of the time the results are the same: no sale.

The bottom line is the visitor does not yet know if they trust you, or even if they want to buy from your site in particular, much less whether they want to buy anything at all right now or not.

CONVERSION TIP #1

Successful pay-per-click campaigns all have dynamic landing pages, and viral campaigns are no different. To create an informative landing page related to the lead-generating source is considered standard best-practice for any e-commerce venture.

CONVERSION TIP #2

In addition to the landing page there should be some sort of interaction that enables follow-up with the potential customer. An email list is the simplest way to do this online.

You want to hit them with your offer more than one time. In the advertising world, we use the term “frequency”. Without getting into it, the point of frequency is a person generally needs to be pitched or see an offer multiple times before responding with action. The more times they see it, the more likely they are to respond. Usually 5-7 impressions (or times viewed) is the sweet spot on the bell curve.

Think about this. How many times have you seen a website (or any piece of advertising) offer something for sale, and after seeing the offer only ONCE, you just stopped whatever you were doing and made a purchase that moment? Not very often, I bet. Unless, of course, you are a compulsive buyer, in which case there are help-groups and counselors for that. The truth is, the vast majority of people need to do research, be in a “purchasing” mood, and see the offer several times, etc. before making a purchase. On the net, this may mean they might wish to compare competitors or get recommendations from friends and family before taking action on an offer.

LOST CONVERSIONS

How many unnecessary “conversions” are lost by websites simply because a visitor comes just one time to the site, and then has no reminder to ever come back again? The site typically ends up getting lost in cyberspace like so many others in the ever growing interwebs. Only to have that same visitor later make the purchase at a competitors site who had better positioning or were in the right place at the right time.

Follow-up in some way, shape, form or fashion is a key to getting the first time visitor to turn into a later-time customer.

THE VIRAL CURE

Because viral marketing campaigns start with a plan, and focus on pitching a brands identity to a specific target audience it has become the most cost-effective form of marketing.

The amount you pay over time for a SEO or PPC campaign that only wanes in effectiveness over time, costs much more than any viral campaign in the long run. Not to mention, the minute you stop paying for such efforts, any competitor willing to foot the bill takes your position.

From first point of contact through to the point-of-sale, viral marketing is a total approach to growing a business, online or offline. The beauty of a viral campaign is that it sends traffic long after you stopped paying for it. Plus it is difficult for a competitor to “out optimize” you. Efforts are usually permanent in a viral campaign.

Viral campaigns are magnets pulling in the proper target consumers, and it happens by design. The bottom line is a well planned viral marketing campaign automatically prevents the arrival of and kicks out any crappy traffic that may come to a website. The result is targeted traffic that takes your desired action, “converting” into customers. Bottom lines prefer Viral Marketing because it keeps things in the black.

Infecting Fans Virally on YouTube

Music Business Begins Infecting Fans – 3 Lessons of Viral Marketing on YouTube

Social media has allowed more and more artists to make fans, sell music and even get signed to a major label.

Gone are the days where you have to go into shopping malls and set up a table if you’re trying to get people to support you and your music.

Social media has taken music to a better place, making it about the music again, rather than the money…or has it?

Whether you think it is about the art or the money, or both, I think you will find this article interesting.

In this article, we’re going to look at a few examples of people who have used YouTube not only to get their name out there, but also as a tool to collaborate with other artists out there and ultimately make more money.

Networking in the music business is often a result of a third party introduction.

Nothing makes this easier than YouTube, the free video hosting channel. There are 3 lessons we can learn from some popular musicians and their experiences with YouTube.

The following 3 examples reveal exactly how powerful viral marketing can be.

Andrew Garcia: American Idol 2010

If you’ve been following American Idol this year, then you would have been aware of a singer known as Andrew Garcia.

He had been singing online for a few years as a hobby with other singers in his local area and had earned himself quite a following.

He had his own Youtube channel and regularly did collaborations with singers who were hired to perform at local events.

In the wake of the death of Michael Jackson, he did a medley with one such singer as a tribute (youtube.com/watch?v=–hMhGgpoYU).

As you can see and hear, he’s a fabulous singer. He brings joy and his voice really is unique, for lack of a better word. You can’t dispute nearly 2 million views.

As soon as he went on Idol a funny thing happened. Several channels created by fans started appearing in support of Garcia.

Most of them were showing repeats of episodes of American Idol. These people were supporting him without any active marketing on his part.

Why?

Because they genuinely loved his sound and his vibe!

Lesson #1: In the online world, if you are good, and get fans, they will PROMOTE FOR YOU.

Justin Bieber: Bieber Fever!

Bieber Fever has swept the globe in the wake of a 15-year-old singer by the name of Justin Bieber. He too started off on YouTube before he was found by a recording label. Now you can’t go by one day without hearing his song or news about him.

For someone like Justin Bieber, it really is simply a case of any publicity is good publicity. He has several fans around the same age bracket as him, but the number of people who dislike or downright hate him is far greater.

The number of videos that have popped up on YouTube where people are criticising him keep increasing every day. Here are a few:

1. www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTCm8tdHkfI (3-year-old who loves Justin Bieber)
2. www.youtube.com/watch?v=iShIl5YKfsU (#1 Most Subscribed (All Time) – Comedians – Australia)
3. www.youtube.com/user/davidchoimusic (#13 – Most Subscribed (All Time) – Musicians)

What these people don’t (or do) understand is that they’re giving this guy free publicity. These people have their own following of viewers whom if they haven’t heard of Justin Bieber previously, it won’t take long before they’re sucked into the clever marketing vortex of “Bieber Fever”.

That could have been Justin Bieber’s marketing team’s plan all along. When it comes to making money, some marketing teams will stop at nothing.

Lesson #2: If you’re hated, or you incite some other strong controversy or emotion, your viral marketing is multiplied exponentially.

KoKoKaina – Keeping It Real

The last case study we’re going to be looking at is Zee Avi or as most people know her, KoKoKaina, on YouTube. She’s got a pretty laidback vibe, compared to the latter two singers, which could explain why she was signed up to the same label as Jack Johnson.

She also does something to add some artistic flare to her videos: she lowers the camera so that it only shoots the bottom half of her face.

She does this so that viewers can focus more on her music rather than her appearance.

A lot of her songs are originals and show a vulnerable side of her. Here is an example (youtube.com/watch?v=WdXDgaEgaJ8).

People love this and what encourages them to pass it on is how she engages and draws people into her videos with this personal, uncomplicated style.

Lesson #3: People WILL PASS ON to others, whatever touches them personally.

YouTube is a fantastic medium to connect with people. The keyword is people.

How can you connect with people in a way that encourages word-of-mouth viral activity?

You connect by being human and by being you. Above being “creative”, great art and especially great music, is inherently human.

By using the 3 lessons in the creative process and giving them a little push on the publicity side, the business of music can cause good art to go viral. Going viral means more exposure. More exposure means more fans. More fans mean more sales.

What artist, label or manager, etc doesn’t want to sell more music and merchandise or get more gigs and endorsements?

All simply because two people told two people, who told two people!

Viral marketing is now officially the musician’s new best friend.

What Is Viral Marketing?

What Is Viral Marketing?

Viral Marketing

When you hear about viral marketing and viral advertising for the first time, you can be forgiven if you think that it revolves around selling medicinal products. In reality, it refers to using the power of Web 2.0. to get the word out about a particular brand or product. Tools such as social networking sites, eg. Facebook, Twitter or social sharing sites, eg. Digg, YouTube.

Done correctly, the topic will “go viral”, meaning that it spreads at an incredibly fast rate on its own, not unlike a computer virus. Viral promotions have been successful in the forms of games, videos and E-books, amongst many other methods.

Any marketer with the intention of adding a viral component to their campaigns will usually try to hone in on individuals or groups with high Social Networking Potential (SNP). The goal is to try to appeal to whatever would encourage them to spread around the marketer’s viral message of their own free will.

Amongst consumers, viral marketing sometimes carries a negative connotation, since it usually implies methods that are premeditated. To them, it is seen as trying to turn something that is meant to happen naturally into something forced, just for the sake of making money. On the other hand, many see it simply as a way to give an initial “nudge” or “priming of the pump” of something that has enough of its own merit to spread virally.

History

The roots of the term “viral marketing” and its popularization have been debated, but it is believed to have been coined by Harvard Business School faculty member Jeffrey Rayport and Harvard Business School graduate Tim Draper.

Media critic Douglas Rushkoff was one of the first to write about online viral marketing in his in his 1994 book Media Virus: Hidden Agendas in Popular Culture. In it, there was an analogy to better understand how viral marketing worked: it was suggested that if a “susceptible” user comes into contact with a viral advertisement, the user will become “infected” with the idea and will go on to “infect” other “susceptible” users.

Assuming that each “infected” user manages to “infect” more than one other “susceptible” user, the number of users who are “infected” should, in the long run, model the behaviour of an exponential curve.

Naturally, not every viral marketing campaign is going to become an “epidemic”; occasionally, the “viruses” themselves will need to be sustained by different, ongoing forms of communication with the market, usually advertising.

The term was used by Jeffrey Rayport when he wrote his December 1996 Fast Company article ‘The Virus of Marketing’.

In an effort to quantify the SNP in an individual or a group, Bob Gerstley wrote about algorithms (in Advertising Research is Changing) designed to identify this. He was one of the first men to do this.

Clients of Gerstley used these SNP algorithms in their quantitative marketing research to maximize the effectiveness of their viral marketing campaigns.

In 2004, the concept of the “Alpha User” was introduced to specify that it was now possible to isolate the specific members of any viral campaign. These influential people or groups of people were given the term, “hubs”. These “Alpha Users” can be individually contacted via mobile phones, since they are so personal, if any marketer so wishes to contact him/her for viral marketing purposes.

Viral Expansion Loop

A viral expansion loop can be thought of as viral positive feedback cycle. Although viral marketing can be autonomous, a viral expansion loop relies on the ability to self-perpetuate itself to maintain existence. There are companies that have successfully used viral loops to develop themselves, namely, YouTube, Facebook, Digg, Twitter and even PayPal.

Other Examples Of Viral Marketing

In 2007, Cadbury came out with a fun and quirky viral campaign; a gorilla that could play drums.

Multi-level marketing (MLM), also known as network marketing was popularized in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Through what is essentially a “tell a friend” business structure, MLMers promote their products through their immediate circle of influence. Given that each person tells someone else about it and gets them to join up, this strategy can be exponentially self-replicating. Examples are Amway, Mary Kay, Avon and Tupperware.

A great example of Viral Marketing combined with a Viral Expansion Loop, and how the contributors create epidemics is Youtube. There is a channel on Youtube called, “Will it blend.” The founder of the channel, Tom Dickson, blends a range of items together (even electric items, like iPhones). Through word of-mouth, he now has an incredibly large following.

Many sites can now be found online that attempt to explain what viral marketing is. The best resources are usually the viral advertising agencies themselves as they are forced to live to concept, rather than simply theorize it.

SEO IS DEAD

SEO IS DEAD

NEWS! SEO Is Dead!

SEO “USED” TO BE KING

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a method businesses use to attempt to rise to the top of the results listings in Search Engines (SERPs).

This has been a practice since search engines were invented for the Internet.

Search engines encourage website owners to make their pages easier to understand by their robot spiders.

When Search Engines send out their robot spider across the internet, it tries to “read” the page. Optimized pages are easier to read, and subsequently rank properly in the SERPs.

For almost a Decade SEO was the way sharp business owners dominated their industries and crushed their competition.

During this time up to 85% of websites were found for the first time due to a search in an engine like Google or Yahoo!

Since 2/3rds of all searchers rarely clicked on links beyond the first page, it only made sense to try to get your site ranked within the top 10 search results.

HOW SEO DIED

SEO began to get abused in 1997 when 3rd party software and companies began to spring up with the sole purpose of “gaming” the engines.

One popular way was to “stuff” or repeat the same phrase over and over in the web pages HTML code called Meta Tags.

A famous upgrade to the code in Google was the “Britney Spears” update. Pornographic Websites began stuffing the keyword “Britney Spears”, who was the most searched term at the time, into their Keyword Meta Tags. Even though their site was totally unrelated to the pop singer, their sites showed up first in SERPs.

This is why by 1999 Search engines had stopped factoring the meta tag “description” and “keywords” in their ranking algorithms.

Such abuses caused the engines to get smarter faster and start to penalize and even ban websites that used unapproved methods to “optimize” their sites.

These methods are called “black hat” because they were condemned by the engines themselves. Approved methods were called “white hat” and are encouraged by search engines.

Black hat methods are notorious for taking advantage of loopholes, bugs, holes and weaknesses in the search engines.

Black hat methods actually work really fast and really well. However, as soon as an engine discovers a site using black hat methods (or even associating with a site or company that does,) they penalize or permanently ban that website.

Currently only spammers (who do not care about long term results) use black hat methods. Legitimate businesses realize there is no point being number 1, only to later never ever show up anywhere at all in that same engine again after getting caught for cheating.

SEO IS DEAD Part2

WHATS THE POINT OF SEO ANYWAY

Somehow, the people who (still) sell traditional SEO manage to convince people the purpose of SEO is to get your site ranked higher for specific search terms (keywords.)

Many of today’s contemporary agencies used to sell it too. The better ones have realized they would rather produce long term results for their customers than short term bragging rights.

If you SELL SEO, gloating about being in the top 10 of Google may be the point of YOUR business, but ONLY if SEO is your only service line!

Often such top 10 rankings by outdated SEO firms are for search terms no “customer” actually types into the search engines anyway.

Such companies do not realize business owners are not in it for bragging rights.

As if you as an owner would be proud to say “HA! I am in first position for ‘Cantonese basket weaving jokes!’”

Yes, they guarantee you will be in the “top positions”, but not necessarily for a good search term.

They also rarely mention how much traffic you will (or will not) get.

Is your goal simply to be above your competition in the engines for some obscure word? OR is it to get more visitors to your website?

Most old-method SEO companies do not understand this end goal, but are happy to take your money anyway. Later they tell you “congratulations, you are now number 4 in the engines for (useless rarely-searched phrase.)”

Search Engine Ranking is not an award certificate. It is designed to drive traffic naturally, without you having to pay for it.

THE STUPID CYCLE OF SEO

SEO uses a lot of fancy programming and techniques to “optimize” a web page and promote it on the web to try to get it to climb the ranks in the search engines.

No matter your product or service, if you SEO your site, you want your page to be higher on the list than your competition.

Web surfers usually start with the first link and work their way down. The sooner they click you, the better your chances of getting a sale.

But just as you are willing to pay money to get your page optimized, and have someone perform all the SEO tricks to get your page higher — so will your competition.

Your competition wants to beat you just as much, if not more, than you want to beat them.

So EVEN IF you do get to the top, it will just make your competition try that much harder to knock you back down a peg or two.

So you end up in a vicious cycle where you and your direct (and indirect) competitors are jockeying back and forth for first position.

SEO IS DEAD Part 3

Whoever spends the most time (spelled M-O-N-E-Y) on SEO wins. At least for a time, just so long as no one else spends a little more than they do.

So even if you get to the top, you can bet, you won’t stay there for long.

ENTER THE AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

In the year 2009, less than 47% of web surfers found websites through a search engine. And that number is shrinking daily.

Social Referral Sites like Digg and Del.ico.us allow site members to post the link of their favorite web address for other members to visit. Other visitors get to vote on whether or not they like it.

Social News Sites like Redit, Slashdot and Fark aggregate news articles recommended by its site visitors.

Social Networking Sites like Twitter and Facebook allow people to share reviews and links of favorite sites.

Social Bookmarking Sites like Stumble, actually act as a publicly accessible “favorites” or “bookmark” for web pages.

Now, combine all the social media with News aggregators like Google News and Yahoo News plus corporate and industry web presence pages like CNN, CNBC, Entrepreneur, Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, Family Circle, FORBES etc. and you have a ton of press, publicity, bookmarking, networking and overall word of mouth happening on the internet.

THE SECRET KEY

In addition to the Millions of Social Media Sites out there, there are BLOGS and FORUM sites aggregating social media into blog networks like TweetMeme.

Oh yes, Blogs. There are Millions upon Millions of Blogs on the internet. Today, Blogs look at search engines and laugh at their inaccuracy and failure to stay up-to-the-second with information.

Old School Search Engine Optimization has had its time at the top. As many pioneers of the internet, their day is over. Add Search engines to the list with Compuserve, AOL, and Myspace.

Yes, we know sadly, that eventually even the currently popular phenoms like Twitter and Facebook will be replaced by what will be a newer, slicker, faster and just plain old better application.

Search Engines like Google became so huge and popular, because that was how people generally figured out how to find information on the internet.

SEO IS DEAD Part 4

Those days are long over. People find sites every which way these days. Every way it seems, except through search engines the majority of the time.

The search engines feel social media’s information is much more current and relevant than their own. Which is why they all have added social elements.

Google, (Who owns Youtube,) will often put News, Twitter, Youtube and other site results in the middle of what they would normally post as results to a search.

This just proves the relevance of social media and the search engines inability to keep up. The best they can do is repost and quote after the fact whatever social media already has moved past.

Sharp business owners have discovered that each of the social media sites results are often what the search engines use to list as results.

OPTIMIZATION VS SATURATION

Think about this. Imagine if you were the owner of a business that put on real estate seminars.

Your direct (and indirect) competition in the search engines for real estate would come from: any individual who has a house for sale; people looking for houses on craigslists; the guy selling books on real estate on ebay; the Wall Street Journal’s latest article about real estate; RE agents; the Realtor organization; and even the latest twitter results containing the “word” Real Estate.

That’s not to mention all the mortgage brokers, appraisers, contractors, investors, title companies, tax sale auctions and even developers that would all also want their website at the top of those same results.

When you search Google you will often see it say something like “Results 1-10 of 2,232,280 results”!

Hundreds of thousands to millions of possible results, and you want to spend your money to try to be number 1-10?

Well, I am sorry to report, the odds are against you.

However, there is good news.

NEW FOCUS, BETTER RESULTS

What if instead of focusing on traditional SEO, you focused on Saturation?

In other words, what if instead of “optimizing” your site/page for one search engine, you took a different approach and decided to saturate the ENTIRE INTERNET itself with your web page?

Think about it. If people are book marking, tweeting and sharing your site all over the internet. Plus all the news sites are running articles on you, and your site is all over the net. Then wouldn’t your TRUE GOAL, of getting website visitors (to turn into customers), be getting accomplished?

People who read about you on CNBC’s website will come visit your page.

People who see their friends tweet about you will come visit your page.

People who read a blog article about you will also come visit your page.

SEO IS DEAD Part 5

The additional benefit is: now instead of simply having one (optimized) listing in the search engine, you end up with SEVERAL, many of them on the first page! None of them is even your site, but all of them are pages that lead people TO your website!

End Goal accomplished!

SATURATION IS BETTER THAN OPTIMIZATION

That is Search Engine Saturation.

Here is another way to look at it. You can pay BIG money, and have the BIGGEST and FIRST Ad in the Yellow Pages Directory. (Optimization)

…OR

You can have every radio station, News broadcast, and magazine talking about your business, in addition to people buzzing about you in every barber shop, sports event, hair salon, and restaurant. (Saturation)

Which would you rather have?

Which will bring you more business?

Which will have a longer lasting effect?

This, my friend, is the power of saturation over optimization.

VIRAL IS THE NEW BLACK

The reason so many businesses and companies go for “black hat SEO” is because it happens so quick and frankly, just works so darn well.

This temptation is too great for many. They feel they will get away with it. They don’t think they will get caught.

But they ALWAYS do.

Either the search engine’s anti-cheat technology catches them or an angry competitor reports them.

Either way, the short term gain is never worth the long term punishment of being “banished” from the Major Search Engines.

If it is beyond the year 2009 and you are reading this, forget traditional SEO.

Make your peace, leave a rose or two, say a prayer – and move on.

The rest of the world (wide web) has.

Socialized, or Viral Marketing, as it is called, is now the new King.

Instead of attempting Black Hat (or any) SEO, focus on viral marketing.

Viral marketing is the Internet’s version of Word Of Mouth referring through Internet Saturation.

Viral Marketing is just as fast, just as powerful and more importantly, a perfectly legitimate way to dominate the search engines and the internet as a whole.

Search Engines will always be a source of traffic, SEO is simply no longer the way to “optimize” your listings in them. Viral marketing automatically saturates the internet, leaving SEO as a naturally occurring byproduct.

Viral marketing also cannot be defeated by SEO no matter the budget. The businesses that use Viral Marketing techniques to saturate the internet are light years beyond the businesses still attempting to use old school SEO techniques.

“Viral Marketing is to SEO what the Space Station is to the horse and carriage.”

Step into the future, say goodbye to our dead goldfish, SEO, and say hello to our brand new puppy, Viral Marketing!

C’mon Boy, get the customers…fetch!

magicbullet

When You Can Only Do ONE Thing and it MUST Work

fanbase

Major Label and Independent Artists Use Our Viral Methods To Get FAMOUS

Page 3 of 3123