Top Viral Promotion Tactics
- Sending an email to a house list is the most commonly-used form of viral promotion. It's not the the most effective tactic, but nearly everyone does this because it costs virtually nothing. Obviously, this tactic isn't available to start-up companies that haven't built a house list over time, and emailing to a rented list should always be done with great caution.
- Getting mentioned by relevant and influential bloggers is one of the most productive means of viral promotion (and free, other than the outreach effort). Independent bloggers don't want to be corporate shills, but they do love to write about cool stuff.
- Having your campaign cited in online industry trade online publications is also a highly effective viral promotion tactic—and again, it costs nothing other than the PR legwork. Trade publication editors are more likely to write about viral media that are industry-related (and creative) than those that rely primarily on humor.
- After blog and trade press mentions, social media and social tagging sites such as Digg and del.icio.us are the most effective means of spreading viral content. This includes sites like YouTube for video; iTunes for podcasts; and Insight24 for B2B webcasts, video and podcasts.
- Another highly useful tactic is producing video-linked press releases, then sending them along with personal notes to individual reporters and distributing them online through services such as PRWeb.
Other Viral Promotion Tactics
- Trade shows – promote your viral content (microsite, video, blog etc.) in your booth.
- Arrange cross-promotion campaigns with partners; another tactic that's tough for start-up companies.
- Spread your viral campaign through direct mail postcards to your house list ads in trade publication print ads. These tactics can be helpful, but aren't at the top of the list for effectiveness.
- Running online ads on industry trade publication sites and ads in trade magazine e-newsletters are potentially helpful though expensive tactics.
- Build links from relevant technology forums. A valuable technique for viral campaigns that are relevant and NOT purely self-promotional.
Next: Viral Marketing Caveats and Links
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