Online Marketing Gone Viral


Online Marketing Gone Viral

by Jenny Phillips

Online marketing has been shown to be one of the most effective ways to sell or promote your product or service. You can target the exact audience you’re trying to reach, and best of all, with search engine marketing, you can target those already interested in your product or service.

The question is, though, could you be doing better? Are you taking your online marketing to the viral level?

We’ve heard of viral videos, and we’ve hear of online marketing. The two terms, however, haven’t been used together much, but with so many outlets on the web, viral online marketing is more of a reality than people realize. And, it is what can take your online marketing from mediocre to great.

The term “viral” really denotes a word-of-mouth frenzy on the web. So, viral online marketing is marketing that people actually want to talk about. Isn’t that the type of marketing and advertising we all strive for? Here’s a great example of viral marketing:

Two words: Red Bull. The energy drink that almost everyone is familiar with is probably one of the worst things for any human being to consume- bad for your heart, tons of sugar- yet, their product gets tossed off the shelves like hot potatoes.

Red Bull uses traditional marketing, such as television and magazine ads, but the company also employs several other means of marketing- representatives around the nation that are among the “coolest” in their generation, events, an awesome rumor and social media. The last two tactics hold my interest the most.

When Red Bull was first introduced in Europe, a rumor was started that it was an aphrodisiac. The source is “untraceable,” but ever since, the drink remains a hit not only in Europe, but globally. Whether or not Red Bull marketers created the rumor themselves, they took it and ran with it by first using advertising and promotions, and then by reinforcing it with online tactics.

Although Red Bull used traditional advertising, a good lesson can be learned from their strategy. An online marketing campaign can be just as viral and more cost-effective. Just use online adverting instead of traditional, and then, create online reinforcement efforts to spread the word.

Here’s how:

  • Pay for it– First, put some money into it and create an online advertising campaign. You may use Google Search Network, banner ads on the web, or both. Choose the online locations that will best reach your target audience.
  • Reinforce it– Once you’ve created and budgeted for your online advertising campaign, create elements that work with your advertising timeline: create your Twitter page and Facebook page, implement a Twitter hashtag or mention contest, make a call to action that involves interaction, such as a photo submission, write up press releases for an event.
  • Spin it– You now have all the elements that can work together and strengthen each others’ efforts. Now, what’s your message? Is it interesting? To ensure it is, spin it like you were writing a news story about your own product. Of course, it should reflect a positive brand image, but one that is truly interesting to your audience.
  • Distribute it– Put it all out there and fulfill your campaign. Your online advertising should be very straight-forward about your product, but the elements that reinforce it, such as Twitter and Facebook, are the ones that spread the interesting product news, such as Red Bull’s “it’s an aphrodisiac.”

More About the Author

Jenny Phillips

Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator
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