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Viral Marketing using Forums

There are different types of forums, beyond the obvious topical types, of “marketing” or “special interest”, etc. “Marketing” and “special interest” are two types of what are commonly referred to as “open forums”.

There are, however, business and professional forums, which do not operate under the same rules and, more often than not, disallow any and all types of advertising or self-promotion. Forums that have been created to support the membership of a particular program are especially adamant on this topic and often demand that all members refrain from all types if advertising on their sites.

Still, even with all these hurdles, it is possible to successfully advertise in forums. In all cases a pre-requisite for success is developing a good reputation and a good relationship and maintaining both. So, while it is true that this a form of free advertising, it does require a certain amount of investment as far as time and energy are concerned, not to mention subtly and finesse.

To successfully market on any forum, the first requirement is to take a personal interest in the main topic of the forum. That means visiting it on a regular basis and developing a good relationship with the members and the moderators. It, also, means taking an active roll in the conversations and being willing to help others. Of course, it goes without saying that it means abiding by any and all rules that exist. In this way, one can develop a reputation, and business will just naturally develop because humans tend to work with people they trust.

Since the main purpose of a forum is the exchange of information and/or ideas, marketers must respect that objective and abide by it. Marketing forums, where everyone there has something to advertise and sell, usually have even more stringent rules.


To Your Success!

Rick Nelson
Find more great information at http://www.homebasedbusinessprograms.com

Viral Marketing Goes Mobile

Mobile devices, mobile phones and PDA’s are one of the last great frontiers of viral advertisement opportunities. However, we have become experts at filtering everything, our air and water, our e-mail and pop-ups, and our mobile devices as well. We are good at filtering.

The very idea of unwanted advertising streaming through our Blackberries is abhorrent. Mobile devices are the ultimate opt-in medium and, therefore, a great way for marketers to connect with users…if that’s what the users want. “WANT” is the key word here. How should marketers approach the medium?

There are three main ways to achieve this. They are:

1. Offer exclusive content. Anyone can offer ring tones. It’s the unique content, such as exclusive mobile images of new brand concepts, that drives interest and calls them out in other media like e-mail campaigns, newsletters, websites, etc. So a wireless campaign is most effective when it offers exclusive content for wireless devices.

2. Make it useful and timely. Think about what would be handy and helpful to have on a mobile device. Last year, for example, Food Network enabled Sprint customers to download shopping lists for their Thanksgiving dinners. There was a lot of “Sprint-envy” going around among non-sprint customers.

3. Clearly define objectives. Usually, one of two business objectives drives successful mobile experiences: incremental revenue of brand intimacy. On the intimacy factor, a text message usually takes priority over almost any other form of communication. Why? Because we haven’t yet been saturated with mobile spam, and this is what causes us to prioritize wireless messaging over voice.

Mobile marketing has been out there for a while but we marketers have new territory to explore. Video offers fantastic opportunities for engagement. Consumers already bypass their filters for highly useful or entertaining content and will do so for rich exclusive, compelling content.


To Your Success!

Rick Nelson
Find more great information at http://www.homebasedbusinessprograms.com

Using Videos in Viral Marketing

More and more advertisers are adopting video as broadband continues to rise and ad-serving technologies become more sophisticated. Online video advertising is really taking off. Users’ attention can be captured and ads stand out from the crowd in an increasingly ad-cluttered online environment. It is true that video formats cost five to ten times more to serve than standard banners and they involve a lot more production and implementation work but they may well be worth all of that if they achieve greater response rates.

Where to use online video if wishing to maximize its effect, is what advertisers must carefully consider. Video to be used on the Internet should be information and communication focused while video to be used on television should be focused on entertainment.

Like everything else, there are good ways and bad ways to use video advertising. Right now most marketers are incorporating their audio-visual content into existing embedded ad formats like banners or over-content formats like pop-ups. Though this could reach a potentially large audience, viewers are likely to be less captivated and more annoyed by these disruptive and distracting placements.

Cached or streaming video on a specific destination site offers the best chance of interesting consumers in brand messages, but it is not likely to reach a large audience unless it generates a viral outcome.

Whatever you come up with, don’t forget to make it easy to open and distribute. File size is important, as is the media format. If your viral video has been created for a particular type of software that not many people use, how will you get people to spread it like wildfire?

Also, if you’ve made a video the impact will be better if you send the clip as an attachment rather than stream it. It’s cheaper and, if you’re not hosting it, it’s more viral, too.


To Your Success!

Rick Nelson
Find more great information at http://www.homebasedbusinessprograms.com

Using Forums in Viral Marketing

Recently, forum marketing has been touted as a kind of free, organic, viral marketing. But because so many marketers go into forums purely with the intention of marketing products or services, their actions and attitude unwittingly causes the exact opposite of the desired effect.

Forums aren’t marketplaces but when used as such, the marketers’ actions become offensive and will only inspire the wrath of fellow members and marketers, not to mention moderators who can ban them from the site with the click of their mouse.

In order to be effective, this kind of marketing carries a certain degree of commitment, responsibility and respect. The first requirement is to take a personal interest in the main topic of the forum. Not only does that mean visiting it regularly, but it also means developing a good relationship with both other members and the moderators, as well as taking an active interest in helping others. Of course, it also means abiding by and all rules that exist. By doing this, one can develop a reputation and, since it is human nature to work with a trusted colleague, business will naturally develop from this.

This type of marketing has already suffered some abuse and because of this, many forums have recently developed stringent rules designed to protect their members from abusive or overly-aggressive marketing tactics. One forum grants .sig files only after a member has created one hundred valid posts and another has disallowed ads in sig files altogether.

Marketers must respect that the purpose of a forum is to be a platform to exchange ideas on a given topic. It is not there to advertise products and services. By focusing on the topic and posting questions and answers, a marketer’s reputation will grow and this creates the potential for sales naturally.


To Your Success!

Rick Nelson
Find more great information at http://www.homebasedbusinessprograms.com

Using File Sharing in Viral Marketing

There are probably ten million people online, looking for downloads at any given time. Of course, a lot of them could be looking for pornography or free software but still, reaching a minimum on a million people on any given day does offer some rather intriguing possibilities.

People like using file services to download music for two simple reasons, they’re free, and there is an incredible selection. The fact is Pandora’s Box has been opened. In Napster’s wake, other quasi-legal services quickly emerged… a lot of them. Even if they are closed, others will succeed them.

Major record companies would like to thing otherwise but they are never going to stop file sharing. Net users are file sharers…plain and simple. Long before the Internet came into being, people made cassette tapes of their favorite music for their friends…cd burners are so much easier and faster.

So how can you use this to help your viral marketing campaign along? Think about this. Once someone downloads your MP3 files and those files are available on that listener’s hard drive, viral marketing begins. After two users start sharing your files, suddenly, your music is on the hard drive of a second computer…then a third… and on and on. When users are searching and they find your music on a lot of different computers, they are more likely to download the files. It’s just a matter of time before you’ll find your files showing up in more and more places.

No matter what genre music you play…Rock and Roll, Country, Tejano, Mozart sonatas, Heavy Metal, of Brazilian Jazz, there is an audience for it somewhere.

In this new paradigm, you aren’t hawking a product, you are offering free music via a medium that lets you be directly connected with your audience.


To Your Success!

Rick Nelson
Find more great information at http://www.homebasedbusinessprograms.com