Today’s topic will be igniting viral marketing with people of influence. You know, the PR dudes and the customers, etc. Working in the seo sem industry, these points are vital.
With online marketing consulting It’s very important to define objectives. Most viral campaigns aren’t massive, just like real viruses. They can be small but have a massive impact! The goal might be as simple as to brand or promote a product launch.
People of influence are experts, journalists, or top bloggers – These people have the power to promote, and people tend to support things from people they trust. Most news organisations recycle news and it’s your job to take advantage of this.
The approach– You can launch and then contact these people of influence. Develop relationships ahead of time, this way they’re more likely to help you. Lets say you want to target a specific blogger. Why don’t you send them leads, tips, content – then down the road, bring them on board for consulting. They will be more likely to respond vs. a random email.
Cartoonists – You can hire a university student, don’t be afraid to outsource.
Bloggers – Have your blogger come up with something creative or hire a guest blogger with a following and give a financial incentive. It will cost you but may be well worth it. If you have a start-up it may put you on the map. Think… can get their followers to follow you?. Don’t look at just A list bloggers, every industry has their own.
Contests – You can have them regularly, and promote them internally. Or can recruit judges of influence (think free ipod touch).
Interviews – Make it easy as possible on the interviewer. Get a list of contacts to spread it. Really you want to find out who they know to promote them.
Research – If you are small on a tight budget – chambers of commerce, local business leaders and influential social groups.
Find brand advocates – Forums, blogs, social media, your own customer list, sales newsletters, blogs – create relationships. Get them behind your brand, give them an incentive. Discounts, upgrades, etc.
Recruiting influencers can be difficult – Approach this from a sales point of view. You must get past the gate keeper so attending a conference is a great way to establish face to face. Better than cold calling.
Want to target a blogger? – Buy advertising space, it’s much easier to get them on the phone.
Hire consultants! – Experts, bloggers, journalists, forum owners. This is the easiest way to use their names and gain media publicity.
Utilise customers to spread campaign. Look at emails, invoices, press releases. Talk to sales reps.
Brick and mortar – Do cross promotions, explain the benefits and find points of contact.
Many other ways to spread the buzz – Individualise, sponsorships, PPC, PR agencies, press releases, newspaper ads and even local fliers in the city centre!