Hello all and welcome to the first part of my case study on viral/buzz marketing.
You may notice from the title that I have used both “viral” and “buzz” to describe this series, so let’s start with my descriptions of the two:
Viral marketing: Using techniques and content that encourage your message to be spread quickly and easily from one source to the next by outside sources.
That is my technical description, I also have a more down to earth description, but please don’t think that I am on drugs when you read this description…
To me, viral marketing is like standing in a great big field… you plant a seed and if the conditions are correct, your seed will grow into a flower. The flower will then release seeds of its own, and hopefully they will create new flowers. Occasionally a flower will grow very large and this will help spread seeds further and faster than before.
Disclaimer: I promise I was not on drugs when I wrote that
So what about buzz marketing?
Buzz marketing: For me, buzz marketing is the art of creating a “buzz” (sense of excitement) from your content/message.
Many people have discussed the above two marketing techniques in great detail, but in my opinion people often over-complicate it so that they can appear more authoritative. I am sure the majority of you are fully aware of these techniques already, for everyone else, I hope that you now understand these techniques a little better.
Which brings me on to my next chapter…
Why Bother Using Buzz & Viral Marketing Techniques?
I can answer this in just three simple words: Links, Traffic, Branding
Feel free to add “Money” to that list. But most webmasters make a fatal mistake when it comes to buzz marketing and money (I will explain this in a later chapter).
As webmasters we all want links and traffic, we are aware that these ultimately lead to money. Without traffic our sites would be dead, and we may as well just scribble our content into a notepad and burn it.
I am sure you already know most of the techniques for getting traffic… but in my opinion there is no technique more powerful than buzz/viral marketing. Oh, and the best part of all…. It is FREE!
Seriously… if you have never tried to use these techniques for your site, you are missing out on a goldmine.
Many people like to talk about viral/buzz marketing, but only a tiny % of those so called “experts” have actually achieved anything with it. I thought twice about doing this case study, as I didn’t want to be seen as boasting, but if it helps you get tons of traffic for your sites, then it is worth the effort.
Warning: If you ever read any articles, or are considering hiring anyone to help make your site/campaign/articles go viral… ensure that you ask to see proof of sites that they have managed to get on the Digg.com main page etc… 99% of the time they won’t have any. It is an area that many people like to discuss, but not many fully understand or appreciate it. So please be careful.
Ok, here are a few screenshot clippings that I got from past and recent viral successes. The goal here is to show you what can be achieved with a successful campaign:
The above image shows a brief snapshot of some of the traffic I received for one my blog’s articles. The interesting thing here is the number of major sites in the list:
What difference would it make to your website or business if you were featured on the main pages of all of those sites today?
I am guessing it would completely transform your business overnight.
Note: I am not hiding anything in this case study, so here is the url of the article in question: Google request viral story
Let’s have a look at another image:
Link to Del.icio.us image
This was taken shortly after the story went viral, and it appeared on the popular sections of Del.icio.us – what is interesting here is the comment from one of the users “This hilarious story has the web buzzing.” I think that quote sums up buzz marketing in a nutshell.
This image shows the traffic boost you can get… on the 8th December my blog was a fairly new blog that I just used to keep my general thoughts in… on the 9th it became a HIGHLY profitable business for me, and has since been the factor in me earning 6 figures per year. In many ways my life changed overnight.
Back to the image… you can see the first traffic spike on the 9th December 14,000+ visits. Then it calms down a bit and goes crazy on the 13th.
Here is the most amazing part… my server actually crashed on the 9th, the 13th and the 14th… at one point it was down for hours during peak traffic times. This meant that a large % of my traffic was lost, and the rest was leaked to mirror sites. Had my server coped, these traffic stats would be a LOT higher.
In coming chapters I am going to show a lot more images, they will include high authority sites that linked to me (as high as pr8), I will show my Alexa graphs and rankings, and I will show you that the story was discussed and linked to, in over 15 languages.
But before I wrap up this first chapter… I want to have a quick rant about “Link Baiting”.
My Link Baiting Rant
Personally I feel link baiting has been given a bad name… and perhaps some of you prefer to use the term “link baiting” instead of “buzz/viral marketing”. So here are my thoughts on the matter:
Firstly, my description of link baiting: Link baiting is the art of creating content that will encourage backlinks.
So here is the key question… what types of content encourage links?
Answer: QUALITY content.
So essentially link baiting is the art of creating quality content.
Suddenly it seems like a great thing.
So why do so many people see link baiting as a nasty tactic?
Personally I think this shows a level of naivety with many Internet users. The fact of the matter is that EVERY webmaster wants more links!
Imagine if a doctor said “I am going to improve my surgery and I am going to ensure that I give the best service possible”. Would you accuse him of client baiting? Would you see this as a negative?
Link Baiting = creating quality content. Quality content = a positive thing.
Hopefully this will help many Internet users who feel that they are being conned with link baiting… the fact is that you are being offered a higher quality product.
This is part one of my viral/buzz marketing mini series. In future chapters I will show you more successes that I have had, more screenshot images, and I will be sharing the tips and techniques I have used not only on my own sites, but for friends and clients as well.
I would love to hear your questions… so please post any questions, and I will try to answer them as best as I can.