Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
Remember when people cared about Digg? I know, it’s been a while, but back when Digg was at its height, there was a phenomenon known as the Digg Effect. The Digg Effect occurred whenever a site would hit the front page of Digg, sending tons of traffic to the site and causing the servers to crash. Simply put, most websites just weren’t able to handle the traffic that came with hitting the front page of Digg, and as a result, marketers and site owners would end up missing out on opportunities to cash in on their content going viral.
While Digg might not get much love anymore, the Digg Effect is still very much a real thing. These days, content goes viral through Twitter ReTweets and Facebook shares or on sites like ReddIt. And just like back in Digg’s glory days, many websites still struggle to stay up when they have content that goes viral.
With all this in mind, it’s important to take a look at your own website. If you’re trying to drive traffic to your website, it’s important to make sure your website can actually handle that traffic if your marketing efforts are successful. If your website can’t handle a spike in traffic, you will:
- Disappoint visitors
- Lose visitors as many won’t come back if your website is down
- Fail to enjoy the benefits that can come with viral marketing success
- Look unprofessional in the eyes of your audience
Friday, January 8th, 2010
Marketing a free eBook can yield numerous benefits, including increased brand awareness, more email subscribers, and improved authority in your field. To get the most out of your free eBook marketing, follow these simple tips.
- Create a killer title—Without a great title, no one will take the time to download your eBook, even if it’s free. Your title needs to be catchy, descriptive, and compelling. It should speak to your target audience and immediately grab their interest.
- Write a quality eBook—Too many companies market free eBooks that are really nothing more than a glorified blog post. If you want readers to talk about your eBook and share it with their friends, give them something special. Make it at least several pages in length so it feels like something you actually put some thought and effort into.
- Pair the eBook with other content—To make your free download really irresistible, pair it with a free video or audio series. This makes the deal even more attractive, and it will get you more downloads.
- Send it out for review to other blogs—An eBook with positive reviews will generate interest. This means more downloads and a stronger email list for you. Send out your eBook to other blogs in your niche to ask for reviews. You might be surprised by how many bloggers will grant your wish. This also exposes you to a new audience.
- Design a cover—Many people are visual. They like to see things before getting them (even if it’s free). Designing a cover for your eBook makes it feel more tangible, and it also helps it to feel like a professional book. Remember, people do judge books by their cover, so don’t just throw some design together.
- Make it easy to share—Let those who download your eBook easily share the file with their friends. Ease of sharing can create a viral effect, building a buzz around you and your brand.
- Offer different file formats—Putting your eBook in different formats ensures as many people as possible can enjoy it. Your eBook can be made available in text format, Word document, PDF file, and HTML.
Have you marketed a free eBook? What tips would you add to this list? Leave a comment with your suggestions.
Monday, September 7th, 2009
Crowdsourcing. It’s one of those buzzwords that gets thrown around in new marketing discussions. What is it? The simplest explanation is crowdsourcing is when you collaborate with your audience on a task for your business. A good example of this is Dell’s IdeaStorm website. This platform allows users to submit new product ideas and suggestions for improving Dell’s current products. To date, Dell has used 366 of these user-submitted ideas, and they don’t pay their users a cent!
So, now that you understand what crowdsourcing is, how can you use it for your small business? Here are 5 easy ways to enjoy the benefits of collaborating with your audience.
- Generate ideas for better/new products—As I mentioned earlier, Dell uses crowdsourcing to better their products and to solicit ideas for new ones. You can easily do the same. Social media is the perfect tool for crowdsourcing. Ask your Twitter followers for feedback on your products. Create a website like the IdeaStorm website. Ask your blog readers for suggestions for new product ideas. The possibilities are endless.
- Ask a simple question—None of us are experts in everything. That’s where crowdsourcing can come in handy. Have a question about advertising for your business? Ask it on LinkedIn, Yahoo! Answers, or Twitter. Need some expertise on an employee management matter? The web is full of experts who can pitch some advice your way.
- Get low-cost designs—99designs and other similar websites let you harness the power of crowdsourcing for all your design needs. Perfect for the small business looking for a logo or website design on a tight budget, these sites allow you to post a design project to thousands of designers. You set a cash prize for the winning design, and the community of designers will submit design proposals to you. You could have hundreds of designs to choose from, ensuring you find the perfect design for your needs.
- Find the perfect price point—If you’re launching a new product or service, finding the right price tag for it can be an exercise in guesswork. But with the power of crowdsourcing, you can ask your audience how much they would pay for your new product or service. Averaging out the submitted price points is a great place to start your pricing research.
- Spread your marketing message—Viral marketing is all about enlisting the power of word of mouth to spread your message from one person to another. Make a list of viral ideas that could work for your business (e.g. a controversial blog post, a contest, a unique widget, etc.).
How have you used crowdsourcing for your business? Share your experiences in the replies.
Sunday, August 10th, 2008
America is a nation that is driven by the consumer. As such, advertising is a staple of our culture. Marketing campaigns are being thrown at us in every direction we turn. Some of these advertisements are successful; while others are marketing disasters. What follows is a list of 5 huge marketing missteps.
1. Holiday Inn Sex Change- Clever advertisements are the biggest hit or miss form of marketing out there. If viewers “get the joke”, your company could strike gold. If they don’t, you could be shooting yourself in the foot. Holiday Inn’s sex change commercial is an example of the latter. In the late 1990’s, Holiday Inn ran a Super Bowl ad depicting a woman changing into a man. The correlation was that Holiday Inn was undergoing major changes and renovations. Unfortunately, audiences didn’t laugh at the commercials, and gay rights activists were less than pleased. Lesson: Don’t try to be too clever. Just get your message out in a clear, easy to understand manner.
2. Chevy Tahoe User Ads- File this under “Viral Marketing Gone Bad.” Back in early 2006, Chevrolet teamed up with the hit show The Apprentice for a promotion that allowed users to upload their own commercials for the Chevy Tahoe. Let’s just say that things didn’t quite go as planned. Users started uploading commercials with less than flattering reviews of the Tahoe. Chevrolet did their best to control these criticizing ads, but the damage had been done. Here is just one example of the type of ads that were flooding the user generated website. http://youtube.com/watch?v=SiE4FXO8nDs Lesson: Don’t set yourself up for failure. Anyone with half a brain could see this backlash coming from a mile away. (more…)