Ten Ways to Be More Viral

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If you want more people to organically link to your website, more visitors to your website and more buzz about your brand, here are ten tips for increasing the viralness of your brand and website:

Don’t Forget About Forums: In the age of Facebook, it’s seems like internet marketers have gotten the idea that they are too cool for forums.  Although Web 2.0 style social networking can be a great way to promote your brand and website, forums are actually more popular than ever before.  As people spend more time on the Internet, they become more comfortable participating in activities such as forums.  The great thing about forums is that they attract people who are really passionate about a specific topic.  Therefore, if you invest some time and become an active member of a forum community, you can begin promoting yourself to the types of people that will go out and tell others about your brand and website.

Create a List: Sure, you may see internet marketing blogs complaining that Top Ten lists are overused, but outside of that extremely small percentage of people, the general population finds Top Ten (or any other number) lists to be very useful.  I mean, this is a Top Ten list and it obviously has your attention!

Drawings: People like visuals.  The old saying of a picture being worth a thousand words is especially true in relation to the Internet.  People spend a lot of time reading, and if you can communicate an idea to them through a drawing instead of 500 words, there’s a good chance that you will stand out in their minds.  The other great things about drawings is that people will add them to their own content and link back to you.  Remember, even if you’re not great at drawing, you can always hire someone that does have a knack for it.

Make it Free: People have always and will always like free stuff.  Therefore, if you can give away something that has some value, people will not only take advantage of it themselves, but they will tell their friends about it.  Keep in mind that “value” doesn’t have to be an explicit dollar amount; doing something as simple as compiling your best blog posts into an e-book and giving it away for free can be very successful.

Know Your Influencers: Every industry has influencers.  Even though some industries such as technology have more high profile influencers, even the most niche industry has at least a handful of influencers.  Since these are the people that can convince others to buy a product or avoid it at all costs, it makes sense that you would want them to be interested in your brand and website.  The best way to do this is by establishing a relationship with them.  Instead of spamming them with emails, take time to learn everything you can about them, and then use what you learn to find ways you can actually be helpful or useful to them.

Have Realistic Goals: Some people are actually successful at being viral, but because they have unrealistic expectations, they think that they fail.  Therefore, if you are going to launch a specific viral campaign for your brand or website, make sure that you set realistic goals, and if you meet these goals, it’s important to acknowledge that your campaign was a success.

Keep on Trying: Like most things in life, if you keep trying (and analyzing your failures and seeing what you can do to improve), you are eventually going to succeed.  You’re not going to hit a home run everytime, but if you learn from your mistakes and remain persistent, you will find yourself being successful more and more frequently.

Leverage Existing Relationships: While cold callling strangers isn’t going to help your latest viral marketing campaign take off, using existing relationships to establish some traction can be very effective.  If you know people that can help you, don’t be afraid to ask (just remember that you will need to return the favor later).

Humor: People enjoy laughing, and if they see something that they think is funny, chances are they will share it with their friends who have a similar sense of humor.  If you can make people laugh (or at least smile), you have already made your brand and website more viral than your competitors who are dry and dull.

Be Useful: Whether it’s a piece of content or a tool on your website, if you can help someone solve a problem or issue, they will tell other people with the same problem about your solution.  If you want to increase your viralness, find out what some of your target audience’s most common problems are, and then develop a solution that they can use to solve at least one of these problems.

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