Browse > Home / Archive by category 'viral marketing'

Different Elements of Your Viral e-Book

September 16, 2008

Once you have all the resources and information to put in your e-book, it is now time to think how your e-book should look like. As much as possible, you would want to keep your e-book at a professional level. This would earn your e-book more credibility which can mean increase in returns.

The first thing that you have to think about is how your e-book cover should look like. Although you are just making an online document, meaning no papers and printing necessary, electronic books still need a good cover to attract more readers.

Having an inclination to arts and graphic design will surely help in doing the layout of your e-book cover. If you are the type of person who is not really into designing, you can always hire someone to do it for you. You can just give him the details as to how you want the cover to look like and let him use his imagination to create a perfect e-book cover.

The color, main and secondary fonts should be considered in making an eye-catching cover. Here are some general tips to follow when creating the cover of your e-book:

– Use color combinations among these colors: red, blue, black and white.
– If you think of using yellow, you may use it sparingly with black because it has the strongest contrast.
– A strong font is best to use for the main title of the book – it may be Arial Black for short titles and Impact for longer ones.
– Limit the number of fonts used in the cover to three. Having a lot of different fonts will make it look like a mess.
– The cover should contain the following:
 a. main title
 b. a good subtitle or teaser phrase
 c. author’s name
 d. URL where the e-book can be found

It is best to keep the cover as simple as possible. A small image and a short title will do just fine. Putting a lot of information in the cover may make it unreadable and unpleasant to the eyes.

Now that you have a good cover for your viral e-book, let us talk about what should be inside it. First of all, your e-book should show first basic information about the book itself such as its copyright information and author’s name with a short biography.

Then, to serve as a guide to the contents of your e-book, you should have a table of contents. This should, more or less, outline the different parts of the book so when a reader wants to go back to a certain portion of the book, he can just jump to the page indicated in the table of contents.

No matter what your purpose is in creating your viral e-book, try to keep it short but contains enough information as much as possible. You would not want to bore your readers reading hundreds of pages on your e-book. This is more applicable when you are creating a viral e-book that serves as a preview of the full-version. This e-book should only contain enough relevant information to gain the reader’s curiosity and make them purchase the full-version.

The layout of the pages on your e-book should be the same all throughout. The pages should be also made as simple as possible yet with a touch of professionalism.

Other than the actual contents and links that you will put on your e-book, you should also add a page that discusses in detail the instructions on how an affiliate can customize the links on your e-book. You would not want to be bothered by a phone call in the middle of the night just to be asked how to rebrand your e-book.

Clear and full instructions on rebranding and customization should be included in the contents of your e-book. This way, the readers can just sign up as your affiliate, then once they have their own affiliate identification or code, they can do their own customization with the instructions you have placed in your e-book.

When you are creating a viral e-book, simplicity is the key. Having a simple yet interesting and informative e-book will increase its chance of being spread to more and more people over the internet. Adding the good rewards and incentives that an affiliate can get in distributing your e-book will definitely give you huge returns in no time.

Written by Olegs Marhelis · Filed Under viral marketing 

Starting a Viral e-Book? Choose a Good Topic

September 14, 2008

Viral marketing is the most popular type of marketing strategy in the online industry at the moment. Why is it so? Because it can give a huge number of potential customers in just a short period of time with very minimal cost. Of course, if there are a large number of potential clients, the turnover percentage will also be bigger.

Viral marketing can be done in many ways. There are newsletters sent thru email, web sites, invitational emails and much more. One effective way to do it is by producing an e-book, or the so-called viral e-book.

What is a viral e-book?

E-books, or electronic books, are the online or electronic version of books, newsletters, publications, manual, etc. E-books are downloadable files from the internet and can be installed to one’s computer. Some of the popular books, like Harry Potter, actually have an e-book version. Some of these are free; some are available for a minimal cost.

The concept of e-books has been adopted by marketing people because of the ease of distribution to a huge number of people over the internet. They incorporated advertising and marketing strategies with e-books to boost revenue, at the same time giving useful information to other people.

That is how the term viral e-book came about. Viral e-book is, basically, an e-book that is passed on to other persons which brings several benefits, mainly profits, for each individual. These e-books are free, most of the time, to encourage more people to get them and pass them on to others.

Viral e-books contain useful information about something related to what the marketer is promoting. And since it is a marketing tool, these viral e-books contain links that lead to the marketer’s web site. Thus, if a person reading the e-book becomes interested and clicks on the link, that will already be a potential sale to the one who originally sent the e-book.

If you are planning to start making such an e-book to promote your products or services, you should consider several things before jumping on to it. The very first thing that you have to think about is the topic.

How to choose a topic?

An e-book can talk about anything. But, of course, if you are planning to make profit from it, your e-book should talk about something interesting. It should deal with things that most people are concerned about. People want things where they can benefit from in whichever way it may be.

The first thing to consider when thinking about the topic for your e-book is your main goal. You have to define your purpose of writing the e-book. If your goal is to increase sales of your product or service, then your topic should be something related to those things.

You, as the maker of the e-book, should also be interested in the topic you choose; else, it will feel like a burden doing something that you do not really like. Also, it will be easier for you to write things about a topic that interests you so you can express yourself better.

To better help you in selecting a topic, you must set an ample amount of time thinking about it. Go in a place where you can concentrate. Try to think of the things that interest you, things that you are comfortable with. Then list down all those things that come to your mind, even the crazy ones.

Once you’ve listed them, select those that can be related to your product or service, if you are promoting these things. If not, select the topic that you think will be most profitable. Also, make sure that you can have a lot of resources for the topic you choose. More resources would mean more information to put in your e-book, and the more interesting it will be to read.

Having a good topic is the best way to start your viral e-book. A topic that interests you, as the author of the e-book, will make the journey of creating it be enjoyable and fun. Other than that, more valuable and quality information will be incorporated since you know the topic well.

So start brainstorming now with yourself. Choose the best topic that you can think of. And make that vision of increased profit turn into reality with your own viral e-book.

Written by Olegs Marhelis · Filed Under Affiliate Strategies, viral marketing 

How to Make Sure Your Viral e-Book will be Read

September 12, 2008

One of viral marketing’s principles is to give away something for free. This will definitely catch the attention of a huge number of people. Free items are always the best when trying to introduce something new in the market.

Most businesses and individuals who adopt this marketing strategy have found different ways of giving away information and other things for free. One of those methods is coming up with an e-book and sending it to potential customers.

There are a lot of e-books available for download over the internet. Almost all of these can be obtained for free. But even so, it is not assured that everyone will read it, much less get it. So how do you make your own e-book popular and be read by the most number of people possible?

Tips on Producing an Effective Viral e-Book

Your main goal in producing a viral e-book is to get your product or service known to a huge number of people or to get huge traffic to your web site. But you don’t have to do all the work on your own.

The way viral e-books work is to initially inform a sufficient number of your target market. Then these first-hand customers will send your e-book to their own set of friends and colleagues, so will these second-generation customers. The cycle goes on and on.

But the question is how will you make your first-generation customers send your viral e-book to other people? What should entice them in distributing it?

First of all, you have to make sure that your e-book is of good quality. It should look professional and not like compilation of links all around the pages. It should not have the first impression of being an advertisement; else others will think of it as a form of spam messaging.

Your e-book should also contain valuable and interesting information about something that concerns the vast majority of your target population. It should be reader friendly in such a way that the format is consistent and the words are not so technical. Remember, you do not have control as to who will get a hold of your e-book and read it.

Of course, it’s not all about being interesting and informative. The most important thing that will make people distribute your e-book is when they know that they will also earn from it. It should be a mutual relationship. You should be getting something from it, as well as those who will help you pass it on to others.

This is what internet marketers usually call affiliations. Your first-generation customers are your first set of affiliates. They should be able to edit the links included in the e-book to add their affiliate ID or change the link to their affiliate URL. When the links are clicked, they will lead to your site but there is also credit given to the affiliate who sent the e-book.

With this, your site will get the traffic it needs; at the same time, your customers or affiliates also get something from it. That will give them the motivation to read through your e-book then distribute it to other people.

One thing to make sure though when you allow for rebranding or modifying the link is still maintain some sort of control over it. As the author of the e-book, you have the control as to what should be changed or modified. Make sure that the modification is just the affiliate ID or affiliate URL and not a totally different link which you may not have control of.

Finally, you have to keep in touch with your customers. The key to having a huge client base and maintaining it is to have a good relationship with your customers. Following them up will not harm you. It is actually a good thing to do to make sure that they read your e-book and pass it on to others.

You may also want to provide a few add-ons to your e-book. Additional information, updates and related articles to the topic you discussed on your e-book will continue to encourage them to spread the word about your book.

So before going into the nitty gritty details of writing the e-book itself, make sure that you have done these things, or at least gave a thought about them. Writing your e-book without defining your goal and coming up with a plan may be a waste of time and effort on your part since it may not be able to serve its purpose.

Written by Olegs Marhelis · Filed Under viral marketing 

Need More Subscribers and Huge Traffic? Produce Viral e-Books

September 2, 2008

Viral marketing, when done correctly, can produce very good results. These results can be in the form of site traffic, subscribers to your mailing list, or increased sales of your products and services.

One of the best ways to do viral marketing strategy is the production of viral e-books. This is not just an ordinary e-book. These are books that can be freely passed on by someone to another person with added benefits to both parties.

How does it work with viral e-books?

Aside from having an interesting topic and a wealth of information, the main purpose of the viral e-book is containing links to the site and products the author is promoting. These links can be modified from one person to another by changing the affiliate ID in the link. These links still lead to the web site of the author but credit will also be given to the affiliate which is like a commission.

The author can allow rebranding rights of the e-book to its readers. That means the reader, who would also want to earn from the e-book by becoming an affiliate, can replace the links with his own affiliate code to earn commissions. With this incentive or reward, he will surely pass the book to more and more people. That’s where viral explosion begins.

To be able to maximize the purpose of producing the viral e-book, have an explosion of traffic and have huge number of subscribers, we must have the following factors in place.

– Wide distribution. There are several ways on how you can offer your e-book. You can offer it for free or for a minimal amount. If you allow rebranding, you can also charge for it and have options such as full customization or just part customization rights. Resale rights can also be offered for a certain fee.

However, if a certain amount is tagged to your e-book, its spread will be limited as not everyone is willing to spend money on these e-books. So to have the widest possible reach of your e-book, it is best to offer it for free and the rebranding rights, maybe the part customization, for free as well. Anyways, what we are after is for the e-book to reach a huge number of potential customers and get the most commission from the attached affiliate links.

– Quality affiliate links. To be able to maximize your e-book and give its full potential, it should have good and legitimate affiliate links. But how do you make the readers really click on those links?

If your e-book bombards the readers with lots of affiliate links instead of quality information, they will probably stop reading your book, deletes it and forgets about it. Likewise, if the links lead to affiliate products which are totally not related to the e-book’s theme, you will just lose a good number of potential customers.

The best way to include the affiliate links in your e-book is to make them appear as natural as the other statements in your book. Try to weave them into the content in such a way that it is not obvious to the eyes of your readers. For example, when you want to readers to learn more about a certain topic discussed on your e-book, you can then mention the link as a source of additional information.

– Maximum return for all parties involved. Since you want wide distribution of your e-book, you will offer it for free as well as the rebranding rights. But what will you benefit from it? Of course, just the fact that people will sign up as an affiliate for them to be able to rebrand the links with their own codes means that you will gain more and more subscribers to your list.

Having more and more people who would want to rebrand the links means that more chances of your e-book getting distributed to others because of the incentives these people would gain. And the more people who will get to receive your e-book, the more traffic you will get on your site.

It wouldn’t really matter now if you are not earning from the rebranding rights. What is more important is the increased traffic and subscribers you will get which will eventually lead to more and more sales and success for your business.

Written by Olegs Marhelis · Filed Under Affiliate Strategies, Business, viral marketing 

Viral Marketing – Why is it so Powerful?

August 27, 2008

Viral marketing is the new marketing and advertising trend right now, especially in the online scene. It takes advantage of the internet’s network effect to be able to reach a great number of people in such a short time.

Benefits of Viral Marketing

Viral marketing strategies offer several advantages to businesses.

– Easy to execute. There are several methods of sending viral contents or messages and all of them are easy to do. Among those methods are sending email, instant messaging, and using web sites. Sending viral messages through these media will not take much effort and time.

– Low-cost. As compared to sending direct mails, viral marketing proves to be cheaper and a more cost-effective method. With just a little investment on viral advertising, its power can reach even hundreds of thousands of people as compared to spending the same amount of money to traditional advertising methods. That is because the only money to spend is for sending the initial set of viral contents, then forwarding or replicating the message will not require additional costs anymore.

– Good targeting. With viral marketing, there is a huge probability that the message will reach people that are interested in it. Since the concept of viral marketing is essentially passing on a message from a user to another person, most likely, the user will pass it to a person whom he knows will be interested in it. Thus, the percentage of wasted advertising, which is sending the message to the wrong market, will be reduced.

– High and rapid response rate. Since viral marketing reaches a good number of the business’ target market, there is also a big possibility to have a high turnover ratio. Even if the responses will not immediately convert into profits, there will still be huge traffic that the business will receive which is what most web owners want.

These are indeed great benefits a business can get by adopting this marketing technique. But what really makes it more powerful than other marketing or advertising strategies?

Let us take the example of Hotmail, where this viral marketing term really started. Hotmail was able to spread over the internet at an amazing rate. It is like an epidemic that quickly spreads out to others once there is a single person infected by the virus. That is why this technique was named as such.

According to Hotmail’s statistics, its number of subscribers grew from zero to twelve million users in just 18 months. Imagine that! What’s more amazing is that the company spent just $50,000 on advertising to achieve that number of subscribers. Compare that to Juno which spent $20 million on traditional advertising during the same time period as Hotmail but got much less output.

With those facts about Hotmail, viral marketing’s main strength is indeed reaching a huge number of the target market at a considerably low cost. Hotmail did not even have marketing or advertising presence in most countries outside the United States but it got to be the major email service provider in these places like India and Sweden.

What adds more power to viral marketing is the fact that the viral message passed on is like an endorsement from a friend or somebody who can be trusted. People have this way of thinking that “if my friend uses this product and is happy about it, what stops me from using it as well?”

In Hotmail’s case, when those people who received an email from their friends, relatives, or colleagues using Hotmail learned that it works and their friend is a user, they quickly signed up and became members as well. These people wanted to belong in this group where their friends are also in. This technique is also a matter of association or affiliation.

Hotmail’s case is not an isolated one, though. During the same time that Hotmail is gaining its popularity, so does ICQ. ICQ is like a buddy list and instant messenger, much like MSN and Yahoo Messenger now. ICQ also used the same technique and marketing campaign and it gained almost the same number of subscribers as Hotmail within the same time frame.

Viral marketing is indeed one powerful tool to increase popularity of a product or service. However, just like any other things, proper use of the technique is necessary. A single mistake of misuse of it may mean permanent damage to the product or service being promoted.

Written by Olegs Marhelis · Filed Under viral marketing 

What Is Viral Marketing?

August 25, 2008

When you purchased an item or availed of a service of a certain establishment and are satisfied with what you got, don’t you recommend that to a friend? And when you give your recommendation, doesn’t your friend buy or avail of it as well?

More often than not, we express our satisfaction with some product or service by telling our friends and relatives about our experience. Some of them will actually try the same product or service that we recommended. Essentially, we have just successfully advertised the product through word-of-mouth without the establishment having to spend a penny on it.

That is the idea behind viral marketing. Viral marketing is an advertising strategy that entices people to pass on a marketing message to their relatives and friends. It is called as such because of its similarity to an epidemic that easily spreads out, with an exponential growth, once an individual gets “infected.”

How did this marketing phenomenon start?

The concept of viral marketing, which is passing along a message, has been around for a long time now, even for centuries. There was just no specific name for it until 1997 when Steve Jurvetson, a venture capitalist, came up with the term “viral marketing” to describe Hotmail’s marketing practice then.

Hotmail’s practice was to append an advertisement of itself on each message that is sent using their service. When a recipient gets interested and clicks on the ad, it will lead to Hotmail’s website for him to signup. This will go on and on, and the growth is similar to an exponential curve.

Types of Viral Marketing

There are different ways to apply viral marketing strategy.

– Pass-along. This is the most common type of viral marketing. Web sites that ask their users to tell-a-friend about their products and services is an example of pass-along messaging. However, there is a risk of the message being labeled as “spam” by email providers. Thus, it is important that the “from” and “subject” lines do not contain any word that may be tagged as spam.

– Incentivised viral. This is a marketing technique used by companies in which users are offered rewards when they refer somebody to the company. This becomes more effective when the referred person needs to take action for the reward to be given.

– Undercover. The most difficult viral to spot, undercover marketing sends a viral message that is disguised as just an unusual page or piece of news without obvious link citations.

– Edgy gossip or buzz marketing. This type is most common in the entertainment world. A good example is the spread of different controversies, like getting married or divorced, involving the stars of a movie that is yet to be released. This is like a word-of-mouth advertising for the movie.

Methods of Transmission

Spreading the viral message can be done in different ways.

– Email. This is the most common type, when people forwards messages such as inspirational messages, jokes, funny clips and pictures that advertises a certain product or service.

– Instant Messaging. People who receive links from friends through instant messaging servers, like Yahoo or MSN, are more likely to check it out because of the notion of urgency of the sender.

– Web sites. Most of the articles now published online have a link that says “Send to a friend.” This is one way to make the article reach a good number of people by just posting it in one site.

– Word of mouth. Of course, this is the traditional way of passing on a message to another person; and most of the time, the most reliable method too.

Though there are several ways on how to do this kind of advertising, there are also barriers to it. One was already mentioned, which is the risk of the message being labeled as “spam.” Since a lot of companies now are using this method and promoting their products through email, email providers proactively created some sort of filter in their system to separate potential spam emails from the more trusted ones.

Other barriers can be the size and format of the viral message. If the content is a video clip, its reach may be limited because of size limitations of most of the email providers. Media format is also one thing to consider because not all recipients of the message may have the right application to open the file.

But despite of these constraints, businesses are already getting into this style of marketing. Indeed, this technique helps in dramatically increasing revenues by reaching a huge number of the target market without having to spend a big chunk of money for advertisements. Viral marketing will definitely go a long way, especially in the World Wide Web.

Written by Olegs Marhelis · Filed Under viral marketing 

Principles of Viral Marketing

August 22, 2008

Viral marketing has definitely gained its popularity over the global network. More and more businesses are adopting this marketing strategy to gain their fair share in the market. The approach developed by Hotmail in increasing its number of subscribers is one classic example of viral marketing.

How Hotmail Did It

Hotmail is one of the first web-based email provider that gives away email addresses for free. Their marketing approach starts by giving free web-based email addresses and additional services. Each of the messages sent with a Hotmail address has an advertisement at the bottom that goes: “Get your private, free email at http://www.hotmail.com.”

Then, of course, Hotmail subscribers will use the service to send messages to their friends and colleagues. These friends and colleagues will get the message and read it, and then clicks on the link at the bottom. They will also sign up and be a subscriber like what the sender did. Then these new subscribers will also email their own set of friends. The cycle goes on and on.

This is why viral marketing has the power of reaching thousands, even millions, of people in such a short time and with little effort from the one who initiates it.

Elements of Viral Marketing

Dr. Ralph Wilson, an e-commerce consultant, named six elements or basic principles of viral marketing. A viral marketing technique need not have all of these, but the more principles it follows, the more powerful the strategy will be.

1. Give away products or services. This is the first and most basic principle of viral marketing. When a person hears the word “free,” it elicits the interest in him and will avail of that free product or service, for sure. Having cheap or inexpensive products may also do the trick, but “free” will give much faster results.

Patience is important in viral marketing. Giving away products for free may not earn profit today but if the business gets to develop customer base by giving something for free, it will soon generate income for them.

2. Easy transfer to others. The medium used to carry the marketing message to other people should relatively be easy. Viral marketing has been powerful over the internet because of the ease of communication the technology offers. Email, web sites, software downloads are just some examples that can be used in viral marketing.

Also, it is better that the message be short for easy copying and transmission. Simple and short but straight to the point is best, just like Hotmail’s advertisement at the bottom of each email sent out.

3. Scalability from small to very large. When viral marketing is used as a marketing style, it is best that the business is prepared for rapid growth. In cases of increasing web traffic thru viral advertising, the web owner should make sure that the host server is prepared enough to handle the expected increase in traffic within a short period of time.

This should not be taken for granted; else, it will defeat the purpose of doing viral marketing. Once people notice that the site takes a long time to load, they will just leave and forget about it. That means an automatic loss of potential customers.

4. Exploit motivation and behaviors. A marketing strategy that builds on motivation and behaviors of people for its transmission is a definite plus. People love to be popular. This motivation will drive them to communicate to more and more people to be known.

5. Utilize existing networks. According to social scientists, an average person has about 8 to 12 members in their close network of family, friends and colleagues. Moreover, internet gives way to creating a bigger network circle. Learning to use these existing networks in viral marketing will yield better results.

6. Take advantage of other’s resources. Viral marketing need not consume all your resources away. Using other web sites in posting your articles, for example, will get them read by a large number of people without the need of creating your own web page.

It is best to learn these basic elements or principles of viral marketing first before actually doing it. Being to aggressive without doing your homework may just lead to damage instead of success. Try to adopt those that may be applicable to your product. Use all of the principles, if possible, for a more successful output.

Written by Olegs Marhelis · Filed Under Business, viral marketing