Monday, September 14, 2009

"Viral Marketing"

"Viral Marketing" is a scary phrase. People hear "viral" and think they'll contract a disease if they get involved. So, they tune out. How do we immunize so that we can go about our business of spreading the "disease" of our good name, brand, and products? Educate.

Wikipedia defines "Viral Marketing" as:
"A marketing technique that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. It can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet."

Twitter is one of the fastest-growing tools for viral marketing today. It enables individuals to share their lives, beliefs, thoughts, and work with people they've never met in an instant. That's a powerful thing. There's a lot of skepticism around Twitter, as there is around Wikipedia, since anyone can post anything to the sites. Yes, it's true that you can't trust everything you read on the internet. But, for the most part, people want to help others, not hinder them. Unlike Wikipedia, however, Twitter gives users a personal brand, by which they can build the trust of their followers. When I began using Twitter, I followed only the brand names that I already knew and trusted - CNN, Time, Digg, my family, my close friends, celebrities I respect. The more I participated in conversations on Twitter, the more I was exposed to other people, who I don't "know" per se, but who I've spoken with over the web and learned to trust information from. We tweet and retweet each other, and our networks have expanded as they have recommended their friends and followers to me, and I to them. Now, I have over 400 followers reading my thoughts, commenting on articles I've read or written, providing constant feedback of my work and my ideas. A business could do a lot with a system like that.

"Viral Marketing" in my own words is one person sharing a good idea with another person, who shares that idea with another two people, each of whom share it with another two people, and so on and so forth. That idea spreads rapidly this way, through trust relationships. For marketers, this is a beautiful thing, but viral marketing is difficult to track and measure results of a campaign. How can we realize the results of a word-of-mouth marketing campaign if it's all done in people's homes over dinner table conversation, or at coffee shops? There are tools out there that can do some of the measuring for us, for a hefty fee. There are surveys that we can pass on, asking our prospective clients how they heard about our ideas. But, our current clients are more likely to pass the idea on if there's something in it for them - an incentive.

JumpReach is a viral marketing tool that allows you to encourage your existing customers to share your ideas with their contacts (using incentives), makes it easy for them to do so, and tracks the results of your word-of-mouth marketing campaign, so you can easily see that the money you put into it was well worth it. We want your campaign to work. We want the business that you draw from that campaign to pay for our relatively inexpensive tool and much more. We are excited and passionate about this tool and what it can do for you; we are after hearts and minds, not just eyeballs. We want you to take a look at what we have to offer, and we want you to see how great it is, how affordable it is, how unique and valuable it is. We want your feedback about how we can make JumpReach better for you and your campaign. Follow/DM JumpReach on Twitter @JumpReach or check out for more information about this amazing new tool that could transform your marketing dollars spent into dollars earned.

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