How much do you spend on advertising for your business? And by business, I mean for whatever you are promoting. That thing might be a brick and mortar traditional type business or it might be for a book or product that you are selling through the internet. In either case, most people agree that word of mouth is the best advertising. People talk to their friends and recommend a movie, a restaurant, a contractor, or a service provider.
Why do you think that DirecTV has the incentive that if you tell a friend and they subscribe, you each get a hundred dollars? It’s word of mouth with a reward, and of course, the business has a new customer for a two year contract or whatever term. The concept is about feelings and beliefs. You are more likely to ‘buy into’ something (pardon the phrase, but isn’t it so applicable here?) if someone you know, like and trust has recommended it.
Obviously this is about marketing and spreading your message. How do you spread your message? Is it through traditional means? Do you use billboards, newspapers, magazines, flyers, postcards or bumper stickers? Or are you more on the electronic frontier of advertising – e-mail campaigns, Google Adwords, videos, banner ads on popular web sites, or article marketing? If some of those aren’t familiar to you, maybe you should do some research on them.
How are all these things linked together? Money – more specifically, your money. So are you getting the most customers for your marketing budget? The trick to getting more out of your budget is getting something that goes viral on the internet. It still might be your traditional print ad, or maybe it’s something electronic, a chain letter that is passed along because it’s funny or clever.
The e-mail chain was used by Hotmail to spread the word of their free e-mail service. Every single e-mail sent out by a Hotmail user carried an advertisement to spread the “gospel according to Hotmail.” And it still does. Look at the bottom of an e-mail from them, and you’ll see something like this – “Hotmail: Trusted email with powerful SPAM protection sign up now.” And it’s possible that you will sign up.
There are lots of tricks to viral marketing, whether it’s an e-mail campaign, talking gecko, or a funny commercial on a huge sporting event (possibly football?). You need to figure out your particular angle and make it work for you. You’ll tell two friends and they’ll tell two friends, and so on, and so on. And soon you’ll be expanding your business or getting ready to retire from all the income.