Viral Marketing at Its Best (Or Worst)

How do you plan to “Go Viral in 2009”?

Is viral marketing even in your online marketing vocabulary?

What are the keys to success in a viral marketing campaign?

Who are you routing for in the BCS Title Game: Florida or Oklahoma?

Read on…

tim-tebow-is-4th-best-in-big-12Oklahoma sophomore cornerback Dominique Franks said during interviews with the media Sunday morning at the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa that Tebow would have been no better than the fourth-best quarterback in the Big 12 this season.

Oklahoma’s Dominique Franks said stepping up to the task this season of defending Big 12 quarterbacks was no easy chore.
‘If you look at the three best quarterbacks in the country, they came from the Big 12,’ said Franks, referring to Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, Texas’ Colt McCoy and Texas Tech’s Graham Harrell.

‘The three best receivers in the country came from the Big 12. The three best tight ends came from the Big 12. So we’ve faced some great offenses, and a lot of people don’t understand that other conferences don’t have what we face.’

Franks didn’t stop there, either. He said the Heisman voters got it right this year in selecting Bradford for the coveted award, no doubt spicing up the prelude to Thursday’s FedEx BCS National Championship Game.

‘With us being in Florida and playing against Florida, everybody’s going to think Tebow should have won the Heisman,’ Franks said. ‘But the right person won the Heisman, and we’re going to go out there and show everybody the reason why he won it.’

Wow, think this will spark some controversy and emotion in the BCS Title game?

How do you think Florida will respond to this?

What about Tim Tebow?

Viral Marketing is such a HUGE part of starting an online business.  If you can get “buzz” out to your audience, a start-up website can get immediate traffic and start-up success!

So, what’s the key to a good viral marketing campaign?

I was reading a friends blog about viral marketing are here are some of the steps they recommended:

  1. Load it up – this is the part where you make your viral piece connect with your customer on an emotional level. Touch their heart, or touch their funny bone, or something else that makes them think…I need to share this.
    • My thoughts: I think this point is EXACTLY what the above statement by the Oklahoma defensive player does by sharing his thoughts about Tim Tebow – he sparks emotion that could really come back to haunt he and his team.  Controversy, humor, breaking news: these are Keys to Success with Viral Marketing!
  2. Don’t advertise – viral marketing is about sharing something that is funny, or is a great story. Don’t just think about advertising through your piece. Many of the best viral ads don’t even include a brand name or anything…it’s left to the customer to figure it out.
    • My thoughts: Your creativity WON’T GO VIRAL if you’re blatantly advertising your company.  Would you pass on a recommendation to a used car salesman or a network marketing “friend” who, whenever they talk to you, it’s about their “break-through product”?  In the above example, there’s definitely NO ADVERTISING although the buzz these comments will create will probably help sell more tickets and get more viewers, even from people who don’t really care about college football.
  3. Spread the message – do everything you can to share the message online and offline. Post to forums, message boards, social accounts, blogs, emails, etc. Basically get the viral aspect started.
    • My thoughts: Don’t be afraid to ask for help from connections you’ve formed through online social networks.  Some of my best “viral marketing” has been through the effective use of StumbleUpon and using Facebook Pages.  The funny thing is, whether Oklahoma wants it or not, this message will get passed all over the Florida Gator Nation and sparks will be flying.  If it were your team being criticized, wouldn’t you want this stuff to be heard to help fire things up?
  4. Love the comments – reply to comments made on your piece. Don’t delete negative comments unless they are crude or attacking to others.
    • My thoughts: This was one of the best things I learned from Gary Vaynerchuk at Blog World Expo 2008: “Reply to all comments on your blog, respond to all your emails, and connect with your readers/clients.”  When setting blogging goals as part of your marketing strategy, make sure viral marketing and connection is included. Your success in starting an online business will come a lot quicker this way.  It will be interesting to see how many “comments” will come from these ideas.  If it’s on ESPN, who ISN’T hearing about it in the sports industry?

How would you respond to the claims of the Oklahoma defensive back?

Do you think his statements will go “Viral”?

What funny, controversial, or unique ideas can you find in your industry that have “viral capabilities”?

picture courtesy of ESPN

Why Starting an Online Business is Like Marriage

How does this relate to starting an online business?

Marriage really is like a business in many ways: when you propose to your sweetheart, you have to be a great salesman, you have to love what you’re doing, you have to be really committed and self motivated, you have to focus, focus, focus, you have to be creative and unique (aka find your niche), you have to take time off and enjoy life, and at times you have to deal with hard times and look beyond imperfections (small success leads to big success!).

The key is, if you’re doing what you love to do when starting an online business, times like this will be fun to look back on and laugh off. If you’re always looking for the “trophy wife” type business that’s going to make you a lot of money really quick while you sit back and enjoy the sun, a catastrophe like this one will end it all – you’ll fly south and look for any reason to quit or give up.

Any creative thoughts on how you can relate this funny wedding video to your online business endeavor?

Does Your Family Do This?

Not sure what I can say about this, except that it was all in good Moller family fun!

No, my kids are not weird; no, this isn’t how it is in Utah :); and no, my wife and I don’t teach our kids to do this; but, it is pretty funny!

So, how can you relate this picture to starting an online business?

  1. What you see isn’t always what you get? This picture didn’t happen accidentally – it took our photographer quite a few M&Ms to coerce my little boy to actually do this (thank goodness). Nor will starting an online business just happen overnight by coincidence.  It may look really simple – a turn key, get-rich-quick!  However, it’s takes time, effort and lots of energy to create a profitable business, both on and offline.
  2. You have to have a niche and be passionate about it. Imitating what someone else is doing may “look” ok, but once you hit a few road blocks, the “rookies” that aren’t passionate about what they are doing will give up and quit!
  3. Success breeds Success! 🙂 If you really love what you’re doing (as my wife and I do), others will follow.  The more you associate with the right people who are positive and successful, the better chance you have to succeed with your endeavor.  This is one of the main reasons I still work at Prosper Learning- it’s an entrepreneur’s dream job where we all get to help others while at the same time learning from one another and networking.

I look forward to some creative comments about how this picture relates to starting an online business!

Birth Order Sucks!

So who does Mom love more, the 1st born son or the poor daughter below?

I’m still trying to figure out a creative way to tie this in to Starting an Online Business.

How would you associate this picture with online marketing or starting a business online?

More content to come on this post – stay tuned for updates – Comments Invited!

Nathan Moller for President!

So, vote for Nathan Moller Today!

This is a cool viral marketing strategy that could work for your business too – try it out!

Uggla, or is it “Ugly!”

Dan UgglaE4, and then another E4! Hooray for the American League! The game isn’t quite over but it might as well be. Poor Dan Uggla of the Florida Marlins made two huge errors and it looks like the AL will win the All Star game and have home field advantage in the World Series.

I know, this has nothing to do with online marketing or building an online business, but it’s one thing I have a passion for so I’d thought I’d share my feelings.

The drama, however, there are now two outs and the bases are still loaded; we’ll see what happens.

UPDATE: the game continues – somehow the NL got out of a bases loaded no out jam to get to the 11th inning.

Another UPDATE: Yes, Uggla had one more error before the night was over, although the ball took a bad hop. Yes, I did stay up until the bottom of the 15th inning to watch one of the longest All Star Games in Major League Baseball history, and YES, the American League did finally win (although I thought they got some bad calls on the play at home and on the steal of 2nd earlier in the extra-inning episode.) What this all means is that my Yankees will now get home field advantage in the World Series!

Staring an Online Business Tip:

How can this whole article tie in with what you are doing with your new online business? Always remember, writing about things your passionate about is always going to be a lot easier than trying to re-invent the wheel and learn a completely new industry. As an online business owner, you either need to like writing or hire someone who can write for you: your main way to communicate with visitors is via “sales copy”.

Help Firefox Break the World Record!

Sounds like a good deal, right? Make sure to download Firefox 3 during Download Day to help set the record for most software downloads in 24 hours.

The official date for the launch of Firefox 3 is June 17, 2008. Join the internet community and this effort by pledging today.

firefox download day 2008

P.S. This is a great “Viral Marketing” campaign by Firefox too – think how you could use ideas like this to increase traffic, boost sales, and achive your business goals.

Make a comment on how you plan to implement a plan like this to get the word out about your online business.

The Beatles Hey Jude at a Whole New Level

This is the best thing I’ve seen on YouTube for a long time:

Are you using video to market your website? If you’re not, you’re really missing out. Although this video isn’t really marketing anything except a really cute and talented little singer, you can use video the same way to promote your products.

A video like this is the “viral” quality: it will get viewed and passed along to millions of people. Find a way to tie it (or a fun video like it) in to your marketing campaign and “viola” – you have traffic that you can’t even handle with tons of backlinks too.

Now go and do likewise 🙂

Viral Marketing | Using Pictures for Link Building

viral marketing

All started out pretty good….but…

marketing viral

Then she tasted that nasty toothpaste…

I’ve been reading a friends blog from time to time about viral marketing.  These two pictures made me think, “If I had a website and I was a Dentist, this would be a perfect viral marketing campaign to get people to come to my site and book mark the funny pictures…I could title the post – “Will your dentist make your kid do this?” or “Toothpaste that makes you twinge“.

I’m sure there are other directions you could head with these pictures but I think Mat’s viral marketing ideas and suggestions are contagious. Some may ask, “How can this really help my website?” Links, links, links! As we talk about social media marketing (saving articles and web pages to your favorites in StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious and the like), a big part of viral marketing and SMO is encouraging people to add your pages to their favorites.  By doing this, you are creating links all over the internet that help Google and other search engines find you.  The more they find you on relevant sites, the better chance you have of moving up the charts for keywords you are using on your pages.  We don’t want to SPAM these sites, but creative strategies like this really do help build links and increases traffic.

What ideas are you testing?