Tips To Help Your Startup Gain Virality
By: Kayla Stevens 02/18/2015
So...you had a great idea, made it into a viable product or service, and now you want to turn it into something huge. Unfortunately, it is not enough just to have a good product, unless you can make your idea grow virally. How can this be done? Here are a few tips on how to help your startup go viral.
Word of Mouth: Use Your Users
One of the most simple, yet effective ways to spread the word about your product or service is to get your existing customers to do so. Word of mouth is still a very powerful marketing tool, even if the words are no longer spoken, but are instead typed online. Have your users push your product or service on their Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. You may choose to offer small rewards to those who do so. Which social media outlets will work the best depends, of course, on the type of product or service that you have to offer. For example, Foursquare for Business would be a good choice for those who offer products and services related to location. Those whose businesses may be based at sporting events, music concerts, etc will find that Foursquare is a great marketing tool simple because its users love to tell people where they are. And their followers want to be where the action is.
Offer Benefits to Those Who Share
Direct TV does it, MCI did it, many businesses have found a way to offer benefits to those who convince others to “join the team.” With Direct TV, DISH, and others, a customer is given months of free service, or other reward for convincing their friends or family to sign up. By referring someone who actually buys the product or service, the customer gets a reward. MCI first did this in 1991 when they started their “Friends and Family” plan. Calls to relatives and friends were cheaper for those who joined MCI, causing many to leave rival AT&T to come to MCI. Unfortunately for AT&T, they did not see the promotional value of such a plan. An official from AT&T actually made the statement, “We would be uncomfortable using our customers as salespeople for our products.” Since that statement was made, many companies have gone viral by doing just that.
Pull the Heart Strings
Think Superbowl...Anheuser-Busch ...Clydesdales. There are many people who watch the Superbowl commercials just to see the newest emotional antics of these huge and majestic horses. Coca-Cola is another company which uses emotions to sell its product. One of the best videos produced to use emotions to sell an idea was a seat belt commercial which won Oscocio's Campaign of the Year for 2010. The video went viral because of its tug at the hearts strings of all who watched it. If you can find a way to tie your advertising and marketing campaign to the world's emotions, you'll go viral without even trying.
Create Apps Which Spread the Word
If you can create an app which connects users to your product or service, then by simply using your app, people can spread the word. The more users visit you app, the more they will share with friends, family, etc, and thus increase your marketing crowd.
Make Sure That Your Content is Not Hidden
If your marketing content is buried, it will be very difficult if not impossible for it to ever go viral. Make yourself seen. Have a website which screams your name. Make your name easy to remember, and host your content on a site which has a lot of followers. Flickr, Facebook, and Vimeo are all good examples. Use keywords, SEO optimization, etc. to make sure that your content shows up in search engines. Try searching for yourself. If you have to turn through page after page of content to get to yours, then changes need to be made. It may even pay you to hire an SEO expert to help show you the ropes on making your marketing content pop out.