Viral Marketing and My Devastatingly Mediocre Content
What Is Viral Marketing?
Viral Marketing is a marketing method where users share your content mainly on social media. The goal of viral marketing is to generate a monetary value through word of mouth, and it’s named so because the content spreads like a virus from person to person.
It’s a passive marketing mechanism because viral marketing only occurs when someone starts to spread the word. So can anyone start it? The answer is yes, but it has to be triggered by your audience, which means there’s not much you can do as a content publisher except to keep creating interesting – sharable – content.
Is It Different From Referral Marketing?
We’re only discussing the two terminologies here. Both are “word-of-mouth” marketing methods and they’re basically the same. You could say,
- If you ask your audience to refer your business to others, perhaps by giving each one of them a unique referral link and offer a reward, then that’s referral marketing. Whereas if you say “please share”, then that’s viral marketing. Or,
- If your campaign actually “goes viral”, it is viral marketing. Or you could say,
- Referral marketing is when your actual product or business is referred by your existing customer to someone new, whereas viral marketing is when your advertising content is shared by any media users.
I’m A Viral Marketing Loser!
Okay, that’s the definition done. How difficult is viral marketing and what are the problems?
I’m such a useless viral marketer. I have over 50k Twitter followers and thousands of Facebook friends – I’ve built them manually (i.e. followed people back without using a third party tool). Yet, my contents are hardly shared. I can think of three reasons;
- Many of my followers are bots, fake accounts and crypto-spammers.
- My engagement rate is disastrously low. I don’t spend enough time, and merely share my blog posts using Hootsuite in a robotic manner.
- Critically, my contents are boring. Let’s make money online. You can work from home. There’s nothing unique about my posts or whatsoever.
When I’ve actually written these down, the solution to each problem seems clear & straightforward on paper. (1) Spend some more time in engaging! (2) Ignore bots and spammers! (3) Improve the content! Easier said than done.
Now, if you feel familiar with my problems, read on (and share your thoughts if you can, by leaving a comment below!) This is a viral marketing loser talking, trying to get my devastatingly mediocre content sorted to make at least a few more people want to share.
1. Non-Responsive Social Media Followers
As I mentioned earlier, I don’t use a third party app to get followers, and I can’t stop the number of bot followers, spammers and fake accounts from growing. (Although I do use a third party app to clean up unfollowers.) I guess there’s no harm leaving as it is.
Although I’ve noticed some clever bot Twitter users automatically react to certain hashtags and retweet my tweets for me. Soo they’re not totally useless (unless they’re retweeting to other bots!) For now they might not deliver an engagement value that humans do, but considering the significance of AI developments year on year, it’s interesting to see what they can do next. In our favor, of course.
2. “Engaging” – What Do You REALLY Mean By That?
How to increase the number of your social followers; engage with them. Engage with your audience. Huh. It’s easy to say that, and I’m not looking to increase the number of followers/friends. So I search for the advice as to how to increase the social media engagement rates, most of them are tips such as;
- Make an interval between each post by using a social post tool – I do that.
- Use an image – I always do.
- Use hashtags – Oh yeah.
- Use emojis – I do that too.
- Use GIFs – I don’t do that often, but I’ll try. A 50 year old marketer posting an image of a girl blowing bubblegum, jumping up and down “Yay!” – quite peculiar, but I will try my best.
- Create and share valuable content – yes, that’s probably the biggest challenge. I’ll come back to it later.
What I’m currently NOT doing to engage with other users are;
- Plan your time to spend on social media, and
- Leave as many comments on posts by others.
“Plan your time” means that, don’t get yourself glued to the smartphone before you go to sleep, browse aimlessly and end up spending 2 hours in bed. The same 2 hours should be spent in showing your reaction to the posts by others, by leaving some meaningful comments…
Okay, that’s something I think I can do, and I will do from now on. I will spend an hour in the morning, another hour in the evening to post comments on posts by others, starting today.