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Viral Marketing to drive site traffic

keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
edited May 2006 in Marketing

What does a virus have to do with marketing? Viral marketing describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message`s exposure and influence. Like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands, to millions.
I believe a well-thought out and well-executed viral marketing campaign can put a product or service on the map.
I keep up with several people who have executed several viral marketing campaigns. They are mostly consultants specializing in different areas of business. Although the examples (links) cited below are directed at driving people to their consulting businesses, the same concept can work for any business.
We`ve all passed along funny jokes, movies, videos, commercials, etc. Many may remember or have seen the Honda video where they use Honda parts to create a maze of perptual motion actions. Or many funny beer commercials. You can not put a price on this type of free advertising as the message spreads like a virus across the world via the Internet.
Review these movies. They are all about 3 minutes long. The messages are powerful. They are not "in-your-face-buy-from-me" type messages. They are subtle. They make you think. They make you want to pass them along. They drive others to the websites of the people who produced these movies. They allow the producers of the movies an opportunity to collect info and data on the reviewer at the end. If a reviewer watches the entire movie, they will see a call to action:

You will see that these are high-quality, well-designed movies. They are not huge in file size.
There are probably people on this forum who could produce similar movies. Keep in mind that before you launch a viral marketing campaign like this, be prepared for the traffic and the bandwidth usage at your service provider.
Scott Stratten, the guy behind these movies, and the first of this group to use this method, learned the hard way. When he launched his first "Time" movie a few years ago, it was an overwhelming success. So much so, that it shut down his website due to bandwidth usage - the first "Time" movie was way too big in file size. So many people downloaded the file, his provider shut him down. He went back to the drawing board. Now, he provides movie production as a service.
He claims over 2 million people have viewed the "Time" movie - I believe him. The other two have similar claims. These type of viral marketing campaigns work. And based on the products and services I see mentioned on this forum by the people posting, I can see where many here could adapt their product or service to this concept.
Review the movies and put your thinking caps on.
Have a great day - R@


  • keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
    To jonese:
    Yes - same Scott Stratten. Also follow Duct Tape - thanks.
  • BardStuffBardStuff subscriber Posts: 7
    One very important thing to remember with viral marketing, something that many SuperBowl commercials miss, is that at the end of the message the audience needs to remember who you are.  I used to work with a marketing guy who was always on the lookout for "What will our dancing baby be?"  (Remember the Dancing Baby meme?)  But yet how many people remember the company that made that video?
  • bfleming98bfleming98 subscriber Posts: 0
    I agree.  *IF* you can fall into a way to get some sort of viral marketing behind you`re product it will certainly turbo charge your business online for sure.
    It`s one of things that doesn`t work for every business, but if you can fit it in it will return big $$$$.
  • keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
    BardStuff - you are correct. This is why I like the way these movies all end with a polite call to action to visit the owner`s main website or to signup for a free newsletter. The beauty of Internet viral marketing versus TV is that the message (virus) can live much longer for many, many more opportunities to spread.
  • BardStuffBardStuff subscriber Posts: 7
    Speaking of the owner`s main website, I am very surprised that I did not see a "former this to a friend" form.  Sure, sign yourself up for the mailing list, but why not make it as easy as possible to send it to your friends as well?  (I only watched the Time movie, so maybe one of the others had the form I`m looking for).dBardStuff - you are correct. This is why I like the way these movies all end with a polite call to action to visit the owner`s main website or to signup for a free newsletter. The beauty of Internet viral marketing versus TV is that the message (virus) can live much longer for many, many more opportunities to spread.
  • VickiJVickiJ subscriber Posts: 6
    I wasn`t bored at all. I thought they were all great! The first one - powerpotentials - might be a little long, but not bad. They prompted me to look at their websites.
    I have a question, though. We all found these "movies" because Richard posted them here. Where did you find them? And how do other people find them?
  • BardStuffBardStuff subscriber Posts: 7
    The key to viral marketing is simple.  After you see it, do you think "My friends have to see this"?  And then do you forward it?  You find viral marketing stuff because someone sends it to you.  Someone else finds it because you send it to them.  You found it because Richard forwarded it, and I`d bet that he found it because someone sent it to him.  If that`s not how he found them, and  you don`t feel motivated to forward them, then it`s questionable whether or not you can call them viral .
  • keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
    I`m a little behind today on the Forum - meetings all day and a "grin & grab" function this evening.
    I found these movies because I follow many, many consultants specializing in many, many different areas of business. Just something I do. A newsletter mentioned Scott Stratten`s "Time" movie - the very first one that crashed his service. Tracked him down, signed up for his newsletter. Later, discovered the Power Potentials through her newsletter - thought it looked similar to Scott`s movie - did a little research and found he produced it. Same with the "Making Money & Meaning" movie. Ran across her (years later) through another newsletter and through more research, found she was a disciple of Stratten, too.
    I would agree that a Gen-Y or maybe even a Gen-X might not see the value in the "long" movie. But many people have. All have been viewed millions and millions of times. If you followed to the end of the "Make Money & Meaning" movie, signed up for her newsletter, you would have received a 5-part email training session from her. Excellent material and it was free. There is a lesson here for any business service or product if applied properly. It is the proverbial "killing multiple birds with one stone" concept. And anytime you can KMBWOS, you are ahead of the game - in any thing you do.
    These movies have led to hundreds of thousands of dollars of work for these consultants. It was brought people to them with very little expense from their marketing budgets. It works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The point here was not the actual content of the movies, but the concept. There is a way to apply the concept to most any business, service or product.
    Edit PS - BTW - I have forwarded to many, many people. I have them posted on some websites. I have had people thank me for making the links available because it affected them in some way. Although I didn`t produce the movie, just the link to the movie was positive in the business environment used. There are many ways to "skin a cat."
     keycon2006-4-20 22:57:17
  • VickiJVickiJ subscriber Posts: 6
    I really like the viral marketing idea. It works on the same principle as the jokes and sentimental messages I get daily from a group of email friends. We all enjoy that sort of thing.
    But our differing opinions on this subject make a good point. Not every advertising style is suited to every person. I enjoyed the movies and I like to sign up for newsletters from which I can get information and links to more information. I`m sure there are people who don`t like to sign up for newsletters.
    On the other hand, I see some TV commercials that make absolutely no sense to me. And some radio commercials simply annoy me. There is one local car dealership that has such annoying commercials that I would`t buy a car from it if it was the last place on Earth.
    Maybe it`s a generation thing ...
    Maybe it`s a gender thing ...
    What do you think???
  • keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
    Like I said earlier, the point of the original post was not the actual content of the movies, but the concept. There is a way to apply the concept to most any business, service or product. Personally, I liked the content - it served the purpose to bring me to people who broadened my horizons and provided me with additional knowledge and expertise. I have shared - not with everyone I know - but with people headed in the same direction.
    Viral marketing is a proven marketing strategy that can provide an outstanding ROI. Tuck it away in your toolbox. This wasn`t meant to be an American Idol contest on the content of the movies. I have enjoyed reading the replies.
    Thanks - R@
  • keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
  • stratolastratola subscriber Posts: 0
    Hi everyone!
    Great to see this topic and since my ears were burning I thought I`d drop in.
    A couple of things I wanted to address:
    1. These movies are made for a specific group/market which is not necessarily you or me. Frankly I think many of the ones we have done are cheesy and slow, including mine! however, through testing we have found both the pace and content to work the best for the market we were going after.
    2. The "forward-to-a-friend" suggestion is a fantastic one, and one we have tested in the past. the issue you get with using that kind of script is it has a habit of being flagged as spam by the receiver, since we do not control who uses it, and since the email is being produced by the movie domain, not the "senders" domain, we run a huge risk of either getting it blacklisted or removed, which has happened in the past. Also, for the most part people are seeing these movies from someone who has emailed it to them, and they simply forward the email on.
    3. In regards to length of each movie, we try to create them in the length of time it takes to get the entire script across without rushing things. we try to make the movies a relaxing/motivating experience that opens the door to people wanting to take the next step with the clients business.
    Along with the movies already mentioned, we just launched this yesterday for Mother`s Day http://www.NewMomMovie.com</A>
    To see a different angle, you could go see http://www.TheTrenchMovie.com</A> where there are no words, just the visuals and the song in the background. Here, the client is the artist behind the song, so they "emotion" for the topic is one-step from the clients end goal, to get people on his mailing list and eventually buy a CD or come to a show.
    We try to make the movies non-commercial, and a stand-alone experience that people would want to pass-along. Some do, some don`t but at the end of the day people get thousands and thousands of new subscribers which lead to sales.
    Scott Stratten, President
  • keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
    Welcome Scott!
    Figured it was just a matter of "Time" before you were drawn to the SuN. Good comments. Hope you stick around!
  • VickiJVickiJ subscriber Posts: 6
    Hi Scott! I`m getting your newsletter as a direct result of the SuN forum. Thanks for the great info.
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