Viral marketing explained

Nowadays we always tend to hear about viral marketing, how something got “viral” on the internet and how cost-effective this technique could be if looking from an online promotion standpoint. What exactly is viral marketing?

Basically, viral marketing translates in something or someone getting widely promoted via word of mouth (in our case social media networks, blog posts, media exposure) without any costs applied. This could happen for a couple of reasons: there’s a shock factor present, unique idea or concept, internet meme or something that a lot of people will benefit from.

Not everything can get viral on the internet, especially if it’s heavily commercial. You won’t get lucky trying to get viral by promoting a product or a service directly, however if you apply a twist to your method chances of generating sales would be much higher. Here are a few examples of the reasons described earlier, which can make something viral:

–  Having the shock factor present

People who saw this video stated that one must be crazy to even attempt to put an Iphone in the blender but actually trying to blend it must is purely insane. Well, here you go! This is the shock factor which BlendTec has basically introduced into an ad, making it viral and also, making it look less commercial.

Let’s think about a plain ad which presents the functionalities of a blender. That sounds boring, doesn’t it? And I’m 100% sure that won’t get viral, thus generating sales.

– Unique idea or concept

Samsung got pretty clever here, advertising its brand and led-technology thru costumer created videos. As you can obviously notice from this video, putting leds (Samsung, of course) on sheep, later on recreating the famous Mona Lisa portrait is, in a funny way, a truly brilliant and unique idea. People loved it, had a laugh, promoted the video without anyone asking them to do so, and generated more than 17 million views. That calls for a lot of money Samsung would have spent otherwise.

– Produce something that a lot of people will benefit from

At&t had a huge campaign increasing awareness regarding the negative affects texting & driving could have. Not only they have educated and spread awareness about something that causes a lots of accidents, they also strengthened their brand and reputation by doing so.

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Social media optimization
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Nice surprise from CX Digital Media

Today I got a call from FedEx asking me the hours I am available at so they can come by and give me a packet from Canada. I then immediately knew that it must be something from one of the companies I currently work with – CX Digital Media.

I felt like a child on Christmas when opening the package, being very curious to see what’s inside it. Here’s a pic with what I got:

aaaa

– 2 tshirts

– 2 pencils

– 1 thermos flask

– 1 super mini mobile charger
I really like all these stuff. Actually I was just going to buy a new thermos flask because I lost the old one. Not talking about the mini mobile charger which is actually great since my iphone’s batter only lasts less then one day (damn all the apps and stuff).

Thank you very much CX Digital Media and least but not last many thanks to my account manager Waqaas Hashmi who is a great and helpful person!

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Affiliate Marketing
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Yahoo Meme – twitter clone or something better?

I was lucky enough to get an invitation on Yahoo Meme. When I first heard of Meme, I said in my mind “oh no, not another twitter clone”. What would be the use of another twitter alike service called Meme? However, I didn’t want to start off with rude words so I gave it a try.

Since this is currently a beta service, you can not sign up freely, you need an invite. Once you get in, you may notice some minor bugs, nothing major anyway. Actually, this Yahoo Meme is interesting and seems to be pretty good. In comparison to twitter, it lacks the search function but it has some interesting features like letting you to add an image to your update, a video or even a song. With twitter you can’t do this, you can only share links to the videos, pictures or songs you liked.

When I said that Meme lacks the search function, some may argue with me. Yes, it does have one but it will only let you search for people and not for updates.

It pretty much looks like twitter:

meme2twitter

… so I guess that’s why most of you got irritated.

Bugs and things I don’t like about Yahoo Meme

  • It lacks the search function for updates (already mentioned)
  • It won’t let you add a custom background (maybe this will change in the future and I am sure it will because it’s common sense that sharing only 5 templates with millions of potential users is not a winner solution).
  • I spotted a bug. It didn’t let me post a song. I tried with 3 different links, 3 different songs, nothing worked. I’m sure this will be fixed too.
  • This isn’t very important but I didn’t like that it was a must to use the yahoo e-mail for signing up and receiving updates and stuff. I would have preferred gmail instead.

Conclusion

Surprisingly, I believe that this Meme thing has potential. Can it become a competitor for twitter? Yes! The simple and quick interface, neat design and the new functions, they all help.

If you already have an account there, don’t forget to follow me http://meme.yahoo.com/shocs/ .

Do you need an invite?

I have 5 invites left, so I am willing to give to my readers. All you need to do is to retweet this post and submit a comment to this article with your yahoo e-mail and retweet link.

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Stumbleupon introduces “share”

We talked so many times about Stumbleupon so I assume you already know that this is one great social network. Lately, Stumbleupon has introduced a new function called  sharing.

You can now share a story that you liked most with your entire list of friends.  To do this you have to go to “Your favorites”. Once you get there, you will see in the left side of the page a list of thumbnails. Mouse over one of those thumbnails and then click “Share” if you want to share that respective story with your friends. Here is how it looks like:

stumbleupon-share

(click on the image for full size)

The good

It’s obvious that you can now easily share a story that you liked, with your friends. You can manually select some fellows or you just click on “all” and stumbleupon will do the hard work.

The bad

This is also obvious – spammers! Since this functions has been introduced, I started to get way too many stories into my email from people that only want to promote their websites. I do agree to be sent one or two stories per week from a fellow of mine, but sending me 2-3 stories / day / person is just dumb. I don’t even have time to read&see so many websites.

There was something like this before as well. It is named  “Send to” and can still be found in the toolbar. However, with “Send to” you aren’t able to send emails in mass.

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Social media optimization
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Get 1000 free business cards & 1 free canvas print

up_logo_com

Business cards are very important nowadays and I feel like they will always be important because of one simple reason: they are a must. Whenever going at a meeting, you will want to meet new people, interact with others and so on. Alright, you will talk a lot with them at that meeting but you will also want to talk with them later tomorrow so here’s where business cards are important – they will simply give one to you, which practically is a small card that contains little information about that respective person (name,occupation,phone/e-mail).

In return, you always need to have some business cards at you. Don’t fall in that shameful situation of not having a business card at you when someone asks you for one, you just can’t simple say “alright, do you have a pencil and a piece of paper? Write down my contact info!”.

UPrinting is one great company that delivers this kind of stuff – from business cards, to canvas prints, flyers and more, you can find out more by simply visiting their website.

Done with talking, let’s get back to serious things. Here’s one great giveaway that you will definitely like, sponsored by UPrinting:

Prizes:

– The first winner gets 1000 free standard size business cards.

– The second winner gets one free 18×24 canvas print.

You can choose from any of their stocks for these items.

How to enter:

It’s very simple. Just leave a comment at the end of this post, describing what you would use the free business cards/canvas print for.

Rules:

Winners will be picked randomly. Also, winners in the United States and Canada qualify for free shipping. Shipping fees will apply to winners outside these areas.

This giveaway will end on March 26. I wish you good luck!

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Blogging
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How to get approved by any affiliate network

Getting approved at big affiliate networks that have great payouts it’s a challenging thing, but my brain works on this principle “if he could do it, why couldn’t I?” and you should too. I am member of many affiliate networks and trust me, some of them are really really good (Market Leverage, MaxBounty,etc) but some offer only few campaigns that don’t even pay much. So, choosing and getting approved at a big and good affiliate network is an important step. So, how do I get approved by any affiliate network?

Tip 1 – Have an website/blog

I know, you could be a huge e-mail marketer, but this isn’t enough. Every big affiliate marketer has its own page on the web. Perhaps, you could make your personal website or blog where you describe yourself and what you do. This helps a lot, the review team will definitely think you are a serious and professional guy.

Tip 2 – Speak English fluently

This is only valid for people outside USA. If not all, 90% of the affiliate networks that exist will give you a call and ask you some questions. If you will say only “aaah”, “okaay”, “aaah”, your chances to get approved will decrease. If you are good at writing but not that good at speaking English, ask a friend of yours to speak instead of you.

Tip 3 – Don’t use “ghetto language”

You should never, but never speak with “yo”, “dawg” and I don’t know what other ghetto words when talking to an affiliate network staff member. You won’t be cool doing this, the person who you will be talking with will think you are just a kiddo or a douchebag that only had a dream to make money through affiliate.business man with a dollar symbol

Tip 4 – Be prepared to answer any question

Most of the affiliate networks if not all of them will ask you this when trying to join them:

“How are you going to promote our products?”

You should have an answer ready for this question and not babble. If you have a pause like “aaaaa”, your chances to be approved will decrease.

Tip 5 – Use [email protected] instead of gmail, yahoo, etc

Some networks even request you to use the email provided by your domain name in order to verify that you really own that website. Using this tip will show that you are professional and don’t play.

There could be more, but following these tips should eventually get you approved by any affiliate network as long as it is open for new publishers. If you have any other questions, feel free to e-mail me or write a comment here and I will try to help you!

Getting approved isn’t really a big thing, the hard part comes when you have to make money, but this is the first step. You can’t make money without being a member somewhere.

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Affiliate Marketing
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