Viral marketing relies on something being shared so fast its popularity across the web snowballs because of the large number of people sharing a particular piece of content. Going viral may sound like something you should avoid at all costs, yet everyone wants to do it! Unfortunately, going viral online is notoriously difficult and few achieve it.
However, there is a phenomenon in viral marketing in that design blogs seem to be able to produce viral content with relative ease. Good design blogs receive high levels of traffic along with regular contributors and a high number of followers. For small and medium sized businesses there is much to be learned from them because they often provide the best content and niche ideas you will find anywhere on the web.
From a promotions company point of view, design blogs can help generate some amazing ideas to aid with branding and marketing strategies and in generating that all important viral buzz. And for small businesses looking to get a foothold online, there are several ways in which you can create interest and gain this kind of visitor interaction:
1. Pack posts full of helpful resources:
What design blogs often have in abundance are articles packed with loads of links, images and other useful resources. Often termed as list posts, these are one of the most effective ways of creating interest with the potential to go viral. Sure some do not like them whereas others find them irresistible. They work best when links to other blogs or sites are included and those sites are then pinged. Most site owners cannot resist checking out pingbacks and many will additionally leave a comment and share it with others through social media and bookmarking sites.
2. Freebies are a viral marketers best friend:
A no brainer really! We all love a freebie and design blogs seem to offer the perfect platform for giving something away. Designers and artists can all offer up something such as design elements, bits of useful code or templates for anyone to use, best of all the creator can promote themselves by providing an article on how something was created or how it could be used to help inspire readers. Those who use and like a freebie are more likely to share with others and designers can generate a big following just from one little giveaway!
3. Go viral on video:
Whether it is through video, screencasts or podcasts, by recording rather than typing an article you can cover a whole lot more content in a shorter space of time. Many people like to watch videos, in particular tutorials, because they can be easy to understand and follow than an article. Video marketing has enjoyed strong growth in recent years and with a strong potential to go viral, many are turning to videos to bolster their online presence.
4. Make friends with the competition:
It may seem inconceivable to ‘jump into bed with the enemy’ but what design blogs did long before anyone else was realize the value of working with their competitors rather than against them. Networking in any sector is a valuable tool but online its value can be heightened when competitors start sharing content with each other. Promoting content through other similar blogs has the result of readers moving between sites to see what else is available. This raises the profile of each blog and builds authority across the network you create.
5. The ability to leverage new business:
Creating a profile online and getting everyone talking about you is one thing but what to do with all that new found attention? Once people know about you, you need to leverage it into new projects and business. Design blogs are perfectly placed to do this because they can offer up freelance skills to take on new projects, however many businesses will find they can put what they know and do to good use in a similar way whether it is through niche projects or something wider. Leveraging everything your network, community and readers have to offer will help to get new projects off the ground and bring in a whole new audience.
6. Keep up the good work:
Too many blog and site owners rely on just a small percentage of killer content to bring people in. It is a mistake to think that because they came once they will come again, they must have a good reason to come back to you time after time. Once you begin to generate interest you have to keep the momentum going because momentum is what viral marketing relies on, once it slows you will have lost the initiative and have to start again. Keep posting great content and regular visitors will be more likely to buy into what you are offering.
Going viral is not easy, in any sector, but designers are the ones who are most likely to exploit every form of content there is and keep their sites fresh and interesting as a result. Creating interest is what it is all about and as such you need to be able to move with the times and evolve your site accordingly. But more than this you need to be able to build networks and communities, market your business on various levels and across different platforms and above all know what your visitors want to see and give them something new on a regular basis.