Viral Marketing Ideas And Examples – 7 Powerful Strategies

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Recently I’m thinking of more viral marketing ideas and examples that I can use for my online businesses. As the saying goes, give and thou shall receive. Here I am giving you my best kept viral marketing ideas. If you’ve come across any others, feel free to share them in the comments below.

1. Organize a referral contest

Organizing a referral contest has been an old-schooled viral marketing idea, yet it is still extremely effective. The thing about contest is that it can stir up people’s adrenaline and encourage people to work extra hard to promote for you.

For example, you can create a referral contest with 2 chances of winning. First chance is a lucky draw, where those who refer just 4 people to your website can quality to win say $100. Second chance is top referral, where the best 3 referrals can walk away with $1000 each. This way, you can encourage everyone to refer at least 4 people while at the same time give the power affiliates a chance to show their full potential.

2. Provide free ‘viral’ online services

Whenever I talk about free viral services, I like to mention Google. Besides being a search engine, Google has really created tons of useful applications, such as Google Map, Google Doc, Google Analytics, Google Mail, etc that we can use free. Whenever we use these applications, we are indirectly helping Google to establish its branding and increase its market awareness.

In fact, this is the model that our website, LeadsLeap.com, is adopting. For example, we create free tools like Slidesense and MYOB list builder script that members can use for free. Since all our tools carries a link to our website, as more and more people use our tools, even more people are checking us out. We have been online since 2008 and you can see from our Alexa ranking that we are still very strong. This viral strategy has contributed to our success significantly.

3. Target-based referral program

Another viral strategy that we adopt is target-based referral program, where we set a minimum target for our referrals to hit. In specific, when our members reach 20 referrals, they will receive free advertising credits EVERY MONTH. This is another strategy that has worked wonders.

4. Bait post

The idea of a bait post is to turn your blog post into an online resource that other people will link to. You must have seen in forums and Q&A type of sites such as Ask Yahoo! where people reference an external site for the answer to a particular question. That’s an example of a bait post.

Of course, for a bait post to work, you must first write high quality blog that really solve people’s problem.

But does it mean as long as you write a good blog, people will link to you? Of course NOT! In most cases, a blog post becomes a ‘bait’ when it ranks high in the search engine for a particular question. What happens is when people want to answer other people’s questions, they will Google. When they find a good reference, they will post that reference in their answers.

I know what you are thinking. This sounds like mission impossible. At LeadsLeap, we don’t leave things to chance. We have lots of people linking to our blog posts  because each of our blog post is an affiliate link. This means by referring people to any of our blog post, they are at the same time building their referrals!

5. ‘Sure-win’ referral program

I have a client who pays people 5 cents to every email sent out to promote his business. I call this ‘sure-win’ referral program because regardless of whether people make any purchase, as long as you send out the email, you will be paid. He has been doing that since 2007 and have paid over $20k to people. I’m sure this trick has worked well for him.

6. Video marketing

The power of video marketing is well known. If you can produce useful how-to videos for your niche site and publish them on Youtube, those videos can bring you traffic for years.

This viral marketing idea is especially useful for niches that involve skills, such as cooking, scrapbooking and magic tricks because at the end of your video, you say say something like ‘for more magic tricks, please visit YourSite.com.’. Since those who watch your video are craving for more tricks, chances are they will visit your website.

7. Leverage on social networking

Last but not least is viral marketing through social networking. One good example is the use of Facebook Like. By encouraging people to ‘like’ you on their Facebook, you are exposed to all their friends who potentially have the same interest. Eventhough the exposure is short-lived, if some of their friends also start to ‘like’ you, this thing can go very viral.

Have you come across any interesting viral marketing ideas and examples? As I said, I’m looking for more ideas. If you have, please share with me and the rest of our readers in the comment section below. I thank you in advance!

Share your thoughts

  1. Mark Fisher

    I have a viral wordpress network – viralblogger.net – based on wordpress-mu with custom features.
    Members can create unlimited blogs for a one-time fee.
    – Mark Fisher

    Reply
  2. Bill Darton

    Thanks Ken, I was just recently thinking about how I might be able to add viral marketing techniques to my system. These tips will be a big help, no doubt!

    It is my opinion that Viral Marketing is drastically under-appreciated and definitely under utilized – especially by new marketers.

    If the proper investment of effort and time are made, viral marketing can reap substantial benefits.

    Bill

    Reply
  3. Tom Munson

    Growing your business, even if it is an affiliate business, using viral methods is essential and preferred.

    You can’t grow it just one person at a time and expect to get anywhere fast, but when you have others recommending to others and they in turn do the same, your business expands exponentially.

    That’s why we put up list building blog posts and work at getting our pages up on google, submit articles etc…

    Great post as always Kenneth.

    Tom Munson

    Reply
  4. Marty Lauritsen

    Great information again Ken. Will be sharing this with my list as I always do with your excellent, informative posts.

    Viral marketing is essential in any marketing plan.

    Marty.

    Reply
  5. Milton Ramos

    Creativity. This is a feature that should have in order to gain advantage in the world of Internet-based businesses. Whether you have a product or a fantastically designed website, if people do not know you exist, it will not do anything.

    Reply
  6. James West

    I was impressed I liked the article about Viral Marketing it really made some fantastic points. I’m really going too try the Video Marketing as soon as I get a video camera lol.

    Some other viral techniques I find very effective are sponsoring. For example you maybe a member of a website and they might have a sponsor link. This usually cost some money but not alot though and it is a great way too promote your business. It works because if your website is on another website that is highly ranked in the search engines well you just shot your way too the top of the search engines without hardly any work on your part. Yes I do do this and it can generate tons of traffic too your site.

    I will share other secretes in later posts
    Jimmy West

    Reply
  7. James West

    Ok I will share one of my websites that I use too Viral Market my website and I am not affiliated too this site either so I hope it helps everyone who reads this blog. The site is called etraffic.com. It’s dirt cheap to advertise on this site and it doesn’t matter weather you have a blog a website or just an affiliate link to advertise it will do any of these. Ok have a wonderful weekend

    Jimmy West

    Reply
  8. James West

    Hey there is also a free way too viral marketing that I really didn’t hear anyone mention yet and that is. blogging.

    Anyone who has done blogging know that a blog can be set on autopilot and it is free too do. and not to mention that you can put your blog on facebook, myspace and any other social network that you belong too. You can look under the community tab and sign up for all of these and start your free viral marketing right away and it won’t cost you a cent.

    Happy Marketing
    Jimmy

    Reply
  9. Ashley Maynard

    Hi,

    I think image marketing can serve well as a way to utilize viral marketing.Group pictures,class pictures,or some kind of organized photo can be a very effective viral marketing tool.Facebook fanpage,and Google flickr are good image marketing tools.

    Reply
  10. Charles Kaluwasha

    Viral marketing is effective if you are providing your readers with free tools, content and website free with no”catch” methods.

    That is why some so called viral marketing promotions were not effective.
    We have free viral express tools and services that is helping newbies and seasoned marketers build their primary businesses.
    And many are reporting tremendous improvement in their marketing strategies.

    This gives confidence to marketers to use viral marketing strategies that work in our industry.

    Reply
  11. James West

    There are 3 simple ways to viral marketing that no one ever thinks about. #1 word of mouth this is the most powerful but yet free and it seems like no one uses it! #2 Business cards. People seem to forget this method with this day and age with the cyber world but this still definately works. And #3 Social media marketing. This is free too unless you decide to pay for it isn’t a bad idea since everyone is on social media websites.

    Reply
  12. Charles Kaluwasha

    I concur with James, word of mouth is powerful. When people recommend a product to others, it carries more weight and the info spreads like wild fire. This is how viral marketing works.
    Thanks James for the heads up!

    Reply
  13. Charles Kaluwasha

    The other viral thing I have noticed is when you give free tools that are needed by many struggling marketers,the info will spread faster. This is what I have experienced with our Viral Express marketing system. We provide free tools, website at no cost to members. It is spreading faster and every one is happy and businesses are booming.

    Word of mouth is like automation!

    Charles

    Reply
  14. James West

    Charles Kaluwasha mad a really good point giving free bonuses and free tools is a great idea for viral marketing I use a viral tool for my marketing called more shares. You can find this tool by clicking on my name it’s right at the center top of the website. basically you can piggy back ride on any site you want I highly recommend it. Again thanks Charles for the good advice.

    Reply
  15. Charles Kaluwasha

    Giving bonus from your website is a great booster too. People like bonus and freebies. This will keep them coming back therefore maintaining that warm relationship.

    We are giving bonus for a limited time only for any one who joins our Viral Express team and receive a $500 Las Vegas Vacation for free 3 days/2 nights at a 3 Star/4 Star Hotel and a FREE Viral Express System valued at $1,297 – NO setup fee, NO monthly fee, NO hosting fee – zip, zilch.

    This has boosted our Team membership and it is going viral.

    I have noted that,In marketing, you have to be innovative and give value to people in order to make it online.

    We give credit to this blog for this thread, it is opening many peoples’ minds and vision.

    Reply
  16. James West

    My favorite viral marketing strategies are still social sites these include facebook, myspace, twitter, U Tube and many others. Remember this is all powerful and can be done for free as a matter of fact when you post on this site you are literally viral marketing :)

    Reply
  17. Charles Kaluwasha

    The ideas that I read here has helped me build a good followers on my blog and I get good conversion rates. It is an awesome platform to hung and get those ideas from fellow bloggers.

    I love you all and thank you…

    Reply
  18. Rafael D' Jesus Ferreras Castillo

    Awesome Tips Kenneth!!

    I would like to give away 6 More Ideas for Viral Marketing:

    1.Purchase the branding rights to a viral E-book.

    2.If you have the ability to set up a forum or other bulletin board, you really have a great tool. Allow people to use your online discussion board for their own website

    3.Do you have a knack for web design? Create some templates, graphics, etc. and upload them to your site. Then, allow people to give away your free web design graphics, fonts, templates, etc.

    4.Write an E-book. Allow people to place an advertisement in your free E-book if, in exchange, they give away the E-book to their web visitors or E-zine subscribers

    5. Write articles that pertain to your product or service. Allow people to reprint your articles on their website,.

    6.You can easily find products on the Internet that will sell you a license allowing you to distribute the product free of charge to other people. Look for those products that provide “branding rights”.

    Reply
  19. Gloria Jones

    Hello Kenneth,

    As a relatively new member and have to thank you for this blog where you share your knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics. The ideas on viral marketing are great and I am hoping to use them with my website. Although I have been working online for 5 years, I am yet to achieve meaningful results.

    My WordPress blog was created by an Elite Marketer but I do not know how to add pages. I have an Amazon Affiliate account and may lose membership if I do not start generating sales soon. I would appreciate any ideas on how to obtain help with updating the site.

    I could have been so much further had I found Leads Leap two or three years ago, but it’s never too late.

    Reply
    1. Kenneth (Admin) Post author

      Hi Gloria,

      Welcome to LeadsLeap.

      I presume your blog is instantinternetandaffiliatemarketingpaydays.com? First, I think it’s not a cool domain name, because it’s too long. It’s hard to brand the blog. But if you must stick with this blog, then I suggest you start doing some form of product reviews, criticizing products while praising some other products. That will get you some SEO traffic, if done right. People may come to your blog for negative reviews and bite other products that you recommend. Also, put a personal touch to your blog, make it more personal and let people know who is behind the blog.

      Reply
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