I’m sick of this…

…but you can use it to pull in followers, customers and sales

If they weren’t so damned lovable, children should be labelled ‘toxic hazard’. Each winter, I’m amazed at the speed at which flu can spread through a school, then into my home, knocking out each family member in turn. It’s usually only a month or two before it’s back again, horribly mutated and unspeakably evil.

A virus leaps from host to host, uninvited and unstoppable, gathering strength the more it is shared. The same goes for viral online marketing… but in a good way.

With a successful viral marketing campaign – people find it hard to resist passing on your message. And the more it’s shared, the more people see it and share it… and so it grows.

Is this something you could adapt to your business?

After all, ‘viral marketing’ sounds like a new-fangled trendy marketing buzzword that’s for the hip Shoreditch London brigade, and cool ‘yoof’ brands? Surely it doesn’t work if you’re selling accountancy or plumbing services… motivational eBooks… diet plans… nutritional supplements… betting tips or guitar tuition videos, right?

Well believe it or not, viral marketing isn’t the preserve of big businesses with genius marketing experts on the staff. Neither is it just for trendy young internet businesses that sell ‘apps’ or video games. It pretty much works for any product or service you sell online.

What’s great about it is that it’s like a good flu virus. Once released, it does most of the legwork for you. You can create viral marketing at no cost, other than your time, using freely available tools and platforms, and potentially build more of a following, more quickly, than if you’d paid Google to advertise.

Let me explain it…

How to get your best prospects to advertise you for free

Content marketing is a strategy where you post information that is useful or valuable to people in your field of business, in the hope that they will voluntarily share it with others.

…It could be a blog post, a video, a photograph, an infographic, a sound clip, a free report, an eBook…

…Or it could be something you put on a website, or on social media – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube…

When it’s done well, your posted content could spread amongst a few hundred like-minded people within a day or two. That’s when it can be considered ‘viral’. In this case, it’s no longer YOU in control, it’s your prospects.

Remember, all of these people are potential customers. And – once you’ve created the piece of content – this is effortless, hands-free, costless advertising. The reason I bring it up today is that I was reading a fantastic survey from Buzzsumo that looked at 100 million articles to see why they go viral.

Here’s what they found…

Nine Tips For Successful Viral Marketing

1. Longer posts and articles get shared MORE than shorter ones

2.It’s best to post content on your website on a Tuesday, then it gathers more shares across the week.

3. People like to share articles that list things. For instance, “Ten Tricks to Make Hotels Give You a Discount’ or “The 12 Best Hiking Apps Revealed.”

4. Always add an image to your post, update or article

5. Positive, happy, funny heart-warming posts do better than negative, cynical posts.

6. People love sharing quizzes and surveys

7. Turn your article into an infographic and it’ll get spread faster and by more people

8. Show your post to someone of influence in your chosen business field – if they pass it on you’ll get huge uplift

9. Put an author name and byline beneath your post – people like to share things by real people, so they’re confident as to where the information has come from.

Of course there’s a lot more to it and I’ll be showing you step by step ways to get content shared in future issues of the all-new Digital Upstart. If you’re not a subscriber yet, just click here.

And finally… wish me luck!

I’m about to go way out of my comfort zone… A very good friend of mine was due to go on stage tonight and perform a spoken word recital along with full musical backing. He’s just called in very sick… and I’ve offered to stand in for him!


I’ll report back on how it goes next week.