We must always cultivate any creative instincts we may have. It could be just that little idea you have that could set you apart from the pack. The bottom line is that It doesn’t matter if you have a superior product or a fabulous website. Unless people know that your website or company exists, you are not going to get the traffic you need to start converting sales.
There are many techniques and schemes being used with varying levels of success, there are still some concepts that can actually help you with an extra boost in traffic that will make a real difference. One of these is Viral Marketing.
The term ‘Viral’ usually depicts a virus, which has a few negative connotations. These range from an infectious illness in humans to contagious computer malware programs. However there is another more positive meaning you need to consider. In the same sense but for the good, Viral Marketing ‘spreads’ itself around quickly and many people catch it. Only it is not harmful.
In today’s environment social networks surely seem to be the epitome of what it means to go ‘viral’. Viral marketing can also employ for example certain media like videos or flash player ‘movies’, reports, eBooks, or just about any online medium. It can involve anything that creates’ buzz’ – a funny story, a cleverly done video, an amazing picture.
Many companies will offer incentives to help ‘spread the news’, for example, discounts and rebates. Joint Ventures may also work nicely with this concept as you are able to for example ‘share’ your list in exchange for someone else sharing theirs. You offer to get the word out on their opportunity and they do the same for you.
The foremost advantage of viral marketing is that you get a lot of publicity quickly. Surely you have noticed how things when they are new and exciting are deemed ‘hot’. After a while, however, then they just become ‘normal’ and kind of fizzle out. So this viral marketing concept is a true place where the saying ‘strike while the iron is hot’ really applies. You get massive traffic that may represent sales now or in the near future. At the very least you have gained exposure which also counts in the big picture.
In the Internet culture today just about anything can create viral energy. It can be either positive or negative. If used in the right way to promote a new business or new product it can have unbelievable results that nobody ever dreamed of before. If whatever you have catches on, you probably have a ticket to the top!
If you have your own membership program these are issues you will need to be aware of. If you are just an affiliate yourself then it is the affiliate program that is responsible so you don’t need to worry just yet, except to be a responsible and honest affiliate.
Even if you are automatically approving new affiliates, it’s in your best interest to audit your network on a regular basis. The FTC is making marketers responsible for the actions of their affiliates. If your affiliates get out of control, it could cost you. By the same token, the affiliates can also be held accountable for what they are promoting to their prospects.
You’ll have hundreds of affiliates sign up for your program. They will include both desirable and undesirable associates. It’s very important that you review each one on a regular basis to ensure the way they are promoting your program is acceptable to your company and above all that what they are doing is always legal and ethical.
For example if you become aware that your affiliates are spamming their affiliate links (sending unsolicited advertising that contains your links), as such you should warn that person to stop in writing; or even just remove that person from your program (make their affiliate link void) and remove their access to your system.
Your company domain can get blacklisted for content as well as for the root domain used in the link being deemed a spam site. This can harm your ability to advertise your program and make it difficult for your other members to succeed for years to come. It is not an easy task to be removed from a blacklist after the fact and you can end up right back on one after you jump through all the hoops the next time you allow another member to spam your link.
It’s extremely important to stay in contact with your affiliates, even more so with the high performers. Do not wait for them to contact you. By taking the time to contact them, you are showing that you are interested in the partnership and value your association with them.
You don’t need a new product as an excuse to contact your power affiliates. In fact you probably want to make a point to get in touch when you are NOT selling anything, lest they believe you only contact them when you want something from them. Even if it’s just a quick note to ask if they need anything, it will go a long way to build and maintain a lasting relationship. You can also use the opportunity to get feedback on your program as well.
Managing a successful affiliate program is not always easy and not something you should try to fully automate. You need to be engaged. If you keep your affiliates happy, they will likely be more productive, which means more money for them as well as for you!