Viral Affiliate Marketing Techniques You Can Use
As an affiliate, spreading the word about your products is your number one priority. If you aren’t constantly looking for new customers and for new ways to promote your products, you risk losing out on a lot of potential sales to the competition. While the Internet has made advertising easier in many ways, it can also be tremendously confusing – believe it or not there are those who aren’t very familiar with it!
There are many different techniques for marketing online, but viral marketing is one of the cheapest and most effective ones. With viral affiliate marketing, you can put the Internet at large to work for you, letting your message pass from person to person in an exciting – and potentially lucrative – ripple effect.
So What Is Viral Affiliate Marketing?
Viral marketing refers to any marketing phenomenon that revolves around the “word of mouth” concept. As the name implies, viral marketing involves letting an infectiously popular advertising product or message loose on the Internet; as it gains momentum, it is passed along from person to person. All the while, the product is promoting your product, service or business. Just think about how many hilarious videos you were told to check out or were e-mailed this past year.
Viral affiliate marketing, then, refers to using those marketing techniques to promote your affiliate marketing program.
These days, affiliates and affiliate managers have numerous options at their disposal when it comes to viral affiliate marketing. Whether you’ve used viral marketing before or not, the following tidbits, strategies and resources will help you become a savvier and more effective viral affiliate marketer. Choose one or several of them to begin your foray into viral marketing; over time, you will become more comfortable with these techniques and will arrive at a solution that is perfect for you.
Viral Affiliate Marketing Techniques
Some of the most successful viral affiliate marketing campaigns are those that are completely custom-designed by business owners. Many times, they combine several different strategies or techniques; other times, they use entirely brand new and completely innovative strategies. Down the road, you may become experienced enough to devise your own viral marketing ideas; until then, use these techniques as a jumping-off point.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years you’re probably very familiar with one of the most popular websites on the Internet, YouTube. However, YouTube is about more than just funny cat videos and other random attractions – it is a great place to create, post and market a viral video. By creating a YouTube account, you can set up your own page; on it, you can list your affiliate marketing site’s URL and other information.
The real fun begins, though, with creating your video. While professional quality viral videos are viewed millions of times amateur viral videos have done just as well…if not better. Just take a look at the “Baby Dancing to Beyonce” video which currently has over 6.6 million views in 2009!
I’m pretty sure the father who shot this video never dreamed his son would be a YouTube megastar or that his son’s little happy-feet would launch the website http://www.SingleBabies.com
Viral videos get that way by being something that people want to pass along to others. Whether it’s especially catchy (like the video above), extremely informative or exceptionally useful, your video should be something that people will want to share with others. As your video is embedded on social media sites and linked to in emails, people will be directed to your YouTube channel. There, they will be able to learn more about your affiliate marketing program and will be able to visit your regular website.
These days, ebooks are very easy to create and simple to pass along. This was NOT the case when I started back in early 2000. Now however, there are several free programs for creating your very own ebooks, so you shouldn’t have any problem with the execution of one. The issue, as with videos, is that you’ll need a catchy idea or a valuable premise that will prompt people to not only READ your ebook, but actually pass it along to others as well. Assuming your ebook is compelling enough, those who read it will want to share it with others.
Word of mouth concerning your ebook can easily start picking up steam; whether you offer it on your website or on an ebook directory, you should begin to notice a spike in the number of downloads that are made. Within the content of your ebook, you should make sure to refer readers to your website, where they can find the products and services that you have to offer. The more people that download and read your ebook, the greater amount of exposure your affiliate marketing program will receive – and the higher your profits will ultimately be.
Feeling A Little Creative?
Although videos and ebooks are the “big kahunas” of the viral marketing world, there are an endless number of permutations that you can play around with when doing this for yourself. Consider a few of these great ideas for yourself; these are also great places to start brainstorming for your very own viral marketing concepts.
- Use a program to create your very own electronic post cards or gift cards and offer them on your website, social networking profile or elsewhere. On them, include a link to your affiliate marketing URL so that readers can check it out for themselves.
- Hire a freelancer to create a simple digital game for you. Have them incorporate advertising and marketing elements from your affiliate marketing program within the game. If the game is playable and catchy enough, it should spark a decent amount of interest. As it’s played, people will be taking in your advertising message and your business should enjoy a great deal of free, word-of-mouth exposure.
- Similarly, you could have someone create a simple but useful utility with the name of your affiliate marketing program marked on it. Offering a free download for it on your website, blog or social networking profile will help it get spread around. I see these all the time as mortgage calculators.
And What About Those Darn Widgets?
Ahh Widgetmania! Affiliate marketers are turning more and more to widgets in their viral marketing endeavors. Widgets are mini-applications; they are self-contained and can easily be dragged and dropped onto websites, blogs and other online places. They are taking the affiliate marketing world by storm; it’s easy to see why.
With a few clicks of a mouse button, you can create widgets that highlight the products that you sell and then place those widgets on your social networking profiles and elsewhere. People who see your widget and like it can easily pass it along to others. In that way, widgets can be tremendously powerful viral affiliate marketing tools.
By their very nature, widgets are simple to use. You don’t need a great deal of technical know-how or other training to use widgets effectively. For the most part, you can jump right in and use widgets to promote your affiliate marketing program in no time flat. However, if you want to strangle the market in a particular niche find a good widget/API developer and keep him/her happy.
Some Useful Resources And Tools
There is a plethora of information available online about setting up viral affiliate marketing campaigns. You could kick your own campaign off and get it up and running in no time; use the following resources to help you get started:
- Viral Marketing Method – (New) A site that compiles a large number of valuable marketing tools for affiliates and affiliate managers. Many of these tools are completely free of charge.
- Easy Ebook Creator – Available for a very low price, this software program helps you generate slick-looking ebooks in record time. It’s so easy to use that you can come up with multiple ebooks without wasting a lot of time.
- Viral Manager – This site is a great place to get your feet wet in the world of viral affiliate marketing. Browse it to gain valuable insights on techniques and strategies that you can use.
- Widgetbox – Find widgets. Create widgets. Very cool.
- Have some of your own viral marketing products/resources? Let me know and I’ll grow this list out.