Viral Digital Marketing – That sounds bad.
Viral? Is that the H1N1? Swine flu? Oh my god it’s a virus. I hate viruses.
Normally yes, the term viral and virus are nasty. But not this one. Viral digital marketing (I call it VDM) is a great term. Say it…the term is a great one. “Viral digital marketing”. Viral means to spread like a virus. And digital marketing is, well, marketing you do digitally.
Viral digital marketing could be your best friend in today’s economy if your a small business entrepreneur. Whether you’re generating buzz for an event, or just keeping your constituents informed, there is no doubt that the digital age offers opportunities. Ok, class is in session.
How Entrepreneurs Compete
It’s a totally valid point to consider. Retailers and small businesses should be dedicating all kinds of time looking for ways to promote their value props to your targeted audiences. Honestly, I think about it all the time. If you’re not marketing, you’re not promoting. How do you build a business? Or a brand? By having people to share your ideas and offerings.
Why Digital Marking is great for the Local Businessperson
Real Estate Agents, Attorneys, Insurance Sales, consultants, diners, restaurants, coffee shops, it doesn’t matter.
The costs to create digital campaigns and “discussions” with your clients is the easy part. You know you’ve got plenty to say (if you don’t then that’s another problem). The hardest part is getting your listeners to “sign up”. Finding creative ways to get people to listen can start with your current customer base. It can start with a written letter letting them know your going digital. It can be an email, a note, an ad, whatever. The object is to drive potential listeners to subscribe to what you’re going to tell them. Just have something good to say. It can be funny, should be short, should be something that informs or gets them to act.
Can you overdo it?
Digital marketing is like anything else. Of course you can overdo it. This is when art turns to science. Having the ability to create viral digital marketing is one thing. Tracking it’s effectiveness is another. Have an approach, start small, and always be aware not to become the digital noisemaker (overloading your listeners).
Digital marketing with products like Facebook and Twitter is like taking word of mouth and putting it on steroids.
Direct mail is great for coupons…..
Magazines are great to shove in your briefcase or to take to the bathroom.
Radio is great if you’re stuck in the car and your ipod is dead.
But with the average person spending more and more time on the computer, and on their smart phone, digital viral marketing is a very powerful, almost instantaneous method to get your message out to your base and get them to do something. Then they tell two friends, and they tell two friends…and so on, and so on….(who remembers that ad?).
Keep using whatever you’ve been using, but start getting the word out to sign up for your digital campaigns (email addresses, twitter, Facebook Fan page, whatever).
What’s your competitor doing?
Not that we want to take the negative side, but some clients of ours tell us, “Our competitors are stealing our online ideas. They’re “listening” to our digital campaigns and ripping us off.” Remember this, it’s better to copy a good idea that create a bad idea of your own. If it works for you, great. Focus on that. On the other side, get out there and look at what your competitor’s are doing. Check out how the local coffee shop compares to Starbucks. See what other real estate agents are saying online. Look outside your comfort zone. Look to great marketers. It’s never a bad idea to follow a great model.
In 2008, Digital Strategy Consulting addressed the topic of local marketing and the impact digital marketing will have on local media like newspapers and radio. Read their thoughts.
T3 Consortium also works with smaller local businesses and local non-profits planning out digital strategies.
If you’re interested in starting a discussion, drop us a note.
Get going! You need to do this!