Everyone knows that one of the most effective ways to gain traffic to your site or push your product to new levels is to use viral marketing. Essentially this is publishing something (an article, video, image, animation or even a full web page) and having it spread across the internet based almost exclusively on users viewing it and then sharing it with their friends through their blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Youtube accounts or other means. While some things that go viral online happen organically or even accidentally, more and more companies are intentionally helping their content to go viral.
One essential element of helping your content go viral is called viral seeding. This is a method used by marketers where they will publish the item they want to go viral and then help ‘launch’ it in front of a set number of people to help get the ball rolling. This could be done through paid traffic or creating accounts on Facebook or other social networks with thousands of active followers and then sharing the content with them.
This is effective because when someone sees something interesting they are far more likely to hit the ‘like’, ‘share’ or ‘re-tweet’ buttons if they see that it has already been done by hundreds or even thousands of people before them. This is essential to the social landscape of these sites. People love finding and sharing new items that are either funny, interesting or pull at their heart strings in some other way.
How to Perform Viral Seeding
When performing a viral seeding campaign it is important to keep a few things in mind to help it become as successful as possible:
• Multiple Fronts – You can’t just make a quick post on Facebook and hope it will spread. Sharing it on all the major social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and others is essential.
• Diverse Users – Ideally you want to have your content shared to different people on each of your social network accounts. If you have the same people following your Twitter and Facebook accounts, for example, you have too much overlap.
• Utilize Videos – Uploading a video about your content can be extremely helpful. If your video is the content you are promoting then make sure to place it not only on YouTube, but on all the popular video sharing sites as well. If your promoting something other than a video you can add videos talking about it or ‘reaction videos’ showing people watching it.
• Enter the Blogosphere – If you own your own blog or blogs make sure to make a post about it. If you don’t you can reach out to bloggers and ask them (or pay them) to write about it, or simply create your own new blog about the content.
• Web 2.0 – Sites like RedIT, StumbleUpon and Digg can be huge when it comes to viral seeding. When something catches on fire on one of these sites it can result in tens of thousands of visitors overnight.