Online marketing presents you with an opportunity to get more bang for your buck compared to traditional marketing. This is particularly true for word of mouth marketing.
Word of Mouth Marketing on The Web
Word of mouth marketing involves promoting a product or service by enticing third parties to promote it to their family, friends and colleagues, on your behalf. The idea is to create a buzz for the subject matter. The aim is to generate enough word of mouth momentum to get what ever it is your selling spread quickly across the Internet. People are the sole conduit for the momentum. If you get it right, you can become an instant success with little or no paid marketing.
A classic example of word of mouth marketing, often called viral, is the situation involving Red Bull. Red Bull is an energy drink. When it was first introduced in Europe, rumours spread that the drink was an aphrodisiac. Nobody knows who started the rumours, but Red Bull became very popular. It then evolved into a mixer for alcoholic drinks in nightclubs and the rest is history. It is a hugely popular product and much of the popularity arose through this word of mouth process.
Word of mouth marketing online works in much the same way. The primary difference is it tends to happen much quicker than in the real word. The Internet is full of forums where like minded people congregate. A new, cool product, idea or service can blow up a site over night. If you don’t believe me, consider the wild success of the My Space platform, Napster, eBay and so on. Most of these sites grew into behemoths because of word of mouth endorsements, not paid advertising.
Obviously, this type of marketing can lead to tremendous riches. Unfortunately, it isn’t particularly easy to accomplish. Everyone is trying to do it, so you really need to be pushing something unique. If you can come up with something, it is time to hit forums and other sites to create a buzz.
A traditional way to pursue viral marketing online is to offer a free e-book. The book will detail your thoughts on some subject matter, such as marketing. You make the book available to download and also allow people to send it to others. If you are offering something of quality, the book should spread quickly to thousands and thousands of people.
The ultimate goal is to promote it over and over until hundreds of thousands of people have read it. At that point, you write another e-book which you sell for $3 to $5. If people liked the first book, they will buy the second. If 100,000 read the first one and only 10 percent buy the second, you will have 10,000 sales. This strategy has been pursued over and over by many authors.
The word of mouth approach is definitely a hit and miss strategy. The large online communities make it a viable strategy, but there are a lot of people trying to do it. If you fail 50 times, but succeed once, life will be very good.