We talk a lot about viral marketing as a mystical, artistic element that triggers “virality” with a certain random factor. However, there is software and services that allow marketers to create this virality, trigger it mechanically. The result ? Exponentially growing visibility, MASS lead generation. Read this article to understand how to set up your viral marketing machine…
Do you know what contributed to the success of the DROPBOX storage platform?
In large part, it’s their “automated” viral marketing.
In fact, their sponsorship system (which is still active to this day) allows users to earn free storage space for every sponsored person who registers with Dropbox (even for creating a free account without subscribing to a subscription).
Thus, even users of a free DropBox account with 2 giga limited storage space are offered the opportunity to promote the service in return for each referral they get +0.5 giga free storage space. Smart and terribly effective.
Is it some kind of belonging? No, not really, because the point here is not that a third party promotes DROPBOX in order to receive remuneration, but many countless Users or customers of this platform who promote it themselves.
Looking at this example, we understand that ultimately the DropBox company itself was the architect of this viral system.
Where’s the luck factor here? Nowhere! Everything is well thought out, organized and planned.
Now you’re going to tell me that you don’t have an army of developers at your service to help you plan and code such a referral/reward system…
But rest assured, you don’t need it. I’m going to explain in a moment how you can easily achieve this yourself.
But first, let’s try to discuss the strategies that are available to you based on your product or service.
Using Dropbox as an example, we can understand that the key is to find a “gift” or “reward” that you are sure your customers AND prospects will want. And here, too, it is important to include BROCHURES.
Why ? For virality of course! Not all DROPBOX users are CLIENTS as they do not pay for subscriptions but use the service with the free features offered. These users are therefore prospects BUT they are an integral part of the viral system set up by DROBOX as they too can sponsor other users.
For your job, you need to follow the same approach: what might please your customers and prospects?
Ideally, you should be looking for a reward that you can multiply or “portion” to infinity without costing you much. Because in fact, if Dropbox offered 100 gigabytes of storage instead of 0.5 for each referral received, that would be great for the users, but not for DropBox, which would gain very few new subscribers for a high cost!
Take a blank piece of paper and spend 10 minutes thinking about the types of rewards or rewards that might be right for your customers and prospects.
Then, to help you generate ideas for your activities, here are concrete examples available in different formats:
The “lottery” format
The “Lottery” format probably works best for physical products, but can also be used for dematerialized products.
The principle is to set up a lottery so that each sponsored godson (new person entering the lottery) earns a point. At the end of the lottery, the person or persons with the most points wins.
The prize(s) would be physical products (or not) to be won. These batches must consist of products (or services) relevant to what you want to sell in order to attract new users who are genuinely interested in your products and therefore likely to buy in the medium term.
So don’t offer to win the latest I-PHONE if you run an online store for luxury leather products like belts and fashion accessories! There is no connection and “everyone” would want the iPhone, but not necessarily a belt or a luxury handcrafted leather strap. Grow your email list YES, but with interested contacts.
In my luxury leather goods store example, it seems more relevant to offer 3 prizes to be won with a handmade and personalized leather belt.
But we could do better, because in the case of a lottery, you have to compensate for the low probability of winning with an “extremely” attractive gift, a real jackpot, huh! A belt may not be enough, you have to go all out and maybe offer several products in a balanced way increase perception value.
Don’t be afraid to give nice gifts, it will determine the success of your lottery, and tell yourself that in the end only the first 1, 2 or 3 people will win… not the others.
What to do with lottery losers?
The losers signed up for your raffle with their email address, so you can contact them again at the end of the raffle to offer them, for example, a small discount coupon that will dry their tears… and get you generating revenue.
- disadvantage of this strategy
This is also its strength, it is a one-time, short-lived event that has to be repeated several times a year and requires multiple expenditures of time, organization and energy.
- Advantage of this strategy:
Since the event is short-lived, it can further stimulate those interested and facilitate exchange. It may also be possible to ‘cast a wider net’ and mobilize many people at once, as this is potentially possible to win something, spend absolutely nothing.
The “voucher” format
You can also offer coupons or promotional codes in exchange for sponsorship. If a person (the godfather/godfather) recommends a friend (godfather) to join your sponsorship program and the friend signs up with their email, then the godfather/godfather wins a voucher (or promo code).
You only want to give a gift after you have sponsored a total of 3 or more referrals? No problem ! Most viral campaign builders allow you to do this.
- advantage of this strategy
She is evergreen! That means it works all year round. You set it up once and it runs on autopilot. So it is very time and energy saving. But be careful, every campaign requires adjustments and improvements. The risk of not touching it and not improving it after a month is real.
- disadvantage of this strategy
If you have a large customer database (email list), this solution can work. In fact, your existing customers are more interested in coupons or promotional codes than strangers.
However, if your customer/customer database is not large enough, the virality of your campaign may be limited. A coupon or promotional code is in fact much less attractive to a person who is new to the brand and has never had the opportunity to place an order.
The Milestones Format
Here, too, it is possible to collect 1 point for each new recommendation. Then we can define “milestones” associated with a certain number of points. For example, a first milestone from 3 points, a second from 5, then 10, etc.
With each milestone reached, the godfather/elder wins a reward, a gift.
Highlighting the various milestones and prizes up for grabs from the start increases attendee interest.
A little tip, with this format I recommend giving a small gift as soon as you have reached the first point (first sponsorship).
Firstly, it reassures participants that the system is working well and that points are being counted well (very important!).
Second, it gives them an instant sense of accomplishment and motivates them to move on now, without waiting.
- advantage of this strategy :
Stimulates participants to further promote the system as they rise through the ranks.
- disadvantage of this strategy :
The main downside is that it’s not always easy to find multiple rewards or gifts that can be linked to milestones. But with a little creativity it is possible!
The tools and software available to run viral marketing campaigns
When setting up your viral campaign, you’re probably asking yourself a lot of questions: where to start, how to organize yourself, what tool or software to use?
As for the software you can use to create these viral campaigns, the best known and most complete are probably Up-Viral or Viral Loops. Viral Loop offers the advantage of a very good guide when choosing the campaign type with application examples.
An interesting and very affordable alternative is the Kingsumo service, very well done and simple but limited to the lottery format only.
A look at the offers of these different services and their functionalities will also help you to realize your project. All that remains is to apply and act!
If you have any questions about setting up your viral marketing campaign or advice on organizing your strategy, leave a comment at the end of the article! I’ll be happy to answer them!
About the author
Thomas Girard is a consultant for HR organization and time management. In addition to his training activities, he has extensive experience in web marketing and online sales. He markets his training courses on his website www.commentsorganisator.com