22 Nov, 2008 in Viral Marketing by

Viral Marketing for Improved Website Traffic

In the case of marketing, naturally, the end result will not yield illness, but sales

For the author, viral marketing – or word of mouth campaigns – is an essential method of promotion

When one thinks of viral marketing as a means to promote books, music, or other items, more than likely it is believed that such techniques are limited to the Internet

This is not necessarily the case

Viral marketing refers to the use of exist social networks or communities for promotion, and while the Internet lends a good amount of convenience here, there are ways to spread “the virus” beyond cyberspace if one is creative enough

By establishing recognition of your book within a small network, you have the opportunity to expand your audience as people engaged in that network move outward and employ word of mouth to recommend your books

Here are just a few examples of online and offline viral marketing techniques designed to raise awareness:

E-Mail signatures: Every time you send an e-mail – to a friend, relative, or to anybody – you should take the opportunity to promote your work

You need not send a full-blown pitch with every message, but it is imperative to include your URL and catchy one-line slogan in your signature

You would be surprised how a few carefully chosen words can remain fresh in a consumer’s mind for years

Slogans are the core of advertising, and to include a tagline in your e-mail signature can entice readers to click through to your website

Having worked with a number of romance authors with regards to promotion, I find a number of them have effective e-mail signatures designed to lure readers:

Bridget “an author who never goes” Midway

Do you dare? Ellwood

If She Could

Leigh Ellwood, Romance Author

Where spicier romances are concerned, a reader is going to want to know exactly what Leigh dares, and how far Bridget goes in her writing

Such a slogan, however, does not have to be limited to a body of work

If you have only one book to market, think of a phrase or line relevant to the story that will attract readers

Sell your book in ten words or less and offer visitors incentive to click through to learn more

Forums and Messageboards: Depending upon the subject of your book, you can find readership in the many online forums available to you

While some forums may not allow direct advertising, equating such blatant promotions to spam techinques employed by robots, there are ways to steer around restrictions

If you have written a non-fiction work, it is highly recommended to spend some time each day patrolling any message boards relevant to your topic

Whether you have authors a sports biography or self-help work, there is certain to be one or two forums where potential readers exist for your work

If you write fiction, there do exist a number of readers forums related to many genres, from romance to science fiction to fantasy

If your works are in similar vein to popular books and movies (a fantasy novel akin to Tolkien, or a hard-boiled private eye story), seek out those forums as well

Readers of a certain fandom may be willing to broaden their interests if they are duly enticed

Depending upon the forum, signatures are permitted

Use the opportunity to create a signature (as with your e-mail) designed to encourage forum members to click through to your site

As you become a part of these communities, you also have the opportunity to establish yourself as an expert on forum subjects

Post and reply to posts, and increase awareness of your brand

Employing such a subtle, viral technique can be helpful in bring people to your website and your book

Articles: Similar to the concept of being a forum expert, writing articles relevant to your book’s topic is a useful method of viral marketing

Whether your write fiction or non-fiction, poetry or plays, supplemental articles for distribution enhance your credibility and allow for the increase of traffic to your website

Concise, short articles of about 300-400 can be submitted to third-party article databases for distribution

With each article you write, include a biography and URL link to your site

As website owners needing content pick up your material for use, they are obliged to use your links

This method of viral marketing sets you up as an expert on the subject at hand, and also increases opportunity for higher link popularity on your website

Article writing as a viral marketing technique is also effective in print

Find periodicals and journals relevant to your book’s topic, and submit articles for publication

For mystery and romance authors in particular, there exist opportunities to write anecdotes on the writing process and story inspiration

Mystery Readers Journal and Mystery Scene Magazine are two such outlets that welcome author input

Mailing Lists: Similar to the message board, the topic mailing list brings the conversation and information directly to the readers’ mailboxes

Visit a database for mailing lists, such as Yahoo Groups or Topica, and you will also find a number of authors have mailing lists set up to promote their works

Some lists are employed purely for newsletter distribution, while others allow for readers to interact with each other and the author

Whether you decide to maintain your own list or join lists relevant to your books, viral marketing comes into play through your posts and signatures

Try not to be an overt advertisement, but maintain some degree of visibility and authority on relevant subjects

Build trust among the readership, and eventually you will find readers clicking through to your site to learn more

Signage: Perhaps while driving you have seen the a window sticker on the care in front of you, advertising a URL

It might have been a commercial vehicle, or a mom’s van promoting an in-home business for cosmetics or other goods

You might have it thought it amusing at first, but such signage can be useful in imprinting a brand into the general consciousness

Billboards would not exist otherwise if there was not some proven effectiveness

The good thing about a sticker on the back window of a car or truck is that it does not have to be too obnoxious, just large enough to be seen

Shop around for a custom design, then you have a traveling advertisement for your book everywhere you drive

Just as word of mouth advertising helps promote books, music, and other items, so can viral marketing be as effective

Plant seeds of interest throughout the Internet and watch as your traffic and sales bloom

– Ciniva Web Agency

No Responses so far | Have Your Say!

Comments are closed.