Saturday, August 11, 2012

Working Smarter: Apps and Viral Marketing

Viruses, like this influenza viruses, spread quickly and efficiently. They also spread freely ie, there is no expense involved.

Internet marketers have taken notice of what nature has provided us and devised viral marketing programs that spread at limited expense and are quick and efficient in achieving objectives.

In viral marketing campaigns, originators rely on people to pass on a product like a "virus" from one person to another in the same way that nature relies on people to transmit viruses.

What are usually passed on are e-books or e-reports or software programs. Most recently "apps" are being passed around. Apps are handy little software applications that help you do something eg, shop online at a retail store or find a public toilet nearby when in a city. There are literally hundreds of thousands of apps and their availability increases daily. Some are free, others are downloadable at $0.99 or so.

How can this help your business?

Say you own a small business that sells gadgets that are connected to your building's electrical system and reduce the cost of your electricity bill. You create a small app that is freely downloaded that helps people keep track of their electricity consumption. Each week or so they input the reading from their electricity meter to the app on their mobile phone and it gives them an update on usage compared with previous periods etc. It even tells you what consumption is occurring overnight and suggests how you can reduce consumption through turning off such appliances as television sets.

Incorporated in the app is a link to the site the app provider has where he or she sells the gadget that can reduce power consumption. Many people who use the app decide it is such a good idea they buy it.

They also tell all their friends what a wonderful app it is and where it can be downloaded. If it's really good, it spreads like a virus ... free marketing from person to person. That's what viral marketing is.

E-books that convey useful information are popular and have embedded links to sales sites. They are less a sales document and more an informative, highly useful information source that people share with their friends. The more people who read the e-book, the more clicks occur and hopefully, more sales.

I think you get the message.

Robin

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