WORKSHOP LESSON #5:
In the last couple of lessons, we discussed the power of growing your customer and prospect list by leveraging social media sites. While social media, by itself, is an extremely powerful channel for growing your business, you can add another “ingredient”, into the mix, to create even more powerful results. Specifically, you can take advantage of popular, interesting, or funny stories and videos. By using the strategy we’re about to teach you, you can grow your own customer base by simply leveraging popular content, such as funny videos, interesting articles, and popular stories on other websites!
By using a very simple piece of software, known as a WordPress plugin, your company can benefit from popular online content. In order to do this effectively, you’ll first want to consider who your customers typically are. For example, does your customer base generally consist of teenagers, senior citizens, parents, pregnant women, single people in their 20’s and 30’s, etc.? Of course, your business may appeal to more than just one age group and demographic, which is great because then you can take advantage of even more popular news stories and topics that appeal to all of those groups. If you’re a local business, perhaps your customers all reside within a particular geographic area. If that’s the case, you could benefit from popular news stories and topics that are relevant to your specific city or region.
You’re probably wondering exactly how your business can benefit from stories and videos that are popular on other websites. As we alluded to above, there is a very simple, yet powerful piece of software/plugin that you can add to your website or blog. This software will enable you to have the message of your choice appear, when you send people to a popular story or video that lots of people would be interested in.
You might be wondering why you’d want to send people to another website to begin with. Well, in essence, you won’t actually be sending people to another website. Instead, you’ll just be leveraging the popularity and authority of a popular story or popular video that is somewhere else on the web. Ultimately, though, you will have total control over any message that you’d like to appear, while people are checking out the popular story or funny video that you referred them to.
To illustrate how this method works and why it’s so powerful, let’s use a fitness center as an example. Let’s say that they are looking to attract new members to join their gym. The fitness center could simply do a quick search, for a funny video of someone working out, or just doing something that looks silly, impressive, etc., which is related to fitness in one way or another. Next, the fitness center could set up a special offer to join their gym, which will appear during or after people watch the funny video that the fitness center sends them to. The fitness center could then just use this software, to set it all up, and post it on their Facebook page. The end result would be that when anyone clicked on that link, to view the funny video, the fitness center’s special offer could appear, at a time specified by the fitness center. For example, if the video is 30 seconds long, the fitness center could have their special offer appear at exactly 30 seconds! This way, the person will be able to see the funny video that they want to see, without interruption, and the fitness center will be able to have their offer appear at the perfect time. There’s even an option in the software, where you can choose to have a message appear if someone goes to click away early, before your company’s message is timed to appear!
Perhaps you’re wondering, in the example above, why the fitness center wouldn’t just post their special offer or invitation to join their mailing list right on their Facebook page, without sending people to the funny video. There are a couple of important reasons why it can be more effective to use this approach. First, when you have Facebook page for your business, you don’t want to appear as though you’re constantly just advertising to your customers and prospects. Otherwise, the people who are fans of your Facebook page won’t feel that they’re getting any value from being a fan of your Facebook page. In other words, they’ll just feel that you’re always trying to sell them things. On the other hand, if you post an interesting or funny story or video, your fans will be more likely to remain your fans, if they enjoy the content that you share with them. This is the best of both worlds, because you can still present them with a special offer or invitation to join your mailing list, while they’re reading the article or after they view the video that you share with them. Providing valuable content to your customers and prospects, while also giving them an opportunity to receive a special offer from you – or join your mailing list – is a win-win for you and your fans!
The other, huge advantage to this approach is that it can help you to create a “viral buzz” around your business. For example, if you find a story or video that a lot of people would want to share with one another, you would simply set it up with the software, so that your offer appears when people click on this content that’s likely to go viral. You then just post this story or video, which people will be likely to “Share” and “Like”, on your Facebook fan page. As more of your fans “Share” and “Like” the popular story or video that you post on your company’s Facebook fan page, their Facebook friends will see that they liked or shared the story. In turn, there’s a very good chance that they will also click on the story or video. Of course, when they click on the popular story or video that you posted, your special offer or email sign-up form will appear for them too!
Essentially, by posting other interesting and funny stories or videos on your company’s Facebook fan page, there’s a far greater likelihood of people “Liking” and “Sharing” it with their Facebook friends, as compared to if you just posted an advertisement for your company directly on your Facebook fan page. Of course, you could try to build a viral buzz solely around things that only have to do with your company, and not connect to anyone else’s popular stories or videos. Eventually, though, you may find that it’s difficult to keep generating free, viral traffic by only sharing offers and information that is related to your company.
With so many interesting stories and popular videos that people naturally want to share with each other, you can easily capitalize on these stories and videos that are already going viral or have the potential to do so. Having the ability to then make an offer or invite people to join your mailing list, while people are reading a popular story or watching a popular video, is just smart marketing.
We realize that this entire process may sound a bit confusing, if you’ve never done anything like this before. For this reason, we’ve outlined the specific steps that can allow you to generate viral traffic to your offers, with the method we’ve described above:
1.) You find a popular, interesting, or funny article or video online. It’s best to find something that is either related to your type of business or something that is likely to appeal to your customer demographics (e.g. teens, women, men, married couples, brides-to-be, golfers, fitness enthusiasts, etc.). You can find these types of stories or videos by simply doing an online search for things related to your business or your company’s products and services. You could even add words like “funny”, “amazing”, “hysterical”, “scary”, “unbelievable”, etc. to your search, to find things that people will be very likely to want to share with one another. For example, if you own a shop that sells wedding dresses, you could do a simple online search for things like, “hysterical bride and groom”, “funny wedding dance”, “unbelievable wedding speech”, etc. Online searches like these are certain to bring up stories and videos that people will want to “Like” and “Share” with their Facebook friends.
2.) After you find a popular, interesting, or funny story or video that would appeal to your customer base, you would simply follow the software instructions, to combine this popular video or story with an offer that you’d like to appear, when people are viewing the content that you send them to. The software provides extremely detailed instructions on how to set this all up, so that even a non-technical person can follow the steps!
3.) Once your special offer or invitation to join your mailing list is set up to appear, with the content you send people to, you would simply post the link that the software gives you, onto your Facebook fan page. You could also send this link out to your existing email subscribers or Twitter followers. Posting the link on Facebook is a particularly good idea, though, since people are so accustomed to “Liking” and “Sharing” these types of things with their friends.
4.) Watch the “viral effect” take place as you gain more Facebook fans and, in turn, more customers! Of course, some of these fun little viral campaigns that you set up may work better than others. The beauty of this strategy, though, is that the internet has an almost endless supply of popular, interesting, and funny stories and videos, with more great content being added online every minute of the day!
Another thing to keep in mind is the following: As your number of Facebook fans grows, the “viral effect” of posting these types of articles and videos is likely to become more and more powerful each time. In other words, since your Facebook fans should grow in number over time, this should also result in more people who will be likely to share any articles or videos that you post to your fan page. In turn, your results with this strategy could quickly snowball, as your Facebook fans increase and share your content with their friends, who then share your posts with their friends, and so on!
Have lots of fun with this method! Just be aware, though, that the fun of posting content that goes viral can get addicting, as you see your fans and customers increase, whenever you post popular, interesting, and funny content onto your fan page!
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