October 15, 2012

How Pinterest can help your marketing to go viral

Driving big traffic and making Pinterest a real marketing solution

Guest post by Colby Almond
97th Floor

When I was first introduced to Digg in 2007, I didn’t leave the computer until I absorbed every piece of information that Kevin Rose made available to me. When I switched over to Reddit in 2008, I found the content even more enthralling and gave out upvotes until my fingers bled on nearly ever subreddit. A few months ago my girlfriend, Alaina, was on her laptop on the couch totally enchanted by some type of site I had never seen before. However, I knew the passion and attention she was giving the site was all too familiar. There she was pinning and repinning content onto her boards like it was her job.

As a marketer of nearly seven years, I absolutely knew this “Pinterest” thing was going to be huge. I never would have expected, however, that it would change the world of viral marketing so quickly.

By early this year, Pinterest exploded from a casual social network to an absolute powerhouse of more than 10 million users. It’s now driving more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn. For a social network that long remainded under the radar for the marketing industry, these are numbers that can’t be ignored. Continue reading

October 12, 2011

Real bloggers and real blogs always trump Robot Armies

robot army

Chris AbrahamLast week, I talked about using the long tail of blogger outreach — the idea that you can’t pin your hopes for most public relations efforts on only the A-list bloggers. For each outreach, there are hundreds and often thousands of bloggers that are not well-known but have influence on the very people that your PR campaign is trying to reach.

I’ve written in the past about how to put bloggers first when you reach out to them, but today I want to make sure that you don’t see blogger outreach as a one-time, campaign-oriented approach but rather a relationship that lasts for years between you and each blogger. For blogger outreach to work on an ongoing basis, you need to be endlessly generous and endlessly appreciative. And the main way that you show your appreciation is to do as much of the work for them as possible.

You need to make sure you’ve set up the pitch and the campaign. Your message must be essential and clear enough that each blogger can potentially go from reading the email pitch to clicking the post button on their blog well within five minutes. Any more and we maybe get only a tweet or a Facebook Like.

We need to be clear in our email that we want a post and the pitch to be shared with the readers of the blog. In our social media news releases, we need to make sure that everything can be copied and pasted as-is, that images are the correct size, that the links are already embedded, that copy and text is simple to copy and block-quote and that any and all banner ads or videos have a handy and easy to find embed code right there.

One cannot assume any technical proficiency, one cannot assume any PR or communications experience, one cannot assume that any blogger knows any PR-speak or knows how to deal with an embargo. One cannot assume that anyone knows what a press release is, or a social media release or what PRWeb is or, heaven forbid, how to keep an embargoed message holy. Long story short, if the message in any way seems more complicated or time-consuming than each blogger fancies it’s worth, then you’ve lost them. Continue reading

January 27, 2011

How to make your product go viral


Viral product design is far more effective for product adoption than email marketing or banner ads

David SparkHere’s some of my coverage from the ICIS Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. I was covering the event for Dice and Dice News.

Can firms engineer products so they’re more likely to go viral, so there’s contagion and dispersion? This was the question Sinal Aral and Dylan Walker of the NYU Stern School of Business asked and answered in their research paper Creating Social Contagion Through Viral Product Design: A Randomized Trial of Peer Influence in Networks.”

What the two discovered is that firms can increase adoption of a product 400 to 500 percent by adding simple design elements to make it go viral. The two elements they tested were active personalized invites (e.g., “Hey Dave it’s Steve, check out this cool app”) and passive broadcast notifications (e.g., “Your friend Steve is using this new app”). Continue reading

May 7, 2010

Social Gaming Summit: Playing the distribution game

Is viral the only economically feasible way to distribute a social game?

David SparkNo, answered a panel of four game developers and publishers at the Social Gaming Summit in San Francisco which should have been called the “Facebook” gaming summit. Every time someone mentioned “social” gaming, someone asked the question, “Are you being social anywhere else?” The answer was always no.

That’s because by using viral hooks, the cost to acquire a player through Facebook is essentially costless. You can still pay to acquire players through Facebook advertising. None of the panelists during the session “Lessons from Leaders – Distribution” admitted they did. Although they did say they were willing to try as many realized that the viral “honeymoon” of collecting players goes very quickly soon after launch. Once it starts to settle down you have to look at other options, like traditional marketing, to gather more players.

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February 26, 2009

An interview with Martin Oetting of Germany’s trnd

Chris AbrahamAs part of my exploration of branding and communication around the world, I am starting a series of interviews with as many European and world-wide movers-and-shakers as are willing to submit themselves to my barrage of probing questions.

I was inspired to start this series of interviews while at lunch with today’s interviewee, Martin Oetting, partner and director research at trnd. We met at a bistro in Prenzlauer Berg, a trendy neighborhood in Berlin, where Martin lives. We ate and talked and realized we had both a lot of thing and a lot of people in common. After we both pedaled away on our bikes, it occurred to me that it would be super cool to be able to share all of this great stuff with you – and it would be great to be able to ask a bunch of questions to as many people in the branding, new media, and communications as possible.

With no further ado, here’s my interview with Martin Oetting:

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