By now, you know quite a bit about open virality.
This type of viral marketing essentially describes the virality involved when creating a marketplace-type product that houses smaller products within it. (Think the App Store.)
Open virality ensures that those producing the products within the marketplace all have a vested interest in bringing others to that product. This in turn inadvertently exposes their customers to your marketplace.
To clarify, if you’re the one who builds the marketplace (e.g. Apple building the App Store), you will experience this sort of virality directly. It would be like being the owner of a department store selling other people’s goods.
If you’ve instead created a product that can be distributed WITHIN a marketplace, you’re a prime candidate for the niche search marketing channel.
Niche Search: It’s All About Direct Line of Sight
Niche search marketing is like creating a product that is sold within somebody else’s department store, and then working hard to get it placed on the shelf in the direct line of sight of your ideal prospect.
Or to put it another way, say you produce a sugary cereal. Niche search marketing is like going into every single grocery store that sells your brand of cereal, and physically moving your boxes to the best possible position on the shelves. In front of the competition, and right at the eye level of sugar crazed eight-year olds. (Note: Probably not a cool thing to do in the world of cereals. But it’s a totally legit practice in online marketplaces.)
The key is to place your product in the most successful marketplaces. Specifically ones that already see significant traffic from open virality, in addition to their own non-viral marketing efforts.
By placing your product within those high-traffic marketplaces – and then optimizing your product listing to more frequently be seen by those looking for a product like yours (which is called “niche search optimization“) – you’ll be able to temporarily hijack their audience for your benefit.
In other words, sugary cereal for everyone!
Niche Search in Action
- Apple’s App Store is a niche search marketplace that lists apps for the iPhone and iPad. Optimizing your app’s listing (a process called ASO) can yield significant traffic for you that you don’t pay a nickel for.
- WordPress’s Plugin Store is similar. It lists various “plugins” that can augment a blog or WordPress website in a one-click format that is extremely user-friendly. Optimizing your plugin’s listing can be very lucrative when you’ve got a way to monetize it.
- Udemy’s online course marketplace allows users to find and learn from courses created by other users on a variety of different topics ranging from coding to music to learning new languages.
Utilizing a marketplace where tons of users already flock can help tie your product’s growth to that marketplace’s viral engine – which can be a very good move on your part.
Imagine Apple giving you a piggyback ride. Sounds kind of nice, doesn’t it?
Niche Search and Virality
Unlike most other marketing channels we’ve discussed, you have to be careful when encouraging virality using a niche search marketing channel.
One reason is you don’t want to work hard to drive traffic to your product from customers who are sharing and inviting others, only to then have those new viral leads get sidetracked by other items in that larger marketplace.
For example, if you’re an app in the App Store, I recommend you look into deep linking. This will send existing users directly into your app, while directing new prospects directly to the download page for your app.
You also need to pay close attention to the economics of the marketplace itself by crunching the numbers. For example, say a marketplace takes a decent chunk of your sales every time a sale of your product is made in their marketplace. Yet you make far more when you sell the same product from your own website. In such an instance, consider routing your viral traffic to your own internal sales page rather than the sales page on the marketplace itself.
Know Who You’re Doing Business For
Remember, the marketplace is a business that encapsulates your business. They need their own margins, and if they can get their users to grab other products that make THEM more money – even though you sent the traffic their way to buy YOUR product – they will always act in their own self-interest.
Expect this behavior, and look for a way you can potentially even use it to your advantage. Such as increasing your conversion rate and reducing your return rate so much that they feature your product more prominently.
They’d be fools not too, since they’ll make more money by doing so.
Previously on our trip through the 16 Non-Viral Sources to Fuel Your Viral Engine, we took a pit stop to get a little more imaginative using content marketing.
Up next, I’m going to share with you another great opportunity to flex your creative viral muscles.
Do You Know the Hidden Treasure for Creative Virality?
Let’s move past all this talk of niche marketing and work with something everyone can utilize, no matter what their industry. I’ll brainstorm with you how in our next chapter.
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