Unless you have a K > 1.0 from Day 1 (which you won’t) you’ll need to feed your viral growth engine. Because in order to continue to see new traffic and growth, you’ve got to feed the beast. You can’t just send your product to a few friends, pat yourself on the back for a job well done, and expect it take off like a rocket ship. (Unless maybe your name is Elon Musk, or Iron Man.)
So now that we’ve successfully created your viral marketing engine, let’s get it pumping.
But where do we begin? What should we use for fuel? And how long until you become a genius billionaire playboy (or girl) philanthropist?
Read on to find out!
Hold on tight, because we’re about to take off.
Every Engine Needs Fuel
The fuel you need to feed your viral engine is none other than . . . drum roll please . . . non-viral marketing!
I know what you’re thinking.
Travis, how can you go viral by being non-viral. That just doesn’t make sense.
Put the pitchforks down, let me explain.
Digital advertising, content marketing, SEO – all of these plus many others – will bring new leads into your viral loop. These non-viral marketing engines serve as the on-ramps into your loop.
As loops reach completion, and you gain new leads driven through viral means, when you infuse non-viral tactics into the mix you’re simply adding another on-ramp to success. You haven’t replaced viral with non-viral, you’re just ensuring no growth potential has been left on the table.
Even if you see an absurd amount of success through virality, you should always search for new sources of traffic to feed your viral loop.
So long as it continues to make sound business sense, that is.
Profiting from Non-Viral Marketing
For example, let’s say you have a solid viral collaboration marketing engine. On top of that, you place a viral incentive that costs you the equivalent of $5. Assuming you can continue to acquire new users through other methods for an amount less than or equal to the cost of your viral incentive, it makes sound business sense to keep those additional non-viral engines active.
However, if you’re finding that your non-viral marketing techniques are costing you $7 per acquired user, you’ll want to reevaluate.
Of course if you’re earning a good ROI from those non-viral users who cost $7, you still may want to keep that engine alive. Even if your ROI isn’t positive, so long as the user segment you’re paying a bit more to acquire is driving strong viral growth, it STILL may be worth keeping that engine active.
Only when you give up more of your margin than makes sense, will you want to shut a non-viral engine off.
This is the embodiment of A – which you now know of as your amplification factor. Your viral marketing engine likely won’t drive self-sustaining growth forever (if at all), but if done well it will ALWAYS get you a deep discount on your non-viral marketing spend. Those virally-acquired users driven by those non-virally-acquired users will bring the average cost per acquisition down considerably.
Which means in no time at all you’ll be a Viral Hero and undoubtedly asked to join the Avengers.
Moving forward, the rest of this section is going to walk you through the forms of non-viral marketing that exist (or that I’m aware of at the time of writing). I’ll also teach you how each can be implemented more effectively by adding virality into the mix.
By feeding your viral engine the right grade of fuel, you’ll have it running as smooth as a Porsche in no time (or Tesla if you’re trying to go green).
Are You Ready to Go Old-School in Your Marketing?
With all the new forms of online communication popping up on the daily, you’d think keeping up with the times would be the best path to virality. And while you’re not wrong, don’t make the mistake of passing by on some of the tried and true non-viral marketing methods that have been around for ages. What are they? Join me in the next chapter to find out.
- Cycle Time: What the Primary Defense Mechanism of Rabbits Can Teach You About Growth - March 15, 2016
- Viral Infection: How the CDC Can Make You a Viral Marketing Savant - March 4, 2016
- Viral Communication Marketing – How Apple, MailChimp and Hootsuite Used Hotmail to Inspire Explosive Growth - June 25, 2015