Viral and Word of Mouth Marketing

Moderator: Todd Friesen
Rand Fishkin, CEO, SEOMoz
Louise Rijk, Co-founder and Vice-President of Marketing and Sales, Advanced Media Productions, Inc.
Aaron Wall, Author, SEO Book
Lawrence Coburn, President, RateItAll, Inc.

First up is Louise talking about how big agencies look at word of mouth marketing. Who do you trust as part of word of mouth, consumer generated media, and how do you make it work for you. The landscape is changing in many ways the marketer is starting lose control of the message, and consumers gain control of the message. Tivo is an example of how consumers have control and marketers have lost control. Tools are now avaialbe to wider array of people. One of the big characteristics is trust and is the person delivering the message trustworthy. Recommendations from consumers grew. As traditional channels become less effective and less trustworthy. Word of mouth marketing is the way news and information travel. Consumers are more trustworthy as no money has changed hands. Social networks are a large part. The highest level of this is an evangelist who actively promotes your products. The task is about finding and empowering the people who are influencers. Word of Mouth Marketing has a longer lifespan. According to her Email is not dead (editor I strongly disagree). Customer influence and word of mouth is right behind. Consumer Generated media is a dialogue or conversation that people engage in online. What kinds of experiences are your customers having are they talking about it and how can you get them to talk about it online. Can you influence the message yes, but you can’t always control it. WOMM targets the evangelists who will spread the message for you, viral marketing relies when friends share the message. (I became ovewhelmed with a severe case of power point intellectual “my eyes glaze over” at this stage)

Next up Lawrence who will be talking about widgets they syndicate out the adsense so people can distribute the content. He feels one the key factors of YouTube’s growth was the embedable player. Using widgets is a way to get your content to go viral, widgets are highly used in the blogosphere. The very first widget on myspace came in 2005. Using the right name can help with customer adoption. Viral marketing allows you to compete against others with larger budgets. usinf widgets to gain backlinks is key strategy. Aggregator sites are place to put the widgets (myspace friendster), edge feeders(you tube, photobucket) Platforms (widgetboxx, sniperoo, google gadgets). Making it easy to implement is a key to adoption. Keys to success are accessibility, customization, content, branding, and sharing. Things that are missing in widgets is analytics, monetization, driven by data, contextually aware widgets, fully interactive sessions.

Next up we have Aaron Wall the first thing is to research find what other people are interested in and find ways to tie it into your site. Find ideas from delicious, digg, recent news, news, and meme trackers. Have an official channel to distribute and control the message and what is being said, find a trusted channel to give an exclusive to. Many people don’t keep the link equity for their message and give it to other sites. Being controversial works but can have a negative effect. Be specific and try and get an emotional response. Keywords are secondary concern. Relate the subject to people as closely as possible. Community involvement in your idea can help spread your message. Getting feedback before launch can help refine your ideas. Make lots of friends and that they know about your idea. Pitch other bloggers, use social news sites. Timing is a key role of how much you get out your work. Get the message out on the right channels. spread out the linkbait over a period of time. Make your content easy for people to identify. Polarizing issues and comprehensive content spread quicker. Cite research and link out. Make your content easy to link to and don’t try to monetize right away.

Last up is Rand Fishkin 7 steps to linkbait. Find the portals that you can use for linkbait. Understand the audience and target them they may not be your normal users. They are compelled by the headline and not neccesarily the content. Brainstorm effectively and don’t lose sight of your audience. build beautiful bait, adsense is a no-no. Blog in article format works but so do unusual formats. You need room for discussion. Create a reputation that is trusted so you have more influence. Attention grabbing headlines such as the gossip rags have. Don’t shoot Yourself in the foot with too many submission from one IP or other shady tactics. Follow up with secondary posts.

tla starter kit


  1. Text Link Ads - New customers can get $100 in free text links.
  2. - Get a premier listing in the internet's oldest directory.
  3. Need an SEO Audit for your website, look at my SEO Consulting Services
  4. TigerTech - Great Web Hosting service at a great price.