Viral marketing is the dream of every author, non-profit director, and business owner. But, one of my clients, Tim Elmore of Growing Leaders, recently made it happen.
Tim wrote a blog post entitled, 3 Huge Mistakes We Make Leading Kids…And How to Correct Them. Within 10 days, Tim’s post had been shared on Facebook over 250,000 times! All that attention drove over 260,000 new visitors to his blog where they learned about his leadership expertise and his non-profit organization that develops students into growing leaders.
Tim has posted hundreds of articles to his blog but never experienced such overwhelming response. He asked me, “How did this happen and how can I do it again?” That’s a great question and one that you may be asking yourself. Below are five takeaways from Tim’s situation to help create a viral marketing effect:
1. Create a “Gotcha-Gotta” Title: The biggest reason why Tim’s blog post spread like wildfire is due to his title, “3 Huge Mistakes We Make Leading Kids…” I call it a “Gotcha-Gotta title,” because it’s so arresting that it captures your attention and says “gotcha!” In addition, people who see the title immediately think to themselves, “I gotta read what this article says.” If you want something you write to go viral, focus on creating a title that people can’t resist.
2. Connect to a felt need or controversial topic: The title and content of Tim’s blog post speaks directly to a felt need that affects millions of Americans – raising their kids. Plus, he discusses the controversial aspect of over-parenting. Tim touched a sensitive nerve that connected with thousands of parents. Likewise, if you to generate viral marketing that captures a large audience, you’ve got to address problems and issues that concern a major segment of the population. Plus, don’t be afraid to attack the sacred cows from a helpful perspective.
3. Offer readers positive solutions: Tim’s blog post doesn’t just address a problem, he also offers practical solutions (8 in fact). His expertise makes the reader think, “Wow, this guy knows his stuff, and I know other people who need to read this article.” If you want a bigger response to the material you write, don’t just discuss the problem. Give useful answers that benefit your readers. People spread word of mouth when they encounter helpful information. The more you help others, the more others will help you spread your wildfire.
4. Make sharing easy: People are much more likely to spread word of mouth when you give them the tools to take action. Tim’s blog makes it simple to share his material by offering easy-to-see buttons at the top of each post that say “Share on Facebook” and “ReTweet on Twitter.” His buttons also act as real-time counters that show how many people have taken action. Even better, these buttons are free to create and free to use.
5. Stay consistent: Tim has blogged for several years and most of his posts didn’t create a firestorm of interest. But, he encountered success by staying consistent and continuing to provide value for his readers. His efforts have paid off by garnering over 27,000 blog subscribers.
I encourage you to read Tim’s blog post in order to get the full effect of what he’s experienced. And, use the five tips I discussed to create a viral marketing wildfire of your own.
(By the way, Tim’s blog post got another 1,000 Facebook shares while I wrote this article!)
Great useful information …..looking forward to returning. To learn more