Tag Archives: Viral

Where Should You Focus – Eyeballs or Dollars? Six Thoughts

Situation: A company sells personalized content as well as a tool kit. The long-term plan is to monetize storage of personalized content. When they speak to venture capitalists, the VCs advise them to focus on just building their user base and not to worry about revenue.  What would you do? Where should you focus – eyeballs or dollars?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Take advice from venture capitalists with a grain of salt. Remember that their game is to fund companies that they like incrementally, taking a greater share of ownership of the company with each increment in funding. The more you lack revenue, the more you’re dependent upon them.
  • Gain traction by offering free content with up-sell opportunities for premium access.
  • The give-away strategy is a great model to build your initial user audience. Consider micropayment options for special features, content storage, and so forth.
  • Going slow and steady may not be the right model for this space. Company growth for a web-based platform is different from the typical bootstrap model.
  • It’s hard to get good advice for viral marketing opportunities from CEOs who have bootstrapped their companies. Look for other input. Seek the advice of CEOs who have been successful in the viral online marketing space and learn as much as you can about their business models.
  • Gaming is another opportunity – premium or virtual world sales.

How Do You Create The Best Buzz? Five Suggestions

Situation: A company has an opportunity to use equipment supplied by a partner to create a demonstration project that will highlight their capabilities. They want to create the best buzz possible through this effort. One idea is to work with local service agencies to create a demonstration that will be highly appealing to news outlets. How do you create the best buzz?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • In addition to working with local agencies in your target localities to create publicity and awareness, work with the local newspaper reporters who write about the areas served by these agencies. City reporters are always looking for fresh stories, and will help you to generate instant news that may be picked up by other local and possibly national media. This form of building awareness virally is much more effective than traditional advertising campaigns.
  • Use industry trade shows of potential partners as demo venues by collaborating with the trade show organizers for a live demonstration that benefits the organizers. Let technical trade publications know about your demos. Stories that catch the attention of technical publications can also get the attention of national media and give you visibility far beyond the trade shows.
  • Use YouTube to highlight use and the impact of your service. Assure that your YouTube videos are interesting and attention gathering. This will help generate viral awareness.
  • Look at how Google helped to make Mountain View, CA a wireless city. They worked with the city and created great excitement both locally and nationally.
  • Consider using actors to stage demonstrations, followed by actual demonstrations.

Why Do You Need Uberinfluencers? Four Factors

Interview with Skip Brand, CEO, Martini Media Network

Situation: Thanks to the rise of social media, the 10-20 million individuals who were the influencers with the most purchasing power have increased to 70 million. Within the influencer group, there is a sub group deemed “uberinfluencers” who have the most influence. How do marketers reach the uberinfluencers and why are they so important?

Advice from Skip Brand:

  • Uberinfluencers increasingly spend more time online, are twice as likely to make a purchase, and spend three times as much per acquisition when they do purchase. Also, they always share new product experiences with friends and family via different social media (Facebook, Twitter, Blog’s, etc). For the first time, consumers control a brand’s reputation and are able to set the brand’s tone and image. This is why marketers need to focus more dollars to get in front of this audience.
    • Uberinfluencers spend more time online than the general US population. They are brand savvy, digital savvy and socially networked.
    • They have diverse and specific interests and leverage the Internet extensively to connect with their passion areas. Niche sites appeal to this audience because of the specificity and existence of community. If you better understand where these people spend their time at work and play –you are better positioned to leverage their influence.
  • The company that wants to reach and leverage these uberinfluencers needs to be scalable, exciting and relevant.
    • For this audience, small is beautiful and also scalable. Let’s use the example of golf, a passion for many uberinfluencers. Your site should feature the highest quality courses and equipment if you want to reach 50% or more of this target audience. It must be easy to navigate, provide enough information to make them feel comfortable about product selection, and have a social component to help them broadcast your message.
    • Uberinfluencers spend time on sites that are exciting, engaging and which have a single share of voice. This means one focused ad per page instead of multiple ads.
    • Particularly in a recessionary market the site must work diligently to maintain relevance by continually enhancing site content to provide a fresh experience with every visit.
    • Marketers should put uberinfluencers at the center of their media buy and strategy.
  • To attract and leverage this audience you must maintain a maniacal focus. Reach out to them using social networking tools, which find uberinfluencers where they work and play on the web. Let’s illustrate this with an example.
    • Let’s say that your uberinfluencer is a digital media executive. You will find them on social networking sites because they are living what they are doing. Put the right message in front of them. If they buy they will spend more, but it’s even better if they tell 10 friends about you.
  • Once you start figuring out the keys that attract uberinfluencers, they will start telling each other about you and news of your product will spread across the web, in turn maximizing your revenue!

You can contact Skip Brand at skip.brand@martini-corp.com

Key Words: Strategy, Sales, Marketing, Uberinfluencer, Social, Network, Media, Purchase, Opinion, Influence, Online, Work, Play, Hobby, Niche, Scalable, Exciting, Relevant, Focus, Viral

How Have You Attracted a Resistant Audience? Three Thoughts

Interview with Pradeep Bakshi, CEO, Foundation3

Situation: A new start-up has developed a SaaS application focused on helping sales people and small businesses leverage LinkedIn and other social media for prospecting. The Company’s customers build Private Shared Networks which can be used by sales people to accelerate the Pipeline. Their concern is that historically sales people have not adopted sales productivity and prospecting solutions.  What have you done to attract and accelerate trial and acceptance when addressing a resistant audience?

Advice from Pradeep Bakshi:

  • Keep it simple and make the application very intuitive and easy to use.
    • Do not try to change behavior; make it easier for sales people to do things they already like to do.
    • Create an instant “I get it” experience.
    • Bias the interface toward instant gratification. This is critical to generating viral marketing.
    • Make it easy to tell others what you’ve found – similar to a “Like” button to share a YouTube video.
  • There are 15 million sales people in the US.
    • You won’t get everyone, but you want to get the “believers” and avoid the “haters”.
    • You must quickly find segments of the market who are likely early adopters. For us, the early adopters are in the SMB segment (startups, 25-200 emp.) and the service provider industry.
  • Select channels which are open to your messaging and solution.
    • LinkedIn Groups are becoming an excellent way to network with like-minded people who can spread the word.
    • Look to past contacts to whom you have provided value and who value you. They are more likely to get your value proposition and introduce you to others.
    • Allow customers to collaborate with referral sources: potential business partners and collaborators who aim at the same audience that you will serve; and lead sharing partners. These individuals can help you find customers who will value your solution.

You can contact Pradeep Bakshi at pradeep@foundation3.com

Key Words: Software, Prospecting, GUI, User Interface, Viral, B2B, Early Adopter, Professional, Customer Acquisition, SMB, LinkedIn, Private Share Network

What are Best Practices for Hiring at Minimal Cost? Eight Thought Starters

Interview with Stephane Dubois, CEO, Xignite

Situation: The company has been running very lean for the last few years, with very good people. New opportunities are opening up, and we need to staff up to execute. How do we get the best talent while minimize hiring costs?

Advice:

  • Job Posting Boards: You can often find specialized talent on industry specific job boards such as Dice.com, SimplyHired.com, Cybercoders.com, TheLadders.com or similar non-traditional job boards.
  • Online Interest Groups: There are a wide range of industry and product specific user groups through Google Groups, LinkedIn Groups, and so on. Connecting with relevant groups will not only position your company as a key firm within the segment, but also make you THE place for career progression.
  • Go Social: Leverage the power or social media to publicize your available positions.  Facebook advertisements, LinkedIn job postings and similar sites can build targeted interest in your company, and available positions.
  • Go Viral: Even if you don’t personally like Twitter or Facebook, these sites can create viral awareness of your company and technology. Tweeting that you are hiring now, with a 140 character job profile.
  • Be Cool: Create exciting new ways to add in the cool factor.  Skilled talent likes to work with fun, exciting, successful companies. Capture photos of company events and add them to a Picasa or Flickr gallery. Positive blog posts build good vibes around your company, your technology and your products.
  • Ground & Pound: There are many groups that meet on a regular basis to discuss skills, functional interest, best practices, business opportunities or to just mix and mingle. Sites like Meetup.com to find local groups that match the talent you’re seeking. You will often find candidates, people that can pass the opportunity along, or even someone willing to provide an awesome referral.
  • Attack: Be pre-emptive in your focus. Select a few top-notch recruiters who specialize in your technology, market and/or geography. These professionals already know the talent pool, may accelerate the process, and ultimately provide higher quality candidates.
  • These are a few thought-starters. What has worked for you to find good candidates at minimal cost?

You can contact Stephane Dubois at sdubois@xignite.com

Key Words: Hiring, Social Network, LinkedIn, LinkSV, Twitter, Facebook, Job Boards, Viral, Recruiter