Every so often a member of one of the Feldenkrais communities will approach me about viral marketing – a way of using internet technologies to help an idea or product spread very rapidly online.
To date, I have not agreed to do any viral marketing campaigns for anyone in the Feldenkrais community.
There are four reasons. They have to do with remarkability, accessibility, ease of delivery and trust.
Remarkability and Accessibility
Ideas that spread on the internet are ideas that are remarkable. That is, a person has to really like your idea in order to send it to another person. It has to be outstanding, unique, curious, fascinating or have some other quality that really makes someone WANT to share it with friends. And part of that remarkability is being able to understand your idea. If it’s too complicated not enough people will know what to do with it.
Ease of Delivery and Trust
Likewise there needs to be a delivery method that is quick and easy and that has trust built in. People need to trust you and you idea for it to spread.
So far, no one has approached me with an idea that fits the four criteria above and has not been able to convince me that they will make the changes necessary for viral marketing success.
Let me give you a specific example of a successful viral marketing campaign.
Viral Marketing Example
An old (in internet terms) but hugely successful viral marketing campaign was Hotmail email. It was a company that offered free email accounts. It was so successful that it was adopted by 12 MILLION users in less than two years.
How did it do so? At the time, many people already had email addresses, but they were through a paid service such as AOL, or through their employer. Having a free email not tied to work or home? That was remarkable and needed. And what about those that wanted email but couldn’t pay for internet access? They too could get their own free email. It was remarkable for them as well. But just as important, it was easy to understand. “Free” and “email” are concepts that most people understand already. So there was a low cognitive load in understanding the offer.
But something can be remarkable and accessible but hard to spread. This is where hotmail did something simple, but brilliant. They created a built in delivery method for their virus. At the end of very email sent from it’s account was the tagline:
“Get Your Private, Free Email from Hotmail at www.hotmail.com”
Every time that someone sent an email they were advertising the service! And not only that, but if you got an email from a friend, or several friends, who were already using hotmail, then you had a built in reason to trust the system. If your friends, were using it, it was likely OK, right?
Are you following me here? Remarkable, accessible, easy to deliver and trustworthy. Those are a few characteristics needed for a viral marketing campaign. There are others. We will cover them in a later blog post, part two of this series.
Are you ready to go viral?
What could you do to make your practice more remarkable? What could you do to make your ideas more accessible…and easier to share and…trustworthy? Of course, this isn’t just about viral marketing, but about marketing in general.
Here are a few website suggestions:
1) Remarkability. Is there a clear statement of what you do on your website? Is it remarkable? Is it emotional? Does it specifically connect with the need or desire of a particular person or group?
2) Accessibility and Ease. How easy is to contact you? Is your contact info on every page? Do you make it clear that you want people to reach you? Do they know that they can talk to you free of charge to see how you can benefit them?
3) Trust. Do you have a picture of yourself on your website so that people can see who you are? Are you smiling in the picture? Do you have testimonials on your site so that people can see that others trust you?
Good. Now, you are ready to start thinking about viral marketing.
Your Feldenkrais Viral Advantage
In future posts, I am going to write more about the specifics of viral marketing. I am going to show you how this website gets a substantial amount of traffic through Facebook, other blogs, and the search engines such as google. This will be information that you can use immediately for your own products and services.
For now, whether you are a practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method, Bones For Life, Child’Space, Sounder Sleep, Core Integration, or some other Feldenkrais-based or inspired method, I would like you consider your viral advantage.
You have a huge advantage (HUGE) compared to a physical therapist, massage therapist, doctor and other health practitioner.
Do you know what it is?
It’s part of the elusive obvious of the modern networked world that we live in. More in the next post.
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