I was going to write an overly elaborate post about how timely marketing strategies can be extremely valuable, but instead I’ve decided to clear-cut through the MKT: 101 and drive straight to the point – Timely marketing strategies can be very successful, if you complete a meaningful goal.
You may be a little confused about what I mean, but I’ll elaborate quickly and catch you up to speed. Let’s take a very timely example of mass hysteria and how one site managed to outdo its competition with a single, simple variation in their strategy.
Site 1: Do I have Swine Flu
A simple site, created (I assume) for generating traffic through viral exposure and search engine rankings. And the outcome? Success! The site is ranking #1 for the (long-tail, but pretty relevant) search term “do I have swine flu” and has collected a handful of links in a short period of time.
For many, that may be a great success. This site is driving in traffic and ranking well for some modified, yet probable, search terms which directly relate to a major ‘epidemic’ that is circulating around every news network in the globe.
But what now? What did they really achieve? Are they walking away from this with anything more that a case study and some link juice? I cannot say, as I do not know anything beyond the façade of the site and what a few various research tools tell me. All I can say is that they’ve succeeded where many companies cannot. They are ranking for targeted terms and made an online footprint in a short period of time.
But that’s beyond my main point. What you should really be thinking about is, can this site get more out of this type of strategy? Is there more of a benefit, besides the exposure? Yes. Yes there is. It’s time to meet site #2: Do I have Pig Flu
See any similarities? Of course you do. It’s practically the same site. Both sites appeal to the newest controversial plague sweeping the nation and both sites rank well for long-tail, relevant terms surrounding the
new strain of flu.
They are both good pieces of viral content. But where does this site separate itself from the competition and become a great example of Timely Marketing Strategies? The answer is simple. This site is part of a simple conversion funnel and links to a relevant product (Click the ‘No’ link!).
It’s such a simple, yet so easy to forget, strategy of viral content. Capture a large chunk of ‘buzz’ traffic and focus it to a relevant, lucrative source! Think about half of the hysterical viral content you pick up from digg, stumbleupon or via emails from friends – you click on it, laugh aloud and bounce after you show a coworker or two. You may be satisfied, but what did that site just gain? A few links and a bump in traffic?
Unless the site contains similar content or a relevant theme to the subject matter, the vast majority of people aren’t going to peruse the site and magically convert on an off-topic product. People need direct calls to action and a clear conversion funnel. Nothing complex, nothing fancy. Keep in simple.
Example #2 (Pig Flu) provides a clear example of grabbing the moment (targeting a hot topic), creating a simple ad (the webpage), successfully promoting it (viral marketing and organic rankings) and building a clear conversion path – click to site (step #1), click link (step #2) and get redirected to a highly relevant product page (step #3!). Done. Everyone wins. You get a laugh, Amazon gets a sale and the site owner walks away a happy (richer) affiliate marketer.