Monday, 26 July 2010
Friday, 23 July 2010
As we all know, the Internet has become a HUGE platform for advertising and marketing, chiefly because of its capacity to reach large numbers of people with relatively low risk and cost. As traditional methods begin to saturate popular websites, people learn to filter out banners and links like they would motorway billboards and bus-ads.
Viral Marketing refers to the practice of using pre-existing social networks and websites to increase brand awareness and other marketing objectives, by spreading through word of mouth and the network abilities of the Internet. Its name comes from its methods of spreading through computers and networks like a virus, exponentially ‘infecting’ new networks and people with its message.
An infectious practice.
There are two types of viral marketing. One works through social media networks such as Hotmail, Facebook and MSN Messenger, and relies on the word of mouth practice of advertising a product, brand or service. Viral marketing encourages individual to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the influence and exposure of the communication. Like viruses, they have a way of winning by sheer numbers, piggybacking between people and if in the right environment can flourish.
A classic example of early viral marketing is Hotmail.com. They gave away free email accounts, adding a tag at the bottom of each message saying something along the lines of ‘Get your free email at www.hotmail.com’. People would then send emails to other people, who would see this message and maybe sign up for their own free email service, and then propel the message even further. One of the most powerful words in the marketing industry is the word ‘Free’, and this applies very strongly to viral marketing. People are much more likely to sign up and ‘spread’ a product if it is free.
Catching the bug.
Another way in which this practice works like a virus is the concept of delayed gratification. What may not initially yield any monetary results will generate a strong grounding in interest eventually leading to profit down the line. This parallels the incubation period of any biological or computer virus. Another parallel is the scalability of viral marketing, where the brand, message or service can spread like wildfire, from a small entity to something much larger within a gradually shorter amount of time.
The most creative viral marketing campaigns use other’s resources to get the word out, placing graphics on other peoples websites, giving out free articles or trial softwares hosted on other peoples servers, as well as the above-mentioned placement within social networks.
As with any virus, viral marketing needs to continuously evolve to make sure it remains as effective as it has been. As social networks continue to grow, and communication over the Internet becomes a staple of society the capacity for marketing potential within this area is only going to grow. The nature of networks allow themselves to spread messages with such low risk and cost, it truly is a marketers dream.
Thursday, 22 July 2010
Meet Sam Fischer. He needed some cash.
Instead of working a few shifts at Pizza Hut or getting a loan, he decided to think out of the box. Way out of the box.
In 2005 an auction surfaced on Ebay, the likes which had never been seen before. A man was offering his forehead as advertising space.
The winning bidder would then have permission to temporarily tattoo their brand on his forehead and get bucketloads of exposure from the media fallout and general interest. Well, it worked; Fischer was soon on talk shows and newspapers, the logo going everywhere with him. According to his own website, (www.humanadspace.com) he made over $50,000.
Now that’s using your head (sorry).
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
The Million Dollar Homepage.
Pixels = Money
You know that saying that sometimes the best ideas are the simple ones? Well, Alex Tew from Wiltshire, England came up with a frustratingly easy way to make a million dollars: He created a homepage in which each pixel in a grid would be sold for $1, and business could buy blocks of pixels to have a linked graphic leading to their own website.
What started as a word of mouth campaign between friends and family members soon grew into an Internet phenomenon, reported by the BBC and many other media outlets. After what seemed a very short time, there was only one space left on the grid and the only logical thing to do was to sell it on eBay. Because of the site’s popularity and the huge volume of daily curious users, it was a very sought after space and went for $38,000. At the end of it all, Alex Tew made $1,037,100 in gross income. What a bastard.
A cheap imitation.
Other sites immediately started popping up, offering pixel advertising for cash, but none of them really took off the same way TheMillionDollarHomepage did; most ended up looking sparse and empty. The original site relied on its status as a novelty, and something that had not been done before. No one wants to look at a page of adverts, but Alex achieved the impossible and made it happen; lightning will not strike twice on this one.
Pay up or the pixels get it!
TheMillionDollarHompage gathered such popularity that in January 2006, it was effectively held ransom by an organisation known as ‘The Dark Group’. Their demand was that Alex was to pay a ransom of $5000 , or the site would be subjected to a ‘distributed denial of service attack’. This meant that the website would be bombarded with false requests for information which eventually crashes the system. Alex ignored the threat and sure enough the website was attacked, leaving it closed for a week before new security measures were put in. Incredible.
Here is a dramatic artist rendering of the attempted holdup.
It’s hard to not have grudging admiration for Alex, who made a million dollars out of selling pixels. The idea is so simple, yet it caught on like Velcro superglue. Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to go and cry because I didn’t think of it first.
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
I have joined the ranks of the unwashed millions who think that their opinions and interests are of interest to other people.
Call me cynical. It doesn't matter, because no one is reading this just yet.
Give it another few months and I will have a whole writing team at my disposal, a movie deal about the origins of this fantastic repository of amateur journalism, and a clothing line 'blogwear'.
So lets have a quick Q and A.
So, why did you start this epic and noble endeavour?
Well, to get any kind of writing job in this world, you need to have some stuff up on the Internet. There you go.
Will I be updating it with hilarious and interesting content regularly?
Why yes. Yes I will. With what, I don't know, but I promise it won't all be ramblings like this first post.
Your template and name sucks.
Well, that's not a question. I spent a good time umming and aahing over what to call my marvellous new blog. I went with 'one click to many', because 'hot chicks shooting guns' was taken.
So what can I expect to see on this here blog?
I will be putting up tech news, weird news, funny pictures and gifs, the odd article about what catches my fancy and generally stuff that is unequivocally interesting.
When will this first post end?