How should I start an effective viral marketing campaign?


I'm interested in insider secrets on how to effectively launch a campaign on sites like digg or Reddit. It seems more planning/thought is required than just submitting a link to digg/reddit.

Are there low cost PR firms that specialize in this sort of thing? A respected blogger is going to write an article about me and I want to capitalize on this by providing the supporting infrastructure.

Marketing Inbound Marketing

asked Nov 6 '09 at 23:25
510 points
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5 Answers


I don't think that is viral marketing. That is social media marketing.

Viral marketing can certainly use Digg and ReddIt but needs to have a viral loop where people using your product causes them to recruit at least one more person to use your product leading to exponential growth.

Google Viral loop for some examples.


answered Nov 7 '09 at 01:08
446 points
  • well it seems to me that there are some influential diggers/reddittors out there. If they choose to digg/reddit your link chances are that the campaign succeeds. Digg and reddit are different because you have an opportunity window to get votes. My question is how to reach out to them and does using a PR agency help – Mathaix 14 years ago
  • Agreed - social media marketing is a great idea. Its just not necessarily viral marketing. Maybe if the blog write up triggered another blog write up and so on - that would be viral. Viral means that it is self-replicating. – Adam 14 years ago


The real answer you don't want to hear: do a product that people want, the rest will follow.

I wrote a blog post a while back about what I called the elevator effect, which basically gives an example of riding a wave that is going your way. As you get a first burst of publicity, you can channel that to get more publicity and more exposure. If you ride the wave well, you can go pretty high.

In your question, you ask about Digg. Do you ask about digg because that's all you have heard of, of because that's where your target audience is?

Having been on the receiving side of high bursts of traffic, I can tell you that not all bursts are productive. Sometimes, these visitors would never be users, so although the raw numbers look impressive, it's not real.

So I'd recommend to first figure out where the people you want to reach are. Then focus on how to reach them.

For instance, for a certain startup I won't name, they had the opportunity to be featured on TechCrunch, although it wasn't their target audience. It was useful because that coverage helped them land coverage in more specialized magazines, where their audience was.

If you play pool, you know that straightshooting is not always the way to go :-)

answered Nov 7 '09 at 09:47
Alain Raynaud
10,927 points
  • not sure I understand your point. The viral campgain may not help with you getting the users you want. but it will help indirectly. people will start noticing. it will create SEO backlinks. Your pagerank will go up and when "YOUR REAL" users search for your product/service, they will find you. – Mathaix 14 years ago


The easiest marketing is to to attract more search-traffic to your site.

1) by publishing some interesting content ( start to write a blog )

2) by increasing rank of your site. More external links will bump it on. (be active in forums peoples' blog commenting and do not forget to leave links)

3) by giving something for free. have some small freebie products. ( free stuff attracts lots of attention )

4) by activity on social sites like facebook, twitter, dig etc.

answered Feb 22 '12 at 21:01
Activation Cloud
153 points


If a respected blogger is going to discuss you .. you might consider providing him with a link that will allow the nature of small world networks to take its course?

Perhaps I don't adequately understand your question. If you want help in crafting such a page, you need to be more specific.

answered Nov 7 '09 at 01:03
Tim Post
633 points


Jonah Peretti, who co-founded both the
Huffington Post and BuzzFeed, has
spent a lot of time thinking about
what makes content go viral. Today, he
shared some lessons on-stage at the
Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco — and in
the process, offered some thoughts on
the difference between how Google and
Facebook look at the world:
answered Mar 31 '11 at 13:45
Henry The Hengineer
4,316 points

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