A free report that goes viral can bring in traffic much faster than SEO and PPC combined. It can bring you free targeted visitors, in addition to generating hundreds of backlinks that’ll help you rank in the long run.
How do you create a viral report that others can’t help but pass on? Just follow these guidelines.
==> Extremely Controversial or Extremely Useful
There are basically two kinds of reports that get passed around: those that are controversial and shocking, or those that are so useful that others save them and use them as references.
For example, when John Carlton and Rich Schefren published a list of “bucket brigade” phrases – words to start sentences with that catch attention, the report caught fire and was passed around to thousands in the marketing community.
Why? Because it was useful. It was a list that had never been compiled before, an extremely valuable list for copywriters, given away for free.
==> Getting the Initial Distribution
In order for your report to have the chance of taking off, it needs to get initial distribution. In other words, it needs to be downloaded by between 100 to 500 people first, before the power of virality can take effect.
How can you get those initial users?
Lists are a big one. If you have an email list of a few thousand people, or know people with such lists, send them the free report. If you report is really great, other list owners should be glad to pass it on.
Post the free report to internet forums. Pay to post it in a commercial section if necessary. Again, if your report is great, it’ll generate many replies which will in turn get you more viewers and even more downloads.
Finally, don’t neglect your own network. Even posting it to your Facebook wall, if you have several hundred friends, can help you get the much-needed initial distribution.
==> Tools to Increase Virality
There are a few ways you can increase the viral flow of the report.
The first method is to require an opt-in in order to download the report. While this can really help you capitalize on the traffic generated, it can also turn some people off from downloading the report. Often they just want the report, without the list.
Another method is to embed Facebook and Twitter links inside the report. Make it easy for them to Like, Comment or Tweet your report.
Finally, one often forgotten secret to getting your content passed around is to just ask. Let them know that they have permission to pass the report on and ask them to share it with their friends.
Creating a report that spreads like wildfire does take creativity and market knowledge. It entails creating something original, getting it to a few hundred people and the having the mechanisms to help to spread. Done well, this tactic can launch an obscure business into the limelight.