Growing quickly is about leverage. The best way to get leverage is to get access to the audience of others.
Enter partnerships. A good partnership has to ability to deliver qualified visitors to your site. Visitors that will actually buy.
Building up a marketing channel that consistently drives people into the top of your funnel from scratch takes time.
Solve a problem for your distribution partner
The term partnership implies that there are benefits for all parties involved.
The best way to get in front of an audience you want access to is to solve a problem for your partner.
Solve a problem for your partner and you will be successful
Online payments processor, Stripe, are being incorporated into products everywhere. Squarespace, Shopify and others are offering Stripe as a payment gateway to their customers in their interface.
Obviously not easy to achieve, but creating an extremely friction-free and useful product will encourage potential partners to incorporate what you offer. Stripe solves a huge pain point for the customers of the businesses integrating them, such as Shopify.
Create something bigger than the sum of your parts
Another way to form a solid partnership is to give something away in order to get something in return. By combining your efforts you can work with your partner to extend the total reach of a campaign, benefiting both you and your partner immensely.
Charge for your distribution
When you’re small and trying to grow it can be difficult to put together a partnership based on marketing reach or promotion.
In these instances there is another approach: pay.
It might not seem ok but there are lots of partnerships based on this very strategy.
Viral marketing is a business strategy that uses existing social networks to promote a product. Its name refers to how consumers spread information about a product with other people in their social networks, much in the same way that a virus spreads from one person to another.
The basis of viral marketing is in the spread of information by word-of-mouth (see Word-of-Mouth marketing), but modern technology has allowed the viral effect to include many Internet-based platforms as well.
Viral marketing depends on a high pass-along rate from person to person. If a large percentage of recipients forward something to a large number of friends, the overall growth snowballs very quickly. If the pass-along numbers get too low, the overall growth quickly fizzles.
At the height of the web it seemed as if every startup had a viral component to its strategy, or at least claimed to have one. However, relatively few marketing viruses achieve success on a scale similar to Hotmail, widely cited as the first example of viral marketing.
Viral marketing is useful as a stand-alone marketing tool or as a part of a larger campaign that uses multiple kinds of marketing. It is especially attractive to smaller businesses or companies because viral marketing can be a cheaper alternative to traditional marketing efforts.
A new energy drink company, for example, could create an Internet video featuring a person who consumes the energy drink before performing a seemingly impossible bicycle jump. If the video is made to look real, it may encourage people who see it to share it with others. After the video receives enough views, the company could reveal its true purpose, convincing its viewers to seek out more information about the drink without ever using a traditional advertisement.
Viral marketing is often used in conjunction with other methods of marketing, such as in the case of the Blair Witch Project. The viral aspect of the campaign generated buzz about the story long before the release of commercials, trailers, posters, and other forms of traditional marketing. This caused many people to already talk about the movie before it was officially announced to the public.
Content does not have to be covert to be viral. Political campaigns often create videos featuring sound clips of an opposing candidate saying something people may find offensive. Politicians hope that by pointing out an outrageous statement, the video will go viral and cause others to develop a negative attitude toward the targeted opponent.