Getting Others to Create Viral Videos for You

(©Online Dating Advertising) In 2011, online relationship service eHarmony.com launched a competition to get users to create “viral videos” promoting eHarmony. The idea came to them after the famous “eHarmony cat lady” video (see directly below) became an instant viral hit, taking the Internet by storm and racking up more than 36 million views along with countless spoofs.

eHarmony Video Bio

eHarmony Cat Lady Video

The eHarmony Cat Lady video, which eHarmony had nothing to do with, was an overnight sensation and received mass media publicity everywhere, resulting in great promotion for eHarmony. Moments like that, which a company doesn’t control, are rare. But is it possible to recreate that success in a controlled environment?

The 2011 contest offered by eHarmony came with an $8,000 top prize. You can see other details of the contest from their original contest blog post. Have you thought of offering a contest where others use their skills to promote your online dating service?

Skill contests are only as good as the promotion that goes into them. The better you market your contest, the more impact it will have (unless the prizes are really bad). Here are some things to keep in mind when offering a skills contest like creating a “viral video”:

1) Having first place decided by votes on Facebook (like eHarmony did) opens itself up to potential voting fraud. How? There are dozens sites/services that allow you to “buy votes” in order to help you win a prize.

2) Familiarize yourself with any state/federal laws that govern contests (a starting point example: An Introduction to Sweepstakes and Contest Law)

3) Make sure your contest rules are clear, concise, and cover you legally (consult your lawyer). Make sure the rules also hold submitters accountable for things like having model release forms for anyone that appears in the video they shoot.

4) Make the contest deadline far enough away (i.e. 3-4 months) to give you plenty of time to promote it and people plenty of time to enter it. Promote it via YouTube, social media, Facebook, Facebook ads, video sites, your email list, blogs, and Websites that list skill contests that people can enter. Be sure to put out several press releases too. Try to build an ongoing excitement for the contest. Be creative. Think outside of the box.

5) Heavily promote the winning video, using the same methods you did to promote the contest. Create press releases and send them directly to video production sites/blogs, online dating information sites (like Online Dating Magazine), etc.

If you feel uncomfortable running an entire viral video skills competition, then research different contest services, like memelabs, that can help you organize and execute your entire campaign.

In the end, your goal is to promote your online dating service. To do that you need to put 210% into the planning, promotion, and execution of your competition. Keep it fun and fair. And when you do, you should have some great videos that help promote your service. In fact, here’s the winning video from the eHarmony viral video competition:

2012 eHarmony Viral Video Contest Winner – Online Dating

Seven Online Dating Advertising Tips

7 Ways to Reach Online Daters(©Online Dating Advertising) One of the key purposes of the Online Dating Advertising Website is proving tips to advertisers and online dating services (new and old).  With that in mind, here are seven key tips for online dating services to consider when it comes to advertising:

Tip #1: Focus on Your Target Audience
Many companies throw a lot of ads into cyberspace or television and hope that they reach some of their audience. However, ad dollars are much better spent when the advertisements and ad space both reach a highly targeted audience. Make sure the Websites you choose to advertise on are highly targeted to the audience you are trying to reach.

Tip #2: Remember the Value of Branding
Many companies spend millions of dollars every year developing, refining, and imprinting their brand upon the minds of potential consumers. Develop an effective message and incorporate that message into all aspects of your advertising.

Tip #3: Conduct Focus Groups
Today’s online medium makes it easier than ever for growing services to tap into the minds of potential consumers. Take this opportunity to develop a focus group that you can interact with in an online meeting environment in order to help perfect your message and the delivery of that message.

Tip #4: Create a Unique Selling Point then Push It
The online dating marketplace is over saturated with online dating services. According to Online Dating Magazine, 99%% of new online dating services will fail. In order for you to stand out you need to offer something other online dating services don’t, then promote that unique selling point in all of your advertising. For example, one online dating service offers refunds (you don’t see that much in this market). Another conducts background checks on all new members. What is your unique selling point? Don’t open your service or advertise it until you have one.

Tip #5: Test Banners and Test Landing Pages
You should never just create a banner or landing page then operate all of your campaigns without first testing them. You want banners (and text messages) that will produce clicks. Then you want landing pages that will produce results. Run tests with different banners and different landing pages then highlight those that do the best then created larger campaigns.

Tip #6: Grow Your Marketing Budget
The two biggest online dating services in the United States are Match.com and eHarmony. Interestingly enough, they are also the two biggest ad spenders (click the Advertising News tab for details). Make sure a portion of any income or funding you get goes to advertising. Then plan appropriately for spending. Don’t simply spend your monthly budget every month. Focus the bulk of your money on particular months that attract more online daters – like October, November, January, and February.

Tip #7: Capitalize on Profitable Markets
Run your banner on several Websites for one month. Make sure each is coded so that you can track how many clicks and members you get as a result. Now take the three best performing sites and create long-term campaigns with them.

How to Advertise Your Business Effectively

(Online Dating Advertising) In the video below, Jeff Castle walks us through 8 steps to advertising your business effectively. After the video we’ll recap those 8 steps. Now, here”s Jeff…

How to advertise your business effectively- 8 steps

Now for the recap:

1)  Have a product people want.

2) Craft a Unique Selling Point (what’s in it for your customer?)

3) Be easy to contact. Focus on customer service.

4) Target your ads to likely buyers (i.e. online dating services should target online daters and singles with ads on sites like Online Dating Magazine)

5) Survey your buyers. Why do they buy and how. What keywords do they respond to? Use those in your ads.

6) Focus on graphic design in your ads.

7) Monitor competitors.

8) Keep your message focused and place ads with lots of frequency and exposure for better results.