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5 Reasons Why You’re Not Going Viral



Trying to go viral but not gaining traction with your real estate content? Chances are you’re doing something wrong. Here are a few areas to help you identify the problems along with a few tips to help you correct them.

Viral traffic is the goods when it comes to attracting new followers, fans, and building backlinks to your site for some Google love (increasingly more important with social search). When your content goes viral, folks are psyched about your content and freely share it with their friends, who share it with their friends, who share it with… you get the picture. It’s like a “feel-good” flu 🙂

However, generating viral traffic to your site involves a whole lot more than simply writing content worth sharing. If only that’s all it took, right? See, winning traffic with your blog or incentived list-building offer goes beyond the content itself.

If you’ve been online for any length of time then you know “celebrity agents” do exist. Their content quickly and easily gets re-tweeted, shared on FriendFeed, full of comments, etc. While you DO NOT need to be a celebrity agent to gain viral success, you DO need to be a part of the community. If you’re not actively engaged with other folks in your online community (local bloggers, twitterers, niche-related businesses), comment on their stories, share their links, and make friends then the odss that someone else is going to do that for you is pretty dismal.

To be frank, this is the area I struggle with the most. I’m not naturally a social person. In fact, I’m content to watch and study the how and why of people’s interactions. That’s why I’m a better copywriter than a face-to-face salesperson. So, I have to remind myself to meet people.

If your status is one of low-visibility then before you bust your ass on content you need to get out there and join the community. Contribute to the success of others before working to get your own content spread around. Visibility is crucial for attracting fans and generating viral traffic… it’s not a step you can skip.

A quality site is key in getting your content to go viral. If folks arrive and your site is too self-promotional or widget dominated then you’re turning traffic away. Folks coming to your site for news or content are looking for one thing – damn good content. They didn’t come for your Glamour Shot or featured home widget.

Here’s the thing about site design: design is the dressing that supports, highlights, and moves the eye to your content. If your site suffers from too much flare, time to get that fixed.

Rest easy, not all of your content is going to be a winner. Even celebrity agents can’t make crap content popular. And not every piece of good content will go viral, either.

Without turning this into a post on crafting killer content, be sure what your writing (or recording) fits your market position, your ideal client, and make it unique from what they may find elsewhere. If you’re going to tap something that’s current, put your unique expert spin on it.

You may think that adding a “share this” plugin to your site will get the job done. It helps, but a button does not make a strategy. Just like the offline world, strategy is absolutely critical to syndicating your content and getting it to go viral.

In fact, as an online Realtor your main job is the syndication of content. Make sure you have a strategy to put your content in front of the eyeballs that matter.

Let’s face it, creating great content isn’t easy. It takes some thought and then some work. For this reason, it’s important to work at creating buzzworthy content. Not all Realtors are interested in doing this and that works to your benefit. They’d rather just throw up a quick blog post now and again rather than quite something more engaging. They also wonder why their blog doesn’t get traffic.

If you add content creation (in one form or another – video, writing, etc) to your daily workflow then you’ll keep your razor sharp and be able to turn out good content on a regular basis. Online business is driven by content. Keep creating it, the better you’ll get.

Going viral

If you take anything from this it should be “success requires strategy.” Don’t create content simply for the sake of creating content – it’ll leave you broke, tired, and frustrated.

Take a look at the content you’re creating to attract visitors, search engines, and leads and ask yourself, “How does this content fit into my marketing plan? Am I working my plan?”

Getting your content to go viral isn’t rocket science. What “no rocket science” tips have I missed?

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  1. Andrea

    April 6, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Hi Mark,
    Thanks for the great tips. I also struggle with step #1. Do you have any tips or strategies for how to leave comments that “contribute to the success of others?” I find myself mostly agreeing with the info in the blog posts – is this enough? Or should i be writing different kind of comments? Help.

  2. Brandie Young

    April 7, 2009 at 12:32 am

    Mark, this is a fantastic post! So important and relevant as so many people try to leverage a community medium.

    I’d add to this re: content. To your point it absolutely needs to be of value. To go ‘viral’ it does need to evoke something in the reader/viewer. Most successful viral campaigns contain either an emotional, humorous or wow factor. For agents, the best route may be the emotional, since real estate is such a touchy subject these days.

    Again, awesome post. Thanks!

  3. Ricardo Bueno

    April 7, 2009 at 12:35 am

    Re: “Don’t create content simply for the sake of creating content – it’ll leave you broke, tired, and frustrated.”

    Oh so true. It becomes obvious (even in written form) that you’re dissatisfied with what you’re doing.

    I think that blogger newbies really struggle with the content development part (what to write and how to write it). What people should know early on is that it’s ok to be conversational. You don’t have to write these overly articulate posts.. Sometimes (heck a lot of times), people prefer, the short, informative, conversational posts.

  4. Joe Loomer

    April 7, 2009 at 4:43 am

    Mark, your post hit home in many ways. As someone who is just now “getting it” about going viral, this short, informative post gives me the focus I need to continue to market my thoughts and ideas in a positive, engaging (and concise) way. Thanks again…

  5. Mark Eckenrode

    April 7, 2009 at 9:39 am

    @brandie: yeah, emotional leverage is a powerful way to go. i’d definitely recommend folks go that route rather than humor… humor is way too hard to get right.

    @ribeezie: realtors are experts and have a hell of a lot to share as content but i agree… many tend to not notice their own expertise. we all do that to some degree. this is where you smack em and say “get over it!” 🙂

  6. #1 is my big struggle as well, except not for the same reason as you. My reality is that I’m busy, very busy. I sell a lot of houses and of course, I want to dominate the web even more. Engaging takes time, a lot of it. I’m trying to make more of it “work” for me so we’ll see what the future entails!!

  7. Mark Eckenrode

    April 7, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    @andrea: it’s understandable why you feel odd leaving a comment as simple as “great article.” i know i do. try pointing out what you found most valuable, or the big golden nugget you found in the piece: “i really liked your mention of ___ because it really clarified ___ for me”. it’s a kudos comment but you’re showing the writer (and other readers) you care enough to take the time to comment.

    as far as “contributing to the success of others”, help spread the goods around by sharing the article on twitter, facebook, or other social networks. helping someone go viral is a good way to get noticed.

    @joe: really glad you shared that and good to know that you’re starting to get it

    @christina: it’s good to be busy and productive 🙂 but, make no mistake that engagement takes time. for folks that are time stressed, it’d make sense to be very selective at first of where you want to participate. spend time on only 2-3 sites at most then once you’ve got a foothold there feel free to branch out. the trick, of course, is figuring out which 2-3

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Business Marketing

Use nostalgia as a marketing niche for your business today

(MARKETING) A market that is making waves is found in the form of entertainment nostalgia. Everyone has memories and attachments, why not speak to them?




Is it just me or does it seem like there is something for everything nowadays? Let me clarify, as that is a rather broad question…

With the way communicating through technology has advanced, it’s become much easier to connect with those who have shared interests. This has become especially evident with interests in the entertainment community.

Entertainment nostalgia

It now seems like there is an event for every bit of nostalgia you can imagine. Autograph shows, meet and greets, and memorabilia collections of all kinds are held in convention halls all around the world. (To give you an idea of how deep this thing goes, there was a “Grease 2” reunion convention sometime within the last five years. Being that I’m the only person I’ve ever met who likes that movie, it’s amazing that it found an audience.)

This idea of marketing by use of nostalgia is something that is becoming smartly tapped and there are a variety of directions it can go in.

For example, the new Domino’s ads feature dead-on tributes to “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

What’s your niche?

If you’re a fan of anything, it’s likely that you can find an event to suit your needs.

And, if you want to take it a step further, you can think outside the box and use nostalgia as a marketing tool.

I recently began dabbling in social media gigs that have brought me to a few different fan conventions. One was a throwback 80s and 90s convention that featured everyone from Alan Thicke to the members of N*SYNC. Another is a recurring convention that brings together fans of sci-fi, horror, and everything under that umbrella.

I was amazed by the number of people that came out to these events and the amount of money that was spent on the day’s activities (autographs, photo ops, etc.). I was energized by the fact that you can take something you have a great appreciation for and bring together others who share that feeling. Watching people meet some of their favorite celebrities is something that is priceless.

Hop onboard the nostalgia train

If you’re a fan of something, you don’t have to look too far to find what you’d enjoy – going back to the aforementioned “Ferris Bueller” example, there is a first-ever John Hughes fan event taking place in Chicago next month that will bring fans to their favorite Brat Pack members.

In the same thought, if you have an idea, now is the time to find others who share that interest and execute your vision.

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Business Marketing

5 tips to help you craft consistently high-converting email marketing

(MARKETING) Email may seem too old to be effective but surprisingly it’s not, so how can you get the most out of your email marketing? Try these tips.



Email marketing

Email marketing might seem archaic in comparison to modern mediums like social media, blogging, and podcasting; however, it actually remains one of the highest converting options marketers and small businesses have at their disposal.

But Why Email?

Hopefully, you believe in email as an effective marketing channel, but in case you have doubts, let’s hit the reset button. Here’s why email marketing is worth investing in:

  • Email is one of the few marketing channels that you have total control over. Unlike a social media audience, which can disappear if the platform decides you violate their terms, you own your email list.
  • Email is considered very personal. When someone gives you access to their inbox, they’re telling you that you can send them messages.
  • From a pure analytics perspective, email gives you the ability to track behaviors, study what works, and get familiar with the techniques that don’t.
  • The ROI of email marketing is incredibly high. It can deliver as much as $44 in value for every $1 spent.

5 Tips for High-Converting Emails

If you’ve been using email, but haven’t gotten the results you’d like to, it’s probably because you’re using it ineffectively.

Here are a few very practical tips for high-converting emails that generate results:

  1. Write Better Subject Lines: Think about email marketing from the side of the recipient. (Considering that you probably receive hundreds of emails per week, this isn’t hard to do.) What’s going to make you engage with an email? It’s the subject line, right?If you’re going to focus a large portion of your time and energy on one element of email marketing, subject lines should be it.The best subject lines are the ones that convey a sense of urgency or curiosity, present an offer, personalize to the recipient, are relevant and timely, feature name recognition, or reference cool stories.
  2. Nail the Intro”: Never take for granted the fact that someone will open your email, and read to the second paragraph. Some will – but most will scan the first couple of lines, and then make a decision on how to proceed.It’s critically important that you get the intro right. You have maybe five seconds to hook people in, and get them excited. This is not a time to slowly build up. Give your best stuff away first!
  3. Use Video: Email might be personal, but individual emails aren’t necessarily viewed as special. That’s because people get so many of them on a daily basis.According to Blue Water Marketing, “The average person receives more than 84 emails each day! So how do you separate your emails from everyone else? Embed videos in your emails can increase your conversion rates by over 21 percent!”This speaks to a larger trend of making emails visually stimulating. The more you use compelling visuals, the more engaging and memorable the content will be.
  4. Keep Eyes Moving: The goal is to keep people engaging with your email content throughout. While it’ll inevitably happen with a certain percentage of recipients, you want to prevent people from dropping off as they read.One of the best ways to keep sustained engagement is to keep eyes effortlessly moving down the page with short and succinct copy.One-liners, small paragraphs, and lots of spacing signal a degree of approachability and simplicity. Use this style as much as you can.
  5. Don’t Ask Too Much: It can be difficult to convey everything you want to say in a single email, but it’s important that you stay as focused as possible – particularly when it comes to CTAs and requests.Always stick to one CTA per email. Never ask multiple questions or present different offers. (It’ll just overwhelm and confuse.) You can present the same CTA in multiple places – like at the beginning, middle, and end of the email – but it needs to be the same call. That’s how you keep people focused and on-task.

Give Your Email Marketing Strategy a Makeover

Most businesses have some sort of email lists. Few businesses leverage these lists as well as they should. Hopefully, this article has provided you with some practical and actionable tips that can be used to boost engagement and produce more conversions. Give them a try and see what sticks.

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Business Marketing

Here’s how one employer was able beat an age discrimination lawsuit

(MARKETING) Age discrimination is a rare occurrence but still something to be battled. It’s good practice to keep your house in order to be on the right side.



Jewel age discrimination

In January, the EEOC released its annual accounting for reports of discrimination in the previous year. Allegations of retaliation were the most frequently filed charge, which disability coming in second. Age discrimination cases accounted for 21.4% of filed charges. As we’ve reported before, not all age discrimination complaints rise to the level of illegal discrimination. In Cesario v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., the federal court dismissed the claims of age discrimination, even though seven (7) plaintiffs made similar claims against the grocery store.

What Cesario v. Jewel Food Stores was about

In Cesario, all but one of the seven plaintiffs had spent years with Jewel Food building their careers. When Jewel went through some financial troubles, the plaintiffs allege that they began to “experience significant pressure at work… (and) were eventually forced out or terminated because of their age or disability.” Jewel Food requested summary judgment to dismiss the claims.

The seven plaintiffs made the same type of complaints. Beginning in 2014, store directors were under pressure to improve metrics and customer satisfaction. Cesario alleges that the Jewel district manager asked about his age. Another director alleges that younger store directors were transferred to stores with less difficulties. One plaintiff alleged that Jewel Food managers asked him about his retirement. The EEOC complaints began in late 2015. The plaintiffs retired or were fired and subsequently filed a lawsuit against their company.

Age discrimination is prohibited by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA). The ADEA prevents disparate treatment based on age for workers over 40 years old. However, plaintiffs who allege disparate treatment must establish that the adverse reactions wouldn’t have occurred but for age. Because none of the plaintiffs could specifically point to age as the only determination of their case, the court dismissed the case.

A word to wise businesses

Jewel Food was able to demonstrate their own actions in the case through careful documentation. Although there was no evidence that age played a factor in any discharge decision, Jewel Food could document their personnel decisions across the board. The plaintiffs also didn’t exhaust all administrative remedies. This led to the case being dropped.

Lesson learned – Make perssonel decisions based on performance and evidence. Don’t use age as a factor. Keep documentation to support your decisions.

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