Don’t Let the Stats Fool You – Viral Promotion Works

viral growth

You’ve read on this blog that online marketing is a momentum game. While the lines are often linear when it comes to hard work and dedicated strategies, there is still a great return on viral promotion strategies. Having a piece of content on your blog or site reach a ton of people doesn’t simply wreak havoc and then disappear, you’ll find that a percentage of that traffic is relevant and will stick around.

Case in point, we had an Infographic on landing pages take off on StumbleUpon about a month ago – you can see the spike below. The subsequent impact on the overall statistics is predictable – bounce rates increased, engagement decreased, and pages per visit decreased significantly during the spike.

However, what many marketers don’t realize is that the impact of a viral promotion like this provides you with a significant step up in subsequent, relevant visits post-event. I’ve marked that in the Analytics chart below. The black line is the current 3 month window and the light gray line is the previous 3 month window overlaid as a comparison.

Note the overall increase in traffic that stayed.

viral growth

This is key! Many marketers love to see slow, methodical growth (I do) and don’t think these spikes in traffic do anything but cause headaches. However, other marketers absolutely recognize that slamming in a ton of visitors through a viral event via social networks, or a large promotion, or a mention on a much larger site will send a spike in traffic – but many of those visitors will stay. In this case, it was achieved with a fantastic infographic that I submitted to StumbleUpon.

If you continue to promote great content that produces spikes like this, you may have some terrible bounce rates, page views and engagement – but you’ll still be growing your root audience. That root audience is engaged! The stats are simply overshadowed by the bulk of the non-relevant visitors.

The net increase in relevant visitors is a positive for your site. Don’t let the stats dissuade you!

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