We all know, giving value for nothing is one of the best weapons to succeed online. If you can provide a good percentage of your free service without this just your results having a positive impact on your business will suffer.
Algo que los que llevamos años creando negocios en Internet sabemos a ciencia cierta, no es siempre fácil de explicar a terceros. En charlas y clases veo caras de escepticismo cuando tratamos este tema. La gente se pregunta ¿Cómo puedo ganar dinero ofreciendo cosas gratis?, o piensan que si das parte de tu contenido o lo que sea, gratis, mal acostumbras a los usuarios o piensan también que estás devaluando tu imagen… nada más lejos de la realidad. Pero ¿cómo se lo explicas para que lo entiendan?
The explanation is simple: the viral marketing that generates something free is much higher than can be generated with a payment product. So if you are able to transform users coming to your site into customers, you have the game won.
For several days, I have new arguments to convince my students ...
If there is something that I love are the games ... and of all the games, strategy games. Since early January 2005, I'm playing oGame (http://es.ogame.org) A strategy game framed within the genre of massively multiplayer games turn (turn based massive multiplayer game). It is being played by the web, without requiring software installation. Typical game of colonizing planets (note for those over 30: is like the VGA Planets shifts but without sending email). Is free. It's addictive.
Right now we are more than 7,000 players playing in the same game.
I've been analyzing the growth of oGame since I joined him. Can anyone guess growing daily as the number of players?
The number of new players daily grows 6%. Daily!!
Can you imagine a business to grow at a 6% daily geometric?
Well ... certainly hard to imagine. In this case would be considered cheating OGame is a business. At least as far as the Spanish version is concerned. The German and English versions, and water are another matter.
Administrators of the game (German) so far have ruled the Spanish market. The business model for the other versions is as follows:
Business model: selling advertising on the German community and English version of the game + pay no advertising and more features that facilitate the organization of your strategies.
Advertising in the Spanish version exists but is minimal, poorly segmented, is by pop-up's (with which you can skip the all if you want) ... and worst of all ... it's all in German. Hence my assertion that the Germans have decided not to exploit the Spanish market at the moment.
But back to what interests us in this article. How to prove to unbelievers that offer something free, you end up doing the billing?
Consider the growth of the game:
El secreto está en la estructura de red que está detrás del juego. No es propiamente una red de Metcalfe (para conocer qué es una red de Metcalfe leer: Análisis del “Por qué eBay (y posiblemente Google) abren su código fuente a los desarrolladores”. Si analizamos su crecimiento veremos que no sigue una curva potencial típica de las redes de Metcalfe (crecimiento=número de usuarios ^2). Tampoco sigue la curva de crecimiento de una red grupal (crecimiento=número de canales ^usuarios), sino que es una especie de mezcla de ambos, que acaba mostrando una gráfica parecida a la curva de implementación de una nueva tecnología, la hype curve de Gartner (ver imagen adjunta). Es decir, primero sufre un crecimiento muy fuerte (en enero llegamos a un crecimiento de un 15% diario), luego baja de golpe, y acaba por estabilizarse un poco más arriba de los mínimos en los que ha bajado (al 6% diario que estamos ahora).
OGame viral marketing also works as a network of contacts ... small explosions as the recommendation is coming to small groups of friends or communities. Hence somehow it ends up showing a curve that combines the group growth with the growth of networks Metcalfe.
Anyway ... just a steady growth of 6% daily. These are many new visitors to a web page daily. Many more than we can attract with any marketing campaign, search engine indexing, advertising in Adwords, ... or anything that we can devise to increase visits to our website.
Again, I repeat, the secret is in knowing the views convert into customers. And that if the viral marketing or free content, and have nothing to do. They have already fulfilled their mission: bring users to the page. Here only consider our ability as business managers.
How do we convert visitors into customers?
This longer be the subject of another article. But not to leave readers dissatisfied, commenting that there are several models:
- Online games: Offer a pay version of the game, with more functionality without micromolestias such as advertising. This is the model chosen by German managers ogame for their other communities.
- Sites selling content: Offer expanded and better quality content, but by the same authors, for a reasonable price.
- online marketplaces and classified: Offer a package of value-added services to complement the services they receive for free all users, but we know from interviews with some users, some of them would be willing to pay for. These packages can deliver advertising its products, more visibility, extra features, etc.
There are more models, but as I said before, the subject deserves a separate article. The important thing to remember is that there is no better way to attract users to your website that offering free content to generate viral marketing at speeds hyperlumínicas ;-)
Article about networks Metcalfe: Metcalfe networks
Power Point presentation about the networks Metcalfe: Metcalfe networks
Especialista en estrategia en Marketing Digital. Impartiendo conferencias, formación y consultoría desde hace más de 20 años.