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What is viral marketing? Viral marketing is an idea that is passed through the community much like a common cold. It encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, essentially it is a fancy term for word of mouth advertising It is any advertising that propagates itself the way viruses do. Word of mouth is still one of the most effective marketing techniques, online or offline. As a result Viral marketing is a phenomenon that occurs when the creative message you’re trying to convey resonates deeply with the audience you’re speaking to. If you’re doing your homework and adequately planning the right messaging, with some incentive that clearly benefits the consumer, then viral marketing occurs. Consequently it is considered as one of the most powerful methods of online marketing and advertising Today.
Viral marketing is dependent on peers passing the information on to multiple others via online social networks. When executed well a viral campaign should spread rapidly and become referenced and talked about across multiple internet channels. It is most powerful when it taps into the breadth of its customers’ weak connections to others.Therefore Tapping the customer’s entire address book is obviously of more value than just reaching their best friend. Viral marketing is the way that ideas have always spread through communities If something has value then people want to share it.
Viral marketing methods work when the product is something of value so efforts towards design, usability, and solving pain is most of the solution. Enabling viral marketing then becomes two efforts, creating the conventions from Web 1.0 that people expect, share with a friend is an example and the unique Web 2.0 strategies that are more social, using RSS/Blogs, etc. It creates a win/win situation for all parties as the user is provided a service or valuable information for free and in turn provides your site with free advertising. Ultimately it is so successful because it creates the curiosity and desire needed to generate the demand for a product or service. It causes people to seek it out.
Hotmail.com used this form of marketing in a small way that produced big results. At the bottom of each of the emails sent, they included a small line that said something like “Get your free email account with hotmail.com. “Hotmail is now one of the biggest free web-based email providers, and one of the longest running alongside Yahoo! Mail and a few others. Hotmail – Hotmail “piggybacked” on personal emails from one person to another to publicize their free email service. At a time when few people had email, the first and only free email service in the marketplace was appealing and novel – hence their rapid adoption and spread.
Viral marketing existed way before ‘viral marketing’ if you were a marketer, I’d say it was doing your job. As it takes advantage of the millions of communities that all of us build up naturally, that’s you and me and it has been around forever.In essence spreading the word through word-of-mouth was the world’s first form of Viral marketing.
It is is most powerful when it taps into the breadth of its customers’ weak connections to others. Tapping the customer’s entire address book is more valuable than just reaching their best friend. It will yield its best results if a valuable and tangible incentive is offered that will entice individuals to forward an email message to their friends. However, marketers should limit the incentive to a specific quantity to avoid spam-like distribution of the message. Viral marketing relies on other people to get involved,so you can learn the ways to help motivate them and can feed them the information and campaigns that are mostly likely to spark their interest, but ultimately you have no control over what they do with it.
Viral marketing still has the strongest effect if your product can be somehow incorporated into the communication between two people. This includes phone systems (MCI), electronic postcards (Blue Mountain), free e-mail (Hotmail), and the communications tool that someone is inventing in his or her garage as you’re reading this chapter. It is always as effective as others say it is if only it would be done properly. It is effective, but it depends on a high pass-along rate from person to person, as if a large percentage of recipients forward something to a large number of friends, the overall growth snowballs very quickly.
It extends this into the digital domain by harnessing the electronic connectivity of individuals to spread your message. As it describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message’s exposure and influence. Like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands, to millions. Viral marketing is similar in nature to a contagious disease, in the way it spreads. However, it’s always beneficial to the business conducting the campaign.
Ultimately it works best in combination with e-Mail marketing, since e-Mail marketing provides Viral Marketing with a great communication medium. You can use e-mail to spread the message as it is a good bit about winning hearts and minds. Viral marketing is advertising that you voluntarily pass around because it’s cool, not necessarily because you want to help build publicity. There is some noticeable overlap where a guerrilla ad that doesn’t quite look like an ad is so great that you end up telling other people about it. A notable survey was done recently on such an add and it showed a full 70% of people interviewed remembered seeing the ad so if done right this is incredibly powerful stuff.
Viral marketing is creating an awareness of a product or a service, without really advertising it. For instance, you wear branded jeans with the name tag on the back,this helps to spread the word and can help produce a result.
Viral marketing facilitates and encourages people to pass along a message voluntarily, essentially the word-of-mouth or refer-a-friend tactic done through the Internet. The concept is actually very simple: promote your brand, product or service by creating a message that is intriguing and entertaining enough that people would want to pass it to their friends online. However it is but one of many techniques that together have a cumulative effect in attracting customers and subscribers to your business – in attracting targeted visitors to your website. Momentum is gained by aiming every element of the overall strategy at developing the relationship with your visitors.
Viral marketing has been able to successfully allow marketers to increase the value of free services online, because referrals are the major way that most people market with free services. So, these tools of Internet marketing have been able to allow people to significantly pursue various affiliate programs in order to increase the value of these free services. These campaigns can achieve great success they just have to be planned out like any other marketing campaign. Therefore it is considered as one of the most powerful methods of internet marketing and advertising Today.
Viral marketing has become a popular means of advertising and marketing because they are relatively low cost. To avoid being tagged as spam mail, this form of marketing counts on the eagerness of one person to pass on the product. It is doing it’s job on the consumers, it keeps them on-line and now with Domino pizza, consumers are buying products just to get more marketing, a never ending cycle. What ever happened to letting anticipation build just waiting for some movie to come out, that carrot in front of you face has gotten bigger and your wallet is getting smaller.
However Viral marketing if done right can be a cost effective way to get the word out about your business and get customers buying although a lot of people talk about it they don’t do it very well. Essentially it describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the messages exposure and influence. Like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message from one to two to thousands, to millions. It uses the power of one customer’s recommendation to another to help spread the word about a product or company as it is a method of encouraging recipients to pass along the marketing message to other potential consumers. The impact of video email and the quality of the information presented can facilitate the proliferation of this form of personalized marketing.
Blogging started really taking off after the dotcom boom and bust. It started taking off after WorldCom and other corporate scandals. Blogs and other social software rely upon the trust of the reader, which is why links, references and disclaimers feature on many (not all) posts. Transparency is key in the modern advertising-savvy marketplace. Blogs and the blogosphere in general have become an important tool in the viral marketing frontier. Many reputable bloggers are approached by companies wanting to advertise their services or products, all with the intuitive of instigating a viral effect.
Viral marketing is not only putting yourself out there with some free information, but its utilizing the “coolness” factor by getting people to write about you and spread the word. It is beneficial in that it has the potential to reach large audiences very quickly meaning companies will potentially get their message to their target audience and beyond in hours. Also it is a great tactic to earn revenue when promoting a product or service.
Viral marketing is an ethical means of driving more traffic to your website. Most of these techniques are free to implement although as such will require hard work and commitment. However it is a sophisticated strategy that requires considerable thought. In simple terms it is the technical term for what is commonly known as word-of-mouth advertising. Although viral marketing is as old as human civilization itself, the Internet has brought its efficacy and reach to a new level, and the technologies that provide the motive force behind this movement continue to evolve.
Personally, if I’d been busted for being a poser and poorly imitating youth pop culture I would avoid using phrases like – Busted. I think pop culture and viral marketing have a lot in common as they are both engaging, creative, and unfortunately in the most part largely misunderstood. I certainly feel word-of-mouth and viral marketing is one of the best ways to advertise a product to consumers as I feel it’s honest and really gives consumers the perspective from an unbiased individual.