Viral marketing refers to the marketing or promotion of an object via pre-existing social networks to create your brand awareness or to improve your sales through self replicating processes likewise spread of viruses or computer viruses multiplying in number. It is usually initiated via the words of mouth and supported by the strong networks on internet. Viral marketing may take the forms of video clips, adverts, games, interactive flash files, e-books, images, brand able softwares and text messages etc. In other words viral marketing can also be called word of mouth advertising or promotion which is actually the most effective method of advertising ever known.
Power of Viral Marketing
The power of the viral marketing can be judged by the example of the “Ted Williams” not the famous hall of fame base ball player but the ‘homeless’ man with the Golden voice who was found on the street corner in Columbus in January 2011, being biographed by the most famous channel which biographed the celebrities like barack Obama and Michel Jackson etc. Here the YouTube played the main role by being spectacularly viral that it received 13 million views before it was deleted due to copy rights.
This demonstrates what viral marketing can do, in case of Ted Williams it took him from being homeless to being biographed on the most famous channel in 6 months. Another example can also be quoted which actually gave birth to viral marketing was the extraordinary growth of Hotmail in 1997 evidenced by gaining 8 million users in 18 months. The open secrete behind this astonishing growth was simply a clickable line at the footer of every e-mail sent to anyone from hotmail which read:
“Sent from my Hotmail account. Get your own free web-based email account here!”
This created the impact of millions of people turning towards hotmail.
How Do Word of Mouth Advertising Works?
To spread like wildfire the transmission method must be rapidly scalable from small to very large. The word of mouth can play dramatic role in spreading any message in every corner of the world. Here the already available social networks play multiplicative role where mouth of words in the form of likes, opinions, shares, reviews comments and recommendations of any products, movies, companies, brands or restaurants, spread rapidly like wildfires from one circle to anther resulting in a trend on the network pursuing others to follow the same stuff.
Below are the basic elements of a viral marketing strategy:
1- Offer Free Services or Products
The word “free” always attracts whether in products or services or a free software, trial or ‘cool buttons’. If you cannot offer anything free you can go for holding a competition to involve people.
2- Use Other People’s Resources
Try to use other people’s websites such as social media like Facebook, twitter or LinkedIn etc to host your viral content, possibly by constructing it so that it offers a benefit to them and their readers. Article submission works in this way with websites accepting free articles because of the benefits offered to their visitors.
3- Exploit Common Motivations and Behaviors
Clever viral marketing plans take advantage of common human motivations. What proliferated “Netscape Now” buttons in the early days of the Web? The desire to be cool. Greed drives people. So does the hunger to be popular, loved, and understood. The resulting urge to communicate produces millions of websites and billions of e-mail messages. Design a marketing strategy that builds on common motivations and behaviors for its transmission, and you are a winner.
4- Use Article Marketing
If you write articles and syndicate them there are good chances that any of your article may become viral and gain thousands of visitors suddenly, in that case you may utilize it fully by converting your article into interesting videos or conversations etc. or even you are bad at writing you may get your articles written from other available sources.
5- Use E-books As a Tool
If your e-book is an interesting one such as entertaining, educational, motivating or having any unique lesson it may be passed among people rapidly turning viral thus reaching a large audience making your post popular.
6- Using Share Widgets
Use of share widgets would allow your readers to share anything that they find interesting or valuable into their circle on the social networks they are following.
7- Publishing Newsletters
This is an excellent way to make people know about you and your company. As newsletter clarifies your company’s picture, you may also encourage people to pass on to others to spread it as much as possible. You can create your own newsletter quickly and easily by utilizing online applications available online.
It is not imperative to use all elements in your viral marketing strategy but you add few of them seriously then it can really boost your success. Make sure to have a good and impressive viral ad which can make people think positive about the company itself.