Over recent years viral marketing has become an increasing phenomenon on the web, and is one method used in internet marketing to “spread the word.”
Although its name conjures up the image of something sinister, viral marketing is nothing to do with viruses or anything equally menacing. Viral marketing is simply a marketing campaign designed to encourage individuals to pass the message on. Like the way a virus multiplies, the passing of the message can have an exponential growth.
For example, if we start with one person and that person sends it to five friends, then each of those individuals also sends it to five friends, and so on, after only ten steps almost two million people will have received the message.
Like social media marketing, viral marketing relies on connections, people sharing a message with other people. People will only share your message if there is something that motivates them to do it.
- Keep your message short and simple. If people don’t understand what it is, then it’s more likely to be binned.
- Make a very special offer. People will take advantage of offers that are too good to miss.
- Make the message transferrable. This is the key to effective viral marketing. By making your message transferrable to others by, for example, just forwarding an email, the message will get passed around.
- Make it memorable. If the message is memorable and unique people will want to share it. For example, the Cadbury’s advert below got millions of online views after an initial TV campaign because of its uniqueness.
Effective use of viral marketing can have massive benefits to your internet marketing campaigns.
I’ll leave you with one of the successful campaigns of 2007, because it still makes me smile!