Viral marketing is a way
of passing around a marketing message in an automatically independent manner. A
little like starting a fire which you no longer have to throw wood onto, to
maintain. The Internet, is as no other medium ever used before, as a way to
spread a brand name and offers, in a speed that is reminiscent of the spread of
a virus within a PC, hence the name. The art of successful viral marketing is
to create a marketing message that is automated, and then set it to be
self-perpetuating in its dissemination.
The marketing industry is
known for their ingenuity when it comes to catchy names for new marketing
concepts. Especially in the 80s when we constantly heard new (allegedly revolutionary)
concepts such as "turbo-marketing" and “re-engineering”, etc. Many of
these meaningless terms were used to cover up a lack of new ideas or
warmed-known-ideas, and are now forgotten.
Even with the advent of a commercialized Internet, some terms such as
"global marketing" or "cyber-marketing" etc. are used to
describe a special variety of Internet marketing. Some are taken to heart,
whereas others discarded, as are empty phrases. Viral online marketing is
beginning to show a little staying power.
Use a free medium. This can be social media, email, message
boards, and web pages. Use anything, as
long as it is free. Preferably, you are
looking for a free medium so that if others wish to pass on the information
that they will not have to spend money to do so. On a similar note to that, you should make it
as easy as possible for other people to pass on your market message. That is the reason for the popularity of the
On each page, you can use
a reference like "You are welcome to use this content on your site as long
as you quote our address (URL)". Many website owners are happy to
"spice up" their own pages with meaningful content or products. This
approach will bring more traffic to your site and increases the relevancy of
your page for search engines. This is because many search engines now consider
the number of external links in their page-ranking.
For a reasonable amount
of success then, you are better off starting with the basics, namely a good
product. Selling a quality product is
easier than pushing tat. Poor quality will show through the reactions of people
online, and before you know it, people are passing bad word of mouth along,
instead of good word of mouth.
Set up a newsletter so
that anyone interested in your company/product/service can register on your
site. Each outgoing edition advertises you and your products, provided that you
add interesting content. It is free, and people sign up for it so that your
messages are less likely to go in their junk folder. That means that if you do ever stumble across
a good viral marketing strategy, you will already have a field of dry hay in
which to toss your match.