How to Use Viral Marketing Effectively
You may ask what is viral marketing anyhow? And why can it be so effective?
The term "Viral" is used to describe the use of marketing methods that once underway tend to multiply and spread themselves very quickly; like an infectious virus of the unwanted kind, say the flu.
The most common technique used by viral marketers is to create a product that has great perceived value and then give it away for free or at very low cost. Those who receive the product are only too happy to recommend it to their friends and Internet associates, who in turn recommend it to their friends, who pass it along to their friends. On the Internet this process can repeat itself extremely quickly with an ever more powerful effect as the number of folks making recommendations increases rapidity.
Thus the creator of the product only has to make the initial marketing effort and with the right product the product becomes self promoting. The key is that the product value has to be great enough, and the benefit to the referrer great enough, so that folks want to use and pass along information about the product right away.
The referrers recommendation may well be only the use of the product. Nothing else need be said. A good viral product has built in features for promotion.
If you want to really kick up the rate of "infection" with a viral advertising campaign make the product promote itself by the act of the users of the product only going about their normal daily Internet routines, like sending email.
One of the great viral marketing products of all time was Hotmail. The days of Hotmails explosive growth was back in the late 1990s when email was just taking off as a killer application for Internet use. Hotmail promoted itself only by automaticially inserting a link to Hotmail at the end of each email send out by its clients. All the client had to do to promote was to use the product.
As the number of clients grew so did the number of emails sent, each containing a little ad at the end promoting the free Hotmail email service. Hotmail went viral almost immediately and went from zero to a membership in excess of 30,000,000 within two years.
Another viral marketing technique often used to good effect is the use of "refer a friend" forms on website pages. Generally there will be room to refer from five to ten friends on one form. As friends are referred and they in turn refer their friends, and so on, the number of visitors to the website content that is being refered will grow exponentially.
Of course, this technique will fail unless the majority of the referred friends feel that there is value in whatever it is that they are recommending.
Which brings us the the key point about viral marketing. Unless the product is good enought to sell itself the promotion will likely fail.
What type of products meet that test today? Judging from the way video is taking off (Youtube for example) a funny or interesting video has amazing viral marketing qualities. A smart marketer using video can add a link at the end of the presentation and drive high amounts of traffic to his/her website.
Video seems to be the biggest "killer" application to hit the net since email.
Related Tags: internet marketing, viral marketing, product promotion, viral ad campaigns
Gerald is an Internet business developer who has a great interest in developing a portifolio of Internet information and service sites. Additional information may be found at www.author-article-directory.com Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles
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