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Home  > Article

The Sneaky Nature of Viral Marketing

By Anthony Samuel

Viral marketing is an emerging yet vastly popular technique. But what is it exactly? And how do you incorporate it into your strategy?

 
Viral marketing, however offensive the term may seem, has come to stay.
 
Viral marketing refers to stealth marketing techniques that produce an increase in brand awareness exponentially through a self replicating process, sometimes compared to the spread of a computer virus.

Through the Internet, viral marketing reaches a large number of people fast. Viral marketing has the ability to execute a low-cost marketing campaign, and obtain response from a large number of interested people. A real marketer's dream: high and rapid response, at a low cost!

As a strategy, Viral marketing encourages people to pass on marketing messages to others, and create a potential for growth, exponentially. For many people, the term viral marketing is quite offensive, reminiscent of the virus that replicates over and over again, with no end. Viral marketing is the word-of-mouth equivalent of the off-Internet marketing strategy. Viral marketing, however offensive it may seem to some, has come to stay.

The start of Viral marketing is attributed to Hotmail, one of the first free email services. At the bottom of each of free email sent out was a small message "Get your private, free email at hotmail.com." All the recipients of the sender's emails, their friends and associates, would see the message, sign up for the free email service, and help send the message further to their own list of friends and acquaintances. This carefully designed viral marketing strategy sent a small message rapidly across, all over the Internet.

The Elements Of Viral Marketing
If you are thinking of incorporating Viral marketing in your overall strategy, this is what you can do. Some may work and some may not, and not all will work as easy as the Hotmail strategy did. A look at some of the elements:

  • Giving Away Products And Services: This is the primary element of Viral marketing, giving away free products and services. Free e-mail services, free information, free software programs that perform powerful functions (later, you can hit them with the pro version). Free generates more interest than cheap and inexpensive, and soon this will generate enough interest for the businesses to generate income. This is the basic strategy, you give away something first, and then sell later.
  • Providing Effortless Transfer: To make the virus of viral marketing spread, you need a viable medium. A medium that will help transfer and spread your message with ease and comfort, something like an e-mail, website, graphic, software download, etc. Internet offers the best, instant, and a very inexpensive way to transfer and replicate your message. Make your Viral marketing message short, compact, and compelling so as to be able to transmit without degradation.
  • Building Scalability: For your viral marketing strategy to work, it must have the ability to spread rapidly from small to large. As in the case of Hotmail, it was limited by the spread of the message only over its own servers. You need to plan ahead in your strategy, and build scalability in your model.
  • Utilizing Existing Communication Networks: Humans are social animals, and every person has a network of 8 to 10 close friends, family, and associates, with whom he communicates. Some people, depending, have scores and hundreds with whom they may be communicating on a regular basis. Today, people have developed a network of relationships through the Internet. They have a network of emails and favorite website URLs. Your viral marketing strategy must include ways to place your message into these existing networks to multiply and spread rapidly.
  • Using Others Resources: Your viral marketing strategy must include the use of others resources, such as placing your text or graphic links on others websites. This way, other peoples websites are relaying your messages, which can be seen by hundreds of visitors visiting those websites.

Anthony Samuel is a successful entrepreneur with 10 years experience in the work at home opportunity industry. He reviews part time work at home opportunities and lists his top picks at http://www.sanjen.com.







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