The Keys to a Successful Viral Marketing Campaign

Viral Marketing, there’s no doubt that this is the buzz phrase being thrown around by internet marketers and businesses and is only going to become more sought after as a service.

But what exactly is Viral Marketing? Why is everyone looking to make their business go viral? And more importantly, how do you go viral?

Basically, Viral Marketing or making something go viral will see a huge increase in traffic. Whether that traffic is for a business or individual, the essence of something going viral is to have it explode online and have millions of people see it within a short period of time.

So what makes something go viral? The real power behind making something go Viral is with the everyday people surfing the net. They are the ones that are going to decide whether or not something is worth “liking” or “sharing” on Facebook or YouTube. They are the ones that will be tweeting about you and telling all their friends.

An effective Viral Campaign will use this to its advantage and take into consideration what are the types of things that people are most likely to pass on when planning their campaign. History shows that comedy works really well with an Online Marketing campaign, as do things with some sort of charitable “cause” that pulls at the heart strings. If you own a business, providing some type of crazy deal could do wonders in helping you go viral and attract 10,000’s more visitors.

Your Viral Marketing Campaign needs to make sense to you, your business and what you represent. If you’re not too sure about how to get started with a Viral Marketing Campaign, then you can always take on the help of a professional team.

One of the beautiful things of about something going viral is, nobody really knows exactly what will and what won’t go viral. There is a certain mystery that no one will ever understand about viral marketing.

Why some songs/film clips explode online, why some funny videos get passed on more than other videos that are just as funny, why some businesses ad campaigns get better results than others. There certainly is an aspect of randomness and luck when it comes to going viral. But if you take a look at what has been successful in going viral previously and think about how you can manipulate human emotion into your favour, then you could quite possibly be sitting on the next big viral marketing campaign.

Viral Marketing Success Formula – 9 Winner Tactics For Free Viral Advertising

When used properly, viral marketing or viral advertising is by far the best way to promote your website, products and services on the Internet.

Viral advertising implies a virus-like fast transfer of a marketing message on the web, as a consequence of using free viral marketing tools such as YouTube, Flickr or Facebook, built to be viral. Successful viral marketing results in this snowballfactor:

  • An exponential increase in users of the free viral marketing product
  • free exponential increase in website traffic which in turn helps to
  • improve the search engine rankings which in turn leads to
  • more free web traffic and so on…

The degree of success, depends on the extent to which the 9 success criteria are followed.

9 Viral Marketing Success Criterias
As many and ideally all of the following tactics should be used:

1. Make an irresistible free offer
You need to provide a free viral marketing product or service since “free” is the biggest customer magnet. “Free” even attracts people who otherwise wouldn’t be interested.

2. Build a viral marketing product – don’t just try to market a product virally
A product is not necessarily viral if it contains a few features that lend viral characteristics to it. Just having a “Recommend to a friend” option on one of your web pages doesn’t make your website viral. For the free viral product to be considered truly viral, more than 1 new user must result from each user recommending it.

3. Target alpha users
The viral advertising message ought to target individuals with a high social networking potential, the so called influencers, ideal for spreading it. With regards to the consumer market, influencers are well connected, have impact, have active minds and are trendsetters.

So what causes an influencer to desire passing on a viral message? Answers include the need to be loved (or fear of rejection) and the need to be successful (fear of failure). For example consider which messages and free products would result in respect and appreciation of the sender when received.

Important and effective online influentials take a serious approach and want to pass on only useful viral marketing messages, not silly videos, jokes or commercials without purpose nor marketing results. They want to be perceived responsible by the recipients; their network. The product they recommend ought to suit the needs of the users optimally. Hard sales talk is not the way.

4. Be creative and ahead of market trends
Study your market and its trends and learn to think ahead in order to provide what turns people on, in exactly the right moment and right way. Do you have…

  • the capacity and know-how to come up with an innovative product?
  • expert knowledge to share?
  • ideas and a network of associates to inspire and motivate you?
  • the right web business tools and resources?

5. Easy transfer is prerequisite
The viral marketing message should be short and easily transferred via one or several of the following digital medias:

  • email
  • website
  • instant messaging
  • graphics
  • software download
  • social medias meaning social media websites, under here social network sites, online communities, blogs, wikis etc. Examples include Facebook, twitter and youtube, that facilitate the exchange of viral messages by automating the distribution process.

The interaction between internet users is highly facilitated by using Web 2.0, a design standard, making viral marketing possible. Examples of inherently viral Web 2.0 sites are MySpace, Facebook, and Flickr. These sites are as well free viral marketing products to the user as they are viral advertising tools to both the companies and the users.

6. Use Existing Social Networks
The distribution of the viral message takes place within established social networks of the individuals who receive it: Around 10 persons within their closest circle and as many as thousands within their broader network, depending on the person’s status and job. Affiliate programs often inspire the affiliates to target their network. Once an online influential with an extensive network is reached, a snowball effect initiates, provided that the viral product is useful and of high quality and the marketing message catchy. Social network websites are important viral marketing tools.

7. Use other’s resources
Spread your viral marketing message by placing articles on other websites (the media) thereby reaching a much larger group of people than had you relied solely on your own web site. By getting your message spread as news, you target many subscribers that might decide to visit your home page or even place your article on their website. An example of effective viral marketing is the placement of YouTube videos on different websites from where interested visitors can copy the video to their own site.

8. Allow for Big Scale Traffic
It is imperative that the resources for handling all the traffic need to be quickly upscalable to avoid overload and break down of the replication cycle of the viral marketing campaign. In order to handle the expected high volume of users, the process needs to be completely automated. For example customers are emailed using sequential autoresponders.

9. Measure and optimise parameters of Viral Marketing Success
To achieve true viral successful marketing, monitor the results expressed by certain parametres then test and optimise them. Examples of parameters include

  • sources of traffic
  • % registered users
  • % users who send out invites
  • number of invites sent out per user
  • % of invites received

Viral Marketing – Is it a Cold?

Hi To You All,

What is viral marketing? Viral marketing is an idea that is passed through the community much like a common cold. It encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, essentially it is a fancy term for word of mouth advertising It is any advertising that propagates itself the way viruses do. Word of mouth is still one of the most effective marketing techniques, online or offline. As a result Viral marketing is a phenomenon that occurs when the creative message you’re trying to convey resonates deeply with the audience you’re speaking to. If you’re doing your homework and adequately planning the right messaging, with some incentive that clearly benefits the consumer, then viral marketing occurs. Consequently it is considered as one of the most powerful methods of online marketing and advertising Today.

Viral marketing is dependent on peers passing the information on to multiple others via online social networks. When executed well a viral campaign should spread rapidly and become referenced and talked about across multiple internet channels. It is most powerful when it taps into the breadth of its customers’ weak connections to others.Therefore Tapping the customer’s entire address book is obviously of more value than just reaching their best friend. Viral marketing is the way that ideas have always spread through communities If something has value then people want to share it.

Viral marketing methods work when the product is something of value so efforts towards design, usability, and solving pain is most of the solution. Enabling viral marketing then becomes two efforts, creating the conventions from Web 1.0 that people expect, share with a friend is an example and the unique Web 2.0 strategies that are more social, using RSS/Blogs, etc. It creates a win/win situation for all parties as the user is provided a service or valuable information for free and in turn provides your site with free advertising. Ultimately it is so successful because it creates the curiosity and desire needed to generate the demand for a product or service. It causes people to seek it out.

Hotmail.com used this form of marketing in a small way that produced big results. At the bottom of each of the emails sent, they included a small line that said something like “Get your free email account with hotmail.com. “Hotmail is now one of the biggest free web-based email providers, and one of the longest running alongside Yahoo! Mail and a few others. Hotmail – Hotmail “piggybacked” on personal emails from one person to another to publicize their free email service. At a time when few people had email, the first and only free email service in the marketplace was appealing and novel – hence their rapid adoption and spread.

Viral marketing existed way before ‘viral marketing’ if you were a marketer, I’d say it was doing your job. As it takes advantage of the millions of communities that all of us build up naturally, that’s you and me and it has been around forever.In essence spreading the word through word-of-mouth was the world’s first form of Viral marketing.

It is is most powerful when it taps into the breadth of its customers’ weak connections to others. Tapping the customer’s entire address book is more valuable than just reaching their best friend. It will yield its best results if a valuable and tangible incentive is offered that will entice individuals to forward an email message to their friends. However, marketers should limit the incentive to a specific quantity to avoid spam-like distribution of the message. Viral marketing relies on other people to get involved,so you can learn the ways to help motivate them and can feed them the information and campaigns that are mostly likely to spark their interest, but ultimately you have no control over what they do with it.

Viral marketing still has the strongest effect if your product can be somehow incorporated into the communication between two people. This includes phone systems (MCI), electronic postcards (Blue Mountain), free e-mail (Hotmail), and the communications tool that someone is inventing in his or her garage as you’re reading this chapter. It is always as effective as others say it is if only it would be done properly. It is effective, but it depends on a high pass-along rate from person to person, as if a large percentage of recipients forward something to a large number of friends, the overall growth snowballs very quickly.

It extends this into the digital domain by harnessing the electronic connectivity of individuals to spread your message. As it describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message’s exposure and influence. Like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands, to millions. Viral marketing is similar in nature to a contagious disease, in the way it spreads. However, it’s always beneficial to the business conducting the campaign.

Ultimately it works best in combination with e-Mail marketing, since e-Mail marketing provides Viral Marketing with a great communication medium. You can use e-mail to spread the message as it is a good bit about winning hearts and minds. Viral marketing is advertising that you voluntarily pass around because it’s cool, not necessarily because you want to help build publicity. There is some noticeable overlap where a guerrilla ad that doesn’t quite look like an ad is so great that you end up telling other people about it. A notable survey was done recently on such an add and it showed a full 70% of people interviewed remembered seeing the ad so if done right this is incredibly powerful stuff.

Viral marketing is creating an awareness of a product or a service, without really advertising it. For instance, you wear branded jeans with the name tag on the back,this helps to spread the word and can help produce a result.

Viral marketing facilitates and encourages people to pass along a message voluntarily, essentially the word-of-mouth or refer-a-friend tactic done through the Internet. The concept is actually very simple: promote your brand, product or service by creating a message that is intriguing and entertaining enough that people would want to pass it to their friends online. However it is but one of many techniques that together have a cumulative effect in attracting customers and subscribers to your business – in attracting targeted visitors to your website. Momentum is gained by aiming every element of the overall strategy at developing the relationship with your visitors.

Viral marketing has been able to successfully allow marketers to increase the value of free services online, because referrals are the major way that most people market with free services. So, these tools of Internet marketing have been able to allow people to significantly pursue various affiliate programs in order to increase the value of these free services. These campaigns can achieve great success they just have to be planned out like any other marketing campaign. Therefore it is considered as one of the most powerful methods of internet marketing and advertising Today.

Viral marketing has become a popular means of advertising and marketing because they are relatively low cost. To avoid being tagged as spam mail, this form of marketing counts on the eagerness of one person to pass on the product. It is doing it’s job on the consumers, it keeps them on-line and now with Domino pizza, consumers are buying products just to get more marketing, a never ending cycle. What ever happened to letting anticipation build just waiting for some movie to come out, that carrot in front of you face has gotten bigger and your wallet is getting smaller.

However Viral marketing if done right can be a cost effective way to get the word out about your business and get customers buying although a lot of people talk about it they don’t do it very well. Essentially it describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the messages exposure and influence. Like viruses, such strategies take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message from one to two to thousands, to millions. It uses the power of one customer’s recommendation to another to help spread the word about a product or company as it is a method of encouraging recipients to pass along the marketing message to other potential consumers. The impact of video email and the quality of the information presented can facilitate the proliferation of this form of personalized marketing.

Blogging started really taking off after the dotcom boom and bust. It started taking off after WorldCom and other corporate scandals. Blogs and other social software rely upon the trust of the reader, which is why links, references and disclaimers feature on many (not all) posts. Transparency is key in the modern advertising-savvy marketplace. Blogs and the blogosphere in general have become an important tool in the viral marketing frontier. Many reputable bloggers are approached by companies wanting to advertise their services or products, all with the intuitive of instigating a viral effect.

Viral marketing is not only putting yourself out there with some free information, but its utilizing the “coolness” factor by getting people to write about you and spread the word. It is beneficial in that it has the potential to reach large audiences very quickly meaning companies will potentially get their message to their target audience and beyond in hours. Also it is a great tactic to earn revenue when promoting a product or service.

Viral marketing is an ethical means of driving more traffic to your website. Most of these techniques are free to implement although as such will require hard work and commitment. However it is a sophisticated strategy that requires considerable thought. In simple terms it is the technical term for what is commonly known as word-of-mouth advertising. Although viral marketing is as old as human civilization itself, the Internet has brought its efficacy and reach to a new level, and the technologies that provide the motive force behind this movement continue to evolve.

Personally, if I’d been busted for being a poser and poorly imitating youth pop culture I would avoid using phrases like – Busted. I think pop culture and viral marketing have a lot in common as they are both engaging, creative, and unfortunately in the most part largely misunderstood. I certainly feel word-of-mouth and viral marketing is one of the best ways to advertise a product to consumers as I feel it’s honest and really gives consumers the perspective from an unbiased individual.

Again, I stress that this is a legitimate marketing tactic which can achieve Fantastic results if it is done correctly, and as Internet marketing is extremely competitive you should use all the avenues that are available to you in advertising your web site and products. Experiment with the various ways of viral marketing until you find the ones that work best for you. Internet competition is a ruthless and competitive rivalry that shows no mercy,therefore every means and methods of internet marketing should be used and employed.

To Your Success As Always

Douglas Stuart