Viral marketing works famously on the Internet because instant communication is easy and inexpensive. The digital format makes copying simple. From a marketing standpoint, you must simplify your marketing message so it can be transmitted easily and without degradation. Short is better. The classic is: “Get your private, free email at http://www.hotmail.com.” The message is compelling, compressed, and copied at the bottom of every free email message.
We are social creatures, so it is only natural that we instinctively share our experiences with the ones closest to us. We advise our friends and family by sharing our positive experiences, but also warning them of negative experiences. Here's the catch! These recommendations affect us much more than other marketing messages. It is quite logical, we rely more on our friends than we trust advertisement, paid expert opinions and similar media!

But you have to admire the virus. It has a way of living in secrecy until it is so numerous that it wins by sheer weight of numbers. It piggybacks on other hosts and uses their resources to increase its tribe. And in the right environment, it grows exponentially. A virus doesn’t even have to mate. It just replicates again and again, doubling with each iteration.
This is easy to imagine, because we do the same ourselves. The florist gives us a prettier bouquet for telling our friends about him. The baker delights you with a surprise cupcake the next time you drop by, because you convinced your brother to bake his wedding cake there. I don’t have actually have to explain to you why this is the way it is. It’s very natural human behavior.
The third and final stage requires the firm to set a budget and management systems; these must be measurable touchpoints, such as audience reached across all digital platforms. Furthermore, marketers must ensure the budget and management systems are integrating the paid, owned and earned media of the company.[68] The Action and final stage of planning also requires the company to set in place measurable content creation e.g. oral, visual or written online media.[69]
Online advertisers can collect data on their ads' effectiveness, such as the size of the potential audience or actual audience response,[19]:119 how a visitor reached their advertisement, whether the advertisement resulted in a sale, and whether an ad actually loaded within a visitor's view.[59][60]:59 This helps online advertisers improve their ad campaigns over time.
Viral marketing is a continual, interactive process. A company that implements a viral compaign shouldn't simply let it run its course without adjustment. The Blair Witch campaign remained active on Internet message boards, interacting with real fans and regularly updating websites with more information based on fan discussions. It, like most viral campaigns, succeeded because it grew along with the interest in the product.
I grant permission for every reader to reproduce on your website the article you are now reading — “The Six Simple Principles of Viral Marketing.” But copy this article only, without any alteration whatsoever. Include the copyright statement, too, please. If you have a marketing or small business website, it’ll provide great content and help your visitors learn important strategies. (Note: I am granting permission to host on your website this article AND NO OTHERS. Reprinting or hosting other Practical Ecommerce articles without express written permission is illegal, immoral, and a violation of our copyright.)
[1] Terminology geekery: It would be cool if we could all agree to use a common language to describe this process, with appropriate signifiers. When a Referrer (Alice) refers something to a Referee (Bob). It would make life a lot easier. This is going to take some time though, because referral programs aren’t completely ubiquitous… yet. Also, because the term “referee” is most commonly used in sporting contexts. It’s not unimaginable, though, that the term “Referee” may eventually be accepted as a signifier of the person who’s being referred to a product or service. Time will tell. At ReferralCandy, we use the terms Advocate and Friend respectively– they’re not perfect, but they make sense and are easier to use.
Images of your product in a supermodel’s hand as she sits looking bored and passive are not going to work in a viral marketing context. To advertise their new LED TVs, Samsung strapped some LED lights onto sheep and ‘created’ works of art. The jump from LED TVs to LED sheep is a big one, you have to make that jump to get to the 19 million views of this video.
Images of your product in a supermodel’s hand as she sits looking bored and passive are not going to work in a viral marketing context. To advertise their new LED TVs, Samsung strapped some LED lights onto sheep and ‘created’ works of art. The jump from LED TVs to LED sheep is a big one, you have to make that jump to get to the 19 million views of this video.

Sponsored search (also called sponsored links, search ads, or paid search) allows advertisers to be included in the sponsored results of a search for selected keywords. Search ads are often sold via real-time auctions, where advertisers bid on keywords.[19]:118[53] In addition to setting a maximum price per keyword, bids may include time, language, geographical, and other constraints.[19]:118 Search engines originally sold listings in order of highest bids.[19]:119 Modern search engines rank sponsored listings based on a combination of bid price, expected click-through rate, keyword relevancy and site quality.[21]

There is a heap of sales clutter on the Internet that is actively annoying and repelling your customers. Don’t let your brand be that guy – instead, your video should be centred around the story and not the sale. Remember: the same rules that apply for written content marketing apply for video marketing – concentrate on the value you’re providing for your customers.
Twenty years ago, the reach of an average person was relatively small; for the most part, referrals were made face to face or over the phone. Today, with social media and review websites, the average person’s audience is enormous. They can reach hundreds if not thousands of friends and acquaintances in a matter of minutes with a simple Facebook post, Yelp review, or other public-facing review.
Social media marketing: In an increasingly connected world where consumers expect the companies they do business with to engage with them, social media is an ideal way to interact with prospects and customers. The key to social media marketing success is focusing on the platforms where you're most likely to find your target market, whether it's Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Pinterest. To make sure you're not wasting time with your social media efforts, develop a strategy and content plan, and research tools that will help make the posting easier, such as Hootsuite or Buffer.
Email marketing: Email can be an effective way to maintain a connection between your business and its customers. You can purchase email addresses of customers and prospective customers, but the best results usually come from emails collected on your website. You can entice people to give you their emails through a quality free offer, such as a downloadable resource, called a lead magnet. Once you have their email, you can send a newsletter, special offers, and other information your target market would be interested in—as long as you follow laws and regulations around email marketing.
Websites and services based on Web 2.0 concepts—blogging and interactive online communities, for example—have impacted the affiliate marketing world as well. These platforms allow improved communication between merchants and affiliates. Web 2.0 platforms have also opened affiliate marketing channels to personal bloggers, writers, and independent website owners. Contextual ads allow publishers with lower levels of web traffic to place affiliate ads on websites.[citation needed]
To make your videos as memorable as possible, ensure that you’re keeping them in line with your brand strategy. This means keeping colors, fonts, logos and voice the same in your video marketing as they are in your blogs and articles. While videos do things text content doesn’t, users should still be able to recognize the style and format of your brand’s videos online.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge started in 2014, which was an online effort to raise awareness for people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) disease and to raise funds. The campaign was able to raise $115 million in a span of just eight weeks! The challenge for people was to pour a bucket of ice-cold water over their head and challenge minimum three people to do the same and make a donation to The ALS Association.
When imparting your brand message, addressing your audience directly by using the second-person term “you” ensures a personal touch. By saying “You are more beautiful than you think,” Dove could connect to the audience and show that it cares for each of them. The impact of the campaign was that while buying Dove’s products, people thought they are supporting a social cause.
The more rewards a business offers for referrals, the more effort their customers will put into finding quality referrals. AT&T Wireless offers a referral program that provides opportunities for customers to earn up to $575 a year through referrals for different services, including high-speed Internet, home phones, wireless phones, and their U-verse packages.
Search engine marketing, or SEM, is designed to increase a website's visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). Search engines provide sponsored results and organic (non-sponsored) results based on a web searcher's query.[19]:117 Search engines often employ visual cues to differentiate sponsored results from organic results. Search engine marketing includes all of an advertiser's actions to make a website's listing more prominent for topical keywords.
A good amount of marketing on the internet can be done for free, but sometimes it's worth spending some money on effective and professional looking options. For example, although you can get free web hosting, it's not recommended. Ideally, you should pay for web hosting to make sure that your website doesn't experience downtime, as well as a professional domain name. Fortunately, you can buy both for less than $100 a year.
Once a company knows what its target demographic wants and how they communicate, they begin creating content those people will want to share. The Blair Witch team created websites, message boards, and fake news stories that heightened the horror and mystery of the movie's story. The content encouraged people to look for more information about the story, and even collaborate with their friends in their investigations.

Viral marketing is any marketing technique that induces websites or users to pass on a marketing message to other sites or users, creating a potentially exponential growth in the message's visibility and effect. A popular example of successful viral marketing is Hotmail, a company now owned by Microsoft, that promoted its services and its own advertisers' messages in every user's email notes.
Bob Gerstley was among the first to write about algorithms designed to identify people with high "social networking potential."[17] Gerstley employed SNP algorithms in quantitative marketing research. In 2004, the concept of the alpha user was coined to indicate that it had now become possible to identify the focal members of any viral campaign, the "hubs" who were most influential. Alpha users could be targeted for advertising purposes most accurately in mobile phone networks, due to their personal nature.[citation needed]

Marketing managers need to be conversant in every element of a marketing campaign, and considering the importance of an Internet presence in any marketing plan today, this means having a clear understanding of Internet marketing from start to finish. A marketing manager should have confidence in his or her team and know how to facilitate work efficiency and communication between coworkers. This keeps each project on schedule and helps create a relaxed work environment.


Humor: Old Spice’s viral video marketing campaign used humor to great effect. They had to. After all, there aren’t many other interesting ways to promote a deodorant / body wash. But they did it with a knowing smirk. The brand didn’t mind poking fun at itself. And it worked. The usage of humor introduced the brand to a younger, Internet-savvy audience.
For instance, the Pew Internet & American Life Project has demographic data that suggests individuals between the ages of 18 and 33 are the most likely to use mobile Internet technology like smartphones and tablets, while the “Gen-X” demographic of individuals who are in their 30’s and 40’s are far more likely to seek out information through their laptop and desktop computers.(See also Targeted Marketing)
Can you make money with affiliate marketing? The short answer is yes, affiliate programs can earn a extra money and even a full-time income from home. The long answer is a little more complicated. Like any home income venture, success comes not so much from what you choose to do to make money, but whether or not you do what needs to be done correctly and consistently.
×