Old Spice’s viral video marketing campaign first aired during 2010’s Superbowl weekend. It went on to increase the company’s revenue by 107%. The campaign had 40 million views. It increased Old Spice’s Twitter followers by 2,700%. It lifted Facebook interaction by 800%. All these viewers turned the Old Spice YouTube channel into the all-time most viewed channel.003

If your referral program isn’t public facing or it’s difficult to use and share with the click of a button, then you’ll severely limit your ability to drive word-of-mouth and referrals. Also, if you’re requiring customers to manually input a potential referral’s information, good luck. For customers, this annoyance creates a barrier that significantly hinders referral activity.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, attempts to improve a website's organic search rankings in SERPs by increasing the website content's relevance to search terms. Search engines regularly update their algorithms to penalize poor quality sites that try to game their rankings, making optimization a moving target for advertisers.[51][52] Many vendors offer SEO services.[24]:22
This is the standard affiliate marketing structure. In this program, the merchant pays the affiliate a percentage of the sale price of the product after the consumer purchases the product as a result of the affiliate’s marketing strategies. In other words, the affiliate must actually get the investor to invest in the product before they are compensated.
RewardStream’s Neil Parker says that one of the most common reasons referral programs fail is because of poorly trained team members. “Your referral marketing programs experience the greatest success when your employees are aware of the program, and can explain it to customers,” Parker says. “Everyone in your organization should understand the referral program, and your customer-facing team members should be able to explain it clearly to customers.”

"Looks great. Organic traffic has been holding steady at Feb/March levels when normally it declines from April onwards. Because of the seasonal nature of the business it is difficult to measure the exact impact, but I can tell you our organic traffic is currently almost 3 times what it was this time last year. All down to you guys! The trick for us is to try and sustain it throughout the summer, keeping our slow season as short as possible!" Ivan L.
Completion rate: Completion rate is the number of people who completed your video divided by the number of people who played it. Completion rate, and other engagement metrics, are a great way to gauge a viewer’s reaction to your video. Do you have a low completion rate? Are people all dropping off at a certain point? This might be a sign that your video content is not resonating with your target audience.

The fact is, very few people know what goes into making a viral marketing campaign successful until it starts to spread. There are, however, some brands, who have understood what makes the audience tick. In fact, there are some consistent elements in such campaigns, which brands can follow. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and have a look at the top three examples of viral marketing campaigns over the past years. There is a lot you can potentially learn from them as they exactly know how to resonate with the target audiences.

A trick banner is a banner ad where the ad copy imitates some screen element users commonly encounter, such as an operating system message or popular application message, to induce ad clicks.[34] Trick banners typically do not mention the advertiser in the initial ad, and thus they are a form of bait-and-switch.[35][36] Trick banners commonly attract a higher-than-average click-through rate, but tricked users may resent the advertiser for deceiving them.[37]
The next step in a referral marketing strategy is to publically market the program. Some businesses place signs in physical stores, typically near the cash registers that invite customers to join the program. A common strategy is to create brochures that customers can take with them, containing information about the referral program, offering consumers a physical reminder of the program.
Video and mobile go hand in hand. 90% of consumers watch videos on their mobile. From Q3 of 2013, mobile video views have grown more than 233 percent. YouTube reports mobile video consumption rises 100% every year. Since people like to watch videos on the go, and the number of smartphone users is growing, your video audience keeps getting bigger and bigger.

We recently published an infographic on how powerful video will become. But the future has already arrived. This has been a full-on video revolution year for marketers. According to Wyzowl statistics, 63% of businesses have started using video content marketing. Out of those 82% of businesses feel video marketing is an important part of their strategy. Video is progressing rapidly and will reach new heights sooner than we think. This trend is fueled by 83% of businesses believing that video marketing gives them a good ROI.


Partner programs typically have a much more rigorous admission process than affiliate programs and come with some legal obligations. The admission processes can included paying fees, going through a certification program and/or attending training sessions. Due to this rigorous process partners are able to state officially that they are associated with your company and may be listed on your company website as a way of vouching for them.
The campaign became successful and viral with over 17 million people participating in the challenge worldwide. Many celebrities including Bill Gates, George W. Bush, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise, Mark Zuckerberg, Rihanna, Tim Cook, Rafael Nadal, and Cristiano Ronaldo took part in the challenge. Below video shows the Ice Bucket Challenge taken by Bill Gates:

Many small and medium businesses can join a business network such as BNI (Business Network International) which has chapters all over the world to help its members promote business through referrals. Each referral is much more valuable than a lead as conversion rate could be near 90-100% while a qualified lead gained from any other forms of marketing have one-fourth chance of being converted to business.
The targets for referrals should not look impossible or difficult to achieve. Referring up to 15 may be easy but most companies offer benefits even if five customers are referred and result in conversions.  Whether it is cash or products or other benefits, the rewards should be good enough for customers, employees to take that extra effort. It should be clearly mentioned whether the rewards are given for lead generation or for sales conversion.
While these models have diminished in mature e-commerce and online advertising markets they are still prevalent in some more nascent industries. China is one example where Affiliate Marketing does not overtly resemble the same model in the West. With many affiliates being paid a flat "Cost Per Day" with some networks offering Cost Per Click or CPM.
The participants were asked to challenge minimum three persons to take the Ice Bucket Challenge. This was one of the reasons why campaign became viral. If one person tells three other people about the challenge, and those three tell the other three, a viral loop is created. By setting a call to action, and asking your audience to share about your campaign with others, you too can keep your campaign alive.
Upselling is a sales technique where the salesperson encourages a more expensive purchase by a customer by persuading them to get an upgraded version of an item or to purchase add-ons. Remember our food processor example? That food processor could probably be best used with a book of recipes, which also can be purchased at the same company’s website.

Now, more than ever, consumers are highly cautious about sharing their information – especially online. Make your customer referral program more attractive by being upfront and honest about the entire process. Let program members know how their information will be used, how they can keep track of the process and exactly what they’ll get in return. The more information you share about your program, the more at ease your customers will feel and the more likely they’ll be to sign on. And on the flip-side, collecting and analyzing data from customer referrals is critical for optimizing future rollouts and campaign iterations. You’re planning to enable your customers to share your brand with others, and in return, they’re going to enable you to better understand consumer behavior surrounding your products and services. The more you understand about your customer base and the leads they generate, the more efficiently you can hone marketing strategies, gain customer insight, and grow revenue. Don’t let this data slip away without tapping into its full potential. Before you launch a program, decide how you will collect, store, and examine the intel and data points you retrieve.
How much time would it realistically take for you to build an affiliate network from scratch? Do you have someone on your team to oversee this initiative by forming relationships with publishers, handling disputes, troubleshooting technical problems, and making sure that payments are sent on time? Do the anticipated returns justify the invested time? 

Whereas Kaplan, Haenlein and others reduce the role of marketers to crafting the initial viral message and seeding it, futurist and sales and marketing analyst Marc Feldman, who conducted IMT Strategies' viral marketing study in 2001,[citation needed] carves a different role for marketers which pushes the 'art' of viral marketing much closer to 'science'.[23]
Your customers, prospects, and partners are the lifeblood of of your business. You need to build your marketing strategy around them. Step 1 of marketing is understanding what your customers want, which can be challenging when you’re dealing with such a diverse audience. This chapter will walk you through (1) the process of building personal connections at scale and (2) crafting customer value propositions that funnel back to ROI for your company.

"Looks great. Organic traffic has been holding steady at Feb/March levels when normally it declines from April onwards. Because of the seasonal nature of the business it is difficult to measure the exact impact, but I can tell you our organic traffic is currently almost 3 times what it was this time last year. All down to you guys! The trick for us is to try and sustain it throughout the summer, keeping our slow season as short as possible!" Ivan L.
Viral marketing includes any strategy that encourages the individual to expand the marketing message to others, creating the potential for its exponential growth in terms of availability. Like viruses, such marketing strategies use an advantage of the fast multiplication to deliver the message to thousands or millions of people.

A new energy drink company, for example, could create an Internet video featuring a person who consumes the energy drink before performing a seemingly impossible bicycle jump. If the video is made to look real, it may encourage people who see it to share it with others. After the video receives enough views, the company could reveal its true purpose, convincing its viewers to seek out more information about the drink without ever using a traditional advertisement.
Rakuten Marketing is a relatively “smaller” affiliate network with just over 1000 merchants (still a vast choice, though, by any standard). Created in 1997 under the arguably cool name of Buy.com, it was acquired by a Japanese e-commerce behemoth and rebranded as Rakuten in 2010. Advertisers can earn up to 5.5% commission of sales, with the percentage varying by product category.
When you think about the marketing process it is quite easy to recognize that it does not only relates to the provider, it also relates directly to the customer. Marketing holds all of the tools and strategies used to entice a customer into buying or trying a product. If the marketing is successful then your company will gain value through the consumers purchase. An example of this is something as simple as cold calling. Cold calling is a very old marketing technique that simply requires you to dial a phone number and try to sell your product or a service to the person that answers the phone. Once you are live on the phone you use your sales pitch to try and sell the product. This is marketing. Advertising on billboards, magazines, television; all of these are part of the marketing process.

Retargeting is another way that we can close the conversion loop and capitalize on the traffic gained from the overall marketing campaign. Retargeting is a very powerful display advertising tool to keep your brand top of mind and keep them coming back. We track every single touch point up to the ultimate conversions and use that data to make actionable recommendations for further campaign optimization.

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.)
Forms of new media have also diversified how companies, brands, and ad networks serve ads to visitors. For instance, YouTube allows video-makers to embed advertisements through Google's affiliate network.[22][23] New developments have made it more difficult for unscrupulous affiliates to make money. Emerging black sheep are detected and made known to the affiliate marketing community with much greater speed and efficiency.[citation needed]
Olivia Angelescu is a launch & growth strategist for BUSY (or just Impatient) small business owners who want results FAST! No more waiting for months and months to build your freedom business! Why not do it now? Olivia is working with her clients by both 1-on-1 coaching and online training. You can find her at www.passioncreativitybusiness.com and on her Facebook page

When beginning your affiliate marketing career, you’ll want to cultivate an audience that has very specific interests. This allows you to tailor your affiliate campaigns to that niche, increasing the likelihood that you’ll convert. By establishing yourself as an expert in one area instead of promoting a large array of products, you’ll be able to market to the people most likely to buy the product.


The study found that the referred customers yielded a 25% higher profit margin. This was the case because clients referred friends they thought would be a good fit with this bank. What’s more is that the bank could assume certain similarities between the new clients and their friends. These parallels made it easier for them to identify which products would interest them. The study also found that referred customers were 18% less likely to leave the bank.


To promote its new Tendercrisp sandwich, Burger King launched a website that allowed users to give commands to the “subservient chicken,” a man in a chicken costume. In an era when most people leave websites within eight seconds of visiting, many of Burger King's 15 million first-week visitors to the subservient chicken page spent six minutes or more engaging with the content.
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.

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.
Word-of-mouth and Referral Marketing are often confused. Whilst word-of-mouth is the result of customers talking about your brand with their friends and convincing them to try it, this is done without marketing effort and is difficult for marketing teams to influence and measure. Refer-a-friend marketing attempts to harness this customer advocacy and put in place the tools to encourage, reward and track customer recommendations.
Social Media is constantly growing its popularity in the internet marketing industry. Much like the internet as a whole, social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter bring together millions of people. Using social media fan pages and business pages you can have your business put out there and recommended to thousands of locally targeted people in an instant. With that in mind, there are various other ways social media can be used as part of an internet marketing campaign.
For example, Zappos has a customer service department that goes above and beyond. One customer bought shoes for her father, but he had passed away before the shoes arrived. The customer called in to see if she could return the shoes and get refunded. A Zappos call center employee told her not to worry about sending them back, and that she would be refunded. The employee then went above and beyond and sent her flowers as well.
This “use” can be as simple as wanting to see a hated popstar get his image shredded. It can be finding out how to survive a zombie apocalypse. Besides use, today’s consumers want to feel like they’re part of your product. This can be as simple as rewarding them with your product for an action, or including them vicariously through visual content that incorporate people just like them.
This “use” can be as simple as wanting to see a hated popstar get his image shredded. It can be finding out how to survive a zombie apocalypse. Besides use, today’s consumers want to feel like they’re part of your product. This can be as simple as rewarding them with your product for an action, or including them vicariously through visual content that incorporate people just like them.

DisabledGO, an information provider for people with disabilities in the UK and Ireland, hired Agency51 to implement an SEO migration strategy to move DisabledGO from an old platform to a new one. By applying 301 redirects to old URLS, transferring metadata, setting up Google webmaster tools, and creating a new sitemap, Agency 51 was able to successfully transfer DisabledGO to a new platform while keeping their previous SEO power alive. Additionally, they were able to boost visitor numbers by 21% year over year, and the site restructuring allowed DisabledGO to rank higher than competitors. Their case study is available on SingleGrain.com.


From these challenges, rise video marketing best practices. And it all comes down to strategy: If you want your video marketing to have results, then you must plan, test, analyze, and test again. Yes, the goal of your videos is to tell a story and engage your customers but, from a marketing perspective, your videos must also align to your sales funnel. What is the purpose of each video? Who is the audience? How does the video further your marketing goals?
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. 

There is no shortage of products you’ll be able to promote. You’ll have the ability to pick and choose products that you personally believe in, so make sure that your campaigns center around truly valuable products that consumers will enjoy. You’ll achieve an impressive conversion rate while simultaneously establishing the reliability of your personal brand.
To create an effective DMP, a business first needs to review the marketplace and set 'SMART' (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Time-Bound) objectives.[61] They can set SMART objectives by reviewing the current benchmarks and key performance indicators (KPIs) of the company and competitors. It is pertinent that the analytics used for the KPIs be customised to the type, objectives, mission and vision of the company.[62][63]
Two-tier programs exist in the minority of affiliate programs; most are simply one-tier. Referral programs beyond two-tier resemble multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing but are different: Multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing associations tend to have more complex commission requirements/qualifications than standard affiliate programs.[citation needed]
"Thanks for the update! It was great talking with you guys yesterday and it feels good that your company is going to the length that it is for our ROI. We really value our relationship with Ninjas. We have witnessed you guys make some decisions since the beginning of our relationship that most companies would not have made [Jim's note: when they were effected by Panda, we went way above and beyond to assist them], and we sure are happy to be working with your team. We look forward to a long lasting relationship. Thanks for the heads up on those errors you found." C. McCarren

A frequently used example of early viral marketing is Hotmail, the free web-based email service launched in 1996 that included in its users' outgoing messages an embedded advertisement and direct link inviting recipients to sign up for an account. This practice led to the fastest growth among user-based media companies at the time. Another example that illustrates how varied viral marketing can be is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The ice bucket challenge existed before The ALS Association utilized it to raise awareness and generate donations, but the massive dissemination on social media of ALS Ice Bucket videos created a worldwide sensation that not only increased ALS awareness tremendously, but also raised $115 million in donations to the Association in the summer of 2014 alone.


In this case, Uber is offering a set monetary reward for every rider or driver referred, as well as the opportunity to earn awards for referring more people. Uber can’t get away with simply thanking its participants. It needs a structured program for tracking when referrals occur, whether or not they’re successful (according to the program’s terms and conditions), and issuing the promised rewards.

Monetary or Non-Monetary Incentives – Choosing the reward for your referral program should not be approached simply. You need to understand what your users are motivated by and then offer prizes designed to reward that behavior. For example, they may be more interested in having access to premium features, getting company swag or even funny things like a dancing cat.

"Looks great. Organic traffic has been holding steady at Feb/March levels when normally it declines from April onwards. Because of the seasonal nature of the business it is difficult to measure the exact impact, but I can tell you our organic traffic is currently almost 3 times what it was this time last year. All down to you guys! The trick for us is to try and sustain it throughout the summer, keeping our slow season as short as possible!" Ivan L.
×