I'm going to add in something that has yet to be said. You CANNOT plan to create a viral piece of content or viral marketing effort. The virality of information and messaging is subject DIRECTLY to the audience and how it sees, understands, shares and promotes this content. The major failing of any and all marketing departments and C-suite executives is that they request a viral video or viral image or viral tweet to help build the brand or promote an event. It. DOESN'T. WORK. YOU. CAN'T. DO. IT. If there were a true formula for creating viral content, it would be worth BILLIONS and only the most successful companies would own the patent on the strategy and methodology. Viral just happens and you thank your stars if it happens for your content or message. Now move along. Real marketing takes hard work and thoughtfulness.


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.
An essential part of any Internet marketing campaign is the analysis of data gathered from not just the campaign as a whole, but each piece of it as well. An analyst can chart how many people have visited the product website since its launch, how people are interacting with the campaign's social networking pages, and whether sales have been affected by the campaign (See also Marketing Data Analyst). This information will not only indicate whether the marketing campaign is working, but it is also valuable data to determine what to keep and what to avoid in the next campaign.
Referral marketing is a powerful conversion tactic, as people value “realness” and are more apt to try a product or service that’s recommended by a friend or some other trusted source than something they come across via traditional advertising. Referrals can come from friends, influencers, product reviews, news articles, and testimonials. In order to launch a successful referral campaign, brands must offer compelling incentives so customers want to refer others. They must also make the referral process as easy to use as possible. Additionally, brands must treat their referral program as they would a new product launch and educate both customers and employees on how the program works.
In the case of viral marketing, "viral" refers to something that spreads quickly and widely across its audience. Viral marketing is a deliberate enterprise, though the distribution of a message happens organically. As such, social media provides the perfect ecosystem for viral marketing, though it has its roots in traditional word-of-mouth marketing. While the practice was much more widely used in the early to mid-2000s, as new internet businesses were being created in extreme numbers, it is still common among internet-based business-to-consumer (B-to-C) companies. The widespread adoption of social networks, including YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, has enabled modern viral marketing efforts and increased their efficacy. 
Decision-making process seems to be hard for customers these days. Millers (1956) argued that people suffered from short-term memory.[57] This links to difficulties in customers' decision-making process and Paradox of Choice,[58] as they face various adverts and newspapers daily.[59] Influencers serve as a credible source for customers' decision-making process.[49][41] Neilsen reported that 80% of consumers appreciated a recommendation of their acquaintances,[60] as they have reasons to trust in their friends delivering the messages without benefits[60] and helping them reduce perceived risks behind choices.[61][62]

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:
"So, for example," he says, "if a brand’s core customer base is the millennial demographic, a large proportion of the marketing budget should probably go towards video, given that 80% of millennials consider video when making a purchase decision, according to data from Animoto. Furthermore, marketers should use hypertargeting to make sure they are reaching the correct audience and combine that with personalization."

Digital marketing's development since the 1990s and 2000s has changed the way brands and businesses use technology for marketing.[2] As digital platforms are increasingly incorporated into marketing plans and everyday life,[3] and as people use digital devices instead of visiting physical shops,[4][5] digital marketing campaigns are becoming more prevalent and efficient.
You’ve launched an amazing product or service. Now what? Now, you need to get the word out. When done well, good PR can be much more effective and less expensive than advertising. Regardless of whether you want to hire a fancy agency or awesome consultant, make sure that you know what you’re doing and what types of ROI to expect. Relationships are the heart and soul of PR. This chapter will teach you how to ignore the noise and focus on substantive, measurable results.

Adam Enfroy is the Affiliate Partnerships Manager at BigCommerce. With 10+ years of experience in digital marketing, ecommerce, SEO, web development, and selling online courses, he is passionate about leveraging the right strategic partnerships, content, and software to scale digital growth. Adam lives in Austin, TX and writes about building your online influence by scaling your content and affiliate marketing strategies on his blog.
Online reviews have become one of the most important components in purchasing decisions by consumers in North America. According to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research which included over 1000 participants, 90% of respondents said that positive online reviews influenced their buying decisions and 94% will use a business with at least four stars. Interestingly, negative reviews typically came from online review sites whereas Facebook was the main source of positive reviews. Forrester Research predicts that by 2020, 42% of in-store sales will be from customers who are influenced by web product research.
"I hope the new site and optimizing keeps it rolling! You guys have done an awesome job! If you have any more suggestions count me in. I don't know if you remember but my goal was to get 2000 natural applications a month by year end. August we had 1200! March we had under 50! Unbelievable! Next years goal is by year end is to be getting 4000 a month. Then I take you, a member of the link team on a weekend trip for some fun all expenses on me." Melissa E.

A content specialist needs to be a Jack or Jill of all trades, utilizing excellent written and verbal communication skills, above-average computer literacy, and a natural interest in trends. This job is ultimately about translating the key aspects of the product into content the target demographic finds appealing. This is part art, part critical thinking, and 100% attention to detail.

Again, consider the appropriateness of each of these suggestions, based on your program design. If you run a popular ecommerce brand with an engaged base of referrers, or if you’re a company like IBM with a formal partners program, investing in your program’s participants makes sense. If you don’t have a formal referral marketing program, or if you handle referral requests on a personalized basis, it doesn’t.

Consumers also face malware risks, i.e. malvertising, when interacting with online advertising. Cisco's 2013 Annual Security Report revealed that clicking on ads was 182 times more likely to install a virus on a user's computer than surfing the Internet for porn.[105][106] For example, in August 2014 Yahoo's advertising network reportedly saw cases of infection of a variant of Cryptolocker ransomware.[107]
To achieve its goals, the team developed a video marketing strategy that incorporated its message across multiple formats to reach users at different touchpoints. It started with a YouTube Masthead ad, a format meant to reach a broad audience and start a conversation about the Pixel. Users who had seen the Masthead and visited the Pixel page on the Google Store were then served six-second and 15-second ads. Finally, for interested users who turned to search to learn more about the Pixel, the team ran search ads, which drove them back to the product site.
The most famous expressions of viral marketing are videos and ads. Its strength comes from the fact that people like to share information they find fun and interesting with others and send it to each other via social media. For instance, think of ads in the form of funny videos, images, texts or an interactive Flash game. It can be risky though. People generally don’t like to forward messages that are clearly commercial. It can also happen that the wrong audience is approached and the message doesn’t reach the right people. That could be bad for public relations.
Prior to GEM, Alex worked in the feature film and music video industry. Those experiences landed him on productions with the likes of; Lil Wayne, Birdman, Rick Ross, Travis Porter, Mike Jones, Killer Mike, and Outkast. His independent films have been featured in multiple international film festivals as well as on Netflix. His work has won multiple Telly, Aurora, and Davey Awards.
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.
Alternatively, ad space may be offered for sale in a bidding market using an ad exchange and real-time bidding. This involves many parties interacting automatically in real time. In response to a request from the user's browser, the publisher content server sends the web page content to the user's browser over the Internet. The page does not yet contain ads, but contains links which cause the user's browser to connect to the publisher ad server to request that the spaces left for ads be filled in with ads. Information identifying the user, such as cookies and the page being viewed, is transmitted to the publisher ad server.
One of the best known online customer referral programs is the Dropbox customer referral program. Dropbox rewarded both their existing customers and new customers with additional storage space when a new customer signed up for the service. This referral program had a very low barrier to success, friends just had to signup for a free account, but it was very effective at propagating the company’s freemium product.
When I started our Internet marketing company 20 years ago, it was just me and a dream to grow. Today, we have 48 employees, all in-house, in Clifton Park, New York. The average employee has been with us for 6.21 years, and 10 of us have been here for more than 10 years. We have 298 years of combined work experience here. Compared to our Ninja army, I can’t believe that there’s a more experienced or tighter team of SEOs in the world. If you’re shopping around for a SEO company, know that IMN wins on experience and knowledge by far.
If you want to entice people to share your brand with their own networks, you have to provide them with something of value in exchange. Understanding your customers isn’t enough; do you know what they truly value? If your incentive isn’t worthwhile, your customer referral program will never even get off the ground. A good incentive will provide some type of desirable reward for your existing customers while also equipping them to share an incentive with others. Consider what motivates people to buy your brand in the first place, and design a program that speaks to what customers really want. Sometimes recognition, such as being featured on the website or in an ad or blog post, can be equally as attractive as other types of incentives.
There are a number of mechanisms that can be used for viral marketing. These include, but are certainly not limited to, images, jokes, quizzes, video clips, games, e-cards, micro-sites, etc. etc. These tactics will help a business boost brand awareness, and it could also plant the seeds for consumer awareness or interest in an alternative campaigns. The echo from viral activity can be heard for a long time afterward.
In 2014, A.L.S. Ice Bucket Challenge was among the best viral marketing challenges examples in the social network. Millions of people on the social media started filming themselves, pouring a bucket of ice water over their heads and sharing the video with their friends. The challenge was created to give support for fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig's disease. People finished the challenge and then nominated the next person they knew on the social media to take the same challenge. By following this trend, Ice Bucket Challenge became a 'fab' on social media with many online celebrities such as Tyler Oakley, Zoe Sugg and huge celebrities and entrepreneurs like Justin Bieber, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates participating.[76] Until September 2014, over 2.4 million ice bucket-related videos had been posted on Facebook, and 28 million people had uploaded, commented on or liked ice bucket-related posts. And about 3.7 million videos had been uploaded on Instagram with the hashtags #ALSicebucketchallenge and #icebucketchallenge.[77] The ALS association didn't invent the ice bucket challenge, but they sure received a huge amount of donation from this activity. It raised a reported $220 million worldwide for A.L.S. organisations, and this amount is thirteen times as much donation as what it had in the whole preceding year in just eight weeks.[78]
The first widely publicized example of online advertising was conducted via electronic mail. On 3 May 1978, a marketer from DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation), Gary Thuerk, sent an email to most of the ARPANET's American west coast users, advertising an open house for a new model of a DEC computer.[5][10] Despite the prevailing acceptable use policies, electronic mail marketing rapidly expanded[11] and eventually became known as "spam."
So with these great benefits and more, why isn’t your business using it (or, at least, using it to its full advantage)? Only about one-third of businesses are actively collecting reviews and referrals, while 83% of happy, satisfied customers are willing to refer their friends and family (but only 29% actually do because the rest are never asked or given the opportunity). That’s crazy.

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:

The Environment: Timing is everything in advertising, and this is also true of viral marketing. A company can have the right messenger and the right message, but it may not spread if the social environment is not right. A very basic example of this is that people tend to spend less time online in summer compared to other seasons. This means fewer potential carriers to propagate the viral message. This doesn't necessarily mean the campaign will not be successful, but it can be a factor.
In 2014, A.L.S. Ice Bucket Challenge was among the best viral marketing challenges examples in the social network. Millions of people on the social media started filming themselves, pouring a bucket of ice water over their heads and sharing the video with their friends. The challenge was created to give support for fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig's disease. People finished the challenge and then nominated the next person they knew on the social media to take the same challenge. By following this trend, Ice Bucket Challenge became a 'fab' on social media with many online celebrities such as Tyler Oakley, Zoe Sugg and huge celebrities and entrepreneurs like Justin Bieber, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates participating.[76] Until September 2014, over 2.4 million ice bucket-related videos had been posted on Facebook, and 28 million people had uploaded, commented on or liked ice bucket-related posts. And about 3.7 million videos had been uploaded on Instagram with the hashtags #ALSicebucketchallenge and #icebucketchallenge.[77] The ALS association didn't invent the ice bucket challenge, but they sure received a huge amount of donation from this activity. It raised a reported $220 million worldwide for A.L.S. organisations, and this amount is thirteen times as much donation as what it had in the whole preceding year in just eight weeks.[78]
Digital marketing became more sophisticated in the 2000s and the 2010s, when[13][14] the proliferation of devices' capable of accessing digital media led to sudden growth.[15] Statistics produced in 2012 and 2013 showed that digital marketing was still growing.[16][17] With the development of social media in the 2000s, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, consumers became highly dependent on digital electronics in daily lives. Therefore, they expected a seamless user experience across different channels for searching product's information. The change of customer behavior improved the diversification of marketing technology.[18]
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We work with you to turn your website into the ultimate industry resource on the Web. We also market your website to those places that need to know about your site in order to help searchers find you - so that your website receives the search visibility it deserves. It takes more than just traffic to turn visitors into customers and to maximize your return on investment, that is why we offer services to maximize value from visitors at every stage of the path to conversion.
Developing and monetizing microsites can also garner a serious amount of sales. These sites are advertised within a partner site or on the sponsored listings of a search engine. They are distinct and separate from the organization’s main site. By offering more focused, relevant content to a specific audience, microsites lead to increased conversions due to their simple and straightforward call to action.
YouTube SEO is search engine optimization to help people find your videos more easily. With millions of videos on the platform, you need to use video SEO to make your videos stand out. To optimize videos effectively, it’s important to do keyword research and to use those keywords in your video title, description, and tags. If people find and click your video, that will improve its rank. Other aspects of YouTube SEO include viewing time, comments and shares.
Display advertising - As the term infers, Online Display Advertisement deals with showcasing promotional messages or ideas to the consumer on the internet. This includes a wide range of advertisements like advertising blogs, networks, interstitial ads, contextual data, ads on the search engines, classified or dynamic advertisement etc. The method can target specific audience tuning in from different types of locals to view a particular advertisement, the variations can be found as the most productive element of this method.
Affiliate marketing occurs when advertisers organize third parties to generate potential customers for them. Third-party affiliates receive payment based on sales generated through their promotion.[24]:22 Affiliate marketers generate traffic to offers from affiliate networks, and when the desired action is taken by the visitor, the affiliate earns a commission. These desired actions can be an email submission, a phone call, filling out an online form, or an online order being completed.
The disadvantages to consider with viral marketing include the nuisance factor. Due to the large amount of email people receive daily, viral marketing messages may be viewed as spam. Another consideration is negative marketing buzz. A message may not be construed as intended, and could be discussed in a negative manner. Viral marketing can also be hard to measure. 
After your site has been built out, creating a social media presence is the best second step for most businesses. All businesses should have a Facebook Page that’s fully fleshed out with plenty of information about your business. Depending on your audience, you can also start a Twitter, Instagram, and/or Pinterest account. Social media is a long-term commitment that requires frequently updating and monitoring, but it’s one of the best ways to build an online community around your business.
YouTube SEO is search engine optimization to help people find your videos more easily. With millions of videos on the platform, you need to use video SEO to make your videos stand out. To optimize videos effectively, it’s important to do keyword research and to use those keywords in your video title, description, and tags. If people find and click your video, that will improve its rank. Other aspects of YouTube SEO include viewing time, comments and shares.
The disadvantages to consider with viral marketing include the nuisance factor. Due to the large amount of email people receive daily, viral marketing messages may be viewed as spam. Another consideration is negative marketing buzz. A message may not be construed as intended, and could be discussed in a negative manner. Viral marketing can also be hard to measure. 
Message: Only messages that are both memorable and sufficiently interesting to be passed on to others have the potential to spur a viral marketing phenomenon. Making a message more memorable and interesting or simply more infectious, is often not a matter of major changes but minor adjustments. It should be unique and engaging with a main idea that motivates the recipient to share it widely with friends – a "must-see" element.[22]
According to Statistica, 76% of the U.S. population has at least one social networking profile and by 2020 the number of worldwide users of social media is expected to reach 2.95 billion (650 million of these from China alone). Of the social media platforms, Facebook is by far the most dominant - as of the end of the second quarter of 2018 Facebook had approximately 2.23 billion active users worldwide (Statistica). Mobile devices have become the dominant platform for Facebook usage - 68% of time spent on Facebook originates from mobile devices.
Network marketers have long understood the power of these human networks, both the strong networks as well as the weaker networked relationships. People on the Internet develop networks of relationships, too. They collect email addresses and favorite website URLs. Affiliate programs exploit such networks, as do permission email lists. Learn to place your message into existing communications between people, and you rapidly multiply its dispersion.
2. The content quality is very important, but the production quality is not that important. Production quality and technical aspects have to be OK but not world class. Better production quality is correlated with more trust, but it can’t make up for the lack of substance. So, Facebook Live videos, webinar recordings, and other video material with good enough production quality will work as long as the content itself is engaging.
Referral marketing is a powerful conversion tactic, as people value “realness” and are more apt to try a product or service that’s recommended by a friend or some other trusted source than something they come across via traditional advertising. Referrals can come from friends, influencers, product reviews, news articles, and testimonials. In order to launch a successful referral campaign, brands must offer compelling incentives so customers want to refer others. They must also make the referral process as easy to use as possible. Additionally, brands must treat their referral program as they would a new product launch and educate both customers and employees on how the program works. 

Yes, you read that title correctly. That out of their minds, slightly alcoholic team over at Epic Meal Time were the first to teach me about YouTube marketing. As with all successful YouTube channels, they had to build their own channel themselves. There was no network backing them or an executive producer coming on board to show them the ropes. There wasn’t even anyone with any real experience!
Web designers are code-writers and graphics experts that are responsible for developing and implementing the online image of the product. This role involves creating not only the look of websites and applications, but engineering the user experience. A web designer should always pay attention to how easy the materials are to read and use, ensuring smooth interactions for the customer and making sure the form of the materials serve the function of the campaign.

Incentives can range from discounts to cash incentives to store credits. It all depends on your product and what your customer is looking for. Your incentive should be appealing enough to make your customers want to share it with their friends. To get an idea of what you should offer, scope out your competition. If they’re offering $25 in credits, ensure you’re either matching the offer or providing a bit more. Remember that previously mentioned stat: companies with referral programs experience 86 percent more revenue growth when compared with the rest! So, provide as much as your budget allows.

Why should you bother with referral marketing? You wouldn’t even think to ask that question if you were running a small brick-and-mortar store on your own: You’d just do it, or lose out to others that did. Nobody had to explain to Balthazar the Blacksmith why he should reward his customers for bringing friends in- the value is self-evident. You make your customers happy, you make their friends happy, you get more business. Win-Win-Win.
If affiliates don’t answer your offers in the affiliate network, it’s time to put your sales hat on and perform some email outreach. There are a lot of different cold email template strategies to use, but the five easy steps to a good cold email are: creating a list of targeted affiliates, finding the right contact information, making the emails personal, providing value, and following-up.
Optimizing landing pages – because your visitors have different needs, it is important to create separate landing pages for each offer; this allows the customer to focus on the specific product or service they were searching for, without being distracted. Each individual landing page also requires testing and optimization in terms its ability to induce the target action – a click-through, a sale, a subscription, etc.
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.
If the above locations do not yield information pertaining to affiliates, it may be the case that there exists a non-public affiliate program. Utilizing one of the common website correlation methods may provide clues about the affiliate network. The most definitive method for finding this information is to contact the website owner directly if a contact method can be located.
Message: Only messages that are both memorable and sufficiently interesting to be passed on to others have the potential to spur a viral marketing phenomenon. Making a message more memorable and interesting or simply more infectious, is often not a matter of major changes but minor adjustments. It should be unique and engaging with a main idea that motivates the recipient to share it widely with friends – a "must-see" element.[22]
The most famous expressions of viral marketing are videos and ads. Its strength comes from the fact that people like to share information they find fun and interesting with others and send it to each other via social media. For instance, think of ads in the form of funny videos, images, texts or an interactive Flash game. It can be risky though. People generally don’t like to forward messages that are clearly commercial. It can also happen that the wrong audience is approached and the message doesn’t reach the right people. That could be bad for public relations.
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.

Most marketing professionals and e-commerce merchants know about word-of-mouth, i.e. when customers tell their friends about products and services. It is famous for being one of the most powerful forms of marketing, the only problem is that it doesn't happen often enough! Referral marketing is, to put it simply, making a conscious and structured effort to make word-of-mouth happen much more often.


Dove monitored the campaign in real-time, responded to conversations and optimized its activities for better engagement and market penetration, ensuring the video was seen by the right people. It is crucial for you to track the results of your campaign. By using the technology you too can deliver an omni-channel customer experience. Analytics will give you in-depth insights into your customers and capture their buying behavior.

Trust is the foundation of conversions and sales. But building trust should be a goal on its own. The whole concept of content marketing is based on trust and creating long-term relationships. Stop selling and let the people come to you by providing them interesting and useful information. I couldn’t have said it better than Mark Schaefer, the Executive Director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions:
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.

If you follow the advice I gave you in this article, if you take action, I guarantee you that pretty soon you’ll get messages saying “I am reaching out because I have heard so amazing words about you and your product and I would very much like to buy it also. Where should I send my money to?”. And that, my friend, will be a perfect moment and then you’ll just know that you really made your small business work for the long term.

A 2016 Statista survey reveals that the largest segment of affiliates falls within the 25-54 range. 81.82% of all affiliates work on their side (or main, for some) income in the most active years of their lives. The biggest share, 31.86% are aged 35-44, while nearly 12% of all affiliate marketers are aged 55 and above. In all likelihood, these marketing platforms will see greater adoption rates among elderly, as the technically-savvy young and middle-aged users of today grow older.


Viral content usually has a well-designed viral strategy behind it, it is, in part, also due to luck, but creativity and preparation are also extremely important… for this reason, to get to know this world a little better, I would like to tell you today what the definition of this concept actually is, how a viral campaign works, the advantages or viral marketing and show you our favorite examples.
The Blair Witch Project marketing campaign used a website designed to convince people that the horror/mystery scenario of the movie was an actual missing persons case. Myrick and Sanchez also visited online message boards to spread rumors about the mystery. The campaign was so successful that many people still believed the movie depicted actual events by the time it was released in theaters.
Affiliate marketing occurs when advertisers organize third parties to generate potential customers for them. Third-party affiliates receive payment based on sales generated through their promotion.[24]:22 Affiliate marketers generate traffic to offers from affiliate networks, and when the desired action is taken by the visitor, the affiliate earns a commission. These desired actions can be an email submission, a phone call, filling out an online form, or an online order being completed.
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