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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.


Referral marketing produces the same effect, but is initiated and directed by a business. There's usually some form of incentive or reward offered for customers to refer other people. For example, DIRECTV customers who refer a friend that signs up for their service receive $100 in bill credit—and the newly referred customer also receives a $100 credit.
For example, digital purchases and physical product orders are treated differently. In general, any order that a customer places within 24 hours of reaching Amazon through one of your links is counted towards your commission. And, if they add something to their cart during this period, as long as they checkout within 89 days of their initial click through, you’ll receive credit for the completed transaction.
Affiliates may mistakenly promote your brand or product in a way you don’t like if they aren’t given affiliate guidelines. Make your affiliates aware of your brand mission, voice, and tone. You should also give specific instructions on how your branding and company logo should be displayed. Consider asking to see the creative before it’s published. You can provide a welcome email to your affiliates with a background on your program, your most successful products, and ideas on how to promote you. You can also incorporate online monitoring tools to keep an eye on affiliate content.
Targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic: Targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic all are aspects used by marketers to help advocate digital advertising. Cookies are a form of digital advertising, which are tracking tools within desktop devices; causing difficulty, with shortcomings including deletion by web browsers, the inability to sort between multiple users of a device, inaccurate estimates for unique visitors, overstating reach, understanding frequency, problems with ad servers, which cannot distinguish between when cookies have been deleted and when consumers have not previously been exposed to an ad. Due to the inaccuracies influenced by cookies, demographics in the target market are low and vary (Whiteside, 2016).[42] Another element, which is affected within digital marketing, is ‘viewabilty’ or whether the ad was actually seen by the consumer. Many ads are not seen by a consumer and may never reach the right demographic segment. Brand safety is another issue of whether or not the ad was produced in the context of being unethical or having offensive content. Recognizing fraud when an ad is exposed is another challenge marketers face. This relates to invalid traffic as premium sites are more effective at detecting fraudulent traffic, although non-premium sites are more so the problem (Whiteside, 2016).[42]
In 1999, I started this company with a mission statement that said, “We will work toward bringing in the most amount of relevant traffic to our clients’ websites, using the most ethical methods available.” That mission remains the same today. Over the years, the game has evolved; the rules have changed, and how the game of SEO is played has changed, but our services today still hold true to our original mission.

Conversion rate is the percent of site visitors, who conduct the desired action. Throughout the article, I’ve referred to it as “sale” but it can be something less tangible, like newsletter subscription. Whatever the case, on a monthly basis, it is calculated by dividing the number of sales by the number of total site visitors; multiply the result by 100.
One of the best ways to improve the look of your video is to include b-roll. B-roll is the supplementary footage included as a cutaway. This might include shots of a customer service rep talking on a phone, a designer editing your website, visuals of your office, or even screenshots of your product. The key with b-roll is to make sure each and every piece enhances the story.
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.
If your viral coefficient is higher than 1, every new user you add to your system will add at least 1 other user and so on. Technically, when you have a K-Factor of 1 or greater you have a viral application. The reason this is so desirable is that if you did nothing else to market your product your customer base would continue to grow as long as your K-Factor remained above 1.
As digital marketing continues to grow and develop, brands take great advantage of using technology and the Internet as a successful way to communicate with its clients and allows them to increase the reach of who they can interact with and how they go about doing so,.[2] There are however disadvantages that are not commonly looked into due to how much a business relies on it. It is important for marketers to take into consideration both advantages and disadvantages of digital marketing when considering their marketing strategy and business 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.
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.
All viral marketing examples — deliberate or accidental — have three things in common: the message, the messenger and the environment. Each part must be leveraged to create a successful viral marketing campaign. Viral marketing campaigns may be created by any size of business and can stand alone or be a part of a larger traditional campaign. The campaigns themselves may utilize a number of tools, such as videos, games, images, email and text messaging, free products, appealing to the emotions of users or viewers, raising awareness to a worthy cause, and making such products, ideas or media easy to consume and share. Viral marketing often relies on the help of an influencer, who has a large network of followers.
Related to consumers' attitudes toward a brand or even toward the marketing communication, different online and social media statistics, including the number of likes and shares within a social network, can be used. The number of reviews for a certain brand or product and the quality assessed by users are indicators of attitudes. Classical measures of consumer attitude toward the brand can be gathered through surveys of consumers. Behavioral measures are very important because changes in consumers' behavior and buying decisions are what marketers hope to see through viral campaigns. There are numerous indicators that can be used in this context as a function of marketers' objectives. Some of them include the most known online and social media statistics such as number and quality of shares, views, product reviews, and comments. Consumers' brand engagement can be measured through the K-factor, the number of followers, friends, registered users, and time spent on the website. Indicators that are more bottom-line oriented focus on consumers' actions after acknowledging the marketing content, including the number of requests for information, samples, or test-drives. Nevertheless, responses to actual call-to-action messages are important, including the conversion rate. Consumers' behavior is expected to lead to contributions to the bottom line of the company, meaning increase in sales, both in quantity and financial amount. However, when quantifying changes in sales, managers need to consider other factors that could potentially affect sales besides the viral marketing activities. Besides positive effects on sales, the use of viral marketing is expected to bring significant reductions in marketing costs and expenses.[26][27]
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.
Hi, thanks for a great blog. In our office we have a debate going on about whether all of this video hype that we’re experiencing from basically everywhere today is really just, well, a hype.. In line with more and more companies using video marketing, text as we know it might fade out, pictures as we know them might fade out, but if everybody starts using video, what will then happen? Today, video is commonly seen as a way to stand out and capture users’ attention, but what if every brand start publishing video solely? Will we still want to see as much video? Will we need to capture the viewers’ attention in 2 seconds instead of 10? What do you think it requires for companies to succeed with videos and stay on top if everybody else is doing the same?

For a campaign to become viral, you need to strike the right emotional chord with your audience. Ice Bucket Challenge evoked a positive and high arousal emotion as it was funny. By keeping your campaign lighthearted, you will be able to connect with your audience at a human level, which can result in better engagement. If you target the right kind of emotions, the chances of your campaign to become viral will increase.


If you can afford to partner with a major influencer, go for it. You can ask the influencer either to promote your product via a slight nod or a more overt push. However, if budget is limited, don’t neglect the reach of micro-influencers. An influencer with 6,000 followers can be more beneficial (and much more affordable) than one with 100,000 if she’s a better fit with your target market.

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.


This is simplified, according to the IAB. Exchanges may try to unload unsold ("remnant") space at low prices through other exchanges. Some agencies maintain semi-permanent pre-cached bids with ad exchanges, and those may be examined before going out to additional demand side platforms for bids. The process for mobile advertising is different and may involve mobile carriers and handset software manufacturers.[46]

Reward Variety – The type of rewards you offer your users is a crucial element to the performance of your program. If you can offer multiple types of rewards you can help satisfy different referral behavior. Look at how Istockphoto structures their referral program. They understand that power users have a different motivation to refer than their casual users so they designed their program to satisfy both types of users.

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.
A pop-up ad is displayed in a new web browser window that opens above a website visitor's initial browser window.[31] A pop-under ad opens a new browser window under a website visitor's initial browser window.[24]:22 Pop-under ads and similar technologies are now advised against by online authorities such as Google, who state that they "do not condone this practice".[32]
This is where my previous mention of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” becomes relevant. A large number of successful viral marketing campaigns involve real people reacting to imagined situations. Think about TNT’s ‘Drama Button’ campaign. It brought the drama of an intense show onto the streets of Belgium, shocking the real people on the streets. People loved it because they could see themselves in those reactions.
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.

Today, one of the biggest trends driving the digital marketing world is responsive design. When a company’s content doesn’t perform well on a given device or browser system, the business behind it loses traffic and suffers decreased conversions as a result. Fortunately, video content is fit for consumption on all devices, ranging from computers to mobile phones. This expands video’s reach and makes it more user-friendly and consumer-focused.
"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.
Priit is the founder and CEO of DreamGrow Digital, an internet marketing and social media company. With his 20+ years internet marketing experience he is Helping companies to understand and use the digital marketing to reach their target audiences. He's also writing on a personal growth website Fixwillpower.com. He has spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences on different aspects of internet marketing. Priit is also the organizer of Digital Elite Camp, a leading traffic and conversion event.
Email campaigns were the undisputed king of digital marketing but affiliate marketing stats show that the tables are turning. AM generates at least as much as email marketing, contributing to about 15% of the total revenue made through digital marketing efforts. Mind, these numbers are to be updated soon and it is very likely that in 2019 affiliate marketing will overcome email.
Another key to viral marketing is understanding triggers, which means associating your company with something that, when your customers see or experience, it triggers a thought of your company. It can be something as simple as a day of the week. Take Rebecca Black for example - her video for her song "Friday" has accomplished viral marketing because people search for it more often on Fridays than any other day of the week.

Well, here's the thing. We knew about the Facebook's false numbers more than two years ago. But it is almost as if we overlooked that news because we were obsessed with something else in the fall of 2016. The fact is that the lawsuit against Facebook for allegedly covering up the inflated numbers is what shook most people in journalism and the marketing world. Facebook denies claims of a longterm cover-up. But they have admitted, many many times, that the metrics are imperfect, to say the least.


There is debate on the origination and the popularization of the specific term viral marketing, though some of the earliest uses of the current term are attributed to the Harvard Business School graduate Tim Draper and faculty member Jeffrey Rayport. The term was later popularized by Rayport in the 1996 Fast Company article "The Virus of Marketing",[12] and Tim Draper and Steve Jurvetson of the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson in 1997 to describe Hotmail's practice of appending advertising to outgoing mail from their users.[13] An earlier attestation of the term is found in PC User magazine in 1989, but with a somewhat differing meaning.[14][15]
Another key to viral marketing is understanding triggers, which means associating your company with something that, when your customers see or experience, it triggers a thought of your company. It can be something as simple as a day of the week. Take Rebecca Black for example - her video for her song "Friday" has accomplished viral marketing because people search for it more often on Fridays than any other day of the week.
By creating information-dense, accessible, easy-to-interact-with video content, brands can develop a substantial online following and promote customer recall. For an example of a company that’s done this particularly well, consider Headspace, a meditation app that became a $250 million business. The app offers multiple levels of meditation, employing gamification to increase engagement. Users must complete and master each meditation level before advancing. Most sessions are in video format, beautifully crafted with illustrations and layouts true to the brand. It is elegant, consistent and engaging, heavily relying on video.
Because users have different operating systems, web browsers[84] and computer hardware (including mobile devices and different screen sizes), online ads may appear to users differently from how the advertiser intended, or the ads may not display properly at all. A 2012 comScore study revealed that, on average, 31% of ads were not "in-view" when rendered, meaning they never had an opportunity to be seen.[85] Rich media ads create even greater compatibility problems, as some developers may use competing (and exclusive) software to render the ads (see e.g. Comparison of HTML 5 and Flash).
So maybe you're not at the point you can afford to pay Hilary Duff to refer your product, however there are plenty of other influencers out there with small, although still huge audiences you can work with. We touched on influencer marketing in this post and this post, but influencer marketing can be as easy as reaching out to a popular blogger, YouTuber, or Instagramer and asking if they do sponsored postings or if they would like your product for a review. 
We’ve found the perfect services to offer our clients and the perfect size of our team to offer those services. For the past five years, I’ve capped the size of IMN at around 48-50 employees. With our size being capped, I’ve also capped the work each department can perform to ensure our quality. Because of services being capped, sometimes, you may find that we have a waiting list for some services. If you have to wait, know that it’s worth the wait, knowing that you will get our best work.
Hi, thanks for a great blog. In our office we have a debate going on about whether all of this video hype that we’re experiencing from basically everywhere today is really just, well, a hype.. In line with more and more companies using video marketing, text as we know it might fade out, pictures as we know them might fade out, but if everybody starts using video, what will then happen? Today, video is commonly seen as a way to stand out and capture users’ attention, but what if every brand start publishing video solely? Will we still want to see as much video? Will we need to capture the viewers’ attention in 2 seconds instead of 10? What do you think it requires for companies to succeed with videos and stay on top if everybody else is doing the same?
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