Viral marketing is a buzzword for promotional messages that spread through social networks. Viral marketing campaigns hinge on finding a catchy medium for a message and then propagating it through different online channels including blogs, microblogs, posts, crowdsourcing and so on. The actual message may be in the form of an advertorial, but is more likely to come in the form of a branded game, video clip, image or other format that can be branded. Generally speaking, the goal of a viral marketing campaign is to raise brand awareness - or mindshare - rather than convert clicks into sales of a specific product.
The reason to make use or virality, the ease in spreading and sharing, is however a double-edged sword. We cannot forget that in this type of campaign, a large part of the control falls into the hands of the users, and we risk the message being misinterpreted or parodied. On the other hand, a successful viral campaign can work miracles for your brand’s results.
You may use both cash or non-cash incentives for referral marketing example, but a Chicago University study found that non-monetary incentives were more effective than cash benefits by 24%. It is also better to not confine referral to customers or employees alone, referral marketing websites can also be used to new customers and lure them into referral marketing programs.