We have all heard the term and think we understand it, but what is viral marketing? According to Wikipedia, Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to “marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness, through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses.” Viral marketing is today’s electronic equivalent of old-fashioned word of mouth. It’s a marketing strategy that involves creating an online message that is entertaining enough to prompt consumers to pass it on to others, at no cost to the advertiser.
Still, viral marketing success depends on the rate at which the idea can be passed along person to person. It becomes a free marketing system that works around the clock 24/7. It is claimed that a satisfied customer tells an average of three people about a product or service he/she likes, and eleven people about a product or service which he/she did not like.
It derives its name from “virus” because it has to be easy to transfer and replicate, the same way you can catch a virus. The message has to be short, easy to convey and create a call to action.
Most of us are social people, which is the basic foundation from which viral marketing works. An advertising message is multiplied by the number of people that each person has in their own network.
To visualize a live viral marketing campaign, follow the link: http://www.subservientchicken.com. As you can see in the footer navigation, it allows you to spread the word through “tell a friend”.
Viral marketing is a relatively new marketing phenomenon. The key to effective viral campaigns: create and execute an idea that’s intriguing enough to get consumers to interact. Is viral marketing part of your advertising budget?