Wednesday, September 19, 2018

What Is Viral Internet Marketing?

July 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Affiliate Marketing

When you purchased an item or availed of a service of a certain establishment and are satisfied with what you received, won’t you recommend that to a friend? And when you give your opinion, doesn’t your buddy buy or avail of it as well.

More often than not, we express our satisfaction with some product or service by telling our friends and relatives about our experience. Many of them will actually try the same item or service that we recommended. Essentially, we have just successfully advertised the product through word-of-mouth without the establishment having to spend a penny on it.That is the thought behind Viral Internet Marketing. Viral Advertising is an advertising strategy that entices people to pass on a promotional message to their family and friends. It is called as such because of its similarity to an virus that easily spreads out, with an exponential growth, once an individual gets “infected”.

How did this marketing phenomenon start?

The concept of Viral Internet Marketing, which is passing along a message, has been around for a long time now, even for centuries. There was just no specific name for it until 1997 when Steve Jurvetson, a venture capitalist, came up with the term “Viral Advertising” to describe Hotmail’s marketing strategy back then. Hotmail’s practice was to append an advertisement of itself on each message that is sent using their service. When a recipient gets interested and clicks on the ad, it will lead to Hotmail’s website for him to signup. This will go on and on, and the growth is similar to an exponential curve.

Types of Viral Advertising.

There are unique methods to apply Viral Advertising plans.

*Pass-along. This is the most common type of Viral Advertising. Web pages that ask their users to refer-a-friend about their products and services is an example of pass-along messaging. However, there is a risk of the message being identified as “spam” by email providers. Thus, it is imperative that the “from” and “subject” lines do not contain any word that may be tagged as spam.

*Incentive virals. This is a marketing style used by businesses in which users are offered incentives when they refer prospects to the company. This becomes more useful when the referred individual needs to do something for the reward to be handed over.

*Undercover. The most difficult viral to identify, covert marketing sends a viral message that is disguised as just an unique page or piece of news without obvious link citations.

*Edgy gossip or buzz marketing. This type is most common in the entertainment world. A good example is the spread of different controversies, like getting married or divorced, involving the stars of a movie that is yet to be released. This is like word-of-mouth advertising for the movie about to be released.

Methods of Transmission

Spreading the viral message can be done in different ways.

*Email. This is the most common kind, when people forwards messages such as inspirational messages, jokes, funny clips and pictures that promotes a certain product or service.

*Instant Messaging. People who receive links from friends through instant messaging servers, like Skype, Yahoo or MSN, are more likely to check it out because of the notion of urgency of the sender.

*Web sites. Most of the articles now published on the internet have a link that says “Send to a friend.” This is one way to make the article reach a good number of people by just posting it in one site.

*Word of mouth. Of course, this is the traditional way of passing on a message to another person; and most of the time, the most reliable method too.

*Social Media. Let’s use Facebook as an example. You read an article, at the bottom or top of the article is a “Like” button for Facebook. If you liked the article you click the button. The article is displayed on your Facebook wall. Your friends sees it, read it, like it. Their friends do the same…etc. etc. etc. This is powerful stuff! More examples are Twitter, Digg, Reddit, Delicious & many more.

Although there are several ways on how to do this kind of advertising, there are also barriers to it. One was already named, which is the risk of the message being labeled as “spam.” Since a lot of companies now are using this recipe and promoting their products through email, email providers proactively created some sort of screen in their system to separate potential spam emails from the more reliable ones. Other barriers can be the size and format of the viral message. If the content is a video clip, its reach may be limited because of size limitations of most of the email providers. Media format is also one thing to consider because not all recipients of the message may have the right application to open the file.

But despite of these limits, companies are already getting into this type of marketing. Indeed, this technique helps in dramatically improving revenues by reaching a huge number of the target market without having to spend a big chunk of cash for advertisements. Viral Internet Marketing will definitely go a long way, especially on the World Wide Web, and it’s FREE for the most part.

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