Thursday, December 4, 2008

What is Viral Marketing and How Can it Help Your Online Business?

Viral Marketing is a traffic generating tool that allows you to multiply your visibility online by utilizing your existing customers and subscribers (free or paid) in a word of mouth type of referral machine that uses the properties of multiplication to snowball your marketing efforts. Viral Marketing is like a flu bug, it spreads from one person to the next spreading the word about your business and increasing the awareness of who you are and how to reach you.

Why Do You Need Viral Marketing?

  1. Your business will increase exponentially. Your customers tell their friends and family and they become customers who tell their friends and family. The buzz on the internet is that every satisfied customer tells 12 other people about their great experiences shopping online. If your efforts persuade 10 people to tell 10 people and each of those 10 each tell 10 people...well you get the picture, right?
  2. It establishes credibility and trust in you and in your Website because those people spreading the word are also spreading their recommendation about you and your business.
  3. Viral Marketing is very compelling, it encourages people to interact with your marketing message. When people actually react and act upon your message they are more likely to remember it and repeat the message. An example is if your child tells you a funny joke and you laugh at it, you are likely to remember the moment and to repeat the joke to friends and other family members.
  4. Viral Marketing is a low cost way of marketing your products or Website. There is no cost to word of mouth advertising
  5. Unlike playing the game of telephone, viral marketing stays intact from one mouth to the next, from one recommendation to the next. An example would be if you write a terrific article explaining about the benefits of one of your products, or giving tips about how to experience a really wonderful event that your website promotes and at the end of this very informative article, you have a line of text that says, "If you found this information helpful, please pass this article along to a friend". The message (the article) stays the same for your subscriber and the friend that is passed the article to read and also the same for the friend that the friend passes the article to. Articles gets passes around the Internet by publishers of ezines who pick up the article from the article directory you put it on. Readers of those ezines like the article so much they pass it along via email to their friends who in turn pass it along to their friends. That's the power of Viral Marketing.
Viral Marketing Examples and Ideas

  1. You write and article with a "pass this along" message at the bottom with your website address in your byline
  2. Give away free trial or demo versions of your product. Have an ebook for sale, give away a free chapter on your website. Give away a trial # of days of your service and then ask for payment after the trial is over.
  3. Hold a contest to win a prize by drawing from all those names entered in the contest. Everytime someone invites their friends to enter the contest they get another entry into the contest for every friend they encourage to enter. They get rewarded for passing along your contest by getting another entry.
  4. Affiliate programs are just another way of applying viral marketing. People are spreading the word about your product or service and receiving an award for doing so (commission).
  5. Make sure you give people a benefit or reward for passing along your article/demo/trial/affiliate program
  6. Make an obvious point to ask people to share your marketing article/demo/trial/affiliate program

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