Viral marketing or buzz marketing can be defined as a marketing strategy that encourages an individual to willingly spread your marketing message to others. It relies on individuals rather than traditional campaigns which later creates the potential for rapid growth in the message's publicity and effect.
So, much like a flu virus that can easily spread from one person to many others, awareness of your company can be dramatically increased by persuading your clients and subscribers to refer your business to friends and family.
This is a marketing technique that broadly makes use of websites, emails, instant messaging system and social networks. Viral marketing relies heavily on word of mouth advertising. Someone sees or reads what you have to offer and tells a couple of their friends. Their friends see or read your message and they tell a couple of their friends, and they tell a couple of their friends, and so on.
In order to obtain greater results through viral promotion, it is essential to implement viral techniques that grab the attention of the customers towards your products and services. This can be achieved by providing video clips, free software and game downloads, file sharing, writing quality articles for e-zines and article publishers, participating in forums, blogs, give a freebie, create a brandable e-book, offer an e-card, and many more.
The advantages of utilizing viral marketing in your online business are many. By employing this advertising procedure, your online business will be presented with better brand visibility as your website experiences massive traffic. Internet consumers are more likely to tell their friends and family about their shopping experiences than their favorite shops and movies.
Viral marketing compels people to actively employ your marketing message rather than passively hear or view it, and this significantly increases the chance that they're going to absorb it, remember it, and repeat it. As long as your message is entertaining, together with a convincing reason to pass the message on, and you make it very easy for them to share it, there is no telling where it will go, how far it will spread, or who it will reach.
Viral marketing also helps to keep your advertising costs low, by getting customers to do the advertising for you. Microsoft's Hotmail is one of the best examples of viral marketing, because its incredible success is based on the simple tactic of adding a small Hotmail advertisement to the bottom of every e-mail sent by a user on the Hotmail system.
In 12 short months, Hotmail built a multi-million dollar business using this simple viral marketing technique. Almost zero advertising was needed to get over 100 million members after the launch.
Viral marketing works effectively in social networks that your customers are already using. By creating a "buzz worthy" topic that gets people talking about it and passing the message along, you create a "buzz" that spreads across the Web. Soon, traffic floods to your Website to see what the buzz is all about. Once they are there, if these visitors like what they see, they pass the information along, and the buzz continues to grow.