Viral marketing

Viral marketing is an advertising strategy in which a marketer or company uses its audience to spread awareness of its products or services without a direct sales message. The strategy involves creating media that compels readers or viewers to share it with others, who then share it with other people in their social or business circles. Creating a simple viral marketing campaign can quickly build awareness of your company's products or services at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing.

Viral marketing is a marketing technique that use pre-existing social networking services and other technologies to try to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of viruses. It can be delivered by word of mouth or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet and mobile networks. Viral marketing may take the form of video clips, interactive games, ebooks, brandable software, images, text messages, email messages, or web pages. The most commonly utilized transmission vehicles for viral messages include: pass-along based, incentive based, trendy based, and undercover based. However, the creative nature of viral marketing enables an "endless amount of potential forms and vehicles the messages can utilize for transmission", including mobile devices.

The ultimate goal of marketers interested in creating successful viral marketing programs is to create viral messages that appeal to individuals with high social networking potential (SNP) and that have a high probability of being presented and spread by these individuals and their competitors in their communications with others in a short period of time.

Viral marketing often involves and utilizes:
  • Customer participation and polling services
  • Industry-specific organization contributions
  • Internet search engines and blogs
  • Mobile smartphone integration
  • Target marketing web services
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) & Social media optimization (SMO)
  • Incentives: users are offered rewards such as affiliate. This becomes more effective when the referred person needs to take action for the reward to be given.

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