25 January 2011
Viral marketing refers to any marketing techniques that encourage users to pass on a message or link to other users, thereby creating a potentially exponential growth in the message’s visibility and effect.
Within specific market sectors, Viral marketing is a very powerful platform and exploits our human propensity to share humorous, enjoyable or useful information.
Viral video marketing has exploded over recent years, with the industry as a whole now valued at over £100 million.
The popularity of video websites such as YouTube is testimony to the fact that viewing videos online is now part of popular culture.
The first step is to develop a quality viral campaign, utilising video, imagery, animations or interactive elements such as a game. Professionally produced video works very well as a medium, as quality content will be passed on from recipient to recipient, as it is interesting, informative and visually appealing.
Seeding, or placement of the viral campaign is equally important. Working with independent blogs, online newsletters, microsites, social media networking and video content sites help to ensure that a viral campaign receives maximum exposure.
Top 5 Elements for a successful Viral Marketing Campaign
1. Give away products or services
The word "free" attracts the attention of the viewer regardless of whatever the proposition is i.e. free trial, free product, free software. If you aren’t able to giveaway freebies, then consider holding a free to enter competition, with relevant data gathering opportunities.
2. Free to Share
Viral campaigns are the same as viruses; they can only spread if they are easy to distribute and transmit. Displaying your viral content on your website, along with a Email to a Friend button, or post on your blog with associated links to your main social networking and video content sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Digg, Yahoo, Del.cio.us for example. The key objective is to develop a viral campaign that drives our human emotions of desire; the desire to be popular, to be liked etc.
3. Scalable activity
Ensure that your website has the bandwidth to accommodate extra traffic, which should be generate by your viral campaign. There is nothing worse than having an excellent viral marketing campaign, that is driving significant traffic to your website, only for your website to be unable to cope with the volume.
4. Spread the Word!
Utilise article submission websites for example, by identifying the benefit to their website of your interesting and informative campaign and content.
5. Clear, Concise Information with a Twist!
Remember at all times that you are trying to promote your brand’s identity via your viral campaign; strive to ensure synergy across all media platforms whilst incorporating trackable elements to be able to identify a clear return on investment i.e. bespoke website url, telephone number, SMS shortcode or email address.
Viral Marketing is suited to some products and services, more than others.
If your product and services are unique or different, then Viral Marketing will work for you.
Viral Marketing is an excellent way in which to generate a buzz about your offering
Always keep your target audience in mind
Viral Interactive Games have a predominantly male audience, vs. Viral Video campaigns which may produce a better response from a female audience.
The quality of the campaign is vital; its production and content values should be of the highest quality, as otherwise it won’t be passed on.
Humour is good; around half of all viral ads have a humourous, comedic tone and style.
Don’t be caught on the hop! - be prepared for the success of your campaign by ensuring that you have sufficient website bandwidth, internal sources, stock and systems in place to accommodate increased enquiries and opportunities for your brands, products and services.
For more information as to how Viral Marketing can work for you, contact iQ Media at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0845 612 7147
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