You may have heard of viral marketing and been avoiding checking into it, just because the name suggests something you should avoid. It’s a virus, right? Why bother! Well in this case, it’s a great thing. Viral marketing, much like any virus, is contagious, and it’s making a definite transformation in the way marketers do their marketing. Viral marketing is raising the standards for advertising and giving them more control over what consumers hear and see.
But what exactly is viral marketing, and how does it work? The definition for viral marketing is a development that alleviates and encourages people to pass along a message with the innate benefit of a marketing message tied to it.
Viral marketing involves delivering something of value and connecting with the customer in ways that are really significant. It uses an accelerator such as an entertaining video or comic, combined with the help of digital and traditional media to ignite initial interest, and relies on technology to spread itself among the multitude faster than any other shape of advertising or marketing.
Some of you have heard of ‘word of mouth’, or even just ‘referral marketing’ – consider this to be virtually the same thing, only to be dubbed viral marketing by those connected to the World Wide Web: in other words, internet geeks. Any small business knows that referrals by customers are an exceedingly worthy way to get the word around effectively, quickly and very inexpensively.
Marketers have traditionally used this method long before the internet was available, but the question is, how do you apply the same technique to your online business? There’s really not much too it; where you used to mail your customers newsletters or business announcement, you now just send them an email with the same information. You include a link where they can subscribe, just in case your newsletter is forwarded by your customers to people that they know.
The more enticing your email newsletter is, the more likely it is your customers will pass it along to people they know. Here are some of the symptoms that go along with Viral Marketing:
- Multiple coverage. Your newsletter and products are distributed to people who may have been unable to find you simply by word of email.
- Increase Opt-in lists. Your email is a great place to generate new subscriptions, which in turn builds your opt-in list. You would be surprised at how many new subscribers you get just by your customers forwarding your email.
- Increased website traffic. Links in your newsletters to your website result in an increase of traffic to your site.
- Revenue advertising increase. If you place an ad in your newsletter that involves pay per click, this is a way to generate increased income for your small business website.
So if you ask, “is viral marketing contagious?” the answer is yes! It has given online marketers a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to capture new customer’s attentions in order to build a successful, lucrative, and loyal clientele database that it beneficial to the success of their online business. Viral marketing is spreading like wildfire, and you’ll want to do everything you can to make sure you are taking advantage of it in your small business marketing efforts.