Viral marketing is a marketing strategy that relies on individuals rather than traditional campaigns to pass along a message to others. It usually refers to marketing on the internet. Viral marketing is so named because of the tendency for messages to use “hosts” to spread themselves rapidly, like a biological virus. The term “viral marketing” first became prominent when used to describe a marketing campaign for the e-mail service hotmail. When the company launched, every outgoing message contained an advertisement for Hotmail and a link to its website at the bottom of the e-mail. As people e-mailed their friends and colleagues, they were also advertising the service. Recipients could simply click on the link and sign themselves up, and as they e-mailed friends from their new account, the message spread within existing social networks and was passed along with little effort from the company. This example demonstrates all the key elements of viral marketing. Instead, it takes advantage of existing resources by making everyone who uses the product an involuntary spokesperson. It exploits common behaviors, such as sending an e-mail. Viral marketing uses communications networks that are already in place.

It also includes using legitimate techniques like viral opt-in email, viral ebooks and reports, viral ecourses, and many more. Let’s discuss some great examples of viral marketing. One of the the master of viral eBook marketing, has created an internet business empire using free and paid-for viral ebooks and e-reports. He creates ebooks and e-reports and then allows his affiliates and customers the ability to brand them with their own website and affiliate links. He also offers offers a monthly membership where he creates a great new eBook product each month. He then allows his members to brand the website links with their own affiliate program links. Creating viral ebooks and e-reports and distributing them to your affiliates and website visitors is one of the most effective ways to create viral traffic explosion on your website.

It is also a marketing campaign that will result in the multiplication of your branding and product/service sales. As it continues, it grows, and grows with your links or message and name being spread all over the internet. The more links back to you (or referrals sent out), the easier you will be found. Instead of “viral marketing” you may also say “online promotion that relies on your message being passed from person to person” without your direct involvement. Viral marketing is the internet term for what has been called “peer-to-peer,” “word-of-mouth,” “network marketing, “tell-a-friend”, “refer-a-friend”, “send-this-link” etc. First rule of viral marketing is to make sure you have the best quality, best value products to sell. If your products are good, your visitors will be encouraged to recommend it to their friends, who of course, in turn will feel confident to recommend it to their friends, etc. And the pyramid is slowly starting to build up. If your product is good and carries valuable information, you may not need to stimulate your visitors by offering any kind of reward. In most cases, however, your army of ‘word of mouth’ messengers will work harder and growth will follow a steeper curve, if there is a reward system implemented. Give away products or services and encourage you visitors to recommend you on to others.

Viral marketing is widely used because it can work wonders to a certain business. As long as the business owner knows that there is a unique substance to his product or service, then it is all up to the customers to talk the talk and work the work. Marketing, there are also some pitfalls that you should avoid so you can reap the advantages of viral marketing to the fullest. In viral marketing, you have to be at the right place at the right time. Your marketing will deteriorate if you do not research on your niche and the moves to target that niche.