Viral marketing is widely touted as the new way to increase market penetration and build brand awareness in the internet space. Viral marketing isn’t quite as contagious among consumers as advertisers would like, according to a new report from Jupiter Research. Viral marketing is also sometimes called viral advertising.
Marketing on the web is a whole new arena, and companies/people are going to try anything to self promote. Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use preexisting social networks to produce increases in brand awareness, through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses.  Viral marketing is a marketing phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along a marketing message voluntarily. Viral marketing is based on this natural human behavior. The goal of marketers interested in creating successful viral marketing programs is to identify individuals with high Social Networking Potential (SNP) and create Viral Messages that appeal to this segment of the population and have a high probability of being passed along. One example of successful viral marketing is Hotmail, a company, now owned by Microsoft, that promotes its service and its own advertisers’ messages in every user’s e-mail notes. Viral marketing describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message’s exposure and influence. Some viral marketing strategies work better than others, and few work as well as the simple Hotmail. The medium that carries your marketing message must be easy to transfer and replicate: e-mail, website, graphic, software download.
Viral promotions may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, images, or even text messages. Here are some guidelines we follow.: Make it short: 15-30 seconds is ideal; break down long stories into bite-sized clips Designed for remixing: create a video that is simple enough to be remixed over and over again by others. Helpful analysis of a great example of an online viral campaign aided by short TV ads that lead people to a 7-minute video. In other words, not all videos go viral organically – there is a method to the madness. And Lee Jeans sent messages with news of a cool video game featuring characters from TV and print ads. “There might be pickup on a video eight months after it aired, when the subject matter appears in the news.
A good example of viral marketing is many of the free email services available on the internet. Free e-mail services, free information, free “cool” buttons, free software programs that perform powerful functions but not as much as you get in the “pro” version. The strategy is simple: Give away free e-mail addresses and services, attach a simple tag at the bottom of every free message sent out: “Get your private, free email at….. Free Internet marketing resources, web site development tutorials, commerce strategies & software solutions. Gives away valuable products or services.” “Free” is the most powerful word in a marketer’s vocabulary. They may not profit today, or tomorrow, but if they can generate a groundswell of interest from something free, they know they will profit “soon and for the rest of their lives” (with apologies to “Casablanca”). The beauty about all this is that it is free advertising.
Article marketing is not yet fully understood as being one of the best ways to advertise your website: even better than pay per click advertising. Articles as a viral marketing tool A very successful strategy is the development of articles and tutorials such as these. Article Marketing: the new web marketing frontier that works. Authors, who give away free articles, seek to position their articles on others’ web pages. A news release can be picked up by hundreds of periodicals and form the basis of articles seen by hundreds of thousands of readers. Submitting articles to Article Archives and eZine Publishers submitting articles you have written is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get instant FREE publicity to your web site and is also an excellent way to get links back to your site without linking back.
The core concept of video marketing on YouTube is to harness the power of the site’s traffic. There are tens of thousands of videos uploaded to YouTube each day (I’ve heard estimates between 10-65,000 videos per day). It seems obvious, but people see hundreds of videos on YouTube, and the title and thumbnail are an easy way for video publishers to actively persuade someone to click on a video. Have you ever watched a video with 100,000 views on YouTube and thought to yourself: “How the hell did that video get so many views. When views start trailing off after a few days to a week, it’s time to add some more generic tags, tags that draw out the long tail of a video as it starts to appear in search results on YouTube and Google. For the first week that a video is online, we don’t use keyword tags to optimize the video for searches on YouTube. I’m not talking about obscure tags; I’m talking about unique tags, tags that are not used by any other YouTube videos.
A large proportion of everyone’s friends and family members are now online or soon will be. An Epidemic of “Viral Marketing” Getting Web users to pass ads and promos on to friends is effective and cheap — perfect for today’s dot-coms. Social scientists tell us that each person has a network of 8 to 12 people in their close network of friends, family, and associates. A marketer does something and a consumer tells five or ten friends. Three of those friends might tell a friend. AND I will forward this article to my marketing friends. For years marketers have their friends at newspapers when they want to leak stories, I’m sure it’s not a leap to work out who picks content at video sharing companies and put them on the entertainment list too.
The medium that carries your marketing message must be easy to transfer and replicate: e-mail, website, graphic, software download. Viral marketing “started out as a business-to-consumer tool for mass marketing products” such as music, books, and software, says Kim Brooks, Internet-marketing consultant at Bardo-Brooks Marketing, based in Kirkland, Wash. If one is competent in creating software programs for different applications, he can actually use them to as marketing tools. One must make sure, though, that the software contains some kind of advertisement containing the marketing message. Although it naturally lends itself to free “communications” or network applications, Viral Marketing could also be applied to traditional stand-alone software to accelerate the word-of-mouth spread of good software. It turns software piracy into a sales opportunity.