Viral Marketing (B)
What is the Viral Marketing? How and why it works? What are the tips for the success of the viral marketing campaign?
Posted: Jun 2011
The Viral Marketing is a marketing technique that is using the social networks ( both online and offline ) for transferring the message or advertisement, through self replicating viral process. This viral marketing process is very similar to spreading computer viruses or biological viruses.
Literally anything can be the subject of viral marketing effect: information, web link, video clip, e-Books, etc.
Methods of viral marketing expansion can be:
Word of mouth – simple communication between people who knows each other. This method of viral marketing is present in both on line and off line environments.
Social Media such as Facebook, Myspace etc. are the perfect examples of viral media. First of all, the number of people who are using these services is tremendous. Secondly, members of these social media environments are connected very well, since every user has many contacts. Finally, method of sharing idea or message is very simple, through different sharing techniques e.g. share on Facebook. Considering the fact that two thirds of internet users are visiting social networks or blogs every week, it is obvious why this method
"Invite Your Friend" calls from different e-services. These calls for actions are moving significant part of population who wants to share the message, but they are not willing to invest effort. When the tool for efficient transmission of message is available with little or no effort, even the laziest readers will share the article with friends.
Advantage of viral marketing is that it takes very little or no investment. The viral marketing system is powered by the will of transmitters to pass the message further. The power of exponential growth is tremendous. If every person is distributing the information to 5 people and further, this gives are 3.125 informed people after 5 levels from original message transfer. The viral marketing experts know this formula very well, therefore, the viral marketing is part of marketing techniques portfolio.
However, the success rate of viral campaigns is questionable. Disadvantage is that viral marketing is not reliable as a standard method of information transfer, since it is not likely that every idea will be transferred at the same rate. Simply, the outcome of the viral marketing campaign is totally unpredictable, since the power of campaign depends of many parameters. If the message or product is not enough useful, interesting, innovating etc, it is highly likely that it will not be transferred any further.
Also "viral competition" dictates the effectiveness of viral campaign. If two similar campaign are launched at the same time to more-less the same population, it is likely that the social group will transfer the message that seems more interesting and useful.
There is no secret formula for guarantied success of viral marketing campaign. In general, the fresh ideas, interlaced with humor, anticipation and value adding elements can help the viral marketing campaign to succeed.