Viral Marketing - linkerbation is a normal, natural thing. Perfectly natural
Viral Marketing uses people's electronic connectivity to increase the velocity of word-of-mouth. People with similar interests, needs and lifestyles tend to pass on and share interesting and entertaining content. When sponsored by a brand, the message builds awareness of a product or service and can provide qualified prospects for the organisation to pursue.
How Does Viral Marketing Work?
If you are familiar with the concept of "word-of-mouth", then Viral Marketing will not be difficult to grasp as it is essentially the same thing. The significant difference in this case is that Viral Marketing utilises electronic means to spread the message. Without a doubt, referrals are still the most powerful marketing weapon available. Viral Marketing harnesses the electronic connectivity of individuals to ensure marketing messages are referred from one person to another.
A classic example of extremely successful Viral Marketing was the campaign for the email service Hotmail. When the company launched, every outgoing message from this platform contained an advertisement for Hotmail and a link to its website at the bottom of the email. As people emailed their friends and colleagues, they were also advertising the service. Recipients could simply click on the link and sign themselves up, and as they continued to email friends from their new account, the message spread within existing social networks and was passed along with little effort from the company. Hotmail went from zero to 30 million users in the first 3 years, today Hotmail has over 280 million users worldwide.
Another example of successful Viral Marketing was Burger King's Subservient Chicken campaign which was launched to promote a range of chicken sandwiches. A website was created that featured a man dressed in a giant chicken suit who responded to the commands typed in by visitors. The tag line - "Have it your way". A lot of people must have thought making the chicken man do the moonwalk or some yoga or even lay an egg was funny because within a week the website had received an astonishing 20 million hits!
Other Articles in the eMarketing 101 series:
- What is eMarketing and how is it better than traditional marketing?
- The Arrows in the eMarketer's quiver
- Blogging - Everyone else is doing it, so why can't I?
- A focus on natural search (beginner's guide to SEO)
- A Case Study - SEO in action
- PPC - you gets what you pays for
- A Case Study - PPC to the rescue
- Email Marketing - No not spam
- Affiliate Marketing - because we all need friends
- WebPR and ORM - blah blah blah conversations
- A Case Study - ORM: Keeping Your Ears to the Ground
- Viral Marketing - linkerbation is a normal, natural thing. Perfectly natural
- Online Advertising - Throwing a Banner into the Works
- Conversion Optimisation - Are You Closing the Deal?
- A Case Study - 2010 : Can the SA Tourism Industry Meet Online Expectations?