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Viral marketing is also known as internet viral marketing. In viral marketing, internet advertising gets spread exponentially. This type of marketing motivates the individuals (users) to spread a marketing message or information (most of the time promotions or ads) to others, which results in the exponential growth in the message’s exposure and influence. The name is derived from Virus, which means it takes the advantage of rapid multiplication with the help of online digital marketingand its gets explosive reach to users, hundreds to thousands to millions and its forms a chain. Viral marketing is also referred as Creating a Buzz, Leveraging the Media, Network Marketing offline. Online it is viral marketing. It was known as Words of Mouth years back. Online viral marketing provides a larger platform on low costs.
People use internet throughout the world. They keep on accessing and updating themselves the social media. Viral marketing takes the advantage of this thing. A message goes VIRAL when it is forwarded by thousands of people. This message can be sent directly or in the form of web links, asking friends to visit or share it with others, which generates a huge traffic on the internet and thus results in the viral marketing. This is the fundamental concept of the viral marketing. For example, a video goes viral when it is shared by people all over the world. A picture any message etc are other forms. One of the very first viral video was hit in 1997, where a baby dances and this video was also featured in Ally McBeal.
Value of Viral Marketing
The messages is accessed and received by exponential numbers of potential customers. It’s like David uploads a video on webvideosaustraliaand asks his five friends to share it. These five friends will share to their five friends and those friends will forward it further and this will be going on like this and ultimately the video will become viral. The YouTube of Google serves to be the best example of viral marketing. A video on YouTube goes viral if it is funny, unusual or different, for example PSY’s Gangnam Style video which was released in 2012, got more than 2 billion like. This single music video made PSY a very rich man. Though the video was in Korean language still it was widely accepted, downloaded, watched and shared by people of all ethnicity.
Hotmail Example of Viral Marketing
One of the best examples of viral marketing is the Hotmail.com,which is one of the first free web – based email services. The term was first came in the public attention in 1997 by Steve Jurvetson to explain the extraordinary growth when the Hotmail got around 8 million users in just 18 months. When it’s astonishing growth, Microsoft acquired Hotmail for $400 million. And the strategy Hotmail was a simple one, a clickable, single text line in every email footer that was sent from Hotmail account, that text line was:
“Sent from my free Hotmail account. Get your own free web based email account Here!”
The strategy which Hotmail used is:
- Provides free emails and services
- Attach a simple tag at the bottom of every free message sent out. “Get your private, free email at http://www.hotmail.com.”
- Then stand back while people email to their own network of friends and associates
- Sign up for their own free email services
- Propel the message still wider to their own ever – increasing circles of friends and associates.
So it proves that viral marketing is a very effective and less expensive tool to generate lots of interest to the business. With help of viral marketing, getting mass attention has become very simple with less time consumption. Ideas gets spread like viruses and this the main reason of viral marketing popularity. Hotmail caught the mass attention being viral even before the time of social media.
Other such examples of viral marketing ad campaigns are:
- Gmail Promotion Campaign
- Microsoft’s Origami Project Campaign Tupperware Popularization
- Text Messaging
- BMW’ Mini Cooper
- Ford Motor – Evil Twin
- Subservient Chicken
- Will it blend
- One Red Paperclip
- Million Dollar Homepage
- Simpson size Yourself
- Mentos/Diet Coke.
- Dove Evolution Video
- Tea Partay
- YouTube Embeddable Videos
- Lonely girl 15
- Bob Dylan Facebook app
- ROnaldinho : Touch of Gold By Nike
- My Heart Will Go On : Free Macbook Air
- Guitar: GuitarMasterPro.net
- Dynamite Surfing : Quicksilver
- Do the Test : Transport for London
- Stolen Nascar : TaxBrain.com
- Threshers 40% off Voucher
- Gorilla Adver : Cadbury’s
- Chipotle Awareness as Entertainment.
- Evain The Inner Child That Keeps on Giving
- Lay’s Crowdsourced Crunch
- GoldieBlox Fighting For Their Rights
- GoPro Hero in Action
- HelloFlo An Honest Plug
- Kmart The Puerile Principle
- Playworld Systems Context Through a Context
We all recommend the products or the services that we like to our family, relatives and known. A very simple and common example is about daily items, house hold things. For example, yesterday I went to a newly opened restaurant in Mansfield. In the morning, my friend called me asked me for a good restaurant for party. I referred him to the same I went as I loved the food and the services. My friend took ten of his friends. They also liked and they recommended the same to their families, known and relatives and this chain goes on. This is just an example, for movies, shopping etc we all do this. Because we all decide what movie to see, which restaurant to go and what things to buy on the basis of reviews. This is the simple word of mouth advertisement strategy used on social media. In a report of Performics, it was stated that it’s an emotional attachment of people that they recommend companies, brands that they love and use very enthusiastic to others. Further saying that whenever anyone posts on his social network account about any brand or service, 60% of his friends would likely take action. The opinions and reviews written by the users online are the most reliable and trusted advertisement forms. Emotions are a factor which is responsible. It drives the people to share with others. If a funny video is shared which makes your belly go burst with laughter, than on the other side very angry and aggressive videos are also being shared. One of the best examples is The Sobbing sister where she cries saying that her little brother was so cute, she didn’t want him to grow up. This video is a recent example which went viral from Facebook, to YouTube, What’s App etc.
Viral Marketing Strategy and Techniques:
In order to make anything go viral, the very first primary prerequisite it has to be something different. Something which can make your brand stand out of clutter, stand out of the rest of the internet content. It has to be something which can be easily sent, which can be shared easily without any big efforts. The Hotmail example is good for this. Ted Williams is another example, an American voice over artist who caught widespread media. An interview was made when he was homeless and went viral when it was posted on YouTube in January 2011. It should also have some value, if not monetary than at least it should be of some social, educational or entertainment value. A simple looking thing can be made the most eye catching depending upon the idea behind its promotions and advertisement. I specially refer the example of PSY’s Gangnam Style, which was a typical Korean song with only three English worlds. But it received mass attention and made it viral. What was the reason behind it? Every day countless number of videos are being uploaded on YouTube. Other videos that went viral in which I have noticed are the Lions vs Crocodile Fight in Samburu National Park which got 2,074,574 views, thought it was not meant for any advertisement. Samsung launched its video ad campaign which got 46,439,508 true reach. (For top ten viral video ad campaigns click http://www.visiblemeasures.com/insights/charts/adage/)
Here are the top highly effectively vial marketing techniques which are widely accepted:
- Videos: Uploading a video is one of the most effective tactics. A video should be interesting, education full of infotainment (information + entertainment). There are various online video websites such as YouTube, Met café, Dailymotion, Vevo, Google Video, Facebook, Hulu, Viacom Network, Yahoo! Video, Microsoft Video Network, AOL Video Network, VU Clip, watchmojo.com etc. Once the video is uploaded and is recommended, it gets circulated. No huge efforts are applied. Just a little bit and it’s done. Once it catches attention, it will be a hit.
Top Ten viral videos (The Daily Mail)
i) Star Wars Kid – 900 million
ii) Numa Numa - 700 million
iii) One Night in Paris - 400 million
iv) Kylie Minogue for Agent Provocateur - 360 million
v) The Exploding What - 350 million
vi) John West Salmon Bear Fight - 300 million
vii) Trojan Games - 300 million
viii) Kolla 2001 - 200 million
ix) AfroNinja - 80 million
x) The Shining Redux – 50 million
- Tweet Button: A tweet button has caught wide attention on social media. Its enables users to tweet onto their Twitter profile from any other website. Users can share your website with their followers using this button. The procedure is simple; the user has to just click on the button. The box will come up with information provided by the tweet button, which can be changed if the user want to. Tweet posting is done, user is suggested many accounts which they want to follow. The box is then closed by the user.
- Article Marketing: Articles written with educational, infotainment, social, interest values etc can go viral, conditioned must be written effectively and properly. This type of marketing is increasing on social media and there are professionals in this field.
- eBooks: eBooks serve to be another effective arm for viral marketing. eBooks are easy to produce and have a reach to mass audience. If the content, matter and concept are unique and innovative, the readers will quickly pass it to others.
- Newsletters: Newsletters have the potential to be viral. They are makes your business on the top for your subscribers. Most of the companies use newsletter for their online ad campaigns, where at the end of every news letter, they mention to pass it to others in a very tricky manner.
- Widget: If you have share widget option for your website, your visitors can share and bookmark your website from other social networking sites.
- E – Mail: It was the first method and is still being used.
- Blog: Blogs provide tool on your website to bloggers so that they can interact with one another.
- Tell a Friend: This strategy is also used to emotionally attract the audience.
- Social Games: Social games make the use of social media, inviting friends to play with each other. Brand promotion can be done with this method.
- Chat Rooms: It is used for interaction among the customers.
These some of the most recommended ways of viral marketing. Though every company has its own marketing techniques and strategies. Still, it depends on the people that how enthusiastically they recommend a company’s brand to others. Viral marketing serves to be an effective marketing strategy for product promotion, which strengths and makes the product in reach of mass audience. A big advantage is that it does not require any further cost for manufacturing, licensing, packaging, distribution, promotion etc. The techniques are easy to easy to create and easy to implement.