So what are viral marketing campaigns? Yes, the name is a little unfortunate but don’t be fooled as this is a highly profitable marketing tool. We tend to associate the name viral with death and destruction but in this case nothing could be further from the truth as a properly executed viral marketing campaign can be an extremely valuable asset to your business.
The basic concept of viral marketing is that you start small, using others to help you spread your product or ideas. Think about someone getting a virus – at first only that person gets sick, but in no time, they manage to spread it to three of their friends. Those three friends then spread it to three other people and before you know it, you’ve started an unstoppable chain reaction – the result? A whole lot of people are infected.
Now, imagine that virus is your advertisement or product.This is where your viral marketing campaign begins. You start by adding a few customers and slowly more and more people are exposed to your message. Viral marketing is a method of not only sending someone information about your product, but also giving them the incentive to pass on your materials to others that they know. Lets assume that each person it reaches passes it on to more than one person, the number of people who hear about your products and services will grow exponentially and reach thousands upon thousands of people. Even if just a small percentage of the people you reach end up becoming your customers, you still have the potential to make a large profit.
If you want your viral marketing campaigns to be successful, there are a few things you want to get right.
*First of all you are going to need a good product – without this your viral marketing campaigns have no hope of success.
*Secondly you need to make sure you have good copy
*Perhaps the most important point to stress here is that you need to have a good incentive to pass the copy or product on to others.
So what exactly makes a good incentive program for a viral marketing campaign? You can get many different types of incentive but most of them have one thing in common – they’re free. It could be a free newsletter, a free product, a free report – the word “free” is extremely powerful and is key to the success of your viral marketing campaign.
A good viral marketing campaign not only has good incentives, it also makes it very easy to pass the information from person to person. It may be a button added to your website or social networking page; it has to be something easy, fast and virtually effortless. The easier it is to pass the idea on, the better it’s going to work. It works even better if it uses the resources of others instead of your own.
One thing you have to look out for is to make sure you can handle the extra you will get if the campaign works. Having thousands of people use your product or come to your website isn’t going to be very useful if your site crashes or you can’t distribute your product due to staff shortages. Basically, you need to be prepared! If your viral campaign works you could be getting busy pretty quick!
Viral marketing may seem to good to be true. The above explanation has perhaps oversimplified the process but it is a very effective startegy and has proven it’s effectiveness over the years, especially with the use of internet. You must remember that it will require some careful thought and planning – depending on what you do, it could require financial investment.
If you’d like to learn about other methods to help you with the marketing of your small business, I thoroughly recommend you take a look at this great marketing resource.