Viral marketing is the passing of a marketing message from individual to individual, theoretically enabling exponential growth of consumer exposure and message influence. Where this may once have required face-to-face contact between consumers, viral marketing has taken to the web. The surge in popularity of blogging and online communities means word-of-mouth is viral, effectively an epidemic sweeping the online world.
Businesses capitalizing on the enormous potential of viral marketing can create incredible hype in their products and/or services with little expense to themselves. Hotmail did it by tagging outgoing emails with an invitation for recipients to sign up for a free account. The movie “Snakes on a Plane” gained cult status long before ever hitting the big screen with contagious speculation, blogging, audio and video clips passed through the web.
MarketingSherpa conducted the following study into Viral Marketing Tactics that have gained popularity in the last year.
According to the survey 91% of viral marketers are currently encouraging email forwarding. “Tell-a-friend” referral boxes featured next with 80% of those surveyed using this in their marketing campaigns. 54% of viral marketers are using microsites, and 47% are utilizing e-cards to send their marketing message. The final data from the survey shows that 46% of interviewees are sending video clips, while only 29% use audio bites.
The varieties of ways in which to conduct a viral campaign are numerous, and should be tailored to suit the area of business in which you are operating. Creating mass speculation for a movie project is one thing, but creating speculative publicity may not carry the credibility of a business operating in a serious market.
Ask yourself, will this trend in marketing continue? With the increasing number of bloggers, and online sharing, will consumers start to grow weary of invasive and hype driven campaigns?
Given the right type of product / service, viral marketing is a great way to profit from the web. Investigate the best ways in which to exploit viral marketing for your business. Could this be the untapped marketing avenue for you?