What is Viral Marketing?

Definition: Viral Marketing is a marketing strategy that propagates by encouraging individuals to pass on the marketing messages to friend and businesses associates. This leads to an explosion of potential and exponential growth by increasing market exposure.

A.K.A. Word-of-Mouth Marketing ( in the pre-technology era). Many advertising budgets are cut and banner ad are not producing the results they once did. Online business are looking for economical ways to get the word out about their products and services. Word-of-Mouth advertising has always been a powerful way to build a business. The internet increases the results quicker. They don't call this the information age for nothing.

Can you remember the old Breck Shampoo commercial. I told my friend about Breck and she told her friend who told her friend and so on and so until the whole television screen was filled with friends? That is basically Viral Marketing in a nutshell.

The word Viral Marketing has stuck on the Internet and Received the Award of Internet Marketing Buzzword of theYear
--Iconocast, Dec. 16, 1998

CentraNow's recent online web seminar "On the Internet-Content is King" focused on alternative ways to advertise your business, including Viral Marketing.

Host spokesperson, Jeff Cannon author of Make Your Website Work For You spoke of how to take Viral Marketing even further. Form partnerships with non-competing websites that compliment yours and help each other market your businesses. He also suggested joining online communities and begin participating in those discussions. Start building those relationships.

People buy from people they know and trust. This is even more true on the internet.

The best known online success goes to Hotmail. In it's first year and a half, Hotmail spent less than $500K (US) and signed up more than12 million people. They placed a simple tag line on the bottom of every email message sent."Get Your Private, Free Mail at http://www.hotmail.com. They now sign up more than 150,000 subscribers everyday, seven days a week.

Ever received an email joke with a string of email addresses attached and then you pass the joke on to your friends? That is Viral Marketing in a non-commercial use.

It was refreshing to discover that our marketing strategies were right in line with all the suggestions. We had applied many of them already and several others were planned for later.

Many of the larger online companies are have discovered that millions of dollars in advertising isn't always the best way to establish and grow an eBusiness. Many eBusinesses found out to late that big, expensive, advertising campaigns don't build trusting and lasting relationship. They are incorporating a marketing strategies that us small business owners have used for years.

Why are we using Word-of-Mouth marketing to build our business? For the same reason the large companies are now using it, Viral Marketing is the least expensive and most credible way to establish long term customers and create more business. Especially for us entrepreneurs on a limited advertising budget.

We were using Viral Marketing before it became the latest buzzword. It works.

We tried some techniques that weren't as successful. Keep this in mind. What worked for us or somebody else may not be suitable for your business. Keep trying different techniques and keep the ones that work.

Look at your business. How could Viral Marketing increase your business?