A common term these days by all internet businesses and services is ‘Viral Marketing’, but do we know what it really means?
Viral Marketing in the simplest definition is a ‘network-enhanced word of mouth’. When you receive an email from your family, friends or colleagues to say that they are using a certain email provider or internet service provider you can also find a link that you can click on to join the service to help you keep in touch with your loved ones.
This form of marketing that indirectly uses users of the product or service is known as Viral Marketing. While the user doesn’t directly promote the product or service themselves, by using the service their being a sales person to others who are not members.
Viral Marketing is more powerful than third part advertising as it conveys a request through a friend. Some of the successful viral marketing strategies were by hotmail in 1996 with their launch.
What are the common techniques used in Viral Marketing?
One of the most known ways of viral marketing is of getting your members invite their friends and family to join the service. This can be done either directly where members are asked to do so, so that they can receive certain benefits such as wave off subscription fees or reduce prices etc. while indirect marketing may also happen when using the service. For an example, when a hotmail user sends an email to a friend using a different email provider an invite will be attached in the email for them to transfer to hotmail.
Another way of doing so is by introducing promotions or special offers for those who introduce a certain number of people to the website, product or service. It is done so by businesses in such a way that everyone will benefit even in the simplest form when using or inviting their friends and family.
Some businesses introduce questionnaires or games that make it fun for users so that more people will be encouraged to try it out.
It is seen through past experiences that the more creative and entertaining your viral marketing idea is the better results it will generate.