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Viral marketing

By Jakob Jelling

It was in 1996, with the launch of hotmail, when the idea of viral marketing evolved. The company decided to include a link in every outgoing message sent via hotmail. Surprisingly the company grew from none to an amazing height with the firm support of 12 million users with in a short span of 18 months, challenging all the previous records that history has ever seen. Since it involved usage of simple available internet tools, the involved cost was much lower than the traditionally spent $20 million by the nearby competitors like Juno, etc who still thrived to reach to such landmarks. Well, hotmail is now known for its vast e-mail services spread across to various countries like India, Sweden, etc.

Viral Marketing basically refers to the technique of marketing where in the consumer himself passes the cool online stuff, including content, games and other audio, video files, thereby publicizing some particular product. This spreads in the awareness among new consumers, thereby motivating them to buy hence promoting the sales of the product. The method involves spreading messages through word-of-mouth; utilizing the various tools and services available online in order to spread the message to maximum number of people. The name viral marketing is derived from it spread which is somewhat similar to the spread of a virus, or an epidemic.

By advertising I mean publishing your product so as to attract, hold and compel the consumer to buy your product, and hence in return you earn increased publicity and high profits. Like any other job, the advertising also needs specialization, professionalism, market reading, innovativeness and many other such traits, for which the market has actually come out with an altogether separate section for the same.

There are companies that are exclusively involved in publicizing the goods and services produced by the manufactures and hence assuring their growth and handsome income for them as well. Viral Advertising/ Viral Marketing is a similar phenomenon of publicizing the products by adopting the online available methods.

There are various reasons which drive a business house to popularize its product via this technique. Some of them are listed as follows:

1. Ease of execution: Simple online methods like e-mails, games audio-video clippings etc are used to promote the product, which are easy to execute and transmit.

2. Relative Low cost involved: The method is much cheaper than any other mode of advertising including publicizing one’s product via frequent newspaper advertisements and giving commercials on televisions.

3. Good Targeting: Generally the targeted customer levels are high in case of viral marketing. It is because the advertisements are forwarded and hence promoted not only by the companies involved in to the practice, but also the daily consumer who receives and appreciates the same.
4. High and rapid response rate: Of course, e-mails and other online services are much faster than any other popular way of publicizing the product including on-screen commercials and paper advertisements. Therefore, the relative response received is even higher than the traditional methods.

Types of Viral Marketing

1. Simple forwarding: Simple general e-mails consisting of interesting messages or cool clips that demand consumer to forward them to minimum number of people thereby publicizing the product.

2. Enticing viral: When you are rewarded for the forwarding of the e-mail messages you receive, it is termed as the incentive viral. These can also take up the form of online games and contest.

3. Tangy Gossips: Here in, the product is promoted by starting and encouraging the consumers to become the part of some unlikely controversial interesting news including discussing issues related to some particular movie, actor-actresses, politics etc.

4. Dating: This technique of marketing promotes the consumer to secretly date with some one online who shares the same interest/hobbies as the other person. A standard list of likings-disliking is first creates and then matched with the users; the best match gets the chance to date with each other.

About the author
Jakob Jelling is the founder of http://www.sitetube.com. Visit his website for the latest on planning, building, promoting and maintaining websites.

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