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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.
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.
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.