You must have heard the term “Viral marketing” a lot nowadays and it seems to be the new in thing, with countless of internet marketers and online advertisers passionately enunciating all the benefits behind this new phenomenon that although so fresh, has already become part of the latest internet movement. But what is viral marketing? Can we buy it, sell it? Can it be controlled? Is there money to be made from it? First, before we proceed, a simple yet precise explanation on viral marketing.
“Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness, through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses.” – Wikipedia
To a certain extent blogs and the tangible blogosphere could be considered a vast social network, connect together by millions of bloggers systematically reviewing, discovering, commenting, experimenting and above all sharing their experiences with the world. As the news spreads, reaching a wider audience and suffering a further push from other bloggers, who so generously elected to share the same piece of information, the article creates the so called viral effect. What was once a simple static piece of information, now has gained life and spread all over the internet.
Blogs and the blogosphere in general have become an important tool in the viral marketing frontier. Many reputable bloggers are approached by companies wanting to advertise their services or products, all with the intuitive of instigating a viral effect. The advantages are more than evident. Not only will the advertiser benefit from a premium advertisement placement, many times cheaper than that on more traditional media, but also take advantage of the bloggers social weight on the blogosphere. Imagine the following scenario: A new social networking site, wanting to promote their service, invites me to write a promotional post on Blog Oh! Blog. Knowing that the service is innovative and an excellent source for a news article, I agree and write a post announcing the launch of that particular social networking site. Some of my more responsive readers, after analyzing the article and enjoying it thoroughly, decide to also write a post about the new social networking site that will be launching soon. Companies frequently using such marketing strategies include Apple, Intel and HP just to name a few. Game publishers have also joined the outbreak by releasing teaser clips of upcoming titles on sites like Youtube, Metacafe and Dailymotion. All in the hope of creating the most buzz around their products.
Bloggers too can benefit from the viral marketing effect. Many of us strive to reach new readers whilst turning our blogs into a better all-round experience. You can start your won viral marketing strategy by following these few steps.
- Offer new services or products like themes, free scripts, eBooks, banners, Plugins, images, logos, etc
- Write solid, well researched content that motivates people to propagate that information
- Make sure other bloggers are aware of the things you’re offering
- Advertise on your blog so they know what you’re offering
- When bloggers post about it, drop by and leave a gratifying comment
Remember that the blogosphere is a web of interactive people all revolving around a few common principals. Tap into those needs, desires, demands and you will be amazed by the results accomplished.