Viral Initiatives to Increase Sales? What better ways to market your online presence than letting your customers do the work for you? Act now and put viral marketing to work for you!
Introduction to Viral Initiatives
What are viral initiatives?
Albeit its ominous moniker, viral initiatives are really a good thing. They are sometimes referred to as 'word of mouse' marketing, due to the substantial role of the Internet in such forms of marketing. Viral marketing also describes any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message's exposure and influence. Unlike Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing, viral initiatives are marketing efforts designed specifically to exhibit viral-like characteristics, being that they can be self-perpetuating and spread like a forest fire. Such strategies function like viruses and take advantage of rapid multiplication to explode the message to thousands, even millions.Think of it as a form of guerrilla marketing or networking to achieve that word-of-mouth enthusiasm and fervour about your latest products or services.
We have all come across amusing Internet viral videos that have been watched by millions - often an innocuous creation that captured the public's imagination and went viral. Similarly, online marketing campaigns can often spark a 'word-of-mouth' or create a 'buzz' and permeate through their targeted audience if done compellingly.
This is an excellent option for a small company wanting to capture the public's attention without investing much. A good idea cost zilch! If a company is successful in finding the right spark, they can create the equivalent of an aurora borealis in cyberspace! Of course, viral initiatives do take time and testing, but which company wouldn't want to be the reason behind the next big bang!
"You can't say it, you have to get the people to say it to each other" - James Farley, CMO of Ford
How does viral marketing work?
Viral initiatives or marketing efforts will require that bit of humour, purpose and flair that makes people want to help you spread it. People are your allies in viral marketing - pique their interest and they will do the work for you. By leveraging prevalent social media and networking sites, web portals, forums, blogs, emails, SMS and online chat, there is no shortage of ways for an interesting online viral to spread. Ultimately, viral initiatives are powerful tools which can aid in increasing your brand awareness, as well as achieving your other marketing objectives if used appropriately.
Benefits of a Viral Initiative
This is exactly what every business owner likes to hear. All you need is a good idea, and if your campaign is well executed, you can expect a mammoth ROI. Online viral marketing is increasingly common, which means it will always be better to obtain the services of a professional to jazz up your online marketing campaign and surprise your competition.
Increased Visibility and Brand Awareness
Viral initiatives are an excellent way of increasing your company's profile and brand awareness. Even mediocre videos on YouTube get watched thousands of times - popular ones on the other hand can expect millions! If your campaign is good enough, you can expect it to reach well beyond your targeted audience.
Level the playing field
If you're up against the big guns, a viral marketing initiative can be a worthwhile investment. If people are fond of your campaign, they will send it to their friends, and these friends will probably forward it to more friends. So, you could be working out of the garage, but your compelling campaign could garner as many views as one produced by an MNC.
Easy to develop
There are a wide variety of common tools available over the Internet that can help you in perpetuating your campaign. These include easily available tools with little or no cost, like RSS, blogs, emails, discussion forums, links videos, or web portals such as social-networking sites, etc.
Such campaigns can experience extraordinary growth just days into a campaign. Once you've pressed the big red button, all you need to do is sit and wait. There's often little monitoring to do as you watch a surge of traffic to your website. Internet viral marketing campaigns can often take on a life of their own and expand well beyond your intended reach.
Effortless transfer to others
Your viral campaign has to be simplified and made easy for people to pass it on. To ensure that, the medium that carries your marketing message must be relatively easy to transfer and replicate, such as in the form of an email, or website. Your website design and content has to be kept fresh and updated consistently in order to sustain interest. Viral marketing is especially effective on the Internet because it makes for instant, easy and inexpensive communication. All you require is a compelling and creative message, and users will naturally want to pass it on to others in their social networks.
Utilizes existing communication networks
Viral campaigns are often built on existing communication networks and hence, yield higher conversion rates as it implies an endorsement from a friend, instead of a third party, and is therefore deemed as more trustworthy and reliable.
Types of Viral Initiatives
- Blog posts
- Viral Videos
- Web-based games
- Affiliate programs
- Social bookmarking networks (Stumbleupon, Squidoo, Technorati etc.)
- Social networking sites (Facebook, Friendster, Orkut etc.)
As proven, viral marketing is a cost-effective but powerful form of marketing. That, coupled with the distribution options the Internet has to offer, further enhances its effectiveness. Viral campaigns can often be demanding in terms of creativity and originality, but the benefits to be reaped are plentiful. With our help, you can now capitalize on the vast benefits of viral marketing, boost your business productivity level, as well as achieve your marketing and sales goals, all the while keeping your marketing budget in check.