Continue to Part II: Online Viral Marketing Campaigns»
IntroductionInternet viral marketing may sound sinister and that when most people think of computers and the word virus they assume that bad things will happen to their computer. However, although viral marketing is based on the same principle of passing information from computer to computer, what viral marketing actually does is to try to geometrically get people to pass messages from one to another. It has nothing to do with computer viruses or anything harmful. Viral marketing is basically the attempt to create a buzz around a product or service allowing or encouraging a wave to spread throughout communities online.
CostsCosts for viral marketing on the Internet can range from free if done in house, to extremely expensive if an outside agency is employed. If an advertiser is willing to invest his time and effort on a consistent basis, and if a little luck goes his way, then it is possible to conduct a viral marketing campaign almost for free. Certainly one tool that is indispensable in creating a viral marketing campaign is an autoresponder. These useful devices can send out massive amounts of emails almost instantly. A good autoresponder only costs around $30.00. Of course there are many different methods employed to attempt to start a viral marketing campaign such as creating videos and sending them out, simple emails, or simply word of mouth.
TimeframeThe time needed for a viral marketing campaign to be successful is difficult to judge depending on the type and how fast it spreads. Certainly the largest amount of time will be spent on the front end creating the campaign, preparing emails, videos, or whatever method is chosen. Enough time should definitely be given for the campaign to take off. If a viral campaign reaches a certain level then the exponential factor can kick in and the time shrinks while the campaign spreads quickly.
Successful Campaign ExecutionMany successful viral Internet marketing campaigns are started by getting an influential group of people to evangelize, talk about, use, or otherwise spread the news about a product or service. Google's Gmail service was started in this manner. Giving away free samples of products or services is a great way to get people talking. Social networking sites are great places to get the word out about a product. Time should be spent investigating blogs and other online communities where like minded people can be found. Writing articles discussing your product or service or company and circulating them for free online is another way. Above all, it is important to understand your product or service as well as your customers for this type of marketing.
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