Continue to Part II: Viral Marketing Program Management»
IntroductionViral marketing is a difficult and unreliable marketing strategy, but if a campaign can be made to be effective, then it can be a highly effective and low-cost marketing strategy. Almost anything can be made to be viral from emails, to newsletters, jokes, videos, ebooks, and more - but the distribution is the part of the equation which causes problems. What viral marketing basically comes down to are two things: creating a message that people will be willing to forward to someone else, and a way to distribute that message to a large enough number of people so that it has a chance of catching on.
Costs and Skills RequiredIf your message is a video, you will need the equipment to produce the video; a camera and editing software. Or if your message is a simple newsletter, or email message, these can be made with templates, such as are found in Microsoft's Office Suite, or online. Also, a bulk email sender can be used to send your messages, or an autoresponder. Companies, such as Blue Hornet, offer software which offers many of these services bundled together in varying packages for different sized businesses and for consumers with different needs.
Selection Checklist for Viral Marketing Tools
- Data collection
- Web analytics
- Opt-in confirmation
- Forward-to-a-friend, refer-a-friend, and invite programs.
- RSS Feed
- Email Deliverability Considerations
- Unsubscribe and User opt-outs
- User Feedback and comments
- APIs for publishers
- Integration with popular social networks
- User Credibility
- No previous consumer or media complaints about usage practice
- Thorough documentation
- Free trial
- Customer support
- Customization support
- Willingness to sign NDA and IP protection agreements
- Web infrastructure to handle high traffic load
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