Issues on Viral Marketing

October 30, 2008

Viral Marketing. Whenever somebody asks me what I do for a living, and I say Viral Marketing, I am more often than not met with a questioning look or an inquisitive question that can be summed up by the following question – “What the heck is that?” There have been a lot of definitions for viral – and it’s been interchanged with Guerilla Marketing and Word of Mouth Marketing, each a division of grassroots marketing on its own right. Analyzing the word viral, coming from virus, tells us that it is marketing that spreads on its own, once “seeded”, and ideally spreads like wildfire. It is passed on from one unsuspecting victim to another, much like an infection.

Some issues on viral marketing – because of its natural, organic nature, it has been questioned as a valid form of marketing. Can you actually “do” viral marketing”? If it’s supposed to catch on naturally, and an individual or team of individuals help the spreading along, with linking, posting and conversing with the web 2.0 users, is that still natural? In my opinion, this is what we call “seeding”. You have to start from somewhere, and the somewhere is your viral seed in the form of a viral video, a well crafted, yet nonchalant blog comment, or a well-intended viral piece (like a pop-up or a  viral game). You are only as good as your seed. In viral, start good, and you’ll end well, and that trail of people that will lead you to your converting customer are the judges to how virally commendable your piece is. Based on my experience, viral marketing can be done.

Another popular question on viral marketing – “Does it really work?” The partial answer to this is an ambivalent yes and no. It largely depends on two things:

1) Quantity. At what rate are you posting? How many user-generated video sites is your viral video on? Although quantity is not always a guarantee of more clicks, and consequently, more conversion, it does increase the chances. Just like in traditional marketing, the more fliers you hand out, the more chances you have of reaching people.

2) Quality. What do you post? Are you posting mass spammy messages that do the exact opposite of your primary objective, which is drive people away from your site? What about the quality of your site? The viral marketer is only as good as the site he/she is driving traffic to. What are you writing when you post? Do you blend in enough to be perceived as “just another user” but are crafty enough to induce clicks?

Viral Marketing can be a great thing for you, and can have far reaching effects, but like with anything, the approach plays a great factor with its success.

5 Responses to “Issues on Viral Marketing”

  1. T-Enterprise Says:

    Viral Marketing is becoming a more and more popular way for businesses to get thier message out to the general public. It’s a great way to generate more interest in your website or product.

    When it’s done correctly it can spread accross the internet like wildfire as people talk amongst themselves about your viral.

    It’s because of the way that a viral is spread, via word of mouth, that it can generate a lot of new interest in what you are trying to promote. Your message will reach people which you might have otherwise missed using more convensional marketing methods.

    Viral Marketing is something which every business, no matter how big or small, should look into as part of a larger marketing campaign.

  2. Darren Tan Says:

    Hey, i learned something here..

    Thanks for the great info.

    Cheers! 😀

  3. Untosh Says:

    As for me – viral marketing (yes, not Viral Marketing, noway) – is good for getting an audience only. But it’s worse than any other marketing way in getting money. You get a huge audience, but you don’t get real customers. That’s my point.

  4. guillaume Says:

    No more posts? I look forward for the nexts!!

  5. I LOOOVE YOUR SITE.. You offers so much info about IM, I just startet as a IM and all the info on this site is just candy for me.. Im gonna come back a read every thing.. Hmm can you pleace write something about a easy way to find doFollow sites..
    Thank you, all the best Markus

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