Home Startups Viral Marketing is all the rage

Viral Marketing is all the rage

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Every Entrepreneur needs to master the ever evolving and elusive viral marketing secrets that turn startups into legends. First, lets make sure we are all on the same page in our terminology. Wikipedia has one of the best technical definitions of Viral Marketing:

Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. It can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet.
[1] Viral marketing is a marketing phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along a marketing message voluntarily.
[2] Viral promotions may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, ebooks, brandable software, images, or even text messages. The basic form of viral marketing is not infinitely sustainable.

Now that we all know what the real definition of viral marketing is lets explore some of the techniques. Web Marketing today-Wilsonweb is a great resource for garnering attention for your startup. Be sure to to read the in depth article for the six viral marketing techniques.

1. Gives away valuable products or services
2. Provides for effortless transfer to others
3. Scales easily from small to very large
4. Exploits common motivations and behaviors
5. Utilizes existing communication networks
6. Takes advantage of others’ resources

Although, be warned, viral marketing isn’t always a rosy picture. Inc. has some interesting examples of Viral Marketing campaigns that take more effort than is probably worth. In other words, hidden costs to put on a viral marketing campaign can make it more expensive than originally intended for marketers.

Vibe Media’s “Vibe Verses” campaign, which invited users to post, share, and rate rap lyrics online. A winner was picked by user vote, and won a prize. The campaign went viral in 36 days and drew tons of traffic to the site, making it profitable. But along the way, Vibe reported there were many efforts to game the vote, which made the campaign harder to organize and administer than they had expected.

The most important aspect of any viral marketing campaign will be proving the success of the results. For that you will need assistance with proper metrics to measure your VM success. The following resources should do the trick:

Divinity Metrics

Admap
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