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Viral Marketing - Generating Online Revenue

Jul 10, 2008
The growing importance of the internet as a channel of distribution as well as an inherent part of the brand equity of a commercial enterprise has led to some new factors of importance. One such is Viral Marketing.

What is viral marketing?

Viral marketing essentially uses the mechanism of 'word of mouth'. Here the marketing message is passed along by people. The message self propagates as people send emails to others. It replicates and spreads easily.

Today individuals as well as companies specialize in the field of generating online revenue by employing viral marketing, much in the same manner as any other commodity. The forces driving the plan for launching a viral marketing campaign and the strategies adopted by individuals and companies in this market are similar to those of traditional markets.

The trendsetter in viral marketing was the classic case of Hotmail.com. They offered people free email addresses and services and simply added a text at the bottom of every email message: "Get your private, free email at http://www.hotmail.com". So as each member sends a message to another non-member the message to subscribe to Hotmail gets propagated instantaneously without any effort from Hotmail. Hotmail got millions of subscribers within months of launching it using viral marketing effectively.

What makes viral marketing work?

The keyword is 'free'. Free email, free products to test, free services, free uploading of photographs, free buttons, free smileys - we see that in our mail and we tend to try it out. So keep it free and keep it spreading - the mantra for viral marketing.

Keep your viral marketing message short and succinct. Use the internet platform to your best use to propagate the message.

Use common motivations to influence people. What would people like? Free image uploading or free daily updates on their desktops? Imagine that you have a blog and you want to put a hit counter on the webpage. You pick up the HTML code for the counter from a website and put in on your blog. Now incidentally you will also propagate the website for the counter by having an instruction as 'Click here to get XYZ counter.'

You can use affiliate programs and advertise your product or website in other forums and blogs and websites.

Here's a simple example how you can apply all the above four points in order to make viral marketing of your product generate traffic and eventually revenue from your website. For example, you write an article on a topic that people wants to know more about. Then grant the readers the permission to replicate the article in their blogs or websites as it is and give you the copyright to it. Make sure that you insist your copyright statement is published along with the article. Within a short period of time, your name and article will be appearing in so many websites that you will soon start the benefit reaping the benefit of viral marketing. No extra effort, no financial investment, no lobbying - your name spread through simple 'word of mouth'.
About the Author
Larry McCullough has been marketing and writing on the internet for over 10 years. Owner of various websites. Main site Blog
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