Don't Dodge the Viral Marketing Bug, It's Not Swine Flu!

Spread The Viral Message  Mention the word "viral" and one tends to think infection, illness and disease. This is not the swine flu virus that is scaring the hell out of us today. The "virus" we are talking about is a benign one. When referencing our Internet Marketing methods, "viral" is "desirable".

So, What is Viral Marketing?

As the name suggests, it's a way of spreading your marketing message from person to person, similar to passing a cold around. You pass on the 'germ' to about five people, who in turn each pass on the bug to 5 more (5x5=25), who then spread it to another 5 (25x5=125) and so on until after just 8 levels, you reach the staggering figure of 1,953,125.

The classic example of viral marketing is Hotmail, one of the first free Web-based e-mail services. Their strategy was, and still is, very simple:
  • Give away free e-mail addresses and services

  •  Attach a simple tag at the bottom of every users email
    message sent: "Get your private, free email at ...."

  • Then stand back while people e-mail to their own network
    of friends and associates who see the message and sign up
    for their own free e-mail service, and the cycle continues.
What Makes Marketing Viral?

A viral marketing plan usually has some or all of the following basic elements:

1. Provides a product or service free

2. Makes for easy transfer of the message to others

3. Allows easy growth from small to very large

4. Exploits common motivations and behaviours

5. Uses existing communication networks

6. Utilizes the resources of others 

Starting A Viral Marketing Campaign

One of the ways you can start a viral marketing campaign is to distribute free content such as articles, reviews, specialized reports, free e-mail service, free software, free info, etc. They can be given away for free in a number of different ways. 

If you have a mailing list, send out your special reports, reviews or articles directly to your members or thirdly, post your information free for all to see on forums that specialize on the information that you offer.

The word "FREE" is the most persuasive word in marketing. Most viral marketing campaigns give away a product or service to gain prospect's interest.

One well-trodden viral route to take is for you to write an article and distribute it as free content through online article distribution sites.

I have done my fair share of posting articles to some of these free article sites. For many of us, distributing free articles to article marketing sites is the key to helping an affiliate marketer promote his or her web site, product or service.

You can find hundreds of articles distribution sites, most offer articles on many topics, others focus on a specific niche such as internet marketing or recipes.

The beauty of article distribution sites is that most are free. They provide a valuable service and resource to allow thousands of people to view your information and ultimately create buzz for your products.

There are also viral marketing websites that offer promotional tools or widgets that are supposed to help you to build web traffic and lists. Many of these sites even provide a friendly "Tell a Friend" feature which makes letting your contacts know that much easier.

It has never been easier than now to grab a piece of the action in viral marketing and have a stake on the Internet. Competition online is keen and you need to get the message out using marketing techniques that enable as many people as possible to know that you exist!

Don't watch the world go by. Go viral and be recognized.

But be warned - Be circumspect about it and thread carefully.


Ng said...

Appreciate this tipoff on getting the most out of one's site. Problem is some of us are not good article writers.

Carol King said...

Which article marketing sites do you recommend, or does it depend on the niche you are operating in?

Great post btw.

Markk said...

Hi Carol, most article marketing sites cover a wide range of categories for you to choose. So, no problem slotting in a niche of yours. I'm not aware of any article site that only caters to one particular niche. I have submitted articles to several sites. Most of them allow you to insert a resource box where you can establish a link back to your website. There's not one but several good article marketing sites for you to go to...see the links at the end of my post.

JohnHerrera said...

Hello, read your article very interesting and relevant. I have a question, I'm gonna lunch a new blog soon, Talking about some problem, it's a big niche, now i have a track of a processes I did(weight loss i.e.) over the course of 20 weeks. And an article for each week. My question is does the article have to be "articaly" grammered or enough is just posting the post with the title "Week 3 of bla bla" because my posts are directing the reader and do containt good information.

Professional Networking said...

Very alarming article!
Thank you for posting!

Markk said...

> JohnHerrera: If I understand you correctly, it would be good to write well grammatically so readers can fully understand what you're writing about and enjoy your writing. As with some blog posts, a little grammatical mis-steps here and there, I think, is all right so long as the information in the article is understood.

Markk said...

> Professional Networking: Thanks for the humour!

youtube said...


Acnepril said...

One of the things that seems to really help spread "viral" ideas is the SUCCES acronym talked about in the great book Made to Stick.

SUCCES stands for:


Look at how Susan Boyle's music spread through social media like wildfire... Hers was a simple, emotionally uplifting, incredibly surprising story that we all got to see in real-time.

I encourage anyone who wants to go viral to think about SUCCES!


Jason said...

Great article, but I have a question. With so many different sites out there, do you recommend blanket submissions of articles to anyone and anything that will list them or should I specifically target my audiences? I just wonder if the old addage "less is more" is appropriate when trying to build a business base using this method.

arabalar said...

Thank you for posting

concierge services said...

I like to say thanks you because of this enlightening stuff. Now what is viral marketing? Now wish to more through competition online...