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August 11, 2010

Viral Marketing: The Proof is in the Pudding.

Many folks today do not realize just how powerful viral marketing is and how much potential it has.  Viral marketing revolves around creating an intense buzz on the Internet. It is a truly powerful concept that causes viral campaigns to spread pandemically around the Internet with a rapid intensity.  If used properly, it can be a very successful marketing technique for your business.

One thing that we can all be sure of is that viral marketing works and it works very well.  In this age of high-speed communications – when a message or video can travel around the world multiple times in a matter of minutes or even seconds – advertisers have to learn to use that to their advantage.  Viral marketing is not just for the big fish either.  A viral marketing campaign does not have to be expensive or expansive and can be utilized by businesses of any size.  The campaign need only be creative, catch the attention of its audience and spread around the Internet like wildfire thanks to people referring others to the campaign.

This referral process has become even easier nowadays with services like RSS Feeds, social bookmarking, AddThis or ShareThis, Twitter’s “retweet” function and Facebook’s “like” and “share” buttons.  You no longer even have to forward an email or send a message, a user of a social network like Facebook or Twitter can simply click on a “Share” link and send the viral marketing material to all of their friends, fans or followers.

The first component of the viral marketing process is the actual creative material itself.  Will you use a picture, article, video or text?  Something as simple as the headline of a news article can be viral on the Internet.  If you can think of a creative way to promote your products or services that will strike a chord with people and make them laugh, cry, feel inspired or any other emotion then they will want to share what they have seen, read or heard with their friends, family, co-workers, neighbors or any others in their social circle.  Then the web of content sharing has begun and it’s “gone viral.”  It is truly amazing how fast something can go viral online and spread throughout the world in a matter of minutes.

After you create the viral campaign then you must “seed” it by planting it at strategic places on the Internet.  There must be a distribution network to get your campaign to the masses so you need to figure out what online mediums will work best for spreading your marketing to the masses.  Perhaps you start with making a video, uploading it to YouTube and sharing it with your Facebook friends, your newsletter mailing list and any other contacts you might have.  Then you can use social bookmarking sites like Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon, etc. for a further reach.

If you strategically and intelligently use viral marketing techniques in your e-commerce business then you should find them an effective promotional tool.  Viral marketing is a tremendous way to build a ton of links in a little amount of time.  This is great SEO practice for your business and can help you climb up the SERP (search engine results page) in o time!


Forrest Yingling is the Marketing Director for WebNet Hosting, a Premier Partner Miva Merchant Web Host since 2004.  WebNet Hosting provides reliable, fully PCI Compliant Hosting and e-commerce solutions at the industry’s most affordable prices.

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