Decoding : Viral Marketing

A very interesting phenomenon has been prevalent & making waves since couple of years now. Yes! You guessed right! I am talking about Viral Marketing.
For those who do not have the slightest idea, let me tell you what exactly is Viral Marketing. Viral Marketing (or Viral Advertising) is a new form of marketing in which the marketer uses a pre-existing social network or another medium on the internet. The message replicates itself and spreads just like a computer virus or a real virus would do.Viral Marketing can be called as advancement over Word-of-Mouth marketing. The latter can be a subset of Viral Marketing. But they are not the same things, as many people would think.
Word-of-Mouth marketing is an age old process which requires a person to first use a product and if satisfied, spread the message to a friend and so on. This process is not only slow, but it has been seen that the brand retention through this process is very limited. People tend to forget about the brand soon. On the other hand, Viral Marketing is a fast process through which the marketer can reach out to an audience many times larger than the former process. In this process, the user finds something interesting and shares it with ten friends. Those ten friends again share it with ten friends each. We can very well imagine the power of this process. It has been seen that the brand retention is longer in the case of Viral Marketing.
Basic Tips for a successful Viral Marketing Campaign
1.The product/message to be distributed should be valuable: It is value that a friend would share with friends. Anything that is uninteresting or worthless would result in being ignored in the first few steps in the process of Viral Marketing.
2.The product/message should be easily transferable: This is a very important point. A person would share something with people only if it is easily shareable. The lesser the complexity, the more would be the probability of it being spread out to a wider audience.
3.Good Scalability: The campaign should be scalable. It should appeal to maximum people throughout the target regions. A Viral Marketing campaign should be created using all demographics and psychographics in mind.
4.Should be able to exploit basic human behavior and motivation: A Viral Campaign should be able to play with basic human behavior. If it can convince a person to spread the word, then it is a success. But the campaign should know the limit to which it can play with emotions; else it could also result in negative branding. But if it works, it can do wonders. For instance, a marketing company which once took up the Viral Marketing/Branding project of Kit Kat chocolate came up with a very clever idea. The created an image of Kit Kat chocolate and forged a design on it which looked like Jesus Christ’s face. They attached this image with a message, which seemed to be from the owner of this chocolate. The message demonstrated the person’s surprise on the miracle. This message spread like wildfire and turned out to be successful. It was a very risky campaign because when religious sentiments are involved, things can go haywire.
5.Make use of existing networks: Using existing networks is very cost-effective and saves time. The favorite media for most Viral Marketers are Facebook, Twitter, blogs etc.
Those were the basic points to be kept in mind before starting a Viral Marketing Campaign. It is to be remembered that the campaign should be developed very innovatively and carefully because if it backfires, it can be very harmful to the brand.
[The article has been contributed by Sunny Walia. An ambitious guy, he has done his graduation in Business Administration and presently manages his own family business in chemical sector. An easy to gel person, he follows the principle of “Simple living, high thinking !”. ]

You will love reading: Effect of Advertising on Consumer Behaviour.  Must read article Irony of Sales Pitch !


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