What is viral marketing? What are the characteristics of an effective viral marketing campaign? What does it take to produce content that flies on the wings of spontaneous word-of-mouth promotion? In this MasterNewMedia guide on viral marketing you can learn and understand the basic principles, foundations and strategies at the heart of effective online viral marketing.
Viral marketing is a form of promotion based on the free circulation of ideas via a word of mouth process. When you like something, it feels second nature to share your discovery with someone you like. Be it friends, relatives or colleagues, you get a kick out of sharing with someone else something cool that you have discovered. And in turn, those people you share something with, will do the same with their network of friends. That is what “going viral” is all about.
From a marketing standpoint, “going viral” is fascinating for a number of reasons:
- Distribution: Viral content spreads like virus, in an ever expanding loop which may never end. For an online marketer, spreading content endlessly from person to person represents a superior strategy to promote content at a fraction of the effort and costs required by traditional marketing techniques.
- Reach: A successful viral marketing campaign may exponentially increase the reach of your communications by placing you in touch with thousands of prospects which, with your traditional communication approach, you might not have ever intercepted.
- Awareness: The more people will see your content, the more people will know who you are, what you do, what can you offer customers. Not only: by sharing content on a specific topic you will make yourself an authority in that field and people will start naturally coming to you asking for advice and recommendations.
- Cost: Viral marketing is relatively inexpensive as you do not have to plan a huge budget to promote your products or start campaigns that meet the needs of all your potential customers. Once your content starts to go viral, your fans become your best marketing agents.
To help you make sense of what are the key traits and components that create the conditions for a successful viral marketing campaign, this MasterNewMedia guide shares a highly curated selection of the best analysis, reports and published research on the web on the topic of viral marketing.
This guide is organized in three sections:
- What is viral marketing
- The key principles of viral marketing
- Viral marketing best strategies and tactics.
What Is Viral Marketing
Viral marketing is an idea that spreads and that while it is spreading actually helps market your business or cause. In this article Seth Godin shares his definition of viral marketing, with particular emphasis of differentiating “viral” from “marketing”.
by Seth Godin – Seth Godin’s Blog
In this PDF Manifesto, Seth Godin outlines what viral marketing is about:
“Establish a foundation and process where interested people can market to each other. Ignite consumer networks and then get out of the way and let them talk.”
by Seth Godin – Seth Godin’s Blog
This study, conducted by three academic researchers in 2007 demonstrates how viral marketing proves to be more effective than traditional person-to-person recommendation networks when it comes to reach customers in the long run.
by Jure Leskovec, Lada A. Adamic and Bernardo A. Huberman – University of Michigan
Why if you create a video and upload it to Youtube, the view counter doesn’t go anywhere? Jennifer Laycock explains to you why you should focus on viral marketing – and not word of mouth – to create contagious content.
by Jennifer Laycock – Search Engine Guide
You create packaged content with social hooks that comprise the story you wish to tell and the action you hope to spark. What are the common characteristics your content should have to be a viral content?
What is viral marketing? A collection of relevant definitions from multiple sources that will help you to make sense once and for all of what viral marketing really is.
Viral Marketing Key Principles
What is viral marketing? How do you get your message to spread across the web like a “virus”? In this article you will learn why everyone wants to understand the “how” of a successful viral marketing campaign and what benefits a viral marketing campaigns can generate for your website content.
by SubmitEra Editors – SubmitEra
What are the common characteristics of a viral content? What does it take for a blog post, an ebook, a video, an audio file and any other type of content to spread on the web like a virus and become popular?
by Ian Spector – Mashable
If you want to market, promote or advertise your product or service in ways that will cost you nothing compared to traditional campaigns, you should check out the viral marketing advice shared by David Meerman Scott, the author “World Wide Rave“, in this video interview recorded with me, Robin Good.
by Robin Good – MasterNewMedia
In this article, Ralph F. Wilson outlines the six basic elements of a successful viral marketing strategy. While an effective viral marketing strategy may not contain all six elements, the more it embraces, the more powerful the results are likely to be.
by Ralph F. Wilson – Web Marketing Today
Learn how “viral” principles can be applied to advertising by planning a series of marketing efforts directed towards creating a piece of content that self-replicates on the web while promoting your product or service at zero cost.
by Dina – Realvirtuality
Viral Marketing Strategies and Tactics
David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR, shares his formula for viral marketing success: a combination of web content (a video, blog entry, interactive tool, or e-book) that provides valuable or compelling information plus a network of people to light the fire and links that make your content very easy to share.
by David Meerman Scott – DavidMeermanScott
How can people manage to get millions of views on YouTube just by posting their kittens yawning? The truth behind the popularity of many video sensations is a well-prepared marketing strategy which has nothing or little to do with the ability of content to self-replicate on the web.
by Dan Ackerman Greenberg – TechCrunch
How and what makes your content “viral“? Why everyday reality of communication is important for your viral marketing strategy? In this highly comprehensive and in-depth guide, MIT Professor Henry Jenkins and his team explain the dynamics that govern the social redistribution of your content across the web.
by Henry Jenkins, Xiaochang Li, Ana Domb Krauskopf with Joshua Green – MasterNewMedia
What is exactly a viral “loop“? How do you keep a high level of interest on a product and suggest other people to do the same?
Understand how so-called “viral marketing loops” allow you to acquire new customers in such unobtrusive ways that it doesn’t look like marketing to others.
by Eric Ries – MasterNewMedia
What traits characterize “viral” content? What are the key strategies to create a successful viral marketing campaign by leveraging high-value content? Here are 10 tactics to follow.
by Adam Singer – The Future Buzz
Originally prepared by Robin Good, Daniele Bazzano and Elia Lombardi for MasterNewMedia, and first published on July 13th, 2010 as What Is Viral Marketing: Key Principles And Strategies.
What Is Viral Marketing: Seth Godin Explains – Seth Godin
Unleashing The Ideavirus: The PDF Manifesto – Seth Godin
The Dynamics of Viral Marketing (PDF Study) – Ivan Proskuryakov
Viral Marketing Definitions – Dejan Jovanovic
Common Characteristics of a Viral Content – Anton Vakhlachev
How To Create a Successful Viral Marketing Campaign – Arthur Matkowskyy
Viral Marketing Principles: Six Key Rules To Get Everyone To Talk About Your Ide – IreneK
Viral Marketing: The Six Basic Principles – Andy Dean
Are Viral Markting Principles Good For Advertising? – Xiao Fang Hu
The New Rules of Viral Marketing (PDF) – Alessandro Viti
The Secret Strategies Behind Many “Viral” Videos – Charis Tsevis
Viral Marketing: How To Trasform Content Into A Meme That Spreads Like A Virus Online – Kheng Ho Toh
How To Engage Customers For The Long-Term: Viral Marketing Loops – arrow
Viral Marketing: Viral Content Traits And Characteristics – janaka Dharmasena
Other images – Clipart
Robin Good, Daniele Bazzano and Elia Lombardi –