Time to talk about “Viral Marketing”, let me start with a small example of how this viral marketing works.
When Hotmail was introduced, it was not known to everyone about the service, When few people started using Hotmail as there email box, Hotmail decided to add the signature logo down in the footer with all the emails sent from the users. At the other end who receives this email, I was able to see that footer and it started becoming viral, customers started registering, and that lead to a boom in the Hotmail business.
That simple idea made wonders in their business, and there are many examples both successful and unsuccessful strategies implemented in Viral Marketing. Viral marketing, the word itself sounds viral, doesn’t it? Like the name says Viral, it’s a way of spreading messages related to a product or a service that a company offers. It is easy to spread fake news, which can be made viral within minutes, but when it comes to marketing, it has its own steps and strategies to look after in order to make viral marketing a successful one. Like a virus from one person to another person. How can we achieve that? By creating content that adds value to be shared with others. It might be video, image and a unique application that performs a different function.
Do you remember?
Being a marketer or business founder, most of us are familiar with the idea of “becoming viral” and would love to take advantage of it. But the truth, there are many miss understandings about what it really takes to do and the benefits of it. Before we start going in-depth, let’s understand some of the definitions available on google provided by few marketing experts.
What is Viral Marketing?
Viral marketing is pretty much what it sounds like — marketing that spreads like a virus. Though usually referring to online activity today, any strategy that encourages word-of-mouth can be considered viral marketing. Viral marketing is a marketing strategy where network effects and word-of-mouth advertising are leveraged.
It is a goal to get a crowd of people spreading the word about your product or service of your company, reaching new audiences, and creating a rapid increase in the revenue for your business then it’s called viral marketing. According to Investopedia, “Viral marketing seeks to spread information about a product or service from person to person by word of mouth or sharing via the internet or email. Because it is one of the most effective types of marketing. You don’t have to spend large budgets on creating ads or getting them out there In the previous days, businesses had to take advantage of traditional marketing, outbound media, or ask customers to do. But now since the time as changed, the introduction of Internet marketing made things easier compared to traditional marketing.
It was taking a long time to do small viral message in the period of traditional marketing, in most of the situations it was very expensive, but today, we have internet communications like social media that allows us to achieve the better results, much quicker and in less cost. Some of the biggest viral sensations often occur randomly and unexpectedly, but more and more frequently, we are finding that viral marketing is being strategized. By now, you will be able to understand what viral marketing is and how different it is from traditional marketing.
Time to speak about benefits of Viral Marketing:
So, let me guess you might be thinking why viral marketing is required when we have online advertising and SEO?
To make it clear: going viral isn’t going to replace traditional marketing anytime soon. But it’s a great way to compete and stay top on the list.
- First thing first, Increase brand awareness – Yes, creating brand awareness is the toughest initial step for any company. If this goes well, automatically sales and revenue will go up. Viral marketing is the best way to achieve this in a short period of time, if all the strategies and market situations are favorable then yes, it’s your company becomes a hot cake.
- A rise in website traffic – It is again co-related to the first step mentioned above, traffic to your company website depends upon how well the customers know your brand in the market.
- Increased lead flow and conversion rate – For any business sales numbers that build revenue is a strong pillar of the company. Higher the traffic of your website higher the lead flow, and the higher the lead flow gives high conversation rates.
- Cost and time effective – yes, you heard it correctly cost-effective is the biggest achievement by using viral marketing compared to any other marketing strategies. And yes, also the time required to perform this activity and to become viral is very minimal compared to other marketing activities.
- No Geographical hurdles – There was a time it made it difficult for the companies in reaching out to the audience across the world, but not anymore with viral marketing. Thanks to Viral Marketing, that made reaching out across the globe within a short period of time.
By now you can examine what is viral marketing, why it is required, and benefits of viral marketing. Let us also see another side of viral marketing that is disadvantaged. For that matter, if you consider any strategies, we will have the pros and cons of it.
Drawbacks of Viral Marketing:
Word of mouth can be an effective strategy when you are trying to create brand awareness, but companies need to preserve the disadvantages of viral marketing in mind as well. The idea behind this type of strategy is to provide your audience with information they will want to pass on to other people they know.
As good as viral marketing works, the following drawbacks of viral marketing should also be considered before implementing to promote your business.
- Nuisance Factor – If you decided to use email to drive traffic to your web site, it is like you are competing with most of the other people who are using the same structure. It can be difficult for people to decide which messages they should pay attention to. It creates a lot of annoyance for people and they mark it as spam.
- Negative Buzz – Sometimes, instead of creating a positive we end up creating negative buzz quickly, this can happen in viral marketing too. If your audience starts posting negative information about your business on blogs, social media, and other internet communication spaces, very few people will take the time to investigate for themselves to figure out whether this negative buzz is warranted. But otherwise, most of the people will take what is being discussed as true and your business will suffer as an outcome.
- Privacy – Most people have concerns about privacy issues, both online and in the offline world. They want to know what the companies they business with are planning on doing with their personal information and may not be interested in participating in a campaign.
- Tough to Measure – Any Internet marketing strategy must be measurable, that is where you will be able to figure out the success factors. Viral marketing can be a hit and miss proposition, and unless the campaign is being managed by experienced marketers, it can be very problematic to determine whether it is a worthwhile plan.
Let me guess, after understanding the drawbacks of viral marketing you will be in a dilemma whether to implement viral marketing or to go ahead with other marketing strategies. Let me also say you again, any strategies you prefer to go have pros and cons, and if there are mistakes in your campaign no strategy will be able to fetch you the required results and there is a chance your business might lose even present reputation. So, let’s make it clear Viral marketing is the best way to create brand awareness in a short period of time and with cost-effective, being strategies implemented in the right way. To know about more digital marketing trends .
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