What Is Viral Advertising?

Viral advertising is the art of encouraging other Internet users to pass your adverts over the Internet free of charge. This is a very effective, very cheap and yet very fast way of advertising. For example, you could compose an advert, send it to 100 people who each send it to 100 (10,000 surfers in a couple of hours), who send it to 10 friends, who send it to 10 friends. That means 1,000,000 surfers can have read your advert in a day.

Viral advertising is the art of encouraging other Internet users to pass your adverts over the Internet free of charge. This is a very effective, very cheap and yet very fast way of advertising. For example, you could compose an advert, send it to 100 people who each send it to 100 (10,000 surfers in a couple of hours), who send it to 10 friends, who send it to 10 friends. That means 1,000,000 surfers can have read your advert in a day.

And it is free and takes minutes to do, although it will indubitably take longer to plan. So, how can you start viral advertising techniques into your marketing? The most common ways of attaining this are by promoting a web site using email and instant messaging.

Viral advertising is virtually free, not completely free because you require an Internet connection and a computer, although you can do it from an Internet cafe anywhere in the world. Viral messages can be quite narrowly focused. How can you accomplish this targeting?

Well, it is fairly easy actually because ‘birds of a feather flock together’. If you send your message concerning one of the latest games to 100 pensioners, it almost certainly will not reach 1,000 surfers, but if you sent the same message to 100 teenagers, you probably will reach 1,000,000 fairly quickly.

This targeting combined with the ease of the click means that the response rate is fairly instant – so fast that the advert-message goes out in the morning and surfers are clicking an hour later, virtually as soon as they receive it. This is instant profits for hardly any expenditure.

However, because viral advertising is so swift, your marketing material also has to be up to the minute as well. For instance, if a game manufacturer is offering a 20% discount voucher off a game beginning from the 15th, you need to be finished to send out your emails or instant messages as soon as the 15th breaks. You could try the 14th, but you run the risk of your message being deleted or forgotten about and by the 16th someone else will already have sent it out.

So, what form do these viral marketing messages take? I can tell you some of the most common forms, but really, the best ones are inventive, unusual, quirky and unique. You could pass around a good joke or collection of jokes on a theme that matches the subject of your advert. Let’s say gamers or computers, to stick with our example.

Years ago, there were some fantastic examples taken from computer support centres doing the rounds. I bet someone made thousands out of them. You might pass around photos of birds, if you are selling bird seed; racing cars if you are selling tyres.

You could send out a personal recommendation, if enough people think that you know what you are talking about and at the bottom of every email that you send out is a link back to your sales page. These messages are usually forwarded en masse without editing, so your link goes around the world on a tidal wave of viral advertising.

Owen Jones, the author of this piece, writes on a number of topics, but is now concerned with whether sitemaps give websites a boost. If you would like to know more, please visit our web site at PLR Articles

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